Baby Toys & Raising Boys
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, think, reason like a child; when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
One morning as I prepared my 7 year old son’s breakfast, I noticed that he was still eating off of the same Toy Story plate and bowl that my wife and I purchased for him when he was 4 years old. This was an epiphany for me because lately I have been stressing to my son the importance for him to stop talking like a baby. My wife and daughter have always “babied” my son but I never saw my role in the babying process until this morning. So I decided to write this blog not only for mothers that mentally breast feed their sons after the age of 5, but also fathers like myself who’ve always desired a son, and when God finally gave us one, we guarded him from “danger”, instead of guiding him through it.
“When the child grew and was weaned, and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.” – Genesis 21:8
I have been mentoring boys and young men since 2001 and I’ve seen firsthand the negative effects of 84 month old boys not being weaned from their mother’s breasts. Historically is Israel and Africa, baby boys were weaned from their mother’s breast at the age of two years old. This was a very significant stage for the father because he now could take his son from his wife’s bosom and train him up in the way of LORD. But unfortunately due to over 81% of African American homes being parented by single females, this weaning process takes over a decade to begin, if at all. To the other extreme, I’ve noticed homes with both father and mother, in which the father is almost always met with resistance from the mother when he tries to wean and train his son like a male.
After I disposed of my son’s Toy Story plate and bowl, I walked into his room. As I surveyed his toys, I noticed that 40% of them were not age appropriate. I then remembered last Christmas morning when I noticed that almost half of his gifts lacked the detail of the toys for someone his age. When I looked at the bottom corner of each of the boxes, it clearly read, “Ages 2 to 5”. It was very difficult for me to tell my beloved son that he could not open and play with any of the “baby toys”, but it was finally time to take a stand. He was saddened at first, but after our conversation he understood why it was necessary. Again, this is my fault, I allowed my son to be babied too long because I desired a son for so long. My actions or lack thereof, hindered my son’s development into manhood.
Conclusion: I think it’s safe to say that Abraham longed for a son more than I did, yet he did not allow that deep desire to compromise God’s will for his family. When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, he did not consult with his wife Sarah or let his emotions deter him. Instead he responded to God’s will with bold action rooted in faith, and his entire lineage was blessed! As men of God, it is crucial that we strive for this type of faith when it comes to training up our boys. If we do not stop babying them, the prison industrial complex will continue enslaving them.
Shalom & Ahab,
Shärath Jason Wilson