Focus on the Family Broadcast

How Godly Moms Can Raise Godly Sons (Part 2 of 2)

How Godly Moms Can Raise Godly Sons (Part 2 of 2)

Rhonda Stoppe and her son Brandon provide practical advice and encouragement for moms raising sons. The pair discuss discipline, equipping sons for independence, talking in ways that sons will listen, and giving boys a vision for manhood. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: July 26, 2023


John Fuller: Today on Focus on the Family, we’re gonna return to an important conversation about moms and their sons. And, uh, here’s part of an original song that one of our guests, Brandon Stoppe, wrote for his mom, Rhonda.

Brandon Stoppe: (singing).

End of Preview

John: What a wonderful tribute to moms everywhere. And we’re so thrilled to have Brandon and Rhonda back in the studio again today. Uh, thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I really enjoyed the conversation that we started last time with Rhonda and Brandon talking about the ministry of motherhood and the power of moms in the lives of their sons. And how do moms help their sons grow into being men? That’s a great question. I’m sure most moms listening want to do that for their sons, right?

John: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Jim: It’s a natural thing to want to do. Uh, Rhonda last time talked about getting engaged with wiser older women who can help calm you down on those (laughs) precipices.

John: Offer some perspective. Yeah.

Jim: Uh, Jean certainly had those moments with Trent and Troy-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … where she would call a girlfriend and say, “Okay, are your boys doing this?” And, uh, she’d later assure me, “Yeah, I think it’s okay, and others are doing this.” But we’re gonna get right back into the program. We left off last time talking about some of the more powerful moms in the Bible. And Rhonda pointed those out, which she does in her book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, and then some of the, the weaker moms in the Bible, that manipulation, deception. Uh, and we’re gonna continue that discussion today. Uh, Rhonda, Brandon, welcome back.

Rhonda Stoppe: Thanks.

Brandon: Hey. Thank you.

Rhonda: Good to be back.

Brandon: Thank you.

Jim: We, uh, left last time when we talked about Mary and the awesomeness of Mary accepting the task of (laughs), you know, birthing the Messiah and how she went through that. And if you’ve missed last time, get the download and, uh, or you can get, get the download on your smartphone-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … there’s ways to do that ’cause you really need to hear, uh, part one of the story. But Rhonda described that puzzlement that Mary must have had, and then coming into that reconciliation that, “Okay, I’m gonna do this.” And we left off there talking about how something Brandon would experience impacted you. So let’s pick the story up there, Rhonda. Uh, you’re this person that’s gotten all this wisdom from older women, and then you get a diagnosis with Brandon. What was it?

Rhonda: We had just moved to, uh, Austin, Texas, and we ended up planting a church there. And while we were there, Steve was actually still in California, so I was home alone with the kids. And Brandon had a severe seizure. It lasted 28 minutes.

Jim: That was the first time.

Rhonda: The first, we didn’t know anything. And they life-flighted him to the hospital. I didn’t even know where the hospital was. But when he got on the air, the, uh, helicopter, he was, was talking baby talk, he’d been 28 minutes without oxygen.

Jim: Wow.

Rhonda: So as I finally was driving to the hospital, my prayer was that he wouldn’t have had brain damage. So I get to the hospital, he’s jumping on the bed, “Mom, I was riding on a helicopter.” I’m like, “Yes buddy, you’re fine.”

Jim: He’s back.

Rhonda: And they did tests. One of the tests they did is an EEG on his little brain. They glue those little things all over his-

Jim: And how old is he?

Rhonda: He was six.

Jim: Six. Okay.

Rhonda: And during one of the tests, he was asleep. And I went over and I kissed him on his temple. And the tech called me over and she circled and she said, “Mom’s kiss, they know that you kiss them when they’re sleeping.” So-

Brandon: I just thought about that the other day actually.

Rhonda: Yeah, yeah.

Brandon: Yeah.

Rhonda: ‘Cause you kiss your babies, and-

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah.

