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How Godly Moms Can Raise Godly Sons (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2023 6:16 am

How Godly Moms Can Raise Godly Sons (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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When I found out that I was having a boy, I was really excited but also nervous. Having three sons, there is never a dull moment. Out of the blue, they'll just grab you and hug you and say, I love you mom. Always activity and roughhousing.

It's exciting for a while because you're the most important woman in his life, but you also know that sometime in the near future, you're no longer going to be that woman. Well, if you have one or more boys growing up in your home, you can probably relate to those comments. We're going to explore the world of moms and sons on this edition of Focus on the Family.

Thanks for joining us. I'm John Fuller and your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly. John, I'm all in on this broadcast because Jean and I, well, we live this. Moms raising sons to be men and poor Jean had an all-boy household, right? She had me and then Trent and Troy and I think her best thing was to get away and spend time with her two girlfriends in Southern Cal whom she met in kindergarten. And isn't that fun? So that was her female time. I got to make a trip to go see the girlfriends and Jean did an amazing job with our boys and she would agree that raising sons have certain challenges because they don't think like their moms.

They think differently. Quite a bit. We're going to go outside and climb a tree and fall out of it or, you know, jump on a bike with no helmet. A lot of action. A lot of action.

Well, the goal is today to help moms do a better job in raising their boys to become men. I'm looking so forward to it with our two special guests. Yeah, we're very pleased to have Rhonda Stoppie here back in the studio. She's an author and a speaker, a podcaster, a pastor's wife, and she has a real passion to help women grow in their faith. And she and her husband Steve have four adult children, some adult sons in that mix, and 15 grandchildren, which is awesome.

Grandma just lit up. One of Rhonda's adult sons, Brandon, is here with us. He's a worship pastor in Modesto, California. Very accomplished singer-songwriter and he's married to Jesse.

They have four very young children. And today we're going to talk about a book. Jimmy mentioned the title. Rhonda wrote this book called Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, guiding them toward their purpose and passion. We've got details about the book and our guests on the website.

Just check the show notes for details. Rhonda, Brandon, welcome. Hey, thank you. So good to be with you. Yeah, it's good to see you.

And, man, this is a fun show because I do think moms think quite differently from their boys. Did you have some of those experiences? Yes. Give us one.

Who are you? Yes. You know, when they're little, man, you just have visions of it's me and you, buddy, and mama's boy, and oh, you're just mama's little guy. My daughters, who are amazing.

I have two daughters also. That's the next book. Yeah. You know, they think like you. They're women. They're going to turn into women, so you know that. But this little soft-faced little boy is going to turn into a man. It's bewildering. That's interesting. You know, there is that thing that girls become women. It's pretty natural.

They know generally what's going to happen. Boys are a little more of a wild card. What kind of men will they be? So you felt a little intimidated, you said in the book, after having your daughter. Brandon was your second born, but he was your first son.

So how did that intimidate you? Well, I think just the idea, he's going to be a man. He's going to be someone who raises his family, who's a husband, who is a father, a provider. How do I teach him that? And my husband, Steve, is amazing, and he's got a great dad, but you know, you're 24-7 with your kids.

How do I guide him toward that, and what does that even look like? And I remember not being the mom I wanted to be. I wanted to be a mom. I quit corporate America to be a stay-at-home mom when Meredith was born. And then when Brandon was born, which by the way, I had to beg Steve for almost four years to have another baby because Meredith had colic, and he's like, let's just not do that again. And when Brandon was born, I remember a day, I was like, get your shoes, come on, let's go. And he was little, and I was going to do something at the church, you know, for ministry or whatever. And Meredith, who was a very articulate firstborn girl, anyone who has a firstborn girl knows that they tell you what they're thinking. But she said, Mom, I know you can't wait till we're grown so you can do whatever you want. Well, I cry even when I say it now. The impression I was giving my kids was you're not important. What's important is what I'm doing out there for God, for the world, for the things I need to accomplish.

Get your shoes, find your backpack, get in the car, because we've got to go do something that matters. And I knew that's not the impression I wanted to give my kids, but I really didn't know how to change it. So I bought books to try to be a better mom. And the books made me feel guilty because I would make a list of what I was going to change.

But I soon realized the books didn't have the power to change me. So that's when I was like, I need to find moms that have walked this path ahead of me. And so you ended up getting involved with older women who had perhaps more experience and could help guide you. Was that through a Bible study or what?

What did you do? Well, Steve and I were working with youth ministry in the church. And, you know, you watch how moms interact with their sons and their daughters. And you see the couples that are still holding hands and the kids that laugh at their moms jokes and maybe roll their eyes.

