Every summer, I think about what I can intentionally do to build manhood in my growing boys.
How can I plant into their life… into their future as a man?
Recently, I came across 2 books that champion and speak honestly to boy-interested, manly things. So THIS SUMMER, I am challenging my two older boys (age 14 and 11) to read them. My objective here is to increase the male, truth-speaking voices in their lives that echo all of what the Bible says a man to be. I believe that as it is poured into them, God will grow it out of them and will use it to raise them up as Godly men.
Here are the 2 “must read” books for your teenage boy this summer:
7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness* by Eric Metaxas
Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris
And here’s my plan…
Timeline: June 1- August 1.
Response Time: After they read each book, they will answer three questions in paragraph form (click here for the PDF). It is with these writings that we will have a family discussion about what they have read and processed and hopefully learned.
Reward: I always love to include one as a motivator. Identify what is currency to your boys and gift them with it if they complete the challenge: a special experience, a dinner out, money, full day of unhindered electronic time, a new book, and end-of-summer friend party, etc.
My boys are motivated by having a reward, your’s may not be. Instead, you may also need to offer a “consequence” – a negative motivator to give them a kick in the pants to do it. Things like: phone away for a period of time, no electronics, clean the bathrooms for 2 months, etc.
And…here’s the reality: As I proposed this challenge to them just the other day, there was no jumping in excitement, no “wahoos” or high-fives. They took it with stoic faces as one of those things that they need to do because I said so.
They would never chose to do this. But whether or not they are giddy-excited about it currently, I don’t care. Honestly. My job is not to make their summer fun and cushy. My job as a mom is to be a good steward of the gifts He has given me in my boys and teach them well.
And, let me know how it works for you and how you’ve customized this challenge. Or, please share other ways in which you are intentionally growing men this summer. Much love and blessings!
*p.s. If you have daughters, you can easily customize. Eric Metaxas wrote another book: 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness. And Do Hard Things is not gender specific. You go, girls!