Teaching Our Boys to be Virtuous (?) Men

I know that we typically associate the word virtuous with a woman due to Proverbs chapter 31.  But have you ever studied the original meanings of the word virtuous?  In the Strong's Concordance it says:  probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength:--able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong, substance, train, (+)valiant(-ly), valour, virtuous(-ly), war, worthy(-ily).

Google defines virtuous as having or showing high moral standards and dictionary.com defines it as conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright: such as to lead a virtuous life or chaste, as in a virtuous young person.

Before the 14th century it was used in a sense of "valiant, valorous, manly" (c.1300)   (Word Origin and History).   So I am not sure when it began to be only thought of in a feminine way.  It does not matter.

We choose to teach our sons to be 
mighty men of valor, chivalrous, and gentlemen.

  • My sons were quite a bit younger in these pictures, but even at a young age, we began teaching our sons to be manly.  I realize this is not common in today's culture.

  • We teach them to have high moral standards and ethical principles.  They are taught to honor and obey their parents from birth; not when we think they can understand us or when they are bigger.  From birth.

  • We teach them to protect their mom and sisters, that God comes first then family.  They are taught true character is unveiled by what is done  when no one is looking.  They must be strong and ready to stand alone in a fallen world when necessary.

  • When they are not with us, they are first representing God, then their father and his name.

  • We teach them that God's Word is supreme and it is the foundation of who we are and what we believe.  When in doubt, go to God's Word.  

  • We don't teach them to read the Bible and pray every day.  Shocker!  We teach them to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father that will sustain them, and this, of course, is established through regular prayer and Bible reading.

These are a few of the things we are teaching our sons.  What about you?  What are you teaching your sons?  What do you want your future daughter's husband to have been taught?
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Kasey said...

Excellent post, Nikki! I think 'virtuous' certainly should describe our young men! You are doing a great work...thanks for encouraging the rest of us to stick with it, as well!

Stephanie Z said...

We really hope to instill in Jake that he is a child, and then a man (none of this teenager business). He should be able to do many (not all) manly things at a much younger age than our culture would have them.

Great post, Niki!

Rashel said...

We teach them many of the same things you listed. We also teach them to be courteous to others, especially women. They are taught to open doors for women (mom and sister especially) and also that women eat first at meals. I know not everyone agrees with the last thing I mentioned but it is a reminder to them of respecting women and taking care of them.

Niki French said...

Thanks, Kasey!

Stephanie, are you familiar with S. M. Davis? He has some good teachings on what to expect from a 12 year old and so on. Great stuff! Our culture teaches that children turn into rebellious teenagers and there is nothing we as parents can do about it. Sorry. I disagree. :)

Rashel, teaching your boys to be courteous to women is a lost art in today's society. Kudos and I know your future daughter-n-laws will be grateful!