Rhonda: Yeah. And, and so when my kids were in junior high, I used to go in and kiss ’em all the time. “Mommy loves you, you love mommy” (laughs). But the doctor said he had severe seizure activity in his brain. And so our life took on a whole new neurologist and medications.

Jim: Right.

Rhonda: And the medication that they had to put Brandon on was so strong, he had to take it three times a day, or he would have severe seizures.

Brandon: Yeah.

Rhonda: So all of a sudden my bright articulate little boy-

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: … was very calm and quiet, didn’t wanna play sports. I was coaching high school cheerleading in Texas at the time. Anybody who lives in Texas knows like that, what that’s all about. My boy didn’t wanna be an athlete. He didn’t wanna run one down the field or hit one out of the park or hear the crowd glory in my son’s accomplishments, he played Legos. They put him on special ed at school. And that pierces your heart when the administrator uses those words-

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: … for your son. And it was a season of just like, “Lord, are, are you, are you in this? What are you doing?”

Jim: Yeah.

Rhonda: And as that time went on, about four years later, um, Brandon had a severe seizure because we missed one dose of his meds. And the doctor said, then that means he still has severe seizure activity, so we have to keep giving him the meds. And that broke me.

Jim: Yeah.

Rhonda: And I went in my room and I was weeping before the Lord, and I was like, “We are serving you and there’s teenagers coming to Jesus, and we are serving you. Can’t you heal my son?”

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: “I quit. I’m done. I’m outta here.” But if you hide God’s word in your heart, the Bible says you won’t sin against him. “And in the stillness, not an audible voice, the scripture and everything, give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” And I didn’t say yes. I said, “I have no idea how to thank you for this, but I will say thank you with my lips, but you’re gonna have to change my heart.” Slowly we observed that Brandon was becoming a musician. We had praise band practice in our house every Wednesday night after youth group. And he could sit behind the different musicians and he could play.

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: And my husband, who’s a musician, said, “I’ve never met someone at this age that can think in music theory like Brandon does.” So what we started to observe was I wanted to raise an athlete to hear the crowd glory and his accomplishments, but God pushed me out of the way to raise up my son, to bring the crowd to glory and God’s son’s accomplishments through worship. Brandon’s a worship pastor, and it’s been amazing to see what God has done.

Jim: Yeah. Let me ask you, Brandon, uh-

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: …you know, memories of being a six-year-old are-

Brandon: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … often a little elusive.

Brandon: Sure.

Jim: But how did that impact you as a boy? How did you process that? And where are you at today with that diagnosis?

Brandon: You know, um, when I think back at the time it was, I think I grew up faster than I should have in a lot of ways. Um, the, the medicine really put me in a, a, a dark place in a lot of senses, a lot of things that I’m even kind of in, in my life now that I have to work through and, and remember the, the truth of who-

Jim: Yeah. It’s important though as to why.

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: Why do you think you went to those dark places?

Brandon: I think the, the difficult thing for me at that time was I was, I wasn’t as smart, I didn’t feel as smart. And so a lot of self-doubt set in.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brandon: A lot of, uh, not feeling good enough, not feeling like I was smart enough. That was a huge thing for me. And it, like six or seven, I’m having these thoughts, like-

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: … like I’m stupid, like I’m not smart. And it was tough.

Jim: Hmm.

Brandon: It was a tough, I remember very clearly, like multiple nights of just, for some reason, I, I didn’t wanna sleep. It, it, the seizures were linked to sleep. So if I fell asleep, you know, like that feeling like when you’re starting to fall asleep and then you wake up real quick-

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: … like in a jolt, I would wake up into a seizure-

Jim: Oh.

Brandon: … and so I was afraid of falling asleep.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Brandon: And-

Jim: That’s terrifying.

Brandon: … as a seven-year-old, I’d be, you know, awake for hours. I had a clock on my, on my bed and I’d watch the clock and it would get up to, you know, two, 2:00 AM sometimes. And I was just afraid, terrified to go to sleep. And then I had all these thoughts just like, so it was a tough, it was a tough season.

