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Teaching Boys to Respect Women

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2020 6:00 am

Teaching Boys to Respect Women

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 28, 2020 6:00 am

In a discussion based on his book "Raising Boys Who Respect Girls," Dave Willis offers parents advice for cultivating within their young sons a healthy respect for others, particularly girls and women.

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Listen most important lesson you can give your sons on how to respect women, and how you treat your wife love your wife well because by your example your teaching your sons how to treat women in your teaching her daughters what they should expect for men and by your example. You're either giving your kids a big head start with blessing or you're giving them some baggage that they're going to have to overcome. That's Dave Willis he's our guest today on Focus on the Family your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly, thanks for joining us on John for energy on our culture today seems to have trouble with respect to receipt of so many different ways that the flurry of our busy lives and with the constant influx of news and social media. I think we can elect that common courtesy just go to the wayside. Nowhere is that more evident than in the me too movement which escalated in 2017 when more and more stories of inappropriate behavior and disrespect toward women that came to light in the media and it just kept coming and there's a great scripture in the New Testament. Romans 1210 says love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor and that's certainly a goal for all of us are Focus on the Family nobody's perfect.

We get that, but our culture today needs to do better job of informing boys, particularly how to treat women and how to be respectful and that's the topic organ a cover today with the great guest Dave Willis as I said is with us.

He's got four boys sees a former pastor, Speaker, author a relationship coach, a television host or marriage today along with his wife, Ashley, and he's been here before. Today he is with us to talk about his book, raising boys who respect girls up ending locker room mentality blind spots and unintended sexism and you get your copy at our website. We got details in the episode notes today. Welcome back to focus hey guys, it's great to be here. Thanks Ravenel appreciated that you know this whole idea teaching boys about respecting women really hit home for you with your son Cooper and we mentioned you have four boys so that's great. I think you have a PhD in raising sons rent the house were working on.

My wife has the PSI to have a working. So what happened with Cooper that grab your attention gathering so many moments at a pivotal moments with the voice or wake up calls for us, but one I can open up the book with it was his first day of eighth grade coming home from eighth grade and he comes home. I get off the bus and brought hey buddy how was your day, he didn't really want to talk in a most eighth grade boys ages want to go play video games.

They grant well they grant really well going to interpret his grunt down to rest means I'm hungry. Three things the LME allowed so we like to how was your day. We kept on asking questions and say before you play video games tell us about.

He said it was fine it was fine and then he kinda pause and he asked the question that just kind of floored us, but we as parents have learned you know we can't look shocked around the kids, you know, whatever they asked if they could say aliens are invading and you can't look shocked. He does have to roll with it and I'll keep talking. He said, is it normal for guys to take pictures with their cell phones and send it to girls and I'm like well know it's not the one he unpacked that a little bit like white YDS.

He said while on the bus. There were these guys and they were laughing and they were taking pictures and trying to show other people and then they were laughing and saying girls love it when you text them stuff like this one. I try to put the phone in my face and I pushed him away and say get off of me. Just seems so weird but like is that really normal because they were acting like that's normal well and it was such a wake up call mom at this you picture this, but you think that this was like a prison bus or something, but this was a bus you know serve as a school bus with kids."

You good neighborhoods. It's a great school district in a very very little crime in Ari, this is just a snapshot of Americana. You know this is a regular bus full of regular kids and apparently these were regular conversations that were happening. I was so thankful that he trusted us to tell us what was going on because it started a conversation of us being able to say buddy listen the world might do a lot of things that they call normal that are completely and absolutely wrong and it gave us an opportunity to talk about God's plan for respect about the fact that what was going on at school bus is actually illegal.

That is an illegal act.

So not only is it wrong it's something that you could be prosecuted for, but even more than that. We got to talk to the heart behind what respectfully looks like what relationship should be and how this worlds messages getting it wrong in so many ways and so the book is full of conversations like that that I never thought I'd be having but yet his parents. I think we gotta be willing to go there with her to ask you why are boys more naturally inclined to respect men.

I think that's true. I think it's a bravado thing. It's a testosterone thing and who's the alpha male in the pack that kind of thing and then the follow-up is why do they need to be taught to respect women. I mean there is a difference there. Why yeah I think some of it goes to the core of just how are wired and guidewire to set up exactly how were meant to be men and women are equal but he gave us beautiful distinctions and beautiful differences that what happens is in every beautiful and perfect thing. God is created in of the world comes along are the enemy comes along that he tries to sabotage that by whispering lies instead of the truth and some of the lies I think that our sons have believed is that you know him.

