November 19, 2017

Boys: The Way They Learn

Sometimes it’s overwhelming.  The thought of raising eight sons to be godly men.






And it all starts the moment they’re born.  From the second they’re placed on my chest to be nurtured and loved, til the moment they leave our home to start their own family with their wife, the pressure. is. on.

If you’ve read much on this blog at all, you probably know how seriously I take the job of raising these boys into men.  Most days I remember how precious and sacred my work is.  How important.  How significant my impact, my contribution to the world in raising boys into good, God-fearing, strong men.  But some days I must remind myself, that amidst all the dishes and laundry and cooking and cleaning and sheets and diapers and football this and soccer that, there is deeper purpose.

Boys into men.

And the job is done one day at a time.

Today is a new day.  What I invest today will result in a greater return in future generations.  And so?

I can do it.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:13)  I’m their teacher.  And it’s my responsibility (along with their father, for certain), to teach them well.  Not only about

  • metamorphosis and mitosis
  • synecdoche and semi-colons
  • triangles and trigonometry
  • fire safety and The Fertile Crescent


  • honor
  • respect
  • selflessness
  • integrity
  • leadership

to name only a few…

10 Tips for Training Boys Into Men

  1. Bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  See Ephesians 6: 1-4.
  2. Embrace and affirm their boyhood.  Do not try to train a boy to embrace feminine responsibilities.  It’s against their design.
  3. Accept that boys learn differently from girls, that they’re wired differently, and that this IS by intelligent design.
  4. Allow boys to learn how they learn best.  Adapt as needed.  They learn their math facts best while rolling around under the table?  So be it.
  5. Boys are born explorers.  Give them a shovel.
  6. Boys are born hunters.  Send them with Dad and let them hunt!
  7. Boys are born fishermen.  Teach them to fish, then let them fish.
  8. Boys are born to be warriors.  Brothers will fight.  A certain amount of tolerance helps a lot.  They’re learning to sort out differences, to make peace, to recognize strengths and weaknesses, to establish their role as defender, protector, and sometimes, to fight for justice.
  9. Learners are leaders.  Teach them to be learners, to always seek to do what is right, and you’ve given them a lifelong tool.  (Proverbs 21:3)  You’ve given their wife a man.
  10. Mothers, though a tear may fall, bravely surrender your sons to be taught at their father’s side.  Let them leave with Dad to climb the hill, start the fire, to shoot dinner, to build the house, and to defend and protect.  When they come in, affirm their manhood with words of thanks and admiration, draw them a hot bath, and give them a hot plate of food.

I’ll write an update in a decade or so, to let you know how we did.

Til then, I’ll be busy.  Working on raising boys into men.

Yesterday a baby.  Today a boy.  Tomorrow a man.

Visit the other High Five Moms to read their posts on the topic of teaching boys at:


By his grace,


  1. dezra freeman says:

    love this one, brandy. 🙂

  2. LOVE! I am ‘only’ a mom to three boys and on MOST days I struggle to figure them out … and fail at raising up Godly men. I would SO love to spend a week with you and your boys for tips, tricks, and HOW TO’s advice 🙂

    Thank you for yet another timelly post 🙂

  3. From another mom of boys, I love this post. I’ve always said “I’m not raising boys… I’m raising future men.” Thinking that way changes your perspective. We’ll see in 10 years how we’re doing with our 5 boys.

  4. I think homeschooling boys is a special challenge. Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. And *tomorrow* a baby, too 🙂

  6. Hi! With three boys age 4 and under I am always looking for ideas from other moms who have been there. Can you explain what you mean a little more by “feminine responsibilities”? Thanks!

    • Hi Rivka! Sure. What I meant by that was that I can’t expect my boys to care about learning to be a homemaker and the details of that….like home organizing, menu-planning, sewing, cooking….keeping the home….

  7. Thanks for the reminder to take it one day at a time. And that what I do, how I train them today will impact their future.

  8. Beautiful Brandy! And the photo of your boys is adorable. What handsome guys.

    I love your heart for raising boys into men.

  9. Thanks for encouraging us who are newer to raising boys!

  10. You are so wise, Brandy :). I agree with what you said. The world wants us to sometimes forget that God made two genders. We each have different roles but both girls and boys responsibilities are important. Thank you for this!

