Tag Archives: Father

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Ron’s #3: Raising a Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis

This is the second book I’ve read about how fathers can raise boys into godly men. After watching Courageous, I had a new resolve to be a father who loves, guides, and leads my son into manhood. This book helped me think about how this looks.

Too often, fathers are the buffoons of the family. At best, indifferent; at worst, abusive. Our culture seems to broadcast the message that men are not important, and that manliness is synonymous with arrogance, homophobia, and chauvinism.  We are afraid to say these five little, reveling words: Men and women are different. Children need both parents to develop fully to their potential. More specifically for this book review, boys need a father to have a healthy concept of manhood.

A real man is one who: • rejects passivity • accepts responsibility • leads courageously • expects the greater reward … God’s reward.

Sadly, many of our youth know little or nothing about any cause other than themselves. Parents have failed—and are failing—to impart a vision that is truly heroic, timeless, and supremely meaningful. The consequences of this omission cannot be understated.

Dad, if you are going to raise a Modern-Day Knight, there is no substitute for your personal character and integrity! By it your son becomes advantaged, empowered, and inspired.

I want to raise our son to be a strong, godly man, and I know that how I model that will influence him in his growth. This does not mean he can only play with trucks and play rugged sports. It does mean that he is a man who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, and leads courageously. I want my boy to grow into a man who embraces this for the glory of God.

I’m not sure what this looks like in all situations, but books like Raising a Modern-Day Knight help me to think more about the issues. The book is not perfect; in fact, I found much of the story annoying. I do not want to have coats of arms or swords or manhood ceremonies (they seems to have one for each minor event). However, I do like that we must train our boys to be men, and that does not merely occur with puberty or high school graduation. I see many young men in the halls of high school who display their fathers indifference in raising them. They are not young men; they are boys in men’s bodies.

May God grant me the conviction and confidence to raise my son differently than the world tells me to. May I be a better model for manhood than our culture is.

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Ron’s #43: Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson

Wanting to read a book that explicitly discusses the need for raising boys, I first thought of this volume. I know that raising a boy has specific challenges than raising girls because—gasp!—boys and girls are different. Contrary to what society has to say on the matter, there are differences in gender. Along with these differences come the different needs for these children. James Dobson addresses some of them well.

The part of the book I enjoyed the most is the need for boys to have a father. On many television shows and movies, the father is the dork or imbecile compared to the wise, all-knowing mother. This picture damages what the role of a man is in boys’ eyes. Dobson points out that a boy needs a father in order to grow up as a healthy man in society. With the many fatherless families in America, this results in a problem for all of society, but especially for that boy.

This book reminded me not only what my son needs, but also of what I need to give. He watches me and will become the man that I am. He will treat his wife the way I treat mine, he will talk the way I talk, and he will lead his family spiritually the way I lead mine, and he will trust Christ and pray the way I do. This is a tall order, one that I need grace for daily.

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Ron’s #13: A Passion for God by Lyle Dorsett

If you are like me, A. W. Tozer is an important writer in your Christian journey. The Pursuit of God and Knowledge of the Holy are still two of my favorite books, ones I reread regularly. Tozer is one of those writers that has a special place on my bookshelf because he painted a picture of what it means to hunger after Jesus Christ. Reading his books made me want to be a better Christian, closer to God and eager to learn and experience more of Him.

If this describes your view of Tozer, don’t read this book.

Lyle Dorsett’s A Passion for God highlights two aspects of A. W. Tozer: it shows that he is a godly man who lived a life listening to God and spending hours in prayer; it also displays a man who was a hard, cold man to his family. In short, A. W. Tozer was a real jerk!

This book is filled with juxtapositions. One on hand, Tozer is a backwoods, uneducated hillbilly, and on the other he is a self-educated Renaissance man in later life. He was humble and quiet, yet bold and passionate in his preaching. He loved people and served all of his churches well, yet ignored his wife and children. While the book is a general biography of Tozer (subtitled, “The Spiritual Journey of A. W. Tozer”), the constant frame story in this narrative is that he served God at great cost to his family. Tozer is the star of the story, but the book seems to be about his family, namely Ada, his wife. Throughout the book, I grew more sympathetic to Ada, who was dragged along, not consulted about major life moves, and left to care for seven children while Tozer spoke at conferences around the country. Their distance increased, and Tozer was unaware, or at least he didn’t seem to care.

I enjoyed reading about this deeply flawed man, and how God used him—and continues to use his work—in spite of his shortcomings. If God can use Tozer, think what He can do with me.

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Ron’s #8: Adopted for Life by Russell Moore

A few months ago, two of the blogs that I follow regularly both commented on this book, and I was interested. While Kristie and I have talked about adoption from time to time, I’d never really wanted to read a book on the subject. For some reason, I thought it would be a list of ways how we can navigate through of tower of bureaucratic paperwork and nefarious dealings overseas, while making the newly adopted kid feel at home in his new bed. Perhaps this idea of adoption books reflected my view of adoption itself. More recently, our good friends Mark and Jennifer are planning on a temporary move to Thailand next week to finalize the adoption of their daughter. This pulled the topic of adoption to the forefront of my mind, and I ordered the book.

Adopted for Life is primarily a work of theology, using the doctrine of divine adoption as a framework for the book. Moore uses the idea that we, as Christians, have all been adopted into a family, leaving behind the filthy orphanages of the world and becoming heirs of the living God.

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:4-7).

Since we are no longer orphans but sons, Christians should have an especially sensitive heart for the orphans in the world. We are told to care for the widows and orphans as an act of justice. This focus is the one in Moore’s book, not telling us the best agencies or the most accommodating countries for adoption. We should adopt mainly because we were adopted.

Our worldview leads us into being a part of families and churches where adoption should be the norm, not the exception. Who more should care for the fatherless than the ones who were once themselves fatherless and homeless?

In addition to the powerful content, Adopted for Life is creatively written. Moore has a readable style that is concrete and vivid, funny, and honest. I feel like I know this man after reading this, or, at least, I feel like I want to know him more. Because of this, I highly recommend this work wherever you are in thinking about adoption.

As soon as I closed the book, I was online looking into agencies to see what God has for us because I am grateful to no longer be in the “cosmic orphanage.”

Buddy

Buddy’s #3 Gospel Powered Parenting

Christian Parenting Book
But the gospel says, “You have no rights, only responsibilities.”  It says, “Life proceeds out of death.” It says, “Your children will live to the degree of your dying.”

William Farley has done the body of Christ and Christian parents in a general a great service with his work, Gospel Powered Parenting.  The first half of the book speaks very little to parenting and mostly of the Gospel.  It is a refreshing look at parenting through the eyes of the gospel rather than the latest in pop psychology.

He hits on a number of themes that those who look to the Bible as their main source of parenting guidance should be familiar with such as, the father is the head of the household and bears the primary responsibility before God for the spiritual development of his children.  On corporal punishment Farley says, “The world says, ‘Corporal punishment is child abuse.’ But the Bible answers, ‘Failure to discipline is child abuse.’”

The one area I disagreed with the author on is that where and how we educate our children has little bearing on their spiritual development.  I think Proverbs is very clear on the effects of peers on every area of our life.  Every study regarding youth and adolescent influence I have ever seen would disagree with that.  Other than some anecdotal evidence from a few families not much is offered in the way of proof that education matters little if their is proper discipling going on at home.

While I disagreed with Farly in this one area the book as a whole was great and perhaps the best book on parenting I have ever read.

***** stars out of 5.

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