As the oldest child in my family, I always wished I had an older brother. For that reason I hoped that my first child would be a boy. Now that God has brought my desire to fruition – our oldest three children are boys – I’m not always quite sure what to do with them! How to understand them, nurture them, train them.
One thing I do know is that they don’t always want to be thought of as boys. They want to be seen as men. To demonstrate their manliness, they want to prove their courage.
So I’ve been thinking about courage lately. What is it? What does it look like? Where does it come from? I don’t have it all figured out. But I am convinced that developing courage in boys is an activity I want to support.
I believe that the strength and godly courage expected of Joshua when he led the Israelites into the land God promised them thousands of years ago will also be required of the young men we are raising today.
There are a variety of ways to inspire courage in the hearts of our young men. One that my boys are particularly fond of is reading (or hearing) real-life stories of boys and men who demonstrate courage. My oldest two are currently pre-teens, so here’s a list of stories they approve! We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kamkwamba
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
Gifted Hands by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey (there’s also a revised edition for elementary grade readers)
Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life by Nick Vujicic
ZVI : The Miraculous Story of Triumph Over the Holocaust by Elwood McQuaid
Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxes
Please note: Not all these books fall into the category of Christian literature. Some may contain objectionable language or references. Preview the books, so you know what you are comfortable giving your kids.
You may also be interested to read: 3 Acts of Courage for a Teen by my friend Belinda at Live Life With Your Kids.
What non-fiction books would you recommend for inspiring courage in boys?