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Growing up, there’s always been a joke among my friends and other guys we know about “the talk” we knew we would get in the future. I don’t know when I first heard about it, whether from friends or TV, but we all knew that, whatever exactly “the talk” would be, it would be awkward. From what I’ve heard, the same awkward feeling goes for many fathers too. How do I talk about this with my son? Yet there are other “talks” fathers need to have with their sons other than just “the [one] talk.” And Joel Fitzpatrick, a father of two, knows this. His book aims to help fathers with sons who are in elementary school and up, with some chapters being meant for the later years.
His book covers topics of friendship, school, work, identity, play, love, generosity, strength, money, girls, sex, defending others, disappointment, and failure and perfection. At the beginning of each chapter, Joel gives a summary of the road ahead. He provides the chapter’s theme, how to get to Jesus, and a suggested activity you can do to live out the chapter’s teaching with your son.
Each chapter also has four sections. I’ll use the chapter on disappointment as an example.
- We were created for this: We were created for satisfaction. When God created Adam and Eve, they wee perfect, innocent, and happy.
- Sin has broken us all: Adam and Eve were duped, and because of sin now we all experience disappointment. We simply cannot be satisfied by anything for very long. We continually want something else, something more.
- Jesus died to make it better: Even in the garden of Gethsemane when his disciples kept falling asleep, Jesus didn’t get angry at them. They let him down, but he loved them, and he loves us too when we let him down. His love for us never changes. In fact, he gives himself to us as our treasure. We have his Spirit, and he gives us everything we need. One day we will be in the new creation where sin will be no more, and we will be satisfied.
- How to live with love: Because God loves us when we fail, we can love others when they fail us.
The chapters can be read directly to your son, or you can use them as a springboard for your own spin on the topic. Whichever you choose, Fitzpatrick’s book is very helpful in giving you fourteen different topics to talk about with your son. Fitzpatrick ends with three appendices: What is the gospel, how do I share the gospel with my son, and how do I lead family worship?
This will be a very helpful book for many dads. There is more to talk about with your sons than just “the talk.” And we know that, but what do we talk about? How do we bring Jesus into our conversations in a way that isn’t cheesy? Jesus isn’t cheesy. He is the Creator, our Savior, and our King. All things were created by him, through him, and for him, so we must be able to connect all things to him. Fitzpatrick shows well how what your sons go through can be connected to Jesus. He is the answer to what they go through, and he has given them a road on which to follow him. In a way, your relationship with your son is the car he will drive on that road. The conversations you have together, the laughs your share, the tears, the discussions, will be his encouragement to follow after Christ. You are his biggest example.
- Author: Joel Fitzpatrick
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: New Growth Press (May 13, 2019)
- See Inside: Read the first few pages of Between Us Guys
- See also: Between Us Girls by Trish Donahue
Buy it from Amazon or New Growth Press!
Disclosure: I received this book free from New Growth Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.