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: And I remember it very clearly. And even though it was, you know, six or seven years old, it was very impactful on my life. And, um, it was, it was difficult for sure. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. I would think it allows you to relate to the loneliness of-

Brandon: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … teenagers today. I am thinking of teens particularly who just don’t feel accepted-

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: … feel lost.

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: They might not have a diagnosis-

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: … uh, but they’re, they’re living some of that.

Brandon: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think the stuff that I, that was kind of cultivating it in that time, it, it reared its head in teen years and in adolescent years for sure.

Jim: Yeah. What a tough thing to go through though.

Brandon: Yeah. And I think that’s why, you know, music, that’s where I found kind of some solitude. I found some solace in music, you know?

Jim: Right.

Brandon: And I, I, we’d have, yeah, worship band rehearsal. My dad was the, he was kind of doing all, wearing all the hats. Small church. And, uh, he was the youth pastor, but he is also the worship, worship guy. And, um, we’d… in our living room, we’d have worship band practice on Wednesday nights and I would just watch-

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: … and I’d just watch every instrument. And not only that, not only did I watch the instruments, but I watched worship and I watched what it meant to actually come before the Lord. They were rehearsing and they’d go off on these… And it was like, like the, the golden age of like, praise music, you know?

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: Like the ’90s praise music stuff. That’s just such great courses. And, um, ’cause they would just go, go off and they’d, they’d, they’d practice what they needed to practice and then they’d keep going and like-

Jim: Like musicians do.

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. Like, yeah.

Jim: (laughs).

Brandon: And I just remember seeing my dad just eyes closed and just, just connecting with the Lord in, in those moments. And everybody else was just, it was just so inspiring. And I think I just found, I found something in those moments. I found, I found a, a, a purpose in a sense.

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: And it was something that I knew I wanted to chase because I could. And although I was like limited in what I could understand and how quickly I could, music just clicked for me.

Jim: Right.

Brandon: So.

Jim: Well, it’s like you were made for it.

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: I mean, that’s a good way to look at it.

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: In fact, Rhonda, you wrote in the book about that, this idea of appealing to the man he will become. You’ve kind of given us a little insight there. You had Tony, who you brought into the family on this path of, you know, high achievement, became a fighter pilot, athlete, I would assume.

Brandon: Mm-hmm.

Rhonda: He flew the F-22. I just have to throw that out there. (laughs).

Jim: Okay. (laughs). Okay, good. I don’t know what number we’re up to now-

Rhonda: That’s the best (laughs).

Jim: … but you could tell you’re a proud mom. (laughs). That’s a good thing. But, uh, but to that point, I mean, you had to pull back and you had to do what you wrote in the book, appealing to the man he will become. And so many moms, and certainly dads, if we haven’t said this, dads need to be leaning into-

Brandon: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jim: … this as well. But we, we have a vision of what we want our sons and daughters to become. And you gotta let that go-

Rhonda: Hmm.

Jim: … because God’s got a different plan typically for them. How did that, how did that work for you? How did you really appeal to the man that he would become?

Rhonda: You know, I was just listening to the episode that you guys interviewed Dr. Kathy Koch, and she was talking about-

Jim: She’s good.

Rhonda: … she was, you know, big and they put her in dance and she all of a sudden found her place. Her parents listened to her. And what, as Brandon, he, he wasn’t, he didn’t process his thoughts out loud-

Jim: Yeah.

Rhonda: … he was very quiet. And I remember one day he was in fifth grade and he said, “I’m dumb.” And I’m like, “You’re not dumb.” And I, that’s when I took him outta school and homeschooled him. And then I took my youngest outta school to homeschool her, ’cause I thought the least I’m gonna get outta this is sleeping in, in the morning (laughs).

Jim: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Rhonda: But, but when your child reveals something they’re struggling with, make an adjustment to help them, by the next year, he was getting straight A’s in sixth grade. And when he was an adolescent, as Brandon said, a lot of these things started coming out at that adolescent age because men crave respect. And so I always tell moms, the first decade of their life, love the snot outta your little boys. “Mommy love you, mommy love you.”

Jim: (laughs).

Rhonda: But when they hit that 10, 11, 12, you’ll know when it is.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Rhonda: They start smelling funky, they push you away. You have to decide, “I’m gonna show them how I love them, by how I respect them.” And then they’ll listen to you. So an example that I shared in Moms Raising Sons, Brandon was learning to drive. And so he was driving up our canyon, which is a winding mountain road with cliffs on both sides, I’m (laughs) with this moody teenager.

Jim: Yeah.

Rhonda: And he said, “Why won’t you let me listen to secular music? Why are you and dad so against me listening to secular music?” And honestly I didn’t wanna have the conversation. It was, w- we have a 40-minute drive with no cell phones, no radio, no TVs in the car. You just talk or you don’t. And I’m like, “Okay, Lord, give me wisdom,” ’cause I knew that he was not gonna like the answer.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Rhonda: And so I said, “Dude,” that’s his nickname. (laughs).

Brandon: I think I was struggling with it ’cause I think Meredith had like some.

Rhonda: Yes, yes.

Brandon: And I was like-

Jim: Okay, now we’re going (laughs).

Rhonda: His big sister gotta listen to some (laughs).

Brandon: I was like, “Wait, wait, wait, hold on.” I’m like (laughs).

Jim: Double standard.

Brandon: (laughs) yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Rhonda: Yes. But that’s the point, right? You raise your… Go ahead. You raise your kids for who they are.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. And so what you said is-

Rhonda: So I said-

Brandon: … was golden.

Rhonda: … “Brandon, here’s the thing, God…” And God ended up healing Brandon from epilepsy, which is a beautiful story. But I said, “God brought you through this because he’s put in your heart to be someone that leads people to worship. And the Bible says, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.’ I know the man you wanna become is a man who leads people to worship Christ. But if you feast on secular music, you are gonna write secular music. If you feast on the music of the world, that may be where you, you may be famous, you may play for high school dances and nightclubs. I don’t know. But it will be not what God has for you. And I’m here to help you get there. And that’s where you impart the vision. I see glimpses of who God has for you, what he has for you. I don’t manipulate, you know, it’s, it’s motivate, not manipulate. Right. But until you’re ready to guard your own heart, we’re gonna help you guard your heart. ‘Cause you don’t even know that Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy the good plans that God has for your life. So we’re gonna help you set a guard over your heart. But when you’re an adult, you can listen to whatever you want. But right now we see who you wanna become and we’re here to help you get there.”

Jim: Yeah. And Brandon, of course, that went down silky smooth, right? (laughs).

Brandon: It was tough. It was tough to… Yeah.

Jim: At the time.

Brandon: Tough to swallow at the time, you know, but yeah-

Jim: Now you realize it. But.

Brandon: It was one of those mo- There’s a few moments that I can think back where, you know, my, my mom and I, we would like buttin’ heads on something, but then she’d say something and I’d be like, “Oh, that doesn’t make sense.” You know? And I think for me, what, what connected is, is she just had such a desire for the things of the Lord to be at the forefront of my heart and my thinking. And such a desire to see the Lord just lifted up in my life and in the decisions that I made. And, and music was a big part of that. And I think just her saying, “You know what? I know that the Lord’s going to use this part of, of what he’s given you,” was important. Um, and to do it in a way that, that wasn’t a self-seeking and wasn’t… um, I think secular music while for some kids it wouldn’t have been like that big of a deal, I think it would’ve been a big deal for me.

Jim: But it was your language.

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Jim: It really was who you were becoming.

Brandon: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: So that was wise.

