Review: Raising Real Men

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Sometimes it’s as if my lone boy is a creature from another planet.  Although I always longed for a boy, I’d never had much experience with them.  Despite having some “steps,” “halves,” and plenty of boy cousins, I grew up in a household with only a sister and Josh is in the middle of two sisters.

That’s why I was so excited to have the opportunity to review Raising Real Men, by Hal and Melanie Young, parents of six boys (and two girls).  Raising Real Men offers tips, insight, and Biblical guidance for raising strong, godly men in an age where gender roles are blurred and men and boys often emasculated.


Raising Real Men is like a handbook to raising boys from a Biblical worldview.  While I would say that it is a book that may require some “taking what you need and leaving the rest” – partly because it would be overwhelming to try to implement everything and partly because I didn’t agree with every single point (who does?) – it was also a book that, more often than not, left me thinking that I wish I’d been able to read it when Josh was much younger.  It would have inspired some changes in attitude and parenting style on my part during a crucial period in his boyhood.

Raising Real Men focuses heavily on the God-given natural bents of boys – their spirit of adventure, their need to provide, and their desire to protect.  Boys are hard-wired by God in these ways and Raising Real Men encourages parents to find constructive, meaningful ways for boys to meet these needs in their lives.

Raising Real Men takes a look at:

  • The virtues of boys
  • A boy’s need for a hero, a cause, and adventure
  • Leadership and competition
  • Allowing and expecting boys to do “real things”
  • Training up boys for their role in their family and their society
  • Educating boys academically

The overall theme of the book is encouraging parents to allow our boys to grow into the men that God created them to be.  It’s about recognizing that God created boys differently than girls for a reason and that the differences are more than just physical, but also in the way boys learn, experience the world, and interpret those experiences.  These God-ordained differences are not to be tamed or trained out of our boys, but channeled, developed, and appreciated.

When you visit the Raising Real Men page on Hal and Melanie’s website, you can take a look at the table of contents and read a sample chapter from the book.  There is also a study guide available for all books purchased directly from their site, which could make Raising Real Men a wonderful Bible study option for parents of boys.

The 256-page book is available, along with the free study guide and a two-CD set of the first Sugar Creek Gang audio book for only $15 when you order from the Raising Real Men site.  There are other bonuses available as well, such as a book+audio book set for those like me who would rather read the book, but have a husband who would rather listen to it on his daily commute to work.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Oh this book sounds wonderful! I would love to read the chapters on Taking Up Arms and Finding a Cause to start with. I am a girl who only had a sister, boys are a new creature for me and Saturday baby # 6 is coming – my fourth son!

  2. I'm excited about the Chapter "Who's in charge here?" I have six boys and dsicpline is an issue way more than I would like it to be.

  3. I have a lone boy too! The youngest of four–we often joke that the poor kid "doesn't stand a chance". Probably not good humor at all, but we often wonder if his sisters will let him live to adulthood!
    Looking at the book, I think the chapter on school looks very interesting. Teaching him is so different from how I handled things with my girls.
    Thanks for the review and the opportunity to possibly, maybe, receive this (apparently great)book FREE.

  4. I'm really looking forward to reading this book, especially the "Standing Alone" chapter… I need that now for our boys!

    Thanks for the giveaway… so glad I found your site!


  5. I am interested in the "Staning Alone" chapter (intrigued by the Responsibility, then Freedom) section especially.

  6. I would be interested in the first chapter – specifically resisting feminization, as well as the chapter about taking up arms. (I'm never sure where to draw the line with play violence)

  7. Someone to Look Up To definitely captures my interest. But there are many chapters that sound appealing. As a mother to two young sons, this one sounds right up my alley! Furthermore, I appreciate the fact that the authors find great value in boys in general. It's very hard to find the "boys are bad" or "boys will be boys" mindset that is so prevalent in culture – assuming that young boys are more trouble than they are worth! Anything that builds the worth, value and pure boy awesomeness is going to have my vote of approval and definite interest!

    Thanks for highlighting this book. If I don't win it, I'll definitely be looking for a copy!

    readingtoknow (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. i'd love to dig into this book. my son is only 2yo but i want to be fully "armed" with wisdom for raising him to be a godly man. the chapters that appealed to me right away just based on the topics were "Taking Up Arms," "First Things" and "Your Own School For Boys."
    thanks Kris!

  9. Wow! This book looks fabulous! I'm excited abut the whole thing! I'm raising two boys and am starting/leading a homeschool co-op with 10 boys . . . this would be a great read for me! Thank you!

  10. This sounds like a great read. I would love to read the "Is There Not A Cause" chapters. I grew up in a single parent family with a sister. So all girls. I now have a 5 year old son and two girls. So I would love to read this.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    [email protected]

  11. I've been looking at this for along time. Would love to win it. The chapter Adventure in the Cause for Christ intrigues me most.

  12. I would love to win this book!!! I have three little boys…and I have been looking for something like this!

    I can't decide…because ALL the chapters sound interesting…but the most interesting are the chapters "Your Own School For Boys" and "Racing to Win"….

  13. The chapter I'd flip to first is Who's in Charge Here? Because that is so what we are dealing with right now!

    sszm1525 at hotmail dot com

  14. Your own school for boys and the Chivalry is not dead both look really interesting. The WHOLE book looks interesting!

  15. I'm most excited about the chapter "Your Own School for Boys"…looks like a wonderful book!
    mel_whitson at yahoo dot com

  16. I am intrigued by the "Doing Real Things" chapter. I also can't wait to read the chapter on school and boys. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  17. As the mom of 3 boys, I think I need this book. My oldest is 14 so I think the "Love & War" chapter might be handy to check out. Although, I have to say the entire book looked fantastic!

  18. The chapter Racing to Win was a helpful read. This book would be a wonderful addition to our home. I know you said one, but 2 more chapters really stand out for me, Your Own School for Boys and Who's in Charge Here? Thank you for sharing!

  19. There's definitely more than one chapter that caught my attention, but I'll pick Who's In Charge Here and the one on competition (can't remember the name of it now). This looks like a great book!

  20. I want to read 'em all. Right now, the chapter on education looks fabulous though, particularly am interested in the learning delays aspect from a BOY point of view. I really need this, methinks.

  21. I have to choose just one chapter?? I like the look of ' Someone to look up to' as I have issues with the 'stars' of today. I am also very interested in the chapter about education, not least because we home educate.

  22. Who's In Charge. . .Love and War. . .How does one decide?! 🙂 This looks really good. Thanks!
    alanshonya at marktwain dot net

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