The young man checking out my groceries at the store was chatting with his friend who was bagging my groceries. He stated that he had just received his degree in communications and was accepting his first real job. "It doesn’t pay much," he commented to his friend, "but my girlfriend works too and between the two of us we should be able to make ends meet after we get married next spring."
I recalled that randomly overheard conversation and meditated on it as I read Steven Maxwell’s new book, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family. Who would care for the children of this marriage when they arrived? If both incomes were
needed for survival, who or what would ensure the emotional survival of this soon-to-be new little family as husband and wife each toiled to maintain their standard of living?
These are questions we must meditate on as we raise sons. It is hard to me to think about this, as my only son is only seven, but some day, Lord willing, he will be a Dad. Because he has had the model of a working father, stay-at-home mom, my prayer is that he will value that and seek to do the same. But talking about it, even now, will help him to be the man God calls him to be.
Mr. Maxwell’s book helps us to begin that discussion, from age 3 to adulthood. He encourages us to explore a child’s vocation, education and skill level, noting that none of these individually are determinate of success. A person’s real earning potential is determined by his view of work (which we can train in childhood), his character (which we can train in childhood), his eagerness to learn (which we can influence in childhood), God’s blessing and God’s discipline (which we can pray fervently about in childhood). An equal amount of time is spent discussing the task of teaching our child to distinguish between needs and wants. The remainder of the book gives practical tips and encouragement for training at each age level.
My prayer is that my grandchildren will have the blessing of a two-parent family with a stay-at-home mom. If that is your prayer for your son, read this book NOW.