It didn’t take long into married life for frustration to set in. We loved each other deeply, but I just didn’t get him. Why did he do this? Why didn’t he understand that? If we could just talk things out, I was sure he would come around to my way of thinking. If he would just talk more, I might possibly understand his way of thinking. If, If, If… went my mind as I continued to add fuel to my mounting frustration.
One day, some of this spilled out as I was talking to a friend of mine. I did it half jokingly because I was coming to realize that we were just very, very different from each other. But a part of me wondered why he couldn’t be just a bit more like me.
She stopped me, explaining she had an idea that might help. We were at an event hosted by her parents and took me upstairs to her parent’s bookshelf. Scanning titles, she paused and then pulled out a book. She was newly married herself, but HAD grown up with two brothers which meant she understood men a little more than I did coming from an only sisters home. Or maybe she just had an inspired moment where she knew just what direction to point me.
“Here, you need to read this. It will help.”
She handed me Dr. Dobson’s Bringing Up Boys.
I gave her a withering look.
“I didn’t marry a boy, Hayley. I married a man.”
“Read it, Heather. I think this really might help.”
Her earnestness and the fact that she so rarely doled out advice this adamantly made me curious.
I went home and proceeded to read this book over the next week. It seemed that every few chapters, I would walk over to Rich and show him a section and ask, “Really?” or “This too?” Every time, he would glance and give a simple yep, surprised at my skepticism.
My eyes were opened that week to the vast differences between men and women, boys and girls. Even though I don’t consider myself a stereotypical female, the differences were still there. As I learned to recognize and appreciate these differences the way I viewed my husband changed and our marriage improved. We’ve learned to appreciate our individual strengths and how they balance out some of our individual weaknesses.
This started us on a journey towards understanding each other – both our differences as men and women and how our unique personalities differed. We pursued the path of understanding and are stronger because of it.
It was this heart of wanting to understand my boys and help mothers understand the unique differences in their sons and embrace their unique bent that led me to write Knights in Training. Understanding differences and learning to embrace them has the power to help all of our interpersonal relationships, including our marriages and our parenting. Our boys aren’t defective little girls. While the culture at large puts a lot of pressure on having boys be tamer, calmer, and still, we can embrace everything that makes them unique and work with them instead of against them and unleash the hero inside each one of them that longs to step in and make a difference.
I’m not sure if my book could change your marriage, but I know it will change the way you understand and parent your boys. Boys are different and when we understand what makes them tick we are able to reach their heart and inspire them to become the men they long to be. They are adventure loving, danger-flirting, balls of energy for a reason and deep down they long to live a life of purpose. We just need to reach them where they are at.
Embrace them for who they are. Inspire them to become men they are meant to become – brave and true, strong and determined! The training starts early and they are up for the challenge! Are you?
Knights in Training is available in print, ebook, and audiobook formats!