REVIEW: Love and Respect author and speaker, Dr. Emerson Eggerich writes another much-needed book. Dr. Eggerich takes the on-point message from his previous books and applies them to the relationship between a mother and son.
Like his previous books, this book brings a solid, Biblical perspective to this pivotal and important family relationship. A great book as a private read for a mom, but also a wonderful read for moms’ groups, women’s ministries, and book clubs. It is a treasure trove of information and advice.
Understanding What Respect Looks Like to Boys
Your son wants to be respected too. Your son deserves respect. The simple definition of respect is a mother’s positive regard toward her son, no matter what he does. The obvious object for a mother is that respect must be earned. If a son does not earn respect, a mom feels like she has the right to not show him respect. Mothers will either do one of two things while confronting their son’s wrong doing. She will show negative regard toward he son or show him respect by confronting him with an understanding of his spirit and flesh.
Inherent in boys is respect-perceptions, respect-thoughts, respect-morals, respectfeelings, respect-interactions and respect-soul. As boys grow into men, they filter their world through the grid of respect.
A Game Plan: Mom G.U.I.D.E.S. with Respect
What is God’s expectations for a mother? What does the Bible say about her relationship with her son? God gives mother’s a 6 part “G.U.I.D.E.”
1.) Give, so a child’s basic needs are met.
2.) Understand, so a child is not provoked or exasperated.
3.) Instruct, so your child can know and apply God’s wisdom.
4.) Discipline, so your child can correct poor choices.
5.) Encourage, so your child can courageously develop God-given gifts.
6.) Supplicate in Prayer, so your child can experience God’s touch and Truth.
Seeing the Man in the Boy: His Six Desires
The best way to see the man in the making in a son is to understand his 6 desires that God has placed in him. His desire to:
- Work and achieve
- Provide for, protect, and even die
- Be strong, lead, and make decisions
- Analyze, solve and counsel
- Do friendship shoulder-to-shoulder
- Sexually understand and know
A way for a mother to understand and remember these things is through the acronym: C.H.A.I.R.: Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship, and Sexuality.
Conquest: Respecting His Desire to Work and Achieve
God created man to work in the Garden of Eden. Men identify themselves in terms of what they do for a living. God has wired men to work. Sin entered the scene and cursed the work Adam was to do, so we now live with residual effect of the original creation’s fall.
Applying the G.U.I.D.E.S. to a son’s conquest. Give resources that help him work and achieve. Understand his exasperation and anger as he works. Instruct him on how to better work and achieve. Discipline him when he is inactive and neglectful. Encourage him to keep on working. Supplicate for him to receive opportunities and favor in his work.
Hierarchy: Respecting His Desire to Prove, Protect and Even Die
There is a man inside that boy. Mothers need to recognize their son dressing like a police man, fireman, or superhero are jobs that involve protecting others. God put inside of him a heart to be brave and protect. Support the virtue and correct the wrong, thereby honoring his nature.
Applying the G.U.I.D.E.S. to a son’s Hierarchy. Give by asking, “Can I give something to help him provide and protect?” Understand by asking, “Do I understand his struggle with providing and protecting?” Instruct by asking, “Can I instruct him on how to provide and protect?” Discipline by asking, “Should I disciple him if he is too uncaring or fearful?” Encourage by asking, “Can I encourage him to keep on providing and protecting?”
Authority: Respecting His Desire to be Strong, and to Lead and Make Decisions
Everyone understands that early in a boy’s life he shows greater aggression than girls. Boys continue to show strength and maybe come off as domineering and assertive in being authoritarian. Wired inside a son is a sensitivity to power, credibility and influence. The Bible appeals to young men to be strong and make wise choices. It speaks of being a leader and a good husband that leads with sacrificial love like Christ.
