I have four of them. So I know really well how to stereotype boys – and the truth about stereotypes is…sometimes they’re true.
But not always.
Dictionaries define a stereotype as a “widely held but fixed or oversimplified idea” or “a formulaic conception.”
Well, my boys are anything but fixed, simple, and formulaic. So there’s HOPE; they’re not “fixed” where they are. They’re people in process, as all of us are.
As much as I love my boys, I know there are some things they aren’t. And that brings hope.
Six things your boys (& mine) aren’t:
1. Done. They’re not done. God’s still working on them, as He is on me.
2. Perfect. Not my perfect, not my neighbor’s perfect. They just do fall short. (Like me.)
3. Untameable. Oh, I know it seems like it some times, but you can’t give up! I figure they need to be acquainted with the boundaries of polite society, remembering that they’re not done or perfect. And they do need the law just like I do. “Through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Romans 3:20) and we know we have need of One greater!
4. Little men. Well, sometimes they act like it, but inside is the heart of a child. I can’t treat them like I would an adult.
5. Unreachable. Scripture assures me that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
6. Forgotten. No matter how far they’ve gone, One greater than me intercedes for them. “And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:27).
In looking at definitions of the word stereotype, I found a secondary meaning: a relief printing made from an original plate. And I thought, “That’s what I pray for—that my boys will bear the image of the Original.”
I know sometimes it’s marred and scuffed and covered with a few inches of dirt…but they bear the image of the Creator. He loves them, and He’ll not forget them.
What are some things your boys aren’t.