But they still want to be with their parents and their house becomes the hub for their friends. And I'm like, I got to know what they know. And so I just became friends with those women and asked them to help. So the first thing they did was invite me to a Bible study, a precept, five hours of homework a week, Bible study. I'm like, ladies, I have no time. Obviously, you don't remember how much work it is. But my friend Gail, she said, just do this one study.

I'll help you with the kids, whatever. Just do this one and see if it doesn't change your life. And it was the Book of Philippians, which to this day, I love the Book of Philippians. I have most of that book memorized because it was just so transforming for my life.

In what way? I began to see my life through a biblical worldview. And I, you know, I grew up going to Christian schools. I knew scripture. I could fill in all those Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, you know, Bible studies without cracking the book. But this was taking the time to wash my mind with the water of the word. And the word is quick and powerful and sharper than a two edged sword. And it would reveal the thoughts and intents of my heart and make me discern my motives for why I want my kids to be good kids, why I want to guide them toward the Lord.

Or do I just want them to be good kids that grow up and, you know, don't inconvenience me or make me look bad? It was eye opening. And then I would say, hashtag old ladies know stuff because these ladies were genuine at this study.

They tricked me. You can't talk three hours with grown ups and free babysitting for my kids. And I can't talk if I didn't do my homework.

Well, I'm going to do my homework because I'm not going to not talk. But what these women did is they revealed the highs and the lows of their life. You know, they didn't just tell me the stuff they did right.

They told me the stuff they did wrong. And I always say I can write a letter to my younger self and it does no one any good. But if I write it to the next generation and I teach more powerfully from my failures than I do my successes, right.

Now it has the power to help someone else and handing the baton to the next generation. That's really why I wrote Moms Raising Sons to Be Men. Yeah.

And this is the part of the program where we get to test that theory. So, Brandon, I'm going to get you in here and just wanted to ask you directly. So what kind of mom was your mom? And remember, she's sitting next to you. Yeah, yeah. I'm not in between a rock and a hard place at all. Yeah, not at all.

Answer correctly. You know, my mom, man, I just I'm so thankful for her. And I'm so thankful for the example that she was for us growing up and even for me.

I know that even the way that I chose my spouse was highly influenced by the way that my mom raised me. And I'm thankful for her. And honestly, I think everything that she did, she always pointed me to Christ and she always pointed me to not just being a good person or not just being a well-behaved young man, but it was always backed with, hey, we do this because we honor Christ.

And when we when we pursue things in life, we pursue things in life because we want to honor Christ and we want to display his glory to the world through our lives and through our choices. That's pretty good. I'm thankful. I wrote that out last night.

I'll buy you something. I mean, nobody nobody knows you, you know, like your your spouse or your kids. They see it. They see everything right.

They know what's happening at home and all that kind of thing. So that's a a good statement that you've made about your mom. What I've appreciated about her is she's been genuine in the home and outside of the home.

She's the same person. Yeah, that's huge. A little bit crazy in the house. A little bit crazy out of the house. Now you wrote you wrote in the book that your ministry became or came in the form of being a mom to your kids. Describe that. You saw that as your ministry. And that was really as a result of spending time with these older women. That was a result of being in the word and studying scripture and finding the highlight reel of the moms in the Bible and seeing how God called them to the ministry of raising the next generation of spiritual leaders or the ones that failed and didn't do it. So give us some of that reel. What does that look like?

Oh, OK. Well, let me see. OK, let's talk about Jock Abed because I I love Jock Abed. She was a mom at a terrible time in history. And, you know, we're we're raising our kids in a pretty difficult time in history. And moms might say there's never been a worse time to raise a child than I think Jock Abed might argue that it was her third child. And Pharaoh had you know, most of you that know the story, Pharaoh had passed a law that these babies that were being born, the male babies were to be put to death because he was concerned they were going to overthrow Egypt.

There were so many Hebrew babies being born. So Jock Abed hid him for three months. And then when she could hide him no more, the scripture says she came up with a plan to put him in the basket in the bulrushes. But where did that plan come from? God just calls us to do the next thing.

And he doesn't give us charts and graphs how it's going to work out or certainty or certainty. And he led her to let go of that basket. And I think of moms that have to let go of a child that maybe has to go visit a biological father with a stepmom that's not a godly influence or has to have their kids go to a public school and they have no other option. She let this child float right into the arms of a woman who, Pharaoh's daughter, I mean, they worshipped cats. I just went to a field trip with a bunch of my grandkids to an Egyptian mummy museum and it hit me afresh.