We respect men and we don't respect women, and part of it is rooted in this false view of what masculinity is where boys will tend to look at other boys and men look at other men as a form of competition bright and boys a look at other women sometimes is a conquest it's like I'm a man, because I can beat other men, and I'm a man, because I can seduce other women, but in both of those were using other people instead of loving other people were giving away our own humanity and the process is of God's plan for respect is something that's that's really rooted in in love and being humble and putting the needs of someone else ahead of your own. And that's that's one of the core messages that Jesus gave us in one of the core messages of Scripture. But when were using people, instead of loving and respecting them all of our relationships are going to be broken as a result. And that's kind of a snapshot of the world were living in. There's just broken us all around because we've lost sight of what love and respect really makes you so often we hear about how Jesus brought respect to that Roman empire for women how he brought respect for women. Let's look at the Gospels, you mentioned in the book how to the Gospels demonstrate that respect for women yell at one of my favorite chapters in the book.

Probably my favorite chapter in the book is called Jesus respecter of women and it's all about that issue that all of us fall short of being that perfect role model for our sons of always showing them how to act because were to blow it sometimes, but Jesus is that perfect role model and I argue that he did more to advance the cause of women in anyone who's ever lived in and I was having an interview on a podcast recently and the woman who was interviewing me is not a Christian. She made it clear she says I'm not a believer. He said that I wanted to talk to you because I've never learned that Jesus was such a respecter of women and when I read that chapter it change the way that I saw Jesus and frankly change the way I saw Christianity in so that issue open the door for a nonbeliever to say tell me more about Jesus and what he was about and so it led to a great conversation to me saying Jesus lived in a time when when women were respected at all. I mean they had no rights. Their testimonies were valid in court. They couldn't own property. They were seen as little more than property themselves in Jesus enters that seen in all through the Gospels.

He's elevating women he's interacting with women he's telling parables in stories where he intentionally uses female heroes. He's he's doing things that seem so natural, but to his disciples into his.

His contemporaries was almost scandalous yeah and he's giving us a model of what it looks like for men respect women not to look at them with lust not to look at them with distrust or misogyny or any of that but to engage with them as a sister in Christ who is your equal in every way and to celebrate the beautiful distinctions she has in her femininity, but to respect her in every single way. And Jesus gives us a roadmap for that.

Yeah I was thinking of theologians that at the beginning of the need to movement it may have been pastor Tim Keller who said Jesus was the founder of the me to movement that's an interesting perspective, and I think that's exactly right. And if Tim Keller said it was right.

I think I let me a move to something you a phrase that use the book often is this locker room mentality. Now I played football, baseball and basketball in high school so I understand it, it's kind of that jocular humor that is certainly no come to light and as I think rightfully there's been a correction or an attempt to correct that.

But it's where the guys are just acting goofy and signing goofy things that they would never say outside of the walls of that locker room, but get to what you're trying to describe their yeah and when I talk about locker mentality is a bad thing. I'm in no way trying to emasculate men or saying that for men to respect women, we have to give up our manhood really at the core of the book is pointing back to God's truth of what it means to be a real man to be more of a man because of men embrace real and true masculinity the way God intended.

Everybody wins. Women are safer in a manner better, but the toxic form of it that in what I call them the locker mentality is just any party alive.

You have to be an actual locker investment sometime in locker rooms, but I was I was short and had bad eyesight and was on athletic and sat on a time in locker rooms but the locker mentality isn't just being an actual locker room it's any place in a man's life whether it's a chat room. A locker room, a board room a group of friends, a place that he goes online or even just a place he escaped in his own mind where he thinks in this little compartment. It's okay for me to say or do or think anything that I want related to women. And as long as I keep it in that little compartment. It's safe and I'm still a respecter of women, but our sin and our negative mindsets.

It never stays in the compartments we built for it and it always leaks out just like a kind of like a cancerous tumor that metastasize as it always it always leaks out and it poisons the rest of the body, the locker mentality does that when we believe the lie that we can go anywhere and say things that are disrespectful or laugh at things that are disrespectful or believe things are disrespectful toward women that inevitably is going to impact every other aspect of our life. Yeah, you see the locker mentality and your client.

