Warm-hearted Warriors: Raising Boys to Know God

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 My sons run. They jump too. And wrestle. They play super-hero games, fighting injustice with mighty powers. They laugh with their bellies, cry with their lungs, and smile with their entire soul. They swoon for girls and stand-up for their Mom. Something as simple as a marker can create artful hunter-styled masterpieces on their faces. Something as valuable as time from their Dad can create heart-full adoration in their souls.

Boys love life with innate zeal. They long for maximum joy. Throwing a rock in the river can be the epitome of adventure. Even reading a book can be a fraternal celebration of happiness and companionship.

But all across North America the delight of boyhood is discouraged in our churches. Countless young men have given up on God at a young age. They have found in our modern religion the killer of their appetite. Emotionless fellowships have frustrated many of our starving warriors. By repelling their hearts, we have lost thousands, if not millions of men. We have isolated their minds from their souls. We have taught them church data but failed to teach them passionate biblical faith. A warrior will not serve someone who does not inspire him. And, unless dramatic action is taken, the transference of faith to successive generations will be halted in defeat.

Our boys need a warrior environment. Our warm-hearted soldiers will grow to serve God if we enable them to continue craving life. One day, armed with authentic love, these warm-hearted warriors could engage this entire world with transformational power. Imagine an army raised up around this planet passionately and unswervingly committed to the cause of peace and life, relief and restoration, joy and confidence.

Here's how it could happen:

  • PLAY HARD WITH YOUR SONS: It is vital that we make our families and churches houses of fun. When a boy thinks of their home or their church, let them be excited! Nothing pushes away our youth more than to suck the life out of the adventure of knowing God.
  • PRAY STRONG WITH YOUR SONS: Essential to the commitment of every warrior is the inspiration of their commander. A warrior will follow the leader who connects with them in the deepest place of their soul. We must teach our boys a life of action-talk with God. A warrior who knows and trusts God as their leader will follow him to the ends of the earth.
  • STAY LONG WITH YOUR SONS: When a parent or mentor abandons a boy, the warrior's heart turns cold. Too many boys are being taught to plunder and pillage because too many of us are injuring their hearts. If we truly want to grow warm-hearted warriors we need more people in our families and churches to give long-term commitment to our sons.  

Let's do this together. Let's raise our boys to actively know a God who cares for them, who leads them with faithfulness and inspiration, who gives them courage and strength to face any foe. Let's raise warm-hearted and warrior-spirited boys by raising them with a playful, prayerful, faithful life.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

6 thoughts on “Warm-hearted Warriors: Raising Boys to Know God

  1. I read a lot on this over the last few years, especially concerning how common boy behaviors have been discouraged. I also read “Passed Thru Fire” by Rick Bunschuh and it dealt with this. The point is exactly what you say here. I have three boys and this is something I think a lot about. I also work with teenage boys and see the dynamics at work in them as well. Becoming a man has more to do with character than it does age. How does a boy get there, without someone to show them? All that to say– yes, I agree with you.

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  2. Amen Bro…. Def something I am taking to heart with my youth here in Kauai…. I’m super fortunate that I am able to take these boys on big-time adventures and just be a man with them…. I highly encourage youth guys to be doing straight up man-ventures with their youth kids, its been huge for me.

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