This is the culture, the religion, and I don't know why it's going to make me cry that Jock Abed had to say, here, here's my son. And fortunately, Miriam followed him and, hey, I know someone that can nurse that baby. And maybe she got to nurse him for four years, maybe. And what would she be doing during those four years telling him about the God of Israel, singing songs about the God of Israel, implanting as much truth in that short time. And then she had to let him go and be raised in the courts of Pharaoh. Yeah, I mean, that's a deeper way of looking at that story, for sure. It's real. Yeah, and the heartache of letting him go.

Because what do we read? Oh, and he was a beautiful child and when she could hide him no more, she put him in a basket and it went down the river. And Miriam said, my mom can nurse the baby and everybody's happy. She was heart wrenched to have to let go of that basket. Yeah. Can't imagine. Well, and still there was risk and I'm sure in many ways she was cut off as he became an older child and, you know, trained in the Pharaoh's court and all those things.

But a mother's heart's a mother's heart. You and your husband, you actually did something with a young man, a boy who needed help. Tony, I think is his name. Describe what you did and how you took him in. So we planted a church in Austin, Texas, and we literally went from zero to 200 teenagers in one summer. How old was he? He was 15. Oh, wow.

Okay. And our house was just packed with these kids and Tony was one of those kids. He came to Christ.

I don't have, there's a little bit of his story in the book, but a lot of it's his story to tell. But came from a very difficult family and he needed a family. And Steve had been in youth ministry for 18 years. We met a lot of kids that needed a family.

Yeah. But the Lord just so impressed on our heart that Tony should be ours. So he moved in with us.

He became Brandon's big brother. He became our oldest. Yeah. Right.

Which they say don't adopt and have them be the oldest. And Tony's now, he graduated from A&M University. I think I heard somebody yell whoop right there. And he went into the Air Force, became a fighter pilot. He just retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Air Force.

Married a godly woman, has two precious kids that love the Lord. He lives in Hawaii. And we were there visiting and he and his wife, who is a doctor, go every Saturday to the other side of the island to minister to homeless kids. And he was telling his pastor that he's the age that Steve and Rhonda were when they took Tony in. And he said, it would be like me and Kylene taking one of these kids home with us. And Tony came home and he looked at me and he goes, y'all were crazy.

But the Lord just made it so irresistible that he was to be ours. Yeah, that's amazing. Brandon, being that son and here Tony comes into the home and you're the oldest boy at that point until Tony.

Yeah. How old were you when Tony moved in? Was I seven, six, seven?

He came into your life around six. But how did that feel? And over the years, how did it feel? I was overjoyed. Really?

I was so excited. And you shared a room with him even. Yeah, shared a room with him.

A generous spirit. Yeah. I, you know, I looked up to Tony in so many ways and I think even being a youth group kid and being around him, just the idea that he was going to all of a sudden be living with us and be a part of our family was just huge. And yeah, I was excited to have him around, have a big brother around. We'd wrestle more than I wrestled with anybody and then he'd pin me down and he'd pin me down and he'd do this thing where he would stand over me and he would put his index finger on my forehead and just tap, tap, tap, tap.

But I loved it. Big brother stuff. Yeah, yeah.

Big brother stuff. You are a calm spirit, man. Yeah. He's tortured me. I love it.

It'd be fun. You were a younger brother. Did you like that stuff, Jim?

No, not at all. Yeah, yeah. I learned how to fight. Maybe if you didn't have it and then all of a sudden you had it, you would appreciate it.

Yes. Okay, fair enough. I was excited. It was really cool. Just having him part of the family. Obviously, there was a lot more going on with family dynamics and things that my parents were aware of, putting him in the family like that, but I was super excited.

Grocery bill went way up. Yeah, yeah. What do you think generally? Positive. Yeah. That's a good experience. It doesn't always work out that way.

No, it doesn't. I do remember, Tony, when kids haven't been loved well, they'll either underachieve or overachieve. He's our overachiever and he has done well.

It's served him well. I did want to do everything that he wanted me to do. Yes. But Tony was valedictorian, football, all the things.

Fighter pilot. My goodness. And he started, when they were young, kind of nudging Brandon to do the things. And Brandon was a different kid.

Brandon was a musician and he had different passions and we can talk about that in a little bit. But Steve and I had to pull Tony aside and say, he's not you. We love who you are. We love what you've accomplished. We're cheering you on and we want you to keep going, but you're not the standard. So if you start telling Brandon that he needs to do the same thing you are to be affirmed, to be successful, that's going to be hard on Brandon. So we're going to celebrate both of you and your differences. That's great.

