Trusting God When No One Steps Into Help Your Child

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(iStockPhoto | jani bryson)

I'm sitting outside on my back porch with my laptop, my Bible, and 3000 MOSQUITOES!!!!

It is so beautiful out here—cool breeze, sunny, and quiet! I love it.

But I HATE these mosquitoes! They have even bitten my hands! It is very difficult to scratch my fingers and type.

My 14-year-old son (see boogie boarding pic) is trying to set Axe cologne on fire. I believe his plan is to make some kind of flame thrower. ... I know. I know. ... I should probably stop him, but he is careful and so far it isn't working. The only result is that Axe cologne is all that I can smell ... and it is masking all the bug spray I just put on.

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He is so funny. ... I love boys. He does the craziest, funniest things. Yesterday he sent me a video of himself doing a flip off a slide at the playground. It was actually a great flip. He is always asking if he can do a flip off of the weirdest things. 99% of the time I must say an emphatic, "NO!" simply because I value his life ... a lot!

I'm trying to let him be a boy in a house full of girls. His only male companion is our old lab, Titus, whose only activity is non-activity.

Peter lives for the weekends when his older brother comes home from college. They lock themselves in their man cave and play games, listen to music, and whatever else boys do ... I shudder to think. LOL!

Being a single mom to a boy is so, so hard. I get so much conflicting advice. Things that a father could do or should do, according to some I shouldn't do. Things that a mother is inclined to do, I should avoid doing. Things that I see as reasonable responses are apparently too feminine and he needs more masculine responses modeled.

Unfortunately, I'm most definitely a female, feminine woman. I'm in no way naturally inclined to act like a man. In fact, I'm baffled by so much of it.

But I'm trying.

I'm trying to let him be a young man with an adventurous, slightly dangerous side. I'm trying to let him face his challenges without too much input from nurturing mama. I'm trying to let him grow up into a godly man.

Oh I am trying.

It's so difficult to act like a man ... to model man behavior.

Unfortunately, as much as I have prayed for someone to step into his life and be the father-figure he needs, God has not provided that. Men have taken him to movies, hunting and fishing, and sporting events—and those are GREAT things for which I'm very thankful, but they are not exactly what I'm talking about.

I've been praying for someone who will walk beside him ... someone who will answer the questions, talk through the difficulties, counsel, encourage, and disciple. Someone willing to challenge him to go against the natural tendencies and strive for holiness.

All the male bonding in the world cannot replace the bonding of a father and son ... especially the bonding of a godly father raising a young man in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I have been praying for that. And that ... that is a lot to ask of a man. A lot to ask of man who is not a father—biological, adoptive, foster, or step.

Honestly, how can a man do that without daily interaction? How can a man do that without being committed to it as a God-given role and calling?

I can't imagine being someone else's mother-figure ... well, I guess I can. I have about 80 11-year olds I'm kinda a mother figure to but I am with them almost every day and I do know a fair amount about their world.

AND, I'm a girl. I'm a nature nurturer. ... I'm a natural relationship person. Bring on the conversation! Bring on the Bible study! Bring on the heart to heart! Bring it.

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