The Importance of fathers in the lives of their sons
There is no denying the importance of a father’s role in the lives of their children. Fathers have an especially important role when it comes to raising their sons to grow up to be men of God. Without the loving support of their fathers, young men face the turbulent journey to manhood without knowing what that really means. But where do you start? That can be the hard part. Boys are faced with many different challenges, and it is the father's responsibility to help them navigate those and make wise decisions as they head into their next season of life.
“Your son is going to get his view of manhood from you or someone else. Dads must make sure they are giving their sons a clear definition of what it means to be a godly man. More importantly, dads need to model the practices and principles they are teaching their sons,” states Braxton Brady, author of Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man.
In Flight Plan,educators Lee Burns and Braxton Brady offer a vision of godly manhood and a complete and honest guide to direct young men on their journey. Flight Plan is a natural evolution of their original program, Building Boys, Making Men, a curriculum created by the authors for the 630 boys who attend Presbyterian Day School (PDS) in Memphis, Tennessee. Over the years, the authors have received numerous requests from youth leaders, pastors, parents, and teachers for access to the curriculum presented at the school. Now, in addition to the Flight Plan book, the companion DVD is available. The DVD features introductions to each chapter of the book and encourages further discussion. Both the book and DVD have been designed for individual or group study.
In his years at PDS, Chaplain Braxton Brady has learned that there is a void for young men that is not being taught. “I hope to call dads to be strategic with their kids and intentional with their boys, and I also want to help dads navigate their sons through middle school and high school on their way to adulthood,” says Brady. “In a day and time when culture is trying to dictate what it means to be a man, dads must make a concentrated effort to cast vision for their son about what it means to be a godly man and how that fleshes out in the middle and high school years.”
Flight Plan uses the metaphor of a journey of flight to speak candidly to pre-teen and teen boys about friendships, peer pressure, drinking, drugs, girls and dating, puberty, sex, and school and family relationships. All of these are important subjects that need to be addressed, but they can be difficult conversations to have. That is why Flight Plan is such a valuable resource.
“One of the greatest challenges I think parents face today is that boys and girls don’t know how to have face-to-face conversations. They live in a virtual reality world. Boys have many outside influences that we didn’t have growing up. Today, everything is a click away. They have easy access to everything,” says Brady. “Parents think that they can protect their children and create a bubble around them. But when boys get to a certain age, that becomes impossible. It’s so critical to have a relationship with your children, for fathers to have relationships with their sons, to communicate. By reading and discussing Flight Plan together, fathers and sons have the opportunity to do that.”
Like any sound flight plan, the book maps out the journey ahead giving practical advice for success and warnings for potential pitfalls any boy on his way to manhood is likely to encounter. The text strategically builds on seven biblically based virtues, “The True Friend,” “The Humble Hero,” “The Servant Leader,” “The Moral Motivator,” “The Bold Adventurer,” “The Noble Knight,” and “The Heart Patient.” Each chapter concludes with questions for reflection and discussion, making Flight Plan an ideal teaching tool for boys’ small groups, mentoring groups, Sunday school classes, fathers and sons, or simply individual study.
Braxton Brady is available for speaking engagements. For more information, contact Helen Cook of The Barnabas Agency (email@example.com or 800-927-0517 x110).
Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man by Lee Burns and Braxton Brady
PDS Publishing/194 pages/ISBN 978-0-615-38061-2/$14.99