Raising Real Men {A Timberdoodle Review}

Author: Hal and Melanie Young
Pages: 253
Timberdoodle price: $12.95

I have 5 boys ranging in age from 9 months to 15 years old. So, the title of the book piqued my interest. But, when I read the sample chapter, Racing to Win, I knew I wanted to read this book! My boys are competitive by nature and love sports and I think Hal and Melanie Young are right on in their analysis of boys:

  "They love to compete;"

". . . they love to win;"

"and sometimes. . ."

"they would rather lose. . ."

"than not try."Chapter 6, Racing to Win

The book goes on to explain how competition and the desire to compete can be a good thing in our sons' lives. 

There are also lessons to be learned in competition. . . such as "Paul's admonition to play by the rules:"

"If anyone competes as an athlete. . ."

"he does not win the prize. . ."

"unless he competes according to the rules." 2 Timothy 2:5
(That's our Sports Programmer and referee; he is also my handsome husband and father to our FIVE boys!)

Other lessons to be learned?  Good sportsmanship, teamwork, Christian testimony, fortitude, endurance. . .

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. . ." Hebrews 12:1
"The Bible uses athletic competition as an analogy for the Christian life, with rules to obey, a struggle to overcome, and even a desire to come out on top of the field. It's not a bad thing at all, if kept in the proper perspective." p. 112
Not to mention that sports are a great motivational tool! 

Those are just the highlights of chapter 6, Racing to Win. There are more equally inspiring chapters in this book!

The book is divided into two parts ~ Part One: Virtues in the Rough (manly virtues), chapters 1-7 and Part Two: Civilization for the Tough, chapters 8-14

Here is a peak at the chapters:
  1. Someone To Look Up To (boys need heros)
  2. Is There Not a Cause? (a Biblical view of adventure)
  3. Standing Alone (responsibility, then freedom)
  4. Taking Up Arms (violence and Scripture, principles of play)
  5. Who's in Charge Here? (leadership, discipline, learning to obey)
  6. Racing to Win (Biblical view of competition, Puritan view of games, lessons to be learned)
  7. Doing Real Things (boys love to feel needed)
  8. First Things (teach them diligently as you walk in the way)
  9. A Faithful Steward (money matters, entering the work world)
  10. Your Own School for Boys (developmental differences, gender differences in learning)
  11. Chivalry Is Not Dead (Manners, social interaction)
  12. KP Isn't Women's Work (a Biblical look at work roles)
  13. Love and War (courtship)
  14. Firing the Arrow (becoming a man, preparing to provide, college)
Chapter 12 is my next favorite chapter. We have 6 children (one 4 year old girl in the bunch) and I just can't do it all around here! My boys do a lot of housework! So, I loved what this chapter had to say about boys having responsibilities in the home.

There are lots more gems throughout this book!

Is there anything I do NOT like?

I don't agree with the authors' stance on using credit cards in chapter 9. Not having debt (owing no man) is a biblical principle.  Debit cards these days are just as effective as credit cards when it comes to using an alternative to checks. . . except the balance is paid off immediately and you never have the risk of spending too much, not paying the balance and paying interest as a consequence.

There were a few more things that didn't resonate with my heart, but they do not distract from the message overall.

Would I recommend this book?

This book is Hal and Melanie Young's experience in raising boys - SIX boys, and offers wisdom and worthwhile information on "surviving, teaching and appreciating boys." It offers some practical advice and the stories and conversational tone make it an enjoyable read. It also brought confirmation on things we already practice and believe. So, I would recommend this for believers who are striving to raise real men! 

See more reviews of Raising Real Men at Because Mom Said.

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Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Raising Real Men in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.