I think you have a story in there about a pastor youth pastor who maybe got trapped in that thinking will happen. I'll yeah this is tragic. I was working at a large church in Florida about a decade ago, a multisite church and the youth pastor at a different campus from where I was but a guy I knew in and worked alongside and been in meetings with and so forth.

On the surface seems like a great guy you know like he was doing things right and was a good employee and a good youth pastor and all that well. The community was shocked when a new story broke that he had been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl in the youth group and just the tragedy of that that hear this young girl had been used and abused in a place that she should have been so safe, is heartbreaking and to learn more about this guy's story, and he later confessed that he harbored fantasies in his mind that he thought were harmless fantasy and I just kind of little escape from suburban life and work in raising kids that every now and then he would let his mind fixate in on a thought of of a girl in the youth group and in being with her as an escape, and he convinced himself that that was harmless. But Jesus tells us over and over again that what happens in our mind is never harmless. I mean to look with lust that a woman is to commit adultery in our hearts, and if will say that lust is okay on any level can lead us down some dark places and so yeah that's a heartbreaking situation. We still pray you know for that young lady and her family as they continue down the healing process and for anybody who's listening that's experienced that kind of abuse, especially within the church and the baggage that can bring. Just know that Jesus loves you and he is for you and don't turn your back on God, and even don't turn your back on the church because that is where healing really can happen day.

Let me come back to something you just said because it's so critical. And you know for trying to raise our boys in such a way that they will respect girls from respect women when they're older how do we allow for that normal playful banter that occurs amongst us, testosterone filled guys and then where do we jump in to control it, and there's many lines we can talk about but I want to give a practical help to that dad who like both you and I and John have boys risen and there is a time to be playful and fun. And then there's a time to say well okay that's kinda too far and here's why.

But give an example like that with your own boards. Yeah, gosh there many and were learning.

This is we go again like this book was written by a guy that has it all figured out like this, it is written by me. That is just on the journey and deftly want to get this right and learn as I go and try to point my voice to Jesus in the process.

I think that kind of one of the places where were we can look at these conversations and really practical way is in terms of entertainment in the homelike reason like that's a great point recently like these are the conversations were having like our oldest son and our second son. There 14 and 12. Right now there's a show that they really want to watch as her friends are into it, but it's a show that that is we can learn more about it is just a lot of disrespectful themes in it, just disrespect is just part of the comedy in it and we love comedy. By the way we laugh a lot in our house.

We love good comedy, but this show.

In particular, Mike.

I just don't think there's anything redeeming in it is our oldest son got frustrated like you know I'm almost a man and you're not trusted me to do this and so I think that how we have leverage in those moments is in us, leading the way. I think if were telling our kids to do something were not willing to do ourselves. We lose a lot of credibility and so the conversation with him in that moment was listen buddy I don't want to invite disrespectful themes into my home. So like I as an adult is an old dude.

There's a lot of stuff that I've stopped watching.

There a lot of things that otherwise about this could be a really good show or movie and if things emerge in it like unnecessary nudity or themes were there's just a clear pattern of disrespect that they're celebrating. I don't want to put that in my mind my brain see your mom and I all the time were turnoff stuff and for anybody that's in his home were responsible for, what's kinda coming through those airwaves and so he he thought more about it later sent us a text and eat and I was really proud of and for this he said in a listen the more I thought about that show and what it's really about. He said I really don't want to be put that in my mind either. And so you know. Thank you for thank you for that other other times were the conversation it and so well, but I think that we gotta be willing to just establish those boundaries. That's really good and I want to get to the meat of what we want to talk about and that's the seven lessons that turn a boy into a man. So let's go through those was the first one yeah and again these come from Scripture and I pulled these from God's standard of manhood because I don't want to get caught up in all the counterfeit versions of manhood out there and there a lot of them, by the way, you know my little four-year-old. It did Halloween I was wearing his big fake beard and he looked at me and he says daddy you're dressed like a man. I thought what am I just like the other 360 days of the year you entered like that. The Robertson's from the duck dynasty was it was a legit idea. My kids make fun of me.

You know because you and I talk about manhood and I still at age 41 cannot grow a real.

It's all patching units and harassing so they tease me mercilessly, but thankfully real manhood is in about facial hair thankfully right be out but the Bible does give us some really good standards. Number one is to have the courage to fight for what's right that we as men, we gotta be willing to enter into that fight is not always a fight with our fists, but it's a fight with a heart it's a fight of selflessness of being willing to do what's right. I love that verse were Nehemiah challenge people guys fight for your families today fight for what's right number two seek responsibility.

