This easy-to-use, life-changing book for fathers and sons gives readers the tools to have important conversations with boys about life, faith, and being a man. With a conversational and captivating tone, fathers and other caregivers are guided into having gospel-focused conversations with boys about a wide range of topics from social justice and friendships to money, anger, and more.
Dads are given an incredible opportunity to be one of the primary influences in their children’s lives for the gospel. By inviting conversations in every arena of life, fathers pass down the message of Christ to the next generation. As a youth and family pastor and father to a young boy who’s entered into many of these conversations, Joel Fitzpatrick knows it’s important not to shy away from difficult subjects.
But he also knows dads and other caregivers need help in how to have intentional conversations with boys about God, themselves, and what difference knowing the gospel makes to their everyday life. Fitzpatrick invites fathers to share with their sons how the gospel shapes all aspects of life, including how they treat women, people from other ethnic groups, and much more. Specific, practical help is given to dads through suggested activities, God’s Word, and insightful questions.
In a world where television, the internet, social media, and gaming culture have taken away from quality time spent between fathers and sons, Between Us Guys urges readers to lean in to important conversations with the grace and knowledge of Christ.
I received this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
Clearly, I am not the intended audience for the book, seeing as how I’m neither a dad nor a son, but I like trying to find family books to recommend to my friends. Plus, my husband and I both hope to have kids one day so this book may benefit my husband one day.
I really like the conversational tone of this book. It’s written from a dad to his son, so it can be read aloud to your son and sound totally natural. There are questions sprinkled throughout each chapter to break up the reading and allow the opportunity to engage into some conversation that has substance. I think, if done well and completely, it would probably be a 30 minute session, including the activities, Bible reading, devotional, and conversations. It could be up to an hour or more if the conversations and activities are longer though, so that’s where it would be up to you and your son.
I really like the topics that were chosen and focused on, they are a bit different than I’ve seen in the parental books I’ve read before. In addition to the main topics you will almost always find in father/son books (girls, friends, and sex), there are chapters dedicated to generosity, money, neighborly/godly love, both the church family and biological family, how to handle disappointment, money, and more. This book is definitely a tool to be used to start conversations about life in general, to develop a relationship. Not necessarily a “training” or “teaching” workbook for you to teach your son only. It’s purpose is to get you and your son talking, about all areas of life, and I really liked that. It’s not preachy to the son, and some of the questions for dads will require some vulnerability on the dad’s part.
I thought each topic was handled very well and are enlightening. Each topic is backed up with scripture and broken down by how God intended it, how sin messed it up, how Jesus took the sin for us and handled it Himself, and how we should live in Jesus’ example now. I thought that pattern was really good and incredibly applicable to all areas that were discussed. I will actually be using that pattern in my own Bible study just because I think it helps to understand how to apply the scriptures.
The only thing that I really think was missing is in the Girls chapter. As much as I love (and agree!) that dads should be training their boys to be respectful and protective of girls, I would have liked to see a warning to the sons to beware of manipulative and abusive girls and how to handle those situations in particular. One thing I’m seeing more and more as I get older is the affects of boys being taught to be gentlemanly, respectful, and passive when it comes to girls, and many girls are taught to “beat up any boy who hurts you”. In the situations I’ve been in with my friends over the years, and as I watch my baby brothers (okay, they’re not babies anymore…but still) grow up and be their gentlemen, respectful selves, girls are mean. They play with feelings and know how to bring a guy down without lifting a finger, it’s all words. And boys need to know how to handle situations in which girls are just plain mean and they need to know the difference between a disagreement and a girl playing with a guys’ feelings. So I would have liked to see a section in the Girls chapter to open up the conversation on that, just because I don’t think it’s a topic that is addressed often–if ever.
But overall, I do think this is a great asset to have on the bookshelves. It’s easy to read and I think it would be a great Bible study for a group of fathers and sons to do, but even more beneficial if done one-on-one. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.