Act Like Men: What boys need to know to become mature godly men

I have three energetic but wonderful sons, and for the past several years I have sought to find some sort of boyhood to manhood scope and sequence list that could help me and other fathers know what to be striving for (spiritually, developmentally, and practically) in raising our sons.  I have asked many older and wiser fathers who have raised godly young men if they knew of anything like this, but no one knew of any such list. So, after much time, conversations, and research I have compiled a list that I hope will be helpful for my sons and yours.  But, why make a list?  Why have such goals?

I believe we live in a time of perpetual adolescence.  A time when many fathers are not training their sons up in the Lord, but also are simply not training their sons up at all except to enjoy their entertainment or sport of choice.  In I Corinthians 16:13 Paul writes, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”  We also read in Luke, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).  Notice it says that Jesus grew in respect with men, even as a preteen boy.  Yet, He also grew up in respect to God the Father. When I look to the scriptures I see a call to fathers to raise their children up . . . to train them.  Why?  So that they can live a godly life (1 Thessalonians 4:11) before God and man to the glory of God the Father. I want to know how best to do this. The heart behind this list is to have something for fathers to strive for in their training, but also to have something those young men can set as a goal and put sweat into to achieve.

I wrote this list with my children in mind.  Thus, it is very contextual.  This list is not universal.  If you are reading this and you live in Miami, Florida, the whole “driving in the snow” will likely not be a need for your son.  In your context you might want to think, “When should my son know how to prepare a house for a hurricane?”  This list doesn’t have to be your list.  However, my hope is that maybe you will take this list and make it your own.  Use what is useful and helpful and toss the things that are not useful for your context.  My encouragement would be for you to think through the list and see what you would want to add to it, and then add to it and start the process with your sons.  Your desired age may look different than this one, but let me persuade you to not set the bar low.  Remember the words of the great missionary, William Carey, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”  If you want your sons to attempt great things for God, you have to put them on that trajectory to do it now—when they are young.  So, make a list; check it twice.  Act like men and teach your boys to do the same.    

What to know?Age?
1Memorize and understand the 4 part biblical metanarrative 6
2Ride a bike without training wheels 6
3Know their parent’s phone number 6
4Know their home address 6
5Swim without help 7
6Do a proper push-up 7
7Know the books of the Bible in order 7
8Know how to read an analog clock 7
9Prepare their own fishing rod 8
10Own their first knife 8
11Memorize and understand the 7 “C’s” of history 8
12Talk to an adult by looking them in their eyes 8
13Have the 10 Commandments memorized 9
14Have a thorough understanding of the basics of the gospel 9
15Know how to sharpen a knife 9
16Throw a football properly 9
17Have the Romans Road memorized 10
18Shoot a gun 10
19Know gun safety 10
20Be able to read a map 10
21Do their own laundry 10
22Cook a simple meal 10
23Have a proper understanding of  the fear of God in all things 11
24Tie a proper knot 11
25Start a fire 11
26Read a 200 plus page book 11
27Have a “purity” weekend retreat with his father 12
28Mow the lawn 12
29Tie a tie 12
30Understand basic self-defense 12
31Have read “Pilgrim’s Progress” 12
32Read and use a tap measure 12
33Have a proper firm handshake 12
34Shoot a basketball properly 12
35Have a biblical understanding of manhood and womanhood 13
36Start a first job 13
37Split firewood 13
38Proper handwriting 13
39Read the Bible through 14
40Brew a pot of coffee 14
41Know how to pray—biblically 14
42Change a tire 15
43Check the oil in a vehicle 15
44Drive a car 15
45Fix a leak 15
46Have a chapter in the Bible memorized 15
47Jumpstart a car 15
48Perform basic car maintenance 15
49Write a proper letter 15
50Have 10 hymns of the faith memorized 16
51Know how to shave 16
52Know how to drive in the snow safely 16
53Use a chainsaw safely 16
54Understand how to manage a budget (biblical economics) 16
55Have their own bank account 16
56Have some basic carpentry skills 16
57Play an instrument 16
58Have an overarching redemptive understanding of the Bible 17
59Negotiate a deal or barter 17
60Have some basic home electrical skills 17
61Drive a manual transmission vehicle 17
62Back up a trailer on a hitch 17
63Type 45 WPM 17
64Proficient using a computer 17
65Fell a tree 17
66Have critical thinking/situational awareness skills 17
67Have a basic understanding of biblical apologetics 18
68Grill meat properly 18
69Have $1,000 in a savings account 18
70Iron their clothes 18
71Know how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver 18
72Know how to perform CPR 18
73Have a library of at least 25 theological books 18
74Know how to properly pursue a young lady 18

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