Teach your boys about self-control

My wife and I had some rather high-minded ideas about keeping our boys away from violent play when they were little. We solemnly decided that we wouldn’t buy toy guns for them. Ha! They just fastened two Lego blocks together at right angles to make guns of their own. When we took those away, they just used their fingers to shoot each other. We gave up. Boys want to live in a world of conflict in their play. Boys are by nature aggressive. They want to fight and compete and win.

Maybe it’s the testosterone. Just as young women are at risk either of depression over their body image or fascinated by projecting their newfound sexual power, our boys are at risk because of their impulses toward sex and violence. Our culture glorifies men who seize both. Our Christian faith teaches us that real men show true strength by restraint of their passions: “Encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good” (Titus 2:6,7).

Boys long for heroes to look up to and to imitate. If a boy doesn’t find a hero in his dad, he may choose a really bad one. Men, teach your boys about self-control. Demonstrate self-control (and look happy doing it). Help them use their strength and aggression to do great things for the Lord and to aspire to lead and protect their own families.  

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.


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