My hot date has two very influential male mentor’s in his life; his Godfather-Uncle Doug and Jim Bailey. Both men are men of God and adore their families. Both men have three children-2 girls and one boy. Both men play golf and both men have strong marriages. Wow, I never realized that until just now! What an amazing God we serve!
Jim Bailey’s story: I saw Jim’s wife and their then teenage son going into church one Sunday. Mitchell was 18 months old. I watched their son open the door for his mother and then it appeared to me that she motioned over to the teenagers sitting to the right. But her son chose to sit with his family. Periodically he did sit with others his age but most of the time he could be found with his parents. Jim’s wife was also a leader in Women’s bible study so I got to hear about her children often. The question I was left with as I bounced my 18 month old on my hip is, “how do I get from where I am right now to a young man, like their son?” I prayed hard on this for years and when Mitchell was 4 years old, God answered my prayers. I was dropping my hot date off in his Sunday school class and teaching that day were the Bailey’s and of course their son was a helper. I almost cried right there on the spot. The Bailey family served as my hot date’s Sunday school teachers through kindergarten, first and second grade. While God was answering my prayers He was also asking me to remain obedient and trust Him. He led me away from the comfort of my former community group to a new group closer to my home. I was unsure how a single, black mother would be received by people who did not know me or my story. The door opened the first night and there were the Bailey’s! They were the community group leaders and all their children were there too. I did shed a tear this time and silently thanked God again. As time went on and my hot date got older I prayed for a strong male mentor in Houston for him. Mitchell saw his Uncle Doug on occasion but he did not live in the same city. Our community group had two very strong fathers of boys and both seemed to enjoy Mitchell’s company and his athleticism. But it was Jim who came to me when Mitchell was 5 1/2 and told me what a fine boy he was. Then he asked me if he could be Mitchell’s mentor? There was no containing the tears this time. We both cried. I just hugged Jim really tightly and said “yes”. God definitely knew what He was doing. Jim and Mitchell get along well, Mitchell adores his wife and likes spending time with all three of the Bailey children but most especially their son. The Bailey’s have taken him to games out-of-town and loved on him in church, in Sunday school and in their home. My hot date has learned to swim in their pool and not fear large dogs.
But why do I tell you this and why is a male mentor so important to my hot date and to your son?
1. No woman is able to completely raise a MAN! No offense to the great moms out there doing it alone but our boys need a male figure in their lives. As a female I needed my mother and grandmother as an example to learn how to be a woman. My son is no different. While I can teach many things, I have no idea how to teach a boy to be a man because I am NOT ONE. It’s just that simple!
2. Only a man can answer some of the intimate questions your son will eventually have. This is not to say that you cannot start conversations regarding sex and females with your sons. But at some point he will want to converse with a man. It is best if your son already has a relationship with an older, responsible man whom you have approved. What you do not want is his peers to fill in the blanks with incorrect information. It is essential for your son to have a mentor especially if you are like me, raising a son in a home without a solid marriage as a guide or a solid male figure as an example. Doug and Jim both provide this for my son and I talk about both them often to my hot date.
3. You son needs to see a man with character and how he operates. Whether you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ or not, a boy needs to see a man with great character. All humans will be tested and tempted to do what they want when no one is looking. The man of character will be able to teach and instill in your son the “why’ behind the actions and that doing the right thing, even if it hurts, is not weak. Many of these topics can be the basis of future conversations. Mothers need to be prepared to accept that the male mentor in your son’s life will be who your son will choose to turn to in times of need, if he is not coming to you. And lets face it ladies…he may not come to you. My son sees me pray often but when he sees his Uncle Doug or Jim Bailey praying the picture is much more powerful.
4. Your son needs the company of a man to learn to be a gentleman. While I teach my son to say please and thank you, to open doors for ladies, to let ladies go first and to be gentle with women….it is with men that he will learn WHY and the importance of what I am teaching. My son loves his golf time with Uncle Doug and his cousin Chase. I have no idea what those times are like but I do know that they are able to bond on a deeper level away from the women. I appreciate the time Doug takes with him and the bond that has been growing all these years.
5. Be picky about the man you choose. Uncle Doug is family and I know he comes from good stock. He has also raised three incredible children. I personally prayed for a mentor like Jim Bailey and God sent me JIM! Jim is an elder in our church, a man of God, a great provider, and a great father-this comes from his children because I have asked them. I’ve watched Jim with the children in our church and they all love him dearly. I cannot guarantee everyone will be as blessed as I have been in the mentor department. Please be cautious for your son’s sake and start taking steps to have this kind of man in his life.
Please feel free to leave a comment or ask questions. Because I feel so strongly about mentoring for young boys, I am happy to share more of our story.
Let me know how having a mentor has changed your son’s life?
What value has your mentor added to your son’s life?