by Steve Hall
We can either be all worked up about the kind of world our children are growing up in, or we can work on the kind of children we are growing up in this world.
The first choice will do the world no good, and the latter choice will do the world a world of good. And one thing this world desperately needs is a very large crop of real men. Men who, first and foremost, know Who their King is, with a clear view of their purpose in this world. Men of character. Men of courage. Men who can communicate. Men who do not hesitate to draw their swords against evil. Men who consistently praise the Lord. Men who embrace opportunities to develop their physical strength in physical labor. Men who master a marketable wage-earning trade. Men who learn to face and defeat giants. Men who know how to practice chivalry. Men who patiently wait to discover the pleasures of women through one woman– the wife of his youth. Men who absorb the wisdom of the Word of God.
Where can we find and obtain this sort of man? Well, you can’t place an order for him on Amazon. These men are brought up– they are home grown. And, when all is as it should be, they are brought up in the nurture of the Lord by their own father.
There are some good and useful tools that can assist a father in bringing up this sort of young man. I certainly appreciate these sorts of tools when I come across them, for I know I need all the help I can get. I wanted to share one of these tools with you that has been a blessing to me and my sons. And this is on Amazon.
Some years ago I was attending a conference on the subject of ministering to children and teens. One of the books I picked up at this meeting was a small paperback entitled “The Twenty-One Tenets of Biblical Masculinity” by Pastor Jerry Ross. The subtitle of the book is “Transitioning Young Men from Boyhood to Manhood.” This is a concise little book that lends itself very nicely to be read by a father (or another man) to a son. To get an idea of the content of the book, you can go back and read the list of the kind of men the world needs, from the first paragraph of this post. That list comes from the 21 tenets found in the book. Other topics in the book deal with excellent speech, selfless love, wholesome purity, overcoming satanic attacks, and more.
I have been able to read this book to my boys, usually when they are twelve or thirteen years of age, when they are beginning that stage of physical and, at times, emotional transition. My wife and I have observed that it seems to empower a boy this age to be recognized as being on the verge of manhood. This acknowledgment by Dad is of utmost importance. I am using it with my third son at the time of this writing. Since I am presently working from home, I am able to incorporate it into his schoolwork each day just before lunch. The chapters are mostly short, and I break the few long ones up into multiple days, so the entire daily “session” usually lasts no more than 10 or 15 minutes or so. We read / talk through the subject matter, then have a quick prayer, and we are finished. I am grateful for what my son is learning in these short times, and I’m always amazed at how honored he appears to be that Dad would take this daily time with him. (Most days…)
Of course, I have rarely ever met a book that I completely agree with all the way through, and this is no exception. But all good teachers must learn the art of, as I heard a gentleman say once, “taking the corn and throwing out the cob.” For me, there is not much “cob” here in this tool at all, maybe an application here or there that seems a bit of a stretch. If I deem a certain topic to be a bit mature for my twelve year old, I will bypass it for the time. (With my eldest son I assigned the same book to him at around 16 years of age to read through again on his own as part of his schooling.) But overall, it is full of good spiritual nutrients, taken directly from the Scripture, to help in building strong men. I also personally benefit from the reminders of these tenets for men found in the Scripture each time I go through it with one of my boys. I am grateful for it and to Pastor Ross, and recommend it to fathers everywhere who desire to bring up young dragon-slayers for Christ. And whether you choose to use this particular tool or not, the main point is to personally get into the Word of God with your young man, instructing and sharing wisdom one-on-one with him at this crucial time in his life.
The book is available on Amazon, as mentioned above, as well as here.
If they are taught, boys will respond to a clear statement of the mission before the church. Boys are built for battle and they must be trained up to it. – Doug Wilson
Do you have any recommendations of your own in helping to transition young men from boyhood to manhood for Christ in this world? Share it in the comments below!