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.