John: Yeah. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And today our guests are Brandon Stoppe and his mom Rhonda Stoppe. And, uh, Rhonda has written a book that we’re covering bits and pieces of along the way here. It’s called Moms Raising Sons to Be Men: Guiding Them Toward Their Purpose and Passion. It’s an excellent resource. We’ll encourage you to stop by, to get your copy or give us a call, 800 the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Rhonda, you touched on this, but I wanna make sure we hit it squarely. Uh, and in fact, in the book, you, you say it this way, “You hand your son his manhood.” I think for me as a dad, I understand that maybe differently, but I found it, yeah, interesting from a mom’s perspective, what your role is in handing your son his manhood.

Rhonda: I think our sons get the impression we want him to stay our little boy forever and secretly in our hearts, we do (laughs).

Jim: Sometimes on the outside too.

Rhonda: Yes. (laughs). But Brandon and I, when he hit adolescence and he was like pushing back, you know, “Go sweep the kitchen floor.” He’d always swept the kitchen floor. Now it was beneath him. And I’m seeing it as rebellion in the troop and having to step back and, and you know, I’m, I’m putting this in a nutshell, but there were a lot of tears. There was a lot of interaction. In fact, Brandon and I spoke at a mother son retreat at Mount Herman and Brandon talked to the moms about adolescent boys. And he said, do you remember what you said?

Brandon: I don’t remember. Sorry.

Rhonda: Um, “When my, when my mom-”

Jim: She remembers that. (laughs).

Brandon: Yeah. Oh my God (laughs).

Rhonda: “When I could get my mom to cry, I knew I was in-”

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Rhonda: “… control.”

Jim: Ooh.

Rhonda: “And when she stopped crying, I knew I had lost control.” And there’s like moms, not a dry eye-

Jim: Yeah.

Rhonda: … in the room, “Like, oh that…” But I was like, “You know, I love this, this boy so deeply and he is questioning my love for him ’cause I won’t let him go skateboard all over town with his friends.” And you know, you know when you know her, that’s not a good decision. But he, all he sees is, “You’re just trying to control me.” But moms, we are the hill to die on. There’s no coming of ritual practice in our culture except don’t be a mama’s boy. So I wish they could just walk on some hot coals, pee on a rock, (laughs), kill the fatted calf, call him a man, and we’ll call it a day, but there isn’t. But you’re the hill to die on. So either they’re gonna fight you to become a man, or you’re going to say, “I know you’re a man and I’m going to defer to you as a man.” So my husband got involved, Steve. And I, you know, he came home one day and I was in tears. And he goes, “That’s it.”

Jim: It’s time.

Rhonda: “You don’t work for her anymore.” And he looked at me like, “Good ’cause she’s nuts, you know?” And Steve said, “But you work for me and I’m a much harder task master.” And Steve put a pick and shovel in Brandon’s hands and said, “I want you to dig a ditch. We live on a ranch from the house to the barn. And we’re gonna run electrical wire and power over there. Get to work.” The next morning, Steve said, “I’m going to work. When he gets up, you don’t remind him. You don’t nudge him if he chooses not to do it. If there’s consequences to face, I will impose them. You’re out.” And you know, it’s funny ’cause we want dad to get involved, but then when dad gets involved, we’re like, “Oh, that, oh, that’s just too much. That, he really had plans with his friends and you just grounded him. And now he can’t go to this camping trip he’s been planning.” You gotta, if you’re gonna hand it over to dad, you hand it over to dad and then mom, you step back and you let dad be the one. Now I know there’s moms all over gasping going, “But you don’t understand. My husband wouldn’t do it that way.” We were in youth ministry for 18 years and we watched the ones who said, “I am going to defer to my husband’s authority.” And I know we’re talking to single moms too. And single moms, have your kids in a youth group. My, my son Tony, my husband became his father in the faith because he was at a youth group. You want male heroes and influences in your son’s lives, be a part of a church family. But that was the, the dynamic that changed mine and Brandon’s relationship. When I deferred to Steve’s authority and I stepped out, and-

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: … it was not easy. I wanted to protect him from what he was gonna get in trouble for when he didn’t do it. But our relationship changed to be more, uh, respect for each other, I think.

