Gordon B. Hinckley taught, “There are some men who, in a spirit of arrogance, think they are superior to women. They do not seem to realize that they would not exist but for the mother who gave them birth. When they assert their superiority, they demean her. It has been said, ‘Man cannot degrade woman without himself falling into degradation; he cannot elevate her without at the same time elevating himself.’ How very true that is” (quoting Alexander Walker, in Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book , 204).
Mothers and sons have a very special relationship. This mother’s heart is full of hope that my sons will build on the things I tried to teach them and be the men I want them to be. I hope that their respect for me translates into respect for all women, that they will marry and treat their wives well, and raise their children with love and set a good example for them to follow.
I hope that my sons, who were once little boys, but are now young adults, will feel as Abraham Lincoln did when he said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” I hope that they will think of the prayers I have prayed for them when they are facing the difficulties of life and find comfort and direction.
Society does not want men to be strong or to fill a role of protector. The messages men get tell them that these traits are toxic. They are told that having a desire to fill the role of provider means they do not value the contributions of women or that somehow wanting a wife who will be with their children instead of paying strangers to be with them is archaic and sexist. It is important for mothers to point out these lies to our children and encourage our sons to be willing to be strong and protect their families from the culture that would tear families apart, or keep them from ever being formed.
Society needs strong families. Families need strong fathers and mothers. Wherever generational links may have been weakened by less-than-ideal circumstances, we can always work toward the ideal for future generations by teaching our children the importance of working together to lift each other, and never forgetting the power of prayer.