Pastor’s Wife by Normal Elliott: Things We Want Our Boys To Know
I recently came across this picture in my file and a document on my computer that made me smile. The title was, “Things We Want Our Boys to Know.” It was a list that my man and I came up with years ago. Our list was just a reminder that we didn’t want our boys to grow up and not know how to do certain things. We sat down at the table one evening, about the time our boys were in middle school, and sketched out a plan.
Although some of the things on the list they were already learning, we had met far to many young men who didn’t know how to do certain things. We both had grown up with dad’s who taught us so much and we wanted to pass that along to our boys. At times we forgot about “the list” but along the way, it reappeared reminding us of our quest.
I wanted to share this with you, exactly as we wrote it……..
Things We Want Our Boys To Know
1. The Lord
2. Value of Family
3. Choosing a Wife
4. Financial Responsibility: Earning a living through something they love, balancing a checkbook, marketing their God giving abilities and knowing their value is high and worth being paid well for their field.
5. Hard Work and Education: By combining the two through work experience and knowledge of their field they can excel. Being teachable, willing to learn and share with others.
6. Maintenance: Basic vehicle and home repairs, changing oil, tires, checking tire pressure, air filter, wiper blades, and fuses. Home Repairs: Basic electrical, plumbing, and building.
7. Horse Stuff: Ground Work, round pen, judging confirmation, feed & feeding, hoof care, shoeing, disease, what to watch for. Tack repair, leather work, and what to do in a bind.
8. On the ranch: Wind milling, water work, range management.
9. Hunting: Gun cleaning and safety, calls, leading hunts.
10. Knots: Different knots for all occasions. Loads, tying up horse, and misc.
And……..Driving, a standard!……
So, here we sit more than fifteen years later, our oldest Clay, 28, and youngest, Jake, 26. Both men, both good men and once again we look at the list. We slowly read over each one and ask ourselves, how did we do? We laugh at some of the things, such as home repair…….we had a little contracting business, the boys spent their summer working for us….they’d rather forget it! The next summer we made money cutting and baling hay…..the boys each drove a tractor, all times of the day and even at night. Our youngest son laughs at the vehicle repairs and remarks…”The kind of trucks we drive, we have to know that!”
Leather work? Two saddles, headstalls, bridles, and I have lost count of the leggins they have made.
Horse stuff? Both have shown horses, have trained and been many miles day working.
Since my original post five years ago…we now have a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. Our youngest did an excellent job choosing a wife. The older one has a steady girlfriend and the future looks bright.
Some things on the list happened by accident, unintentional, while others we were quite deliberate about
……..like balancing a checkbook…..this wasn’t one of their favorite lessons, but we struggled through.
……..asked a saddle maker to teach them to make their own saddle. It’s amazing what people will help you with if you ask. It did take a little bit of cash as well, we saved some money and off they went to make their own saddle.
………a spur maker, in California, had them in his home for a week and taught them to make spurs……….
“We thank God for the opportunities that He made possible for our family….I can’t explain it any other way!!”
We also saw strengths and weaknesses in certain things. One of the boys is better at vehicle repair and the other a stickler for details.
What is it that you want to teach your children? It could be a basic list or a more detailed list. Look around and decide what it is that you want them to know. Even if you forget at times about your list, if you commit it to God and ask Him for help, you will be surprised each time the list reappears.
Psalm 37:5 NIV
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.”
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News