  11. Amen!

  12. I love this list! With three boys it is important to my husband and me to remember the men we want them to be and not just see the boys they are now. What a great post!

  13. I’m curious what you meant by number 2 in your list.

    • Hi Jen. I guess I should have expounded there. Mothers shouldn’t expect for boys to want to work much in the kitchen with them, or to help them diaper the baby, or to care to sew or do girly crafts, etc. I think that the reason I think about this often is that I don’t have any girls, and I feel like I miss not having a daughter to get to enjoy those girly things with. I would never expect one of my sons to participate in things that are typically considered feminine. Does this make more sense now?

      • Thanks brandy that helps.
        I have a 17yr old daughter and 4yr old son. He looks up to his big sister but acts like the older brother in wanting to look after her and protect her. that is what God naturally put in boys/men and its so neat to see it at such a young age.

        As for the “girly” part, I think I was curious because there are men in the kitchen and stay-at-home dads and thats where I got a little confused/concerned and didnt want some to be offended for what role God intended for them or what they need to do for their family that works.
        My son, LOVES cooking shows and helping me in the kitchen and some of the best chefs are men, so i just wanted clarity so others understood you didn’t mean that they couldnt. I will state that God decides their gifts and they may become a fashion designer (many are, that are not…of the wrong lifestyle) and same with crafts but I get what you mean, “dont expect” them to want to do that. I think thats where it needed clarity. Boys dont usually “naturally” want to do what girls want to do (crafts, sewing, cooking,etc) but doesnt mean that cant or wont or its wrong.

        I learn everyday how “different” boys are from girls (with having one of each) and it has really helped me understand my husband better with having a son now.
        I tease my hubby and say “Oh, I get you now.. You were BORN that way!” LOL ROFL!!!
        Love your blog and look forward to many more articles!!
        Huge Hugs!!

        I love that you clarified for us all and loved your article.

        • I think I might be better off not saying anything about kitchen or cooking in reference to femininity. Our oldest son said he was going to be a chef for the longest time, and I still wonder if he might explore that. I have a HUGE appreciation for chefs, male or female. Two of my brothers-in-law that I have a ton of respect for and admire greatly are extremely successful businessmen/restaurant owners/chefs. They built their businesses from the ground up AND I have never tasted better food in my life. So yes. Men can and should follow their calling/gifting, including the food industry. When I originally mentioned kitchen and food, I had more in mind of grandmas and mamas passing down aprons and pie crust recipes. My point was to embrace the masculinity of boys in general. 🙂 I sure hope this clears all that up.


  14. I happen to be a single mom to a 6 yr old boy and am constantly stressed about the task of raising him to be a godly man. He doesn’t really have any role models and so I feel like this is unchartered territory! This is the most down to earth post I’ve seen so far, aligning with my beliefs! Printing it out! tx 🙂

  15. I do have boys that I am teaching to cook. Because boys are SO interested in food during their many growth spurts, I don’t want them to be dependent on anyone else to take care of them if necessary. Plus they will leave home eventually and need to do their own laundry, etc. So they know how. Not that I don’t enjoy taking care of them and cooking for them! My boys will be in college, on missions for our church, and other times. They also can change diapers. They are able to do laundry. My husband also does these things when he can, so they don’t feel that it isn’t part of what they can do.

    My husband is not really big into hunting, but he does love to fish and this is something he is trying to pass on to his kids. I love one song that came out recently “She Thinks We’re Just Fishing” by Trace Adkins… but as my husband doesn’t fish as much as he wants other than on Scout trips… not happening much with the girls but it IS with the Scout age boys.

    I am not disagreeing with you… I don’t expect them to ENJOY this, for this to be their primary concern, and all they want in life, to care for a home etc. I just wanted to put my 2 cents in even though you already clarified 🙂

    What they get excited about is Scout camp, hikes, cars, music, building stuff, fixing stuff, even at young ages. With every boy I’ve added to our family, I learn more about what a boy can be and how they can reach their potential. I am so proud of my 6 (7) boys, especially as works in progress. Just as you should be, of yours.

  16. You are my new hero.

  17. Great post Brandy! And I agree that while our boys should be somewhat comfortable in most areas of housework and childcare as a part of their training, we should not expect that they *embrace* these duties in the same manner we would expect from a daughter or mother.
    Imagine the blessing our sons can be to their future wives if they were trained to take care of his siblings, cook, clean, etc. If for no other reason, but to be understanding of what she is responsible for each and every day.
    “Yesterday a baby. Today a boy. Tomorrow a man.” – Love this quote.

  18. Katherine says:

    Hi Brandy!
    I just love your blog, and this picture of ALL your boys is wonderful! I will soon be a mom to 4 kids, ages 5 and under. My oldest is a girl and i have 2 boys, and soon to be one more boy! 3 boys scares me a bit! You are such an encouragement though, and a role model reading your posts! Thank you:) Congrats on your latest sweet baby!

  19. Katena D says:

    We are parents of 6 boys.Our oldest is 20 and I can say he has grown into an awesome young man. He is married and takes good care of his wife.. He took his younger brothers for us and did an awesome job.If his other brother turn out as great as him;we have done our job as parents. Raising boys can be a challenge but let boys be boys and they will succeed.

  20. Nice post. I have one boy and 4 girls. I am certain that moms with all boys are just special kind of ladies because I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have done it. I love my boy and who he is becoming, but being the youngest of 5 with 3 teasing brothers, I don’t think I was cut out for more. My oldest brother got 1 girl and 4 boys, and that works best for him too 🙂 They also have an amazing mother. I have nothing against boys- I had a lot of guy friends growing up. I highly recommend them as friends to my girls and don’t encourage a lot of “ooh, you have a crush on ….” comments because, well, it’s just annoying for starters, but also, nothing is wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. I think it helps us when we get older and get married. Anyway, aside from all of that, I was just thinking today about my son and his friends. He has a good group of young men (and young women) he hangs out with. I was marveling at what a blessing it was to have moved to a place with a such a big concentration of young men, who value doing what is right and being gentlemanly to the females in their lives. Are they perfect? No, but they are off to a great start and I admire their parents and thank the Lord for such good youth. My son is closest in age to one of my daughters, who is 15 months younger than him, and I am pleased that she and her brother are close, and she has good guy friends too, as well as her time spent with her brother and his friends. We just need more boys that have parents that want their sons to be godly men.
    I probably should have read this post years ago (before I knew what the internet was) because I might have let my boy do some things he might have missed out on. Luckily when he was with his dad, they got to be more daring and I do stay up late and listen to him talk about stuff I don’t really get, but I love that way his mind works. He’s a good kid.

  21. I was excited when I saw the title, but wasn’t as informative as I hoped. I have 5 boys, but I was raised with just 2 sisters. . .so I guess I’m just clueless where boys are concerned. I keep trying to figure them out, especially what works for discipline. The book “Boys will be boys” by Meg Meeker was helpful. I remember telling my husband “she says men define themselves by their power?” and he was like “yeah, of course”. So foreign to me! My biggest concern is that they will fall prey to all the sexuality thrown in their faces, sigh. With God all things are possible. He gave them to me and by His grace will help me raise them.

  22. This is so well said, Thanks, Brandy. I only had sisters growing up. Now I have five boys and three girls. It’s been a fun learning experience having sons. I was scared at first, but now I love it. They are so different. We work really hard to make sure they have opportunities to grow in “boy” things and develop so that one day they can be godly husbands and fathers.

  23. I also don’t think we should put boys in a box.

    There are many boys that are not hunters, and that is okay. There are boys that enjoy sewing- we would not have had as many tailors in history if that were not true.

    There are boys that love to cook and be in the kitchen. We would not have had all male cooks mentioned in the bible otherwise.

    Don’t force your boys or girls to maintain a worldly gender box as well that is not even biblical.

    • Brandy Ferguson says:

      I don’t have a problem with teaching both boys and girls necessary life skills, no matter if it’s cooking or sewing or hunting or fishing. I actually am the sister-in-law to TWO extremely successful, prominent chefs and I know they were inspired by their awesome father who could cook a brisket and fry catfish like no one else in this world. However, they are manly men and their sweet wives are the wonderful homemakers in their families.

      What’s not biblical is in fact, the worldly way of blurred lines, not any “gender boxes” I have created.


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