Instead of running from and I think that I did our world celebrates a lot of boys and men in culture that tend to just run away from the responsibility of marriage and family and thinking of anyone outside themselves and we've got to be willing to say no true man of God is one. It's going to seek responsibility to care for others and not not just think of himself and can one of the big themes that link to that is, we as husbands have such a responsibility and modeling that by how we love our wives and so we can teach all the right lessons with our words men but listen most important lesson you can give your sons on how to respect women, and how you treat your wife and my wife Ashley Naidoo marriage ministry. We talk about this all the time on our Macon marriage podcast and every chance we get we say men, love your wife well because by your example your teaching your sons how to treat women and your teaching her daughters what they should expect for men and by your example your either giving your kids a big head start with blessing or you're giving them some baggage that they're gonna have to overcome in years to come in three work hard.

I think you work hard at whatever you do, and I will elaborate a lot more in the book on these, but just can't get them to quickly work hard. Number three show patience and restraint is number four. I think that sometimes we celebrate guys will fly off the handle and just lose her temper, but the proverb say it's better to control your temper than to take a city. You know the true warriors of faith are the guys that that have the ability to show restraint in the right moments instead of just letting their emotions rule them in the next one is his respect your wife again. I just kind of touched on that a lot. We gotta lead the way by that example how he respect her number six is T Jordan honor your commitments.

The Bible says keep your word even when it hurts, you know, keep your commitments and the final one is the trust God, we can do this in our own strength and thankfully we don't have to. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We as men sometimes try to do things in our own strength and were always in a fall short.

But if we can let our kids see that were trusting in God strength to guide the way they were always good to be headed in the right direction. And those are great principles. Women those are things I think every father who follows Christ wants to teach their sons right in the you denigrate job kind of organizing in your book, raising boys who respect girls let me ask you, what would you say to the parent who feels like they've blown it. Maybe it's good with the bad the dead that feels like he's blown it there discouraged and unsure of that next step. So how can they recalibrate even if their boys are out of the home sailor in their 20s yeah yeah it is long as you got breath in your lungs. You know it's not too late to do something that's right, not I look at God's plan for our life. A lot of times, like the GPS in our car. You know when when you miss a turn. It doesn't say well you miss that you'll never get there just as recalculating recalculating a start from where you are right now and ready to make a route from right here to get back to where you need to go and matter how much you feel like you blown it. God's grace is always there to say you know what working to make a route from right here.

If you're willing to repent, which is just a big word that means I want to turn for my own way of doing things my own prideful, stubborn way of doing things and I'm really gonna follow God's plan. This time, and I think that starts with being humble enough to apologize to admit that you've blown and fallen short in some areas and humbly seeking an opportunity to really reestablish a relationship and influence with your son at whatever stage of life. He is even if there's been years of absence. There it's really never too late. I've seen over and over and over again God's story of redemption unfolding in people who are willing to forgive and seek forgiveness and willing to start where they are swallow their pride is a God with whatever time I have left. Use me nothing about Sampson in the Old Testament, who with his very last act on earth.

You know, did his most powerful deed. After years of doing it wrong and you can be Sampson. You can turn things around and you can end strong.

You can't change the past but you can change the future. You can start today.

The good thing that you do in the book as you break down conversations you can have an age-appropriate way you want to give us a couple of those questions at a young age and then maybe that teenage yeah yeah you all through the book I try to get as practical as I can. Of like how to talk to your boys and what's happening in their minds or to kinda show mom's what's going on an eight-year-old boy's mind and at 15-year-old boys.

My 20 oh boys my because I've been all of those things so I can point to research, but I can also remember this is what I was feeling and then also noted to kinda challenge us dads to be more intentional starting young, I think you got a look for opportunities.

I was at the barbershop with our seven-year-old at the time. He's 12 now, but when Connor was seven he was arena magazine. I hadn't really perused the magazines essay I just assumed they were all safe, but look over his reading of really provocative magazine in his eyes are huge and he's hold open these pages and I went over there and he's looking at this bikini-clad young lady and he gives to. He said I just really like looking at these ladies and so I got old was he was seven, so I close the magazine and I said but I didn't start with shame or it yet. It's not the way we ever engaged and I said buddy listen you like looking at those ladies because God made women, beautiful, and he put within you.

Your young man's heart you know that I desire to celebrate the beauty of a woman because one day he's gonna bring you a wife and one day in that relationship you're gonna be able to spend your whole life just celebrating her beauty but to just look at it some woman who's not wearing much close just because we like looking at it and actually hurts God's heart because that's one of his daughters that he made and she so much more than just a picture her body to look at and he was like oh he's okay I understand I said so let's not look at magazines like this. It's okay that you want to that's natural, but let's not do. He says okay and so I go back feeling like dad of the year and then 30 seconds later I felt like the worst that ever because I look over Annie's ring field and stream, but his eyes are just as big as they were and I walk over and my seven-year-old is put that original magazine hidden inside Whitfield's dream and is looking at the same pictures and so I I didn't win that day, but it it's it starts conversations yes but it's a good point.

You gotta do building blocks with your kids that age-appropriate stages and let them begin to understand what is attracting them and what is pulling them in that direction.

I think that's great affect elementary school, broadens the scope you mentioning that I think one of your sons. When he was six played basketball with the girl on the team. This is so common today that I definitely want to hit this.

How did you use that moment to teach your son that this is okay this is a good thing yeah yes I was coaching a little kids those you coach little kids a lot you can be in a gated community and had is that it's really God's work.

It's not easy but I got talked into doing it and there was only one girl on the team and she was precious and she was awesome and was really a good player but there was a moment where she didn't pass the ball to my son in a timer. He wanted it in his selfishness. He lashed out at her and said you're just a girl and you should even be on this team.

This shouldn't even be a sport that girls can play and she started crying. I mean it really hurt or it was really a and and it was uncharacteristic and my son who you normally it was at a character but at the same time is like we got a call this kind of behavior out do it lovingly. So I call the team huddle I solicit we are all on this team together and I celebrated her and said she's one of the hardest working players on this team.

I said, in fact, she wins what I call the red cheek award almost every to every practice which is if you work so hard that your cheeks are redder than everybody else's. By the end or sweaty or than everybody else's.

By the end you win like the hustle were basically in a mic she wins that almost every single day she's leading the way in this lesson we need to be so thankful she's on the steam Econo. I want you to apologize because that's really hurtful and we got a treat team like family that we love each other. We respect each other. We all wear the same jersey and we all have a part to play on this team and we never want to make anybody on this team feel like they don't belong, for whatever reason it and then we we can went around and said affirming thing we all had to say something really nice and respectful to each other to kinda celebrate that value.

So it different ages. I think we need to just be open to hitting the pause button and whatever's going on and look for teachable moments. Now that's great Davis is been insightful and much needed and that your giving such great tools to help our sons to learn to be respectful and dad's to help equip their son.

So it's terrific.

I want to remind you, the listener, the focus is here for you. John mentioned that earlier. We want you to have a rewarding and God honoring relationship with your son.

That's the bottom line it's not to be perfect and I'm thinking of that. Dad who is been compartmentalized to is not opened up to that opportunity when they see something on TV or the magazine or whatever it might be use it as a stepping stone as a teaching moment toward something better as to how your son views women and will respect women. We have so many resources available for your web articles team of caring Christian counselors broadcast like this one, and especially Dave's book, raising boys who respect girls.

This is one of those segments were you really gotta concentrate as a dad and put some effort into it and I'd like to offer to you for a gift of any amount today to support the ministry focus will send you a copy of Dave's book as our way of saying thank you. Get in touch donate to and get your copy of raising boys who respect girls when you call 800 the letter a and the word family or look for further details in the episode notes Davis been great having you with us. You've inspired me. I hope you too John and hopefully thousands of other fathers to really engage with their sons and help them to learn how to respect girls think.

Thank you. Really good stuff again. Our number is 800 K and the word family. If we can be of any help to you or if you'd like to get a copy of Dave's book, raising boys who respect and tomorrow will share a timeless presentation. The classic Focus on the Family presentation from Mike Adkins describing how he befriended the strange reclusive neighbor named Norman was he was brilliant. He was a genius. He was such a genius that his mind exploded one day half of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back is once again help you and your family thrive in Christ find fun for your kids. Just a click away seeing the adventures in Odyssey club 8 to 12-year-old can find trusted faith building entertainment in a safe online club features almost every episode ever plus special monthly club only episodes and content and of Focus on the Family clubhouse magazine subscription.

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