Let’s Raise Our Boys to Become Men

Boys are different than girls.  Wow, what an insight!  Not really.  This is clear to anyone with a little common sense.  Boys seek adventure, battle, and a beauty to rescue.  They prefer video games like “Halo” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops” (and so do I, for that matter!)  They like danger and risk.  God created them that way.  It is a challenge for parents and teachers alike to teach boys to be disciplined, to sit still and to follow directions, without breaking them of their masculinity.  Our world desperately needs boys to grow into strong, powerful, and Godly men.  Yet, too often boys are told that in order to be “good” they must act like girls.

In his book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge notes that there is a spiritual battle that began long ago in the heavenly realms, and it continues today.  He states, “God has an enemy and so do we.  Man is not born into a sitcom or a soap opera; he is born into a world at war.  This is not Home Improvement; it’s Saving Private Ryan.  There will be many, many battles to fight on many different battlefields.”  When the natural aggression of boys is perverted, men can bully and intimidate, become abusive husbands or genocidal dictators who rule over people with an iron fist.  Or, when boys have their masculine nature suffocated, they can become spineless wimps, afraid to lead, and who feel like they have to make excuses for being male.

The Old Testament hero David exemplified a fine balance between the strength and sensitivity all boys should seek.  He killed a lion with his bare hands when it attacked his sheep (1 Sam. 17:35).  As a teenager, he stood up to Goliath as King Saul cowered in fear in his tent (1 Sam. 17:1-51).  He led armies into battle once he became king (2 Sam. 5:17-25).  He was strong and powerful and protected his family and his nation.  Yet, he was sensitive to the Spirit of God, which is expressed in the beauty of his songs and prayers to God recorded in the Psalms.  For example, David wrote, “Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin” (Ps. 17:3).  The balance David found between his authority over a nation and humility before God Almighty are traits each man ought to strive for and parents should instill in their own boys.

Wise parents do not train their boys to become girls, but to become men.  No one said it would be easy!




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