| |

Connecting with Sons


This is for the moms of sons out there…

As my son has gotten older, I have had to be more intentional about connecting with him and engaging for the purposes of discipleship. When he was younger, he was asking questions constantly and his heart was open all the time. Now, he may keep things to himself, stuff as a mom I need to know. If I am not paying close attention, I may even miss the signs that there is a problem. So, I am constantly looking for ways to engage him and get him interested in talking.


Many times, I will be talking to my friends who mostly have girls as their oldest child and they tell stories about how they are engaging with their daughters.  I think, Marshall and I would never have that conversation. It has taken me some time to accept the fact that it is not a deficiency I have, but merely the beautiful differences between girls and boys. They aren’t telling me stories about foosball tournaments or games of PIG and HORSE to improve their basketball prowess. These are my stories. When we talk about highs and lows at the dinner table and Marshall mentions his high was playing in a tent he made with his sisters, or running around the house pretending to be a monster and making them squeal in delight, I know his heart.

There is no lack of love or compassion, he is a boy and his heart is beautiful just the way God intended.

We don’t journal with each other, he doesn’t cry when he recounts his first experience with poverty in Kenya, but he wants to go back and he misses the kids there. He loved the country and the people and he wants to hold orphaned babies on his back again.


He wants to adopt Holly and her brother Calvin. He knows what it means to not have a family and for children to be abandoned. These stories are real to him, he has looked into the eyes of a little girl who was left in a ditch just hours after birth and heard the story of her miraculous rescue.

Two days ago we had a conversation about a family home we visited in a Kenyan slum. We went back over the story and why the mom and son weren’t spending time in the home with us, because the husband had just punched his wife in the face minutes before we walked into their home. We talked about how we treat others and the importance of learning self-control while we are younger, before the consequences get complicated.

With Marshall I have realized one of the most important things for him is that I tuck him in bed every night. He doesn’t want dad to tuck him in he wants me e.v.e.r.y. t.i.m.e. Even as he approaches the next season of boyhood, and he is breaking away from me a little more every day, there is a role that only I can play. The tenderness of my voice and touch can not be delegated to dad. 

He wants to read the stories of Moses and his courageous leadership with me and he wants to read for a LONG time. One of the best resources I have found to reach his heart is the Action Bible. While many kids his age still connect with the Jesus Storybook Bible, Marshall was bored and disconnected. But, the Action Bible he begs to read every night. This God that we are reading about is fierce and strong and boys connect with the stories he left for us.


I was beginning to think Marshall wouldn’t connect but God’s story compelling. I am so thankful for his beautiful stories and the fact that my son can see in word and picture, why we don’t complain, why we obey immediately and the incredible importance of leadership and not following the crowd. Every night, these truths are dripping into his heart, and I pray that one day he may be a mighty leader, bringing truth and justice to the least and the lost. Hoping and praying without acting, likely won’t lead to this result-Lord willing our faulty leadership and bringing Marshall face to face with the needy will cause him fall in love with what God is doing and his favorite children. But only The Lord can do this, I must open my heart and obey Him and then allow him do the rest.

Are you a boy mom?

Do you relate to this similar struggle and privilege?

Similar Posts


  1. I am a boy-girl-boy mom. This post is great – there is a wonderful difference between sons and daughters and I feel blessed beyond belief to experience both. But finding special time with my eldest is a challenge as you are right it does have to be intentional and opportunities carefully watched for and then delighted in. Often he wants “boy time” with his dad and I find I have to be careful and deliberate in encouraging that too even when I want to keep him close! I think for me listening to his cues is the most important thing and not jumping in with a comment too quickly so he always gets round to saying what he really needed his mom to hear…. Thank you for sharing – it was really encouraging.

    1. That’s so neat Sarah-It sounds like you are really engaged with his needs! I too am encouraging my husband to go have boy to have boy time, go camping, go hunt, have a guys lunch or just hang out by the fire. I am so thankful my husband is engaged but I am also thankful for the men in the extended family who want to love on and encourage Marshall in the stages of his masculing journey. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love, love, love this encouragement! With 2 little boys and no little girls in this house, I am very aware that my sons are learning everything about girls from me. Sometimes it feels like pressure, but it’s really a sweet privilege. They definitely have things they want to do with Daddy, but I am trying to remember to treasure the moments they ask for Mom while they’re still young!

    1. It’s true Robyn, sometimes at the end of the day I just want to delegate and I have to remind myself that this is when he is really engaged with me and his heart is open and I don’t want to miss that. I’m not shooting for perfection and sometimes I have to get a bath instead, but motherhood is all about sacrificial love right? What’s another twenty minutes. I never regret it!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! Especially the part about it not being a deficiency of mine but just a difference between boys and girls. I am a mom of two little boys and I’m watching my 8 year old become more independent. I struggle with engaging him. Trying to love football like he does so we can connect on some level. Not wanting to miss out. I needed this encouragement today so much. God used you and your message to bless me today.

    1. Paige-
      Marshall is seven and I’m right there with you! They make us work for it but its a worthy challenge. Check out my reply above. This Action Bible has been a game changer for me. I so look forward to reading to him now. Keep up the good work! (Oh, and I highly recommend adopting a daughter.

  4. Oh, I’m teary over this! Thank you for the encouragement and just examples of what you are experiencing. I often wonder if other moms, even my friends, are experiencing what we are with our 4 boys. Our oldest is 8, but they are all so different. One cries over things, another doesn’t, one wants Mommy all the time, the others don’t get it. AND–most importantly, we want our boys to know the Lord. Sometimes I think our oldest lives in his head more than his heart, yet I know he’s got a grasp on things—he’s just more like my husband than me. Our 5 year old is more emotional, like me, and I relate to him in that way. This is just a good reminder that not only are our boys different than girls, but they are different than each other. Taking time with them individually at times, is good for our connection and a way for us to treasure how uniquely the Lord made us!!

    1. So neat Lindley that you have 4 sons! I always wanted to be a boy mom since I have three brothers. I figured that’s what god would give me, that’s why we insisted on adopting a girl and then ended up with two! But, He just knows what we need. You have to pick up The Action Bible. It’s so awesome! I truly love reading it with Marshall and the conversations it invokes. Last night there was a picture of an angel in the story and the angel was gigantic. We talked about how angels are wimpy flying people with halos, but fierce warriors working on our behalf! Please make the purchase. It’s completely worth it. We need strong male leaders and you have the privilege of influencing FOUR! Great work momma!

      1. Ashley!
        Thanks so much for the Action Bible recommendation! It was on our list to get for Christmas, and then we did! Our 2 oldest boys love it! They actually fight over whose turn it is to read it! Ha!! They bring that to church for their “activity”, which we usually let them use during the sermon, and just yesterday I asked my oldest to put it up until sermon time and he responded with, “Mom! It’s a Bible!” Well, true fact! 🙂 We are enjoying it and the discussions we are having from it! Thanks, Ashley!

        1. Yay! That is so good to hear! I was telling Courtney the other day that since I read it to Marshall most nights, it has made me fall in love with the Old Testament again. I actually started reading and studying Deuteronomy and I love reading the stories with him. So glad you are enjoying it and thanks for circling back! That encourages me so much!

  5. Love it Ashley!! Will totally have to pick up the Action Bible for Noah. While he does really love the Jesus Storybook Bible, I think this will also be great for him! Thanks for sharing your heart! And Marshall is a heart melter, seriously!! (Rachel)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.