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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 26, 2023 2:00 am

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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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Today on Focus on the Family, we're going to return to an important conversation about moms and their sons, and here's part of an original song that one of our guests, Brandon Soppy, wrote for his mom, Rhonda. What a wonderful tribute to moms everywhere, and we're so thrilled to have Brandon and Rhonda back in the studio again today. Thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus President and author, Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller. John, I really enjoyed the conversation that we started last time with Rhonda and Brandon, talking about the ministry of motherhood and the power of moms in the lives of their sons, and how do moms help their sons grow into being men.

That's a great question. I'm sure most moms listening want to do that for their sons, right? It's a natural thing to want to do. Rhonda last time talked about getting engaged with wiser older women who can help calm you down on those precipices. Jean certainly had those moments with Trent and Troy where she would call a girlfriend and say, okay, are your boys doing this? She'd later assure me, yeah, I think it's okay, and others are doing this, but we're going to get right back into the program. We left off last time talking about some of the more powerful moms in the Bible, and Rhonda pointed those out, which she does in her book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men. Some of the weaker moms in the Bible, that manipulation, deception, and we're going to continue that discussion today. Rhonda, Brandon, welcome back. Hey, thank you. We left last time when we talked about Mary and the awesomeness of Mary accepting the task of birthing the Messiah and how she went through that.

And if you've missed last time, get the download or you can get the download on your smartphone. There's ways to do that because you really need to hear part one of this story. But Rhonda described that puzzlement that Mary must have had and then coming into that reconciliation that, okay, I'm going to do this. And we left off there talking about how something Brandon would experience impacted you. So let's pick the story up there, Rhonda. You're this person that's gotten all this wisdom from older women, and then you get a diagnosis with Brandon.

What was it? We had just moved to Austin, Texas, and we ended up planting a church there. And while we were there, Steve was actually still in California, so I was home alone with the kids. And Brandon had a severe seizure. It lasted 28 minutes. That was the first time.

The first time. He didn't know anything. And they life flighted him to the hospital. I didn't even know where the hospital was. But when he got on the helicopter, he was talking baby talk. He'd been 28 minutes without oxygen. So as I finally was driving to the hospital, my prayer was that he wouldn't have had brain damage. So I get to the hospital. He's jumping on the bed. Mom, I was riding on a helicopter. I'm like, yes, buddy, you're fine.

He's back. And they did tests. One of the tests they did is an EEG on his little brain. They glue those little things all over his. And how old is he? He was six.

Six, okay. And during one of the tests, he was asleep. And I went over and I kissed him on his temple. And the tech called me over and she circled and she said, Mom's kiss. They know that you kiss them when they're sleeping.

I just thought about that the other day, actually. Yeah, because you kiss your babies. And so when my kids were in junior high, I used to go in and kiss them all the time. Mommy loves you.

You love Mommy. But the doctor said he had severe seizure activity in his brain. And so our life took on a whole new neurologists and medications and the medication that they had to put Brandon on was so strong.

He had to take it three times a day or he would have severe seizures. So all of a sudden, my bright, articulate little boy was very calm and quiet, didn't want to play sports. I was coaching high school cheerleading in Texas at the time.

Anybody who lives in Texas knows like that what that's all about. My boy didn't want to be an athlete. He didn't want to run one down the field or hit one out of the park or hear the crowd glory. And my son's accomplishments. He played Legos. They put him on special ed at school. And that pierces your heart when the administrator uses those words for your son. And it was a season of just like, Lord, are you are you in this?

What are you doing? Yeah. And as that time went on, about four years later, Brandon had a severe seizure because we missed one dose of his meds. And the doctor said, then that means he still has severe seizure activity. So we have to keep giving him the meds. And that broke me.

Yeah. And I went in my room and I was weeping before the Lord. And I was like, we are serving you. And there's teenagers coming to Jesus and we are serving you.

Can't you heal my son? I quit. I'm done.

I'm out of here. But if you hide God's word in your heart, the Bible says you won't sin against him. And in the stillness, not an audible voice, the scripture and everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. And I didn't say yes. I said, I have no idea how to thank you for this, but I will say thank you with my lips.

But you're going to have to change my heart. Slowly, we observed that Brandon was becoming a musician. We had praise band practice in our house every Wednesday night after youth group.

And he could sit behind the different musicians and he could play. And my husband, who's a musician, said, I've never met someone at this age that can think in music theory like Brandon does. So what we started to observe was I wanted to raise an athlete to hear the crowd glory in his accomplishments. But God pushed me out of the way to raise up my son to bring the crowd to glory in God's son's accomplishments through worship.

Brandon's a worship pastor and it's been amazing to see what God has done. Let me ask you, Brandon, you know, memories of being a six year old are often a little elusive. How did that impact you as a boy? How did you process that? And where are you at today with that diagnosis? You know, when I think back at the time, it was I think I grew up faster than I should have in a lot of ways. The medicine really put me in a dark place in a lot of senses, a lot of things that I'm even kind of in my life now that I have to work through and remember the truth of who.

Yeah, it's important, though, as to why. Why do you think you went to those dark places? I think the difficult thing for me at that time was I was I wasn't as smart. I didn't feel as smart. And so a lot of self-doubt set in a lot of not feeling good enough, not feeling like I was smart enough. That was a huge thing for me. And it like six or seven.

I'm having these thoughts like, yeah, like I'm stupid, like I'm not smart. And it was tough. It was a tough. I remember very clearly, like multiple nights of just for some reason, I didn't want to sleep. The Caesars were linked to sleep. So if I fell asleep, you know, like that feeling like when you're starting to fall asleep and then you wake up real quick. And you begin to jolt, I would wake up into a seizure. And so I was afraid of falling asleep. And as a seven year old, I'd be, you know, awake for hours.

I had a clock on my on my bed and I'd watch the clock and it would get up to, you know, to 2 a.m. sometimes. And I was just afraid, terrified to go to sleep. And then I had all these thoughts just like so it was a tough it was a tough season. And I remember it very clearly. And even though it was, you know, six or seven years old, it was very impactful on my life.

And it was it was difficult for sure. Yeah, I would think it allows you to relate to the loneliness of teenagers today. I'm thinking of teens particularly who just don't feel accepted, feel lost.

They might not have a diagnosis. But they're they're living some of that. Yeah, absolutely. And I think the stuff that I that was kind of cultivating in that time, it reared its head in teen years and adolescent years for sure. What a tough thing to go through.

Yeah. And I think that's why, you know, music. That's where I found kind of some solitude.

I found some solace in music. We'd have a worship band rehearsal. My dad was the he was kind of doing all wearing all the hats, small church.

And he was the youth pastor, but he's also the worship worship guy. And we'd in our living room, we'd have worship band practice on Wednesday nights. And I would just watch and I just watch every instrument. And not only that, not only did I watch the instruments, but I watched worship. And I watched what it meant to actually come before the Lord. They were rehearsing and they'd go off on these. And it was like like the golden age of like praise music, you know, like the 90s praise music stuff. That's just such great courses. And they would just go go off and they'd they'd practice what they needed to practice.

And then they'd keep going and like musicians. Yeah. Yeah. And I just remember seeing my dad just eyes closed and just just connecting with the Lord in those moments. And everybody else was just it was just so inspiring. And I think I just found I found something in those moments. I found I found a purpose in a sense. It was something that I knew I wanted to chase because I could.

And although I was like limited in what I could understand and how quickly I could music just clicked. Right. So well, it's like you were made for it. Yeah. I mean, that's a good way to look at it.

Yeah. In fact, Rhonda, you wrote in the book about that this idea of appealing to the man he will become. You've kind of given us a little insight there. You had Tony, who you brought into the family on this path of, you know, high achievement, became a fighter pilot athlete, I would assume.

He flew the F-22. I just have to throw that out there. OK, good.

I don't know what number we're up to now, but you can tell you're a proud mom. That's a good thing. But but to that point, I mean, you had to pull back and you had to do what you wrote in the book, appealing to the man he will become. And so many moms and certainly dads, if we haven't said this, dads need to be leaning into this as well. But we we have a vision of what we want our sons and daughters to become.

And you got to let that go, because God's got a different plan typically for them. How did that how did that work for you? How did you really appeal to the man that he would become? You know, I was just listening to the episode that you guys interviewed, Dr. Kathy Cook. And she was talking about, you know, big and they put her in dance and she all of a sudden found her place. Her parents listened to her. And as Brandon, he wasn't he didn't process his thoughts out loud.

He was very quiet. And I remember one day he was in fifth grade and he said, I'm dumb. And I'm like, you're not dumb. And that's when I took him out of school and homeschooled him. And I took my youngest out of school to homeschool her because I thought the least I'm going to get out of this is sleeping in the morning. But but when your child reveals something they're struggling with, make an adjustment to help them. By the next year, he was getting straight A's in sixth grade.

And when he was an adolescent, as Brandon said, a lot of these things started coming out at that adolescent age because men crave respect. And so I always tell moms the first decade of their life, love the snot out of your little boys. Mommy, love you.

Mommy, love you. But when they hit that 10, 11, 12, you'll know when it is. They start smelling funky. They push you away. You have to decide I'm going to show them how I love them by how I respect them. And then they'll listen to you.

So an example that I shared in Moms Raising Sons, Brandon was learning to drive. And so he was driving up our canyon, which is a winding mountain road with cliffs on both sides with this moody teenager. And he said, why won't you let me listen to secular music?

Why are you and dad so against me listening to secular music? And honestly, didn't want to have the conversation. It was we have a 40 minute drive with no cell phones, no radio, no TVs in the car.

You just talk or you don't. And I'm like, OK, Lord, give me wisdom, because I knew that he was not going to like the answer. And so I said, dude, that's his nickname.

I think I was struggling with it because I think Meredith had like some. Yes. Yes.

And I was like, wait, wait, hold on. Yeah. Yes. But that's the point, right? You raise your go ahead.

You raise your kids for who they are. Yeah. Yeah. And so what you said is so I said was Brandon.

Here's the thing. God and God ended up healing Brandon from epilepsy, which is a beautiful story. But I said, God brought you through this because he's put in your heart to be someone that leads people to worship. And the Bible says, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. I know the man you want to become is a man who leads people to worship Christ. But if you feast on secular music, you are going to write secular music. If you feast on the music of the world, that may be where you you may be famous.

You may play for high school dances and nightclubs. I don't know. But it will be not what God has for you. And I'm here to help you get there. And that's where you impart the vision.

I see glimpses of who God has for you, what he has for you. I don't manipulate. You know, it's motivate, not manipulate.

Right. But until you're ready to guard your own heart, we're going to help you guard your heart because you don't even know that Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy the good plans that God has for your life. So we're going to help you set a guard over your heart. But when you're an adult, you can listen to whatever you want. But right now, we see who you want to become.

And we're here to help you get there. Yeah. And Brandon, of course, that went down silky smooth, right? It was tough to swallow at the time. Now you realize it. But it was one of those moments. There's a few moments that I can think back where, you know, my mom and I, we would like button heads on something. But then she'd say something and I'd be like, that does make sense, you know? And I think for me, what what connected is, is she just had such a desire for the things of the Lord to be at the forefront of my heart and my thinking. And such a desire to see the Lord just lifted up in my life and in the decisions that I made. And music was a big part of that. And I think just her saying, you know, I know that the Lord is going to use this part of of what he's given you was important.

And to do it in a way that that wasn't self-seeking and wasn't I think secular music. Well, for some kids, it wouldn't have been like that big of a deal. I think it would have been a big deal.

What was your language? Yeah. Yeah, it really was who you were becoming. Yeah. So that was wise.

Yeah. Rhonda, you touched on this, but I want to make sure we hit it squarely. And in fact, in the book, you you say it this way, you hand your son his manhood. I think for me as a dad, I understand that maybe differently. But I found it interesting from a mom's perspective, what your role is in handing your son his manhood. I think our sons get the impression we want him to stay our little boy forever and secretly in our hearts, we do. Sometimes on the outside, too. Yes. But Brandon and I, when he hit adolescence and he was like pushing back, you know, go sweep the kitchen floor.

He'd always swept the kitchen floor. Now it was beneath him. And I'm seeing it as rebellion in the troop and having to step back. And, you know, I'm putting this in a nutshell, but there were a lot of tears. There was a lot of interaction.

In fact, Brandon and I spoke at a mother son retreat at Mount Hermon and Brandon talked to the moms about adolescent boys. And he said, do you remember what he said? I don't remember. When my mom, she remembers that. When I could get my mom to cry, I knew I was in control. And when she stopped crying, I knew I had lost control.

And there's like moms, not a dry eye in the room. But I was like, you know, I love this this boy so deeply and he is questioning my love for him because I won't let him go skateboard all over town with his friends. And, you know, you know, when you're nowhere, that's not a good decision.

But he all he sees is you're just trying to control me. But moms, we are the hill to die on. There's no coming of ritual practice in our culture, except don't be a mama's boy. So I wish they could just walk on some hot coals, pee on a rock, kill the fatted calf, call him a man and we'll call it a day.

But there isn't. But you're the hill to die on. So either they're going to fight you to become a man or you're going to say, I know you're a man and I'm going to defer to you as a man. So my husband got involved, Steve, and I you know, he came home one day and I was in tears and he goes, that's it. It's time. You don't work for her anymore. And he looked at me like, good, because she's nuts, you know, and Steve said, but you work for me and I'm a much harder taskmaster. And Steve put a pick and shovel in Brandon's hands and said, I want you to dig a ditch.

We live on a ranch from the house to the barn. We're going to run electrical wire and power over there. Get to work.

The next morning, Steve said, I'm going to work. When he gets up, you don't remind him. You don't nudge him if he chooses not to do it. If there's consequences to face, I will impose them.

You're out. And, you know, it's funny because we want dad to get involved. But then when dad gets involved, we're like, oh, that's just too much. He really had plans with his friends and you just grounded him and now he can't go to this camping trip he's been planning.

You got it. If you're going to hand it over to dad, you hand it over to dad and then, mom, you step back and you let dad be the one. Now, I know there's moms all over gasping going, but you don't understand. My husband wouldn't do it that way. We were in youth ministry for 18 years and we watched the ones who said, I am going to defer to my husband's authority. And I know we're talking to single moms, too. And single moms have your kids in a youth group. My son Tony, my husband became his father in the faith because he was at youth group.

You want male heroes and influences in your son's lives, be a part of a church family. But that was the dynamic that changed mine and Brandon's relationship when I deferred to Steve's authority. And I stepped out and it was not easy. I wanted to protect him from what he was going to get in trouble for when he didn't do it.

But our relationship changed to be more respect for each other, I think. I think in that regard, I mean, we hear from a lot of parents who have a prodigal teenager. You know, they're at that 15, 16 age range where they're kind of jumping out of the home, out of the structure. They've rebelled against it, what have you. How do you give them advice in addressing some of those bigger issues, you know?

Well, first I would say my heart is with you. I have friends that are praying for their prodigals. And the best story in Moms Raising Sons for that, there's two. One is about St. Augustine, who was a terrible rebel, and his mom prayed for him. But another one is the story of Adoniram Judson, who was raised by a Puritan preacher.

And, you know, I always say PKs can be OK because my kids were pastor's kids. But this kid went away to college and he walked away from his Puritan belief. His friend Jacob Eames turned his heart away from believing in God. He went to New York after he graduated to try to be a playwright.

He failed miserably. And one night he was riding his horse in the darkness and needing a place to stay. And he found a light across and he went to the light. It was an inn. And he stayed at that inn. The innkeeper said, I have one room, but the man in the room next door is crying out in pain. In fact, he's dying.

And if you're OK with that. And Judson was like, no, no problem. All through the night, Adoniram Judson heard this man crying out and began questioning his own rejection of his faith. What if what if it were me dying?

What if it were me going to face the Lord? Somewhere in the night it got quiet and he woke up, asked the innkeeper the name of the person who died. And it was Jacob Eames, the very young man that had turned his heart away from Christ. God devises ways to bring our prodigals home. We don't rescue them from their bad choices.

We don't, you know, keep letting them come back and bounce in and out of our houses if there's things that they need to learn out there. The father of the prodigal son, I'm sure his heart was broken as he watched the horizon. And God created a famine in the land to devastate that young boy, to bring him home. So pray for God to bring, devise ways to bring your prodigal back and then don't manipulate. Pray.

Brandon, let's bring you in here right at the end. Your mom has stressed the importance of that good modeling in terms of passing on your faith to the next generation. How did you see that lived out in her life and how are you trying to live that out in your faith with your own kids now?

Her grandchildren, whom she really loves, by the way. Yeah. You know, I think we mentioned earlier about the feeling of the need to perform. And sometimes I think just as humans, we love to measure.

We love measurables. We love to perform. We love to look good.

