“Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.”~Plato
At our recent Dads and Donuts, we had some valuable discussion centered around the topic of raising boys. In particular, we addressed what it should look like to cultivate Biblical manhood in our boys amidst an increasingly effeminate culture.
We began to talk our way through a list of five Biblical manhood traits that Douglas Wilson proposes in his book, Future Men, which I highly recommend. The traits are suggested as a few of the God-intended qualities that need to be nurtured in our boys if they are to thrive as men who glorify God. We will continue our discussion on this topic at the March Dads and Donuts for those of you who were unable to make it this time. Here is the list we are considering.
Lords (Gen 1:26-28, Matt 28:18-20)
Man was created to exercise dominion in the earth.
Boys should be encouraged to lead, conquer, and becomelords of the earth, even if it is just gaining dominion over the back yard. At school, we intend to develop this quality by giving our boys areas of leadership, both in the classroom and school-wide.
Husbandmen (Gen 2:15)
Man was created to tend and cultivate.
Boys should learn to be patient, careful, and hardworking. We want our boys to be courageous and passionate lords, but not at the expense of cultivating faithfulness. We want to raise the type of boys who know how to carefully and faithfully tend to their God-given responsibilities. We intend to give them the types of projects at school that require the discipline of their careful and faithful attention.
Saviors (Gen 3:14)
Man was created to rescue those in need.
Boys must learn to be strong, sacrificial, courageous, andgood. They need to play with swords and slay imaginary dragons in preparation for a life of fighting in the name of Christ. We want our boys to be chivalrous, looking out for the underdog, honoring girls, and standing up for what is good, even at the expense of reputation.
Sages (Proverbs 1-9)
Man was created to be wise.
Boys must learn to be teachable, studious, and thoughtful. We should be careful to model the masculinity of studiousness as it is the gateway to becoming a true “renaissance man”. We are not interested in the purely macho/chauvinistic cultural manhood, but rather one that is well rounded in the arts and academic study. We are hoping to raise boys who enjoy study as much if not more than sport.
Glory-bearers (1 Cor 11:7)
Man was created to exhibit the glory of God.
Boys must learn to be representative, responsible, and holy. By holy of course we mean “in Christ”. We want our boys to understand who they represent and to take it seriously. We hope that they will carry the mantle of “image bearer” with great pride.
It is the goal of our current Dads gatherings to flesh out the ways we can nurture these qualities both at school and home. We had a fruitful discussion last week and I am excited to continue with it next month. We will be moving on to discuss raising girls next, so stay tuned.
Head of School
Trinity Classical School of Houston