"Arise...my sons, and be men!"
I read this in my scripture study today and it leapt right off the page. I feel the importance of the work I am doing as a mother, but especially so when it comes to my boys. There is a failure in the world today to teach boys that they must be men, that they must take responsibility to care for their families, and that this involves hard, honest work. There is a deep-seeded vice of wanting the easy way out, the path of least resistance, to gain the greatest reward for the least amount of work. There is a propensity to shirk the blessed calling of fatherhood for the vain pursuits of money, pleasure and power. It makes me weak in the knees to think of raising boys in this culture.
And so I want to affirm to my boys that they need to "arise and be men!" Be a man as you learn in your youth, filling your mind with knowledge and your heart with the Spirit. Be a man as you work in your younger years to save for an education or a house for your future family. Be a man as you serve other around you, giving two years of your life to the service of your God on a mission. Be a man as you choose a lovely young woman to marry for eternity, and treat her as the queen she is. Be a man as you father children, standing by your wife as you raise them up to be men.
I pray I will not shirk from the responsibility of raising my boys into men. I hope I will have the courage to discipline sharply when needed, to not coddle them as they learn the tough lessons of life. I want them to know of my unconditional love while understanding that that can be manifest both as tender love and sharp rebuke.
Arise, my sons, and be men!