Talking With Boys About What It Means to Be a Man

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Talking With Boys About
What It Means to Be a Man
New book provides fathers with tools to have gospel-centered
conversations with their sons about every aspect of life.

Reports suggest boys are more likely to be violent and unable to express their emotions than girls. There’s also a great discussion going on about toxic masculinity leading to pent-up aggression and frustration, isolation, problematic relationships, violence, anger, and other devastating realities. It’s clear raising boys today requires a new definition of what it means to be a man.

It’s more important than ever for fathers to be role models and have gospel-centered conversations with their sons about becoming a man. In Between Us Guys: Life-Changing Conversations for Dads and Sons (New Growth Press/May 13, 2019), author Joel Fitzpatrick shares how dads are given an incredible opportunity to be the primary influence in their children’s lives. By inviting conversations about every aspect of life such as family, girls, love, defending others, failure, strength, and heaven, the author shows fathers how to pass down the message of Christ to the next generation, redefining what manliness means through the lens of the gospel.

Fitzpatrick discusses how TV, the internet, social media, and gaming culture have all taken away from quality time spent between fathers and sons. This book will give dads the tools they need to have intentional relationship-building conversations with their sons. “Most dads can’t remember ever having these sorts of talks with their fathers, so they need help having them,” he says. “Understanding the gospel is vitally important for boys to grow into men who love God and people.”

As a father who is intentional about having these important conversations with his son, Fitzpatrick urges other fathers not to shy away from hard subjects, but to focus on the freedom Christians have in Christ rather than a moralistic message. As a former youth and family pastor, he has helped many other families have life-changing conversations with their children. Fitzpatrick is able to offer practical help and biblical insight on important topics, from social justice and friendships to money, anger, and even what it means to be a man.

“The subject of ‘being a man’ is such a touchy one that it’s even hard to say. ‘Be a man’ can cause so much hurt to those who don’t fit into the typical models of what a man is. What does it mean to be a man? We have all kinds of ways that we think about how to answer this question. The entertainment industry seems to highlight three models of a man in particular: the weakling, the loser, and the womanizer,” Fitzpatrick writes.

“Men come in all shapes and sizes. Men may even struggle with their manhood. So, what does it mean to be a man, and does the Bible hold out a clear description of a man? I think the answer is yes.”

Written for dads and boys between the ages of six and twelve, each chapter is divided into sections that lead the readers through the cycle of what God intended, what the fall broke, what Jesus has redeemed, what heaven will restore, and how we respond. The book offers prompts for conversations or can be read directly by the father to his son. The intention is for the conversations to take place while participating in activities together, and Between Us Guys even offers suggestions of things to do.

By helping fathers apply the life-changing work of Jesus to their sons’ lives, Fitzpatrick’s hope is that relationships between father and son will be restored and strengthened and that this book can help to lay the groundwork for future conversations on biblical masculinity. 

About the author

Joel Fitzpatrick has served as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America with a focus on youth and family. He received his MDiv from Westminster Seminary California. He is the co-author of Mom, Dad . . . What’s Sex? and contributed chapters to The Sinner and Saints Devotional: 60 days in the Psalms.

Fitzpatrick lives in Southern California with his wife and their two children.

Learn more at and follow him on Twitter (@JoelDFitz).

New Growth Press publishes gospel-centered Christian books, small group, and kids’ Bible resources for discipleship, biblical counseling, and missional ministