I just started reading Gary and Carrie Oliver’s book, Raising Sons and Loving It. (I was sad to learn during an Internet search that Carrie passed away a few years ago.) I’ve only read the Introduction and first chapter so far, but it’s shaping up to be a very helpful book.
As the father of three boys, the topic of raising sons to become godly men is very important to me. It’s more than that… it’s a passion of mine. If only I was better at it. If only I was more faithfully practicing was I’m learning in the all the books I’m reading on the subject. If only I was more consistent. Well, like the rest of life, fathering sons is also a journey, one that I pray that by God’s grace I will become better at traveling.
This book, like many others on similar topics, begins by communicating just how rough it is to be a boy (or man) these days. When you realize the book was written eleven years ago, you appreciate that it has not gotten any better for boys or men. Here are three articles written over the last few years by Al Mohler to help make that case.
- The End of Men? A Hard Look at the Future by Al Mohler
- Where Are the Young Men? by Al Mohler
- Man Up or Man Down? by Al Mohler
Other authors, such as Pat Morley, Steve Farrar, and Robert Lewis, who have written extensively on the subject of ministering to men, have all shared the same: Boys are growing up without any real understanding of what it means to be a man. There are even fewer who have an understanding of what biblical manhood is. When the default definition of manhood comes from movies and television, you know our culture is in trouble.
In addition to raising our three sons (and one awesome daughter) with my wife, I’m also privileged to lead a small group of 5th and 6th grade boys. I jumped at the chance because I believe that the church, (as a supplement to the home) is where boys have the greatest chance to learn what it means to become a godly man. I thank God for homes, churches, ministries to boys, scouting programs, etc., that are taking seriously the call to help boys navigate their way to manhood from a biblical perspective. Our culture will be lost without such boys who grow to become such men.
I’ll continue to share what I’m learning from this book. As I mentioned, it looks like it will be a good one.
Grace and Truth,