Jim: Mm-hmm. I think in, in that regard, I mean, we hear from a lot of parents who have a prodigal teenager. You know, they’re at that 15, 16 age range where they’re kind of jumping out of the home, out of the structure. They’ve rebelled against it, what have you. How, how do you, uh, give them advice in addressing some of those bigger issues? You know?

Rhonda: Well, first I would say my heart is with you. I have friends that are praying for their prodigals. And the best story in Moms Raising Sons for that, there’s two. One is about St. Augustine who was a terrible rebel and his mom prayed for him. But another one is the story of Adoniram Judson, who was raised by Puritan preacher. And you know, I always say PKs can be okay ’cause my kids were pastors kids. But this kid went away to college and he walked away from his Puritan belief. His friend Jacob Eames turned his heart away from believing in God. He went to New York after he graduated to try to be a playwright, he failed miserably. And one night he was riding his horse in the darkness and he needing a place to stay. And he found a light across, and he went to the light. It was an inn. And he stayed at that inn. The innkeeper said, “I have one room, but the man in the room next door is crying out in pain. In fact, he’s dying. And if you’re okay with that.” And Judson was like, “No, b- no problem.” All through the night, Adoniram Judson heard this man crying out and began questioning his own rejection of his faith. “What if, what if it were me dying? What if it were me gonna face the Lord?” Somewhere in the night, it got quiet. And he woke up, asked the innkeeper the name of the person who died. And it was Jacob Eames, the very young man that had turned his heart away from Christ.

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: God devises ways to bring our prodigals home. We don’t rescue them from their bad choices. We don’t, you know, keep letting them come back and bounce in and out of our houses if there’s things that they need to learn out there. The, the father of the prodigal son, I’m sure his heart was broken as he watched the horizon.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Rhonda: And God created a famine in the land to devastate that young boy, to bring him home. So pray for God to bring-

Jim: Hmm.

Rhonda: … devise ways to bring your prodigal back and then don’t manipulate, pray.

Jim: Uh, Brandon, let’s bring you in here right at the end.

Brandon: Yeah.

Jim: Your mom has stressed the importance of that good modeling in terms of, uh, passing on your faith to the next generation. How did you see that lived out in her life and how are you trying to live that out in your faith with your own kids now-

Brandon: Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: … her grandchildren, whom she really loves, by the way?

Rhonda: (laughs).

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I think, uh, we mentioned earlier about, uh, the feeling of the, and the, the need to perform. Um, and sometimes I think just as humans, we love to measure. We love measurables, we love to perform, we love to look good, we love to look the part. And what I really have appreciated about my, my parents and my mother specifically, is, um, she was transparent. I mean, there was times when she would apologize, you know, for the way that she interacted or, or said, or there was time… she was working out just even her own parenting and mothering. And, um, there was space for that. And it was really good to see, “Okay, she’s not saying that she has it all together and that she’s totally perfect and you just need to fall in line and do exactly…” It was, we were working on it together. We were learning together. And I think that’s like what’s made our bond even now, like so huge is, is during those adolescent periods, it was, it was a lot of like us figuring it out and us like learning each other. And I think there was one specific moment that, that just felt so seen and understood by my mom and I still have it even to this day. And what she did is she sat me down and she wrote out this, like, this graph, and, and she made, like, she made this graph and it was kind of like this hierarchy type of thing laid out. And she was like, and there was two situations in my life where there was two friends that I was kind of like, I was disengaging from, and I felt kind of like hurt by in a sense, or I was like frustrated with. And she said, “Okay, Brandon, here’s what I see. Here’s what I think I understand about how you process things.” And she wrote it all out and she kind of did the hierarchy. And she said, “And what you’ve done is with, in this situation, you’ve disregarded this person because they don’t believe similar things as you. In this situation, you’ve disregarded this person because, uh, you felt like betrayed, like your loyalty has been betrayed.” And she, the way that she just framed it out and she, she showed me kind of, and she processed it with me, I just felt so heard and so understood. And in that moment I even still think about that, and in my own, like, uh, the way that I process life and the way that I interact-

Jim: Hmm.

Brandon: … with different individuals, I think of that graph and I think of my propensity to go in those directions. And just remembering just a moment like that where she took the time to, to work through it with me and to understand me and to hear me and to say, “This is what I’m perceiving and this is what I’m, I think I’m understanding about how you’re processing your relationships,” was huge. And I think, um, just her not always having to be perfect and not always, like that was huge for, for me. And in my own parenting when I’m with my kids, I’m trying to, I’m trying to be transparent in the same way.

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: And there’s definitely times when, you know, you have to, y- you bring the hammer down and you’re like, “No, this is how it’s gonna be.” And but when you, when you mess up, you go to your kid and say you’re sorry. You know?

Jim: Yeah.

Brandon: And, and you say, “Hey, I messed up here. I’m sorry son. I’m sorry daughter. Can, let’s, let’s move forward. Let’s move on. I’ll do better next time.” Uh, but that transparency is like a trust builder, I think.

Jim: Absolutely.

Brandon: And I think that’s what was so huge with our relationship and me growing up was-

Jim: Kept the communication open.

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah. Totally.

Jim: Then you could see that and hear that between you. And that’s one of the beautiful things about your relationship, uh, as we are observing it and hearing both of your hearts-

Brandon: Hmm.

Jim: … in this great book Rhonda, uh, well done. And a great reminder for moms, uh, to, you know, follow scripture and how they’re parenting their sons. It’s just a wonderful thing. In fact, you wanted to read something, I think.

Rhonda: Is that okay?

Jim: Yeah.

Rhonda: “This is your time in history, mom. In 1950, when missionary Jim Elliot decided to leave the safety of America to take the gospel to the native people of the Ecuadorian jungle, his parents were fearful for their safety, confident that his decision was directed by the Lord. Jim wrote in a letter to his parents, ‘Remember how the psalmist described children? He said they were a heritage from the Lord that every man should be happy whose quiver was full of them and what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows, but to shoot. So with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bow string back and let the arrows fly all of them straight at the enemies host.’ Are you mom doing what it takes to prepare the arrows in your quiver? The influence of mothers has shaped nations trained leaders, nurtured artists…” I always cry. “Encouraged ordinary men to accomplish extraordinary feats. This is your time in history, mom. This generation needs mothers who will selflessly embrace this blessed calling of motherhood and raise sons and daughters who are courageous and righteous.”

Jim: What a powerful way to end. Uh, Rhonda, great book. Moms Raising Sons to Be Men. Uh, you’ve done it. Brandon, you’ve lived it so you know what’s true.

Brandon: Yeah. Yes, sir (laughs).

Jim: And it’s great to have both of you on the program. Thanks for being here.

Brandon: Thank you.

Rhonda: Our pleasure.

Jim: And if you’d like to get a copy of Rhonda’s book, uh, get in touch with us here at Focus on the Family. I mean, the great thing is you’re not patting the pockets of shareholders when you order through Focus, all the resources go right back into ministry, so you become a partner in helping others. And if you could do that monthly, that’s great. A one-time gift is fine. And we’ll send you a copy of Rhonda’s book as our way of saying thank you when you can make that gift.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Donate today as you can, either that monthly pledge or one time gift. Request your copy of the book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by Coming up tomorrow, we’ll share one woman’s harrowing journey through abuse, addiction, betrayal, and the loss of two husbands.

Robyn Dykstra: His job was to make people say yes to things that they didn’t wanna say yes to. He worked for drug dealers and he worked for, um, businessmen. And so I knew that it was really dangerous to align myself with him, but I also knew that if I was on his arm, that I would be safe from everyone else.

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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