That's good observation. I mean, they were best men at each other's wedding and they're very close. But I always tell sibling rivalry, how do your kids grow up to be best friends? Celebrate their differences. Never say to your kid, why aren't you more like your sister?

Why aren't you more like your brother? And we all know not to say it, but it's so easy to even imply it. Oh, totally.

Yeah. Brandon is here with us. He's a worship pastor in Modesto, California, very accomplished singer songwriter, and he's married to Jesse. They have four very young children. And today we're going to talk about a book. Jimmy mentioned the title. Rhonda wrote this book called Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, Guiding Them Toward Their Purpose and Passion.

We've got details about the book and our guests on the website, just check the show notes for details. Rhonda, I appreciate pointing out the good moms of the Bible, but you also pointed out some of the bad moms and I appreciate that because you learned so much. Maybe that should be my next book. Bad Moms of the Bible. The Bad Moms of the Bible.

Yeah. Well, there's plenty. I mean, Gene and I, we started reading together the Old Testament.

You get in there, it's a lot of manipulation and deception from the parents. I mean, it is kind of amazing that God chose some of the least likely people to be the subject matter for the Old Testament particularly, but New Testament too. But point out some of the things we can learn from those that made mistakes. And doesn't that just give us hope because, you know, my trademark is no regrets woman because I help women build no regrets lives and break free from regrets that hold them back and moms have regrets. But there are women in the Bible that God gives us hope even when they did not do what they should have done.

We'll talk about Rebecca and Jacob. She was a manipulative deceiver and we all know the story. She was pregnant. There was rumbling in her belly. They didn't have ultrasound, but she's like, something's crazy in there. And then God reveals to her, you have twins and the older is going to serve the younger. So when they're born, they grow up and then one day it's time to receive the blessing and it's supposed to go to Esau. And mom hears and goes, Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.

God told me I'm going to get involved because I got to help God with what he promised. And at what cost she never, as far as we know in scripture, she never saw Jacob again. She didn't bounce his little baby boys on her knee or her little baby girls. As far as we know, they talk about that the dad was still alive when Jacob comes back, but you never hear of his mom again. How heart wrenching. And yet, what damage did it do in her marriage to her husband and her who she deceived her husband and it now was influencing her son, Jacob, who also was a trickster. And we see that lived out in his life.

Yeah. You believe a mom's decisions and actions today with her children have that kind of impact. It's hard to connect Old Testament stories like that to modern day life.

What's that application look like today for a mom? Psalm 103 17 says, but the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him and his righteousness to children's children. Wow. That is just amazing to me because it doesn't say to those that live perfectly. It says to those who fear him, to those who honor him, who those who wake up every day and say, Lord, I want to live in obedience to you today. I want to walk in a manner worthy of my calling as a mom. I know I have been called to the ministry of motherhood. You know, they moms these days, they pee on a little stick. They put the picture on social media so everybody knows they're expecting and they go buy all the cute maternity clothes and they decorate the nursery and that's how they prepare for motherhood.

Yeah. That's how they prepare for the ministry. Rhonda, let me ask you this though, and this is an observation I've seen with Jean and other moms that we know. Sometimes we can overcomplicate it a little bit. What you just said there in the scripture, I mean, live righteously, be righteous, and these things will flow to your kids and to your grandkids and hopefully to your great grandkids. But sometimes we think the formula needs, there needs to be more instruction than we need a 30 minute devotion needs to start with 10 minutes of song, then we're going to have, you know, 10 minutes of Bible reading and then we're going to have confession and then we're going to roll that into a wrap up song and that feels better than just living life and talking about God and demonstrating God's presence in everyday things. Speak to that fear that sometimes performance, you know, if we're not performing well, that somehow we're going to let our kids down and they're not going to get God because we're not behaving or performing the way we need to. Your performance will not draw your children to your savior.

Your performance will become a religious action. Your kids may grow up and say, my mom, my dad, they were a good person, but their religion is not for me. But when they see us, which Jesus said the priority of life, protos, is to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The more that we fall in love with God, ask, and I remember meeting people that love Jesus and I'd be like, I don't love him like that. But I would say I loved him, but I knew I didn't. And I asked God, I want to love you like that. Show me, convict me, make me desperate to love you like that. And then fellowshipping with others that love Jesus like that.

