Boys [should be] inured from childhood to trifling risks and slight dangers of every possible description, such as tumbling into ponds and off of trees, etc., in order to strengthen their nervous system…. They ought to practice leaping off heights into deep water. They ought never to hesitate to cross a stream over a narrow unsafe plank for fear of a ducking. They ought never to decline to climb up a tree, to pull fruit merely because there is a possibility of their falling off and breaking their necks. I firmly believe that boys were intended to encounter all kinds of risks, in order to prepare them to meet and grapple with risks and dangers incident to man’s career with cool, cautious self-possession…. —R.M. Ballantyne, The Gorilla Hunters
This coming Fall, I’m going to begin a very long journey of teaching fathers (and, probably, mostly learning from them) on how to raise their sons. We’ll eventually cover those of us who also have daughters, but I think we have much to learn about how to raise boys in this day, age, and culture so that we can help them become the godly men that God desires them to be.
As a father of four, I have occasionally paid attention to what has worked and not worked with my own children and have actually learned a couple of things along the way. But I have also been reading everything I can get my hands on by “the experts” about raising children (and sons in particular). I have also been looking for great curricula and study material that will aid us in this pursuit. There are some really fine resources available that I’ll be sharing in the days ahead. But, I hope it goes without saying, that the greatest material is what we learn in God’s Word as his Spirit leads, instructs, and encourages us.