Article by John Warren AntalikaDeacon at GraceLife London
Raising Men Not Boys
“Shepherding Your Sons To Be Men of God”
“…he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.”
- Proverbs 23:24
Modern Challenge: Men in a State of Perpetual Boyhood
Where are today’s men? This is a relevant question to ask in our age because many men today have not made the essential transition from boyhood to manhood. They seem to be in a state of perpetual boyhood and are more like boys in men’s body. The essential transition from boyhood to manhood is not given any attention in our current age and that’s a great challenge that we face and cannot disregard because of the implications which follows from it.
There are several causes of this challenge but one that is most relevant to our time, is the increasing gender confusion that is plaguing the mind of our generation. More and more, the distinction between male and female is being minimised and in many cases celebrated. No wonder that now we see many man who are confused about their God given identity and calling. If we are confused at that point, that’s detrimental to marriage, the family and the society at large. That being a problem among many, it is imperative that we take the task of raising godly men and not boys. To do that we have to go back to the Bible.
God’s Blueprint for Men: God’s Design for Men
In light of our current challenges, what does the Bible say about Men? Since God is the one who created men, He and not the culture gets the right to dictate what they are to be. In Genesis chapter 1, there we have God’s blueprint for Men. In his book “Raising Men Not Boys, Mike Fabarez extract from Genesis 1:26-28, four goals for our sons and they are “to know God, exercise proper authority, and, if married, love their wives and replicate themselves” When we understand God’s design for men, then it help us to know and do what is necessary now, with the help of the Holy Spirit to shepherd our boys in becoming what God intends for them to be.
The Necessary Condition: Right Relationship With God
When God gave Adam the mandate, He did so when Adam was in perfect relationship with Him. Sin had not yet entered into the world and God had not yet curse the world as a result. But now, since sin has come into the world, every one who comes into the world, do so in a state of rebellion against God. Everybody, including our sons are conceived in iniquity and have a broken relationship with God. In order for our Sons to become what God intends for them to be, they first must be in a right relationship with Him. Many parents often forget that because of the cuteness and adorable nature of their sons, but do not let the ‘cuteness’ of your son dim the reality that he is a sinner in a sinful world and therefore is in need of a new heart. When you realise his ultimate problem, you will then seek to foremost give him his greatest need, namely Christ. Therefore praying for his salvation, sharing and living the Gospel should be a priority and dictate the state of your home. Is it a place that is saturated with the Word of God, prayer and where a fear of God is present. Although these things do not ultimately saves but they do set a spiritual trajectory for your sons.
Shepherding Our Sons: Counsel for Parent
Shepherding our sons is a must, not because it saves them but because it set them on a spiritual path because the goal is not that they become cultural elites and have a good career but that they become godly man who fear the Lord. The shepherding of our sons may seem complex but it does not have to. We know from the Bible what a Man ought to be like therefore, with what we know, we take the necessary steps to lead, guide, exemplify and teach them. For instance, in accordance to the Bible, I know my son is to be leader. How important it is for me to teach him about biblical leadership, how important it is for me to give him (at the right age) a degree of independence and allow him to make decisions. Whether my Son will get married or not, how essential it is for me to teach him about the respect he is to have towards women; what kind of woman he is to look for; his role as a leader, protector and provider in the marriage relationship and how God given institution is to ultimately point to Christ and the Church. Furthermore, this should bring up honest conversations about sexuality and purity from the Word of God.
What the World Needs? A Generation of Godly Men
The World need men who are no longer boys. Men who are actually in a men’s body. Men who are no longer in a perpetual state of boyhood but have crossed the line from boyhood to manhood. This book from Mike Fabarez is designed to help parents and those would be parents to understand the necessity and the biblical principles that we can employ to shepherd our sons to be Men of God for the Glory of God.
Summary by John Warren Antalika
Book can be purchased at GraceLife London for £5