I have 3 daughters and 1 son. It’s hard to raise girls in today’s twisted culture, but it’s equally challenging to raise boys. Consequently, Billy and I are on a quest to find out what it takes to raise a strong and godly man of character. Here are a few resources that I’ve found helpful (not all Christian, but all insightful).
The Bible book of Proverbs. Many chapters of Proverbs are written to young people, specifically giving counsel to young men. If every Christian boy knows Proverbs backward and forward by the time he’s a teenager, I believe that he’ll have an amazing foundation in godly character. If you’re looking for a good Bible to read with your son, The Life Application Study Bible in the New Living Translation is an excellent choice.
Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson. It’s been awhile since I read this and it’s time for a refresher. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent manual for raising sons. Dr. Dobson candidly points out the strikes our boys have against them, while at the same time giving parents tools to raise godly sons. I can’t find my copy at the moment, so that’s all I’ll say for now.
Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. This is a secular book, and I can’t advocate its every word 100%, but Dr. Sax has great common sense. I found it a fascinating read. Dr. Sax contends that five major things are contributing to the epidemic of unmotivated boys in our culture. They are: video games, which disengage boys from the real world; modern teaching methods, which unintentionally turn a lot of boys against learning and school; the overuse of ADHD medications; endocrine disruptors in our environment which may lower boys’ testosterone levels; and the devaluation of masculinity in our society, which has caused many boys to not have a solid understanding of manhood. Although apparently not a Christian, Dr. Sax is a gender traditionalist in many ways, and this strongly flavors his book. I appreciated that although his theories and findings go against the societal flow, he manages to present his case fairly and in a well-researched manner, without coming across as an alarmist Chicken Little. Use discernment as you read, but I think you’ll find this book very insightful.
The Dangerous Book for Boys. I’m not a boy, but I love this book! (A mini aside: The Daring Book for Girls, a companion book but by different authors, was a great disappointment.) It’s like an old-fashioned manual for all kinds of adventures, like building a tree house, making a bow and arrow, great paper airplanes, knot tying, how to play soccer, and even how to treat girls. I’ll let this video speak for itself: