I have been wrestling with this post, for nearly a month. Whether or not I should publish this- whether or not I desire to 'throw my hat in the ring' for the sake of argument. I don't desire to debate how this can be interpreted- everyone can apply it how they see fit. BUT ME??
I am stirred - I've become emotionally attached, because I.LOVE.MY.BOYS. A feeling in my spirit rises up when I see this phrase used to excuse bad behavior & in doing so, to belittle. "Boys will be boys" has been manipulated - especially under the guise that boys have no control over their actions, or 'can't help themselves'. To see & hear it used against boys is poking that momma bear in me, ready to fight for their good name.
"boys will be boys" does not apply to boys who are undisciplined, out of control, who lack responsibility or accountability.
This momma of boys isn't going to accept it.
"boys will be boys" applies to the nature & tendency of boys to be impulsive, reckless, & to take bigger risks. It is applied in direct correlation to the nature & tendency of girls to be more thoughtful, less impulsive, & more calculated with their risks.
"boys will be boys" will NOT be an excuse in my house, but it may be a common sentiment as we chase our 3 boys & strive to teach them discipline, impulse control, & to "look before you leap" (which is another phrase whose real life application is becoming quite clear to this momma!).
Most of all, we pray for our boys. We pray for wisdom - for integrity - for strength. For the Lord to draw them to Himself & that they would know His voice.
I recently read the book by Dr. James Dobson, Bringing up Boys, and cannot say enough how challenged I was by it. It took me by surprise, mostly because I've heard Dr. Dobson on the radio & never liked or disliked him particularly. I had no expectations for loving the book, but considered it a good idea to read. I was very happily mistaken about his authorship- I loved his pointed, critical perspective on our culture & how it attacks our boys.
But what grabbed me was this phrase at the beginning of the book, "boys will be boys". He actually went against what I've been told very often, that girls are harder to raise. He said it was actually boys, in his opinion, citing the old sayings about boys & girls: "girls are sugar & spice & everything nice" vs. "boys are snips & snails & puppy dog tails". Let's be honest, (to me) not very endearing towards boys.
But his explanation of "boys will be boys" was one of the highlights of the book for me. "Boys will be boys" he says is in reference to a tendency of boys to act more irrationally & rashly than girls. **insert stories of all the crazy things boys do while growing up!!** It actually helped me to embrace this old fashioned colloquialism. I really do feel that I'm tapping into some old wisdom while recognizing that boys will be boys, & I hope it helps me to 'let go' a little more while raising my boys and allow them the opportunity to be just that, BOYS. ((Isn't discipline sometimes truly hinged on our own expectation of behavior??))
There is nothing wrong with seeing & celebrating the differences in boys & girls. God has made each uniquely in His image - both a reflection. I hope to raise up boys who do not feel badly about being boys - that can treat others with the respect they deserve, and (we hope) to receive it in return. But if not, GOD IS STILL GOOD. and he still LOVES us.
**Please be encouraged by this post my sons. You are to be celebrated, challenged, disciplined, and fiercely LOVED. We will not let others make excuses for you & we will not. We will protect you & your virtue & your God-given boyhood. We will do our best to raise you up to be all that you have been created to be, but God alone will truly make you a new creation, the fullness of what you were created to be. I am so privileged to have a front-row seat to watch you grow. Your momma loves you boys.**