Applying the G.U.I.D.E. to a son’s Authority. Give by asking, “Can I give something to help him be strong, lead and make decisions?” Understand by asking, “Do I understand his struggle to be strong, lead and decide?” Instruct by asking, “Can I instruct him on how to be strong, to lead, or to make good decision?” Discipline by asking, “Should I disciple him if he is too bossy or rude?” Encourage by asking, “Can I encourage him to keep on being strong, leading and making wise choices?” Supplicate by asking, “Do I pray about his providing and protecting?”
Insight: Respecting His Desire to Analyze, Solve and Counsel
Boys lean toward being analytical. They seek answers and solutions to problems they see. While a mother may be more empathetic-oriented, their son (or husband) may very likely be more solution-oriented. A mom will feel bad about someone else’s problem, while her son will want to offer solutions to the same problem. Neither is wrong, it is just different. It is how God has created us. It is the difference between sensitive and sensible. Mom’s must be careful to not overreact negatively to their son’s lack of sensitivity.
Apply the G.U.I.D.E.S. to a son’s desire for Insight. Guide by offering resources that will develop his insight. Understand by giving him support when he gets a wrong solution. Instruct through guiding how to show sensitivity. Discipline when there is a lack of respect to others or in moments of frustration over an unsolved problem, Encourage, a son to continue to work hard on a problem to find a solution. Supplicate by being willing to pray for a son to find insight.
Relationship: Respecting His Desire for a Shoulder-to-Shoulder Friendship
Moms, as their sons grow older, become frustrated at the shift of their sons to no longer want to talk about their feelings face-to-face. The answer is shoulder-to-shoulder time without talking. While a mom desires heart-to-heart connection, her son connects through doing side-by-side. Boys develop rapport differently, bonding through activity, which will lead to a sharing relationship. Shoulder-to-shoulder time enables communication, energy, friendliness, and confidentiality.
Applying the G.U.I.D.E.S, to a son’s relationship. Give by allowing him time to play. Understand a son’s preference to not want to talk sometimes. Instruct by teaching him when there is a need for communication. Discipline when there is a lack of respect in his relationships. Encourage him to find the right kinds of friends. Supplicate for him to develop good friendships and relationships.
Sexuality: Respect His Desire for Sexual Understanding and Knowing
A son is a sexual being who is naturally interested and curious about sexual things. God has created him with an appropriate desire to understand and know, connected to God’s design for marriage. While there is a suitable and natural side of a boy’s sexuality, there is also an unbecoming side. There is an inappropriate interest and sinful side of lust, fornication, and adultery. Mothers must be careful of their fears and anger that their son will give into lust and sexual sin. A mom must understand the challenges their son faces: 1.) He will be challenged by his involuntary biological reactions. 2.) He will be challenged by temptation. 3.) He will be challenged by trusting and obeying God.
A mom must also understand that pornography communicates a sin-based version of the “C.H.A.I.R.” message of Conquest, Hierarchy, Authority, Insight, Relationship, and Sexuality. A mom can also learn to respond correctly to her son’s sexuality: 1.) Sympathize, rather than shame. 2.) Be poised and not panicked. 3.) Depend on God and not doubt.
Applying the G.U.I.D.E.S, to a son’s sexuality. Guide by providing Godly resources. Understand by communicating honestly. Instruct, by teaching a respect and honor of females. Discipline when he becomes too knowledgeable or relates to the opposite sex in unhealthy ways. Encourage him to keep developing his knowledge of how to relate to the opposite sex. Supplicate for him by continuing to pray about his knowledge and relationships.
Concluding Chapters: “An Empathetic Look at Motherly Objections to Respecting Boys” and “Forgiveness”
The book closes out with 2 additional chapters. One chapter thoroughly and Biblically addresses many of the objections or concerns mothers might have to applying the concept of showing their son respect, as opposed to the other way around. The author does an in-depth explanation of his concept. The other chapter is an encouragement for mothers to find, feel and know forgiveness in their parenting of their son.
We would strongly recommend you pick up this book at your nearest book store or go online and purchase this book for yourself. This snapshot is a very quick overview of an expertly written book, by far one of the best books written on the topic in recent years.