SINGLE MOMS, BOYS, MEN

Article as it appeared in the May issue of AFA JOURNAL By Joy Lucas :

MOMS, BOYS, MEN – AFA Journal Article

#StoppeEverAfter (PhotoCredit: Estevan Atkinson)

#StoppeEverAfter
Photo Credit: Estevan Atkinson

She’s there! Walk into any church in America and find her, wrinkled, tired, and running late. Nevertheless, this faithful mother is present whenever the church doors open, kids in tow. Who knows if there’s a dad at home – maybe, maybe not.

Moms, single or married, face many of the same challenges when it comes to the impact they have on their sons’ lives. Even married moms are too often the stronger spiritual leader in the home.

So, wouldn’t it seem probable that eventually such tenacious mothers would produce congregations full of faithful men?

Author Rhonda Stoppe (rhondastoppe.com) passionately believes it takes more than simply filling church pews each Sunday. First, she insists mothers must fill their own hearts with a deep, abiding love for Jesus in order to raise godly sons.

In a recent interview with AFA Journal, Stoppe encouraged mothers to get “back to the gospel” and maintain an authentic relationship with Christ. In her book Moms Raising Sons to be Men, she said this is the way to “live a life with no regrets.”

Stoppe uses personal experiences in her book, as well as historical and biblical accounts like the scriptural account of Timothy (raised by mother Eunice and grandmother Lois) as examples of successful mothering. Both Eunice and Lois profoundly impacted Timothy, and subsequently, his world-changing ministry. Stoppe insists that mothers can still have that same impact on their sons (and daughters) by taking a few tips from Timothy’s story.

The first useful tip in Timothy’s tale, according to Stoppe, is the fact that even though his mother Eunice sinfully married outside her faith, she still made sure to teach Timothy the truth of God’s Word. Likewise, Stoppe exhorts mothers to raise their sons to know the Scriptures and to know how to “rightly divide the word of truth” on their own.

To do so, Stoppe thinks mothers must diligently put Scripture into their own hearts, imploring young moms to “not be lazy in feasting on the Word of Truth.” Stoppe believes God will reveal His trustworthy nature to mothers within those Scriptures – and within their children later in life. Stoppe is also adamant that mothers find older Christian women as personal mentors and advisors, much like the story of Eunice with her mother Lois.

Stoppe counsels all mothers to pray for and seek out godly male role models for their sons, since it’s imperative for boys to see how Christian men love God and their families. Obviously, a committed Christian dad is the ideal role model, but moms can make sure that sons are also in Sunday school or youth groups that have strong male leadership.

However, Stoppe cautions mothers against solely depending on these men (or the church) for their sons’ spiritual teaching. After all, nothing in a boy’s life can replace a lifetime of watching a mother walk daily with Christ.

Finally, Stoppe declares that women who don’t regularly pray for their children sin against God. She reminds women that pure, sinless hearts of righteousness produce prayers that God answers. And ultimately, those answered prayers will fill our churches with men who serve and honor God all their lives. Maybe even a 21st century Timothy.

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