We love to look the part. And what I really have appreciated about my parents and my mother specifically is she was transparent. I mean, there's times when she would apologize, you know, for the way that she interacted or said or there was time. She was working out just even her own parenting and mothering and there was space for that.

And it was really good to see, OK, she's not saying that she has it all together and that she's totally perfect. And you just need to fall in line and do exactly it was it. We were working on it together. We were learning together. And I think that's like what's made our bond even now, like so huge is is during those adolescent periods. It was it was a lot of like us figuring it out and us like learning each other. And I think there was one specific moment that I just felt so seen and understood by my mom.

And I still have it even to this day. And what she did is she sat me down and she wrote out this like this graph. And she made like she made this graph and it was kind of like this hierarchy type of thing laid out. And she was like and there was two situations in my life where there was two friends that I was kind of like I was disengaging from.

And I felt kind of like hurt by innocence or I was like frustrated with. And she said, OK, Brandon, here's what I see. Here's what I think I understand about how you process things. And she wrote it all out and she kind of did the hierarchy. And she said, and what you've done is within this situation, you've disregarded this person because they don't believe similar things as you.

In this situation, you've disregarded this person because you felt like betrayed, like your loyalty has been betrayed. And she the way that she just framed it out and she she showed me kind of and she processed it with me. I just felt so heard and so understood. And in that moment, I even still think about that. And in my own like the way that I process life and the way that I interact with different individuals, I think of that graph and I think of my propensity to go in those directions. And just remembering just a moment like that where she took the time to to work through it with me and to understand me and to hear me and to say, this is what I'm perceiving and this is what I think I'm understanding about how you're processing your relationships was huge. And I think just her not always having to be perfect and not always like that was huge for for me. And in my own parenting, when I'm with my kids, I'm trying to I'm trying to be transparent in the same way.

Yeah. There's definitely times when, you know, you have to bring the hammer down and you're like, no, this is how it's going to be. And but when you when you mess up, you go to your kid and say you're sorry, you know, and you say, hey, I messed up here. I'm sorry, son.

I'm sorry, daughter. Let's let's move forward. Let's move on.

I'll do better next time. But that transparency is like a trust builder. Absolutely. And I think that's what was so huge with our relationship and me growing up, kept the communication open. Then you could see that and hear that between you.

That's one of the beautiful things about your relationship as we are observing it and hearing both of your hearts. And this great book, Rhonda. Well done. And a great reminder for moms to, you know, follow scripture and how they're parenting their sons is just a wonderful thing. In fact, you wanted to read something, I think.

OK. Yeah. This is your time in history, mom. In 1950, when missionary Jim Elliott decided to leave the safety of America to take the gospel to the native people of the Ecuadorian jungle, his parents were fearful for their safety, confident that his decision was directed by the Lord. Jim wrote in a letter to his parents. Remember how the psalmist described children? He said they were a heritage from the Lord, that every man should be happy, whose quiver was full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows but to shoot?

So with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly, all of them straight at the enemy's host. Are you, mom, doing what it takes to prepare the arrows in your quiver? The influence of mothers has shaped nations, trained leaders, nurtured artists.

I always cry. Encouraged ordinary men to accomplish extraordinary feats. This is your time in history, mom. This generation needs mothers who will selflessly embrace this blessed calling of motherhood and raise sons and daughters who are courageous and righteous. And if you'd like to get a copy of Rhonda's book, get in touch with us here at Focus on the Family. I mean, the great thing is you're not padding the pockets of shareholders when you order through Focus.

All the resources go right back into ministry. So you become a partner in helping others. And if you could do that monthly, that's great. A one-time gift is fine. And we'll send you a copy of Rhonda's book as our way of saying thank you when you can make that gift. Yeah, donate today as you can, either that monthly pledge or one-time gift. Request your copy of the book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men.

Our number is 800, the letter A in the word family, or details are in the show notes. Coming up tomorrow, we'll share one woman's harrowing journey through abuse, addiction, betrayal, and the loss of two husbands. His job was to make people say yes to things that they didn't want to say yes to.

He worked for drug dealers and he worked for businessmen. And so I knew that it was really dangerous to align myself with him, but I also knew that if I was on his arm that I would be safe from everyone else. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we 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 / 2023-07-26 03:21:12 / 2023-07-26 03:33:41 / 12

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