Recently, I was contacted by a friend about how to establish and nurture a healthy relationship with our boys. Over the years, she has watched the way we have raised our boys and has admired our ability to reach them.

There is no formula for raising boys! I wish I could say, if you do X, Y, and Z, then your kids will turn out perfectly, but that is not the case. Each child comes with their own unique set of abilities, personalities, and temperments. What works for one child may not work for another.

What I do know is that each child is a blessing from the Lord, and He knows our children even better than we do. Pray for your children. Pray for wisdom in reaching their heart, pray for how you may best nurture that child specifically. Pray for your relationship with him, and pray for his relationship with the Lord. One of the greatest joys that I have had as a parent is sharing the love of God with my children, and leading them to Christ.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. – 3 John 1:4 ESV

I once met a woman who remarked how similar my son was to her son. I knew her son, not as a boy, but as a grown man. I have a tremendous amount of respect for this man, and so I asked her what I should do with my son, so he would turn out like her son. I will never forget the response of this wise woman. She said, “Wear your knees out in prayer!” What great advice! It is not only our privilege and a joy to pray for our children, but it is a necessity. We live in a fallen and sinful world, and the enemy wants to destroy our boys. In John 10:10 we learn, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that [you] may have life and have it abundantly.” Praise Jesus! He came that we may have an abundant life!

Raising boys who become men who love the Lord doesn’t happen by accident. Having your son’s heart requires intentional parenting. Making wise choices about what our children are exposed to is also very important – cultivate a love of whatever is noble, true, and right. Expose them to good literature and stories about heroes of the faith. Be mindful of what they see on television, computer screens and video games. Emphasize purity of mind, and thought, and deeds.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 ESV

I think a popular children’s bible song says it best: O be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little hands what you do, be careful little feet where you go and be careful little mouth what you say.

Parenting our boys sometimes requires us to make unpopular or counter-cultural choices that are in their best interest. This is why prayer is so necessary so that we can know what is best for our family, and for each individual child.

Keeping lines of communication open is vitally important. Time spent around the family dining table talking about anything and everything is a great tool for discipleship. We talk to our kids about everything, and we have always encouraged them to communicate honestly with us. As our boys have grown, we have had many important conversations until late at night. I think a huge part of having your child’s heart comes from good communication. I want to make myself available to them, whenever they want to talk.

My friend indicated that she felt like she was missing the mark in reaching her 12-year-old son’s heart. Junior high can be a challenging age! Our once sweet little boys become full of testosterone and start to become men, and they begin to change. Our roles as mom change also,  as they pull away from us. It is our job to continue to love, nurture, and pray for them as they become the men God has created them to be. When boys hit junior high age, it is important for the father to become more involved in leading and disciplining his son.

Boys require hard physical work. It is good for boys to work hard physically, either in playing sports or manual labor of some kind. I always joke that boys are easy: just feed them well, put a ball or a shovel in their hands, and let them go. They need physical work, but they also crave purpose in their lives and should be challenged intellectually. This will look different for each of us, which is why we should pray for wisdom specifically for each child.

There are many good books on parenting. The most important book is The Bible – we must teach them to know and love the Lord and the Word of God.  The Bible is our instruction book for life. In addition to the Bible, listed below are some of the books that I have found helpful in raising my boys.

Created for Work, Practical Insights for Young Men – Bob Schultz

Shepherding a Child’s Heart  -Ted Tripp

The Power of a Praying Parent  -Stormie Omartian

The Ministry of Motherhood and The Mission of Motherhood – Sally Clarkson

Keeping our Children’s Hearts – Steven and Teri Maxwell

Hints on Child Training – H. Clay Trumbull

Bringing Up Boys – Dr. James Dobson

Prayerfully this will encourage my friend, and anyone else struggling to reach the heart of their son. What are some other things that you have found are helpful in raising boys? I would love to hear from you.


Posted by Misty Phillip

By His Grace: Seek Jesus, Study the Word, Grow in Grace Bible Study Author, Christian Lifestyle Blogger, & Speaker


  1. I love James Dobson he was my lead and inspiration in raising my two wonderful kids. They are both loving, kind, considerate, compassionate, caring adults that have truly blessed our lives. Friends in our church always commented on what a good job we did and I would respond “God has made them good kids and I just got the privilege of raising them”.


    1. Hi Susan, We love James Dobson and focus on the family too! What a beautiful thing to say about your children. Children are indeed a blessing! Blessings, Misty


  2. I need to buy the book “shepherding a Child’s heart” For the longest time ,I kept it under the wishlist.
    “Wear your knees out in prayer” taking this advice on raising my boys( same age) .

    Thank you,Misty for this encouraging post



    1. Having your children’s hearts is one of the most important aspects of parenting. That coupled with prayer helps to keep harmony in the home. Blessings to you and your family! 💕 Misty


  3. Thank you for writing a post on raising boys. I have three boys so this is a great post for me to read. I’m pinning it as a resource.


    1. Allie, Boys are rowdy and full of energy when they are young. You need to harness that energy, guide them, direct them, feed them and love them. Boys love there mamas and for the most part are very low drama and maintenance! Happy Mothering ❤️ Misty


      1. Thanks Misty. Appreciate the tips and guidance

  4. amommyofthreeboys 03/19/2017 at 8:35 pm

    I am one mama that needs much wisdom on raising boys!! Thank you so much for sharing these resources. I will be sure to check them out!
    Glad you linked with us on Christian Marriage and Motherhood on FB!


    1. I hope you find some of these resources helpful!


  5. […] Favorite Post: Wisdom for Raising Boys. […]


  6. Great post, Misty. 3 John 1:4 is one of my all time favorite Scriptures. It’s always kept me grounded in praying for the right things for my children. Because if they grow up and all our parent prayers and teachings have consisted in our children becoming Christ-followers and then nothing else about life in Christ. Or to find their purpose in life or to do what they are passionate about. Then we’ve missed the point of praying that our kids have a vital, growing spiritual relationship with the Lord Almighty, serving Him all their days. Thanks for this! Visiting from #SaltandLight


    1. Misty Phillip 10/12/2017 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Karen, Thanks so much for adding to this important conversation here today! Be blessed! ❤️ Misty


  7. You have some great advice here, Misty! We had two girls (both fledged now), and now we have a grandson! I’ll share this with my daughter.


    1. Misty Phillip 10/12/2017 at 1:25 pm

      Hi! Anita, how fun! I am hoping God will bless me with many Granddaughters and Grandsons! Be blessed! 😊 Misty


  8. Beautiful encouragment! May I wear my knees out in prayer for my boys! Blessings!


    1. Misty Phillip 10/12/2017 at 1:26 pm

      Hi! Liz, Isn’t that the best advice? 💕 Misty


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