Raising Real Men
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Raising Real Men
Author: Hal and Melanie Young
Major Themes: Family Life, Parenting
Synopsis: The parents of six boys share the wisdom God has given them.
I rarely buy a print book after reading a free version of it, but Raising Real Men is an exception to that rule. I found this book so helpful that I have just ordered my own copy of it. I want to have this book on my shelf for my own encouragement as well as to loan to others.
One of the first things that stood out to me was a sentence in the introduction: “What this book offers is a biblical perspective—note “a”, not “the”—on understanding how boys think, and why that is, and what can and should be done about it.” I appreciated the authors’ humility, speaking of “a” perspective. That being said, they have a pretty good perspective, I would say. They had six sons before having any daughters, so they know what boys are like. I learned a lot from this book, but it’s one to reread frequently—that’s why I need to have it on my shelf!
The first chapter talks about heroes—why boys need them, and what kind of heroes they need. Next comes a chapter about how boys love to have adventures and take risks, and why they need to be able to do this. It also talks about how to channel that characteristic into working for God! Chapter 3 discusses how boys need to learn to take responsibility for themselves, and how boys used to become men much younger than they do now. This was really encouraging to me!
Chapter 4 was the only one I disagreed with. In this chapter, the authors encourage young men to join the armed forces, or become policemen. We don’t see this in the Bible; Jesus talks about His followers being of a different kingdom which does not use violence against anyone.
Chapters 5 and 6 talk about how boys need to become leaders, and how to use their natural competitiveness for good. Then, the authors move on to practical advice. They give many details about how they taught their boys the skills they would need in real life. This part was quite helpful to me. One entire chapter is devoted to teaching financial skills. Then, there is a chapter about teaching boys—guess what, they are different from girls!—and then a chapter about the importance of manners. After this, we move on to love and finding a wife, and the last chapter covers college.
This is a book that should be read by any parent who is given a boy and wants to raise him to be a man of God and a man who will be useful and respected in society. These authors have had a lot of experience, and they have done an excellent job of passing along that experience to us.