Iron sharpens iron. And when I get bumped, what comes out of me reveals my heart. So you know, a lot of times, let's say you're the homeschool mom and you don't really do anything socially with anybody else except your family because you're doing a really good job in your house doing your thing. And maybe you go to church on Sunday and you're out of there, but you're not fellowshipping with other moms, you're missing an opportunity for your own heart to be revealed. And then I have friends in my life, we call them, Brandon knows they're his other mothers that we've been friends with for 30 years. And we invite each other, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If I'm anxious or fearful or judgmental or gossiping, stop me, tell me, I will do that for you also. And that to me is a valuable part of being in the ministry of motherhood is be with other moms that see it like that and want to live like that.

Yeah. Now, in the context of Mary, she did so many things correctly. I mean, she was a teenage mom. But what do you derive from Mary as a mother? Poor Mary, she was so little, she was so young. And this angel Gabriel, here's crazy writing in the margin of your Bible God's ways. He sent Gabriel to her when she was alone, when she was all by herself, Joseph wasn't with her, her mom wasn't with her.

You're going to have a baby, you're a virgin. And she was like, wait a minute. And she says, I've not known a man. And I love that God lets her question. She's not being faithless or rebellious.

She's just like, I got to wrap my head around what you're asking me to do. And then at some point, and she knew scripture. She knew Messiah was going to come through a virgin girl. So when God asked her to do something, it was filtered through a lens of scripture that she already knew was sound doctrine. And she says, yes, of course, Joseph doesn't believe her. And she leaves and goes to see Elizabeth. And what I love about that story is sometimes when God calls us as moms or in any area of our life, to do things that are so much bigger than we can even imagine. He sends us encouragers, and Elizabeth was Mary's encourager.

Old ladies, no stop. She was older. And she said, John the Baptist in her womb, the mother of my savior is here. Can you imagine what relief young Mary felt when her cousin said that?

Like somebody believes me. And then when she went back, of course, she married and Joseph believed her because an angel told him. And then she took Jesus with Joseph to the temple to have him confirmed, circumcised, all the things that they do at that age. And Simeon shows up, an old gentleman. And he takes that little baby out of her arms. And he says, oy vey, I can die now because God promised me that I was going to see the consolation of Israel before I died. And I love also Anna walks by right in that moment.

It happens too. I mean, there's God's ways, right? He's literally orchestrating that Anna walks by and hears that. Anna spent the rest of her life as an evangelist saying, I've met the Messiah working at the temple.

Yes. But also Simeon said, basically, sweet girl, your heart's going to break. There's going to come a time when your heart is going to just be pierced with sorrow. Mary didn't know Jesus was going to be crucified. Mary had an idea that my son was going to be Messiah and be the king.

They didn't understand that he had to die. How was Mary when she was standing, looking at her son on that cross, did God use the words of Simeon to remind her, encourage her? This is my will. God sends people in our lives when the task of motherhood, the task of whatever ministry he calls us to is bigger than we can even wrap our minds around. And that is part of the challenge that God doesn't guarantee it's going to be easy, right? And we've got to end here, but we're going to pick the story up where Brandon, you had some difficulties. Yeah. Oh yeah. And we're not going to disclose them right now, but you got to stick with us and come here part two, because that was kind of your challenge, Rhonda, your Mary challenge, if I can call it that. So let's come back next time and fill in the blanks for people that are going, okay, what happened?

Stick with us. And we'd encourage you to hit the website or give us a call for a copy of this book that Rhonda has written called Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, guiding them toward their purpose and passion. It's a terrific resource.

It goes much more into detail on these stories and insights that Rhonda has. And it'd be a privilege to send that to you for a donation of any amount to the ministry of focus on the family today, a monthly pledge. If you're in a spot to do that would really make a difference, Jim, that helps smooth things out for us on a budget matter, budget basis. If you're not in a spot to do that, a one-time gift of any amount certainly helps us make broadcasts like this.

So donate as you can and request your copy of the book Moms Raising Sons to Be Men. The details are in the show notes or give us a call, 800, the letter A in the word family. Rhonda, Brandon, we'll come back next time and sorry to leave everybody hanging, but let's do that and fill in the blanks. Can we do it? Sure.

Yeah. All right. And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. Be sure to tune in next time as we continue the story and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Your marriage can be redeemed, even if the fights seem constant, even if there's been an affair, even if you haven't felt close in years. No matter how deep the wounds are, you can take a step toward healing them with a hope restored marriage intensive. Our biblically based counseling will help you find the root of your problems and face challenges together. We'll talk with you, pray with you, and help you find out which program will work best. Call us at 1-866-875-2915.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-25 08:41:26 / 2023-07-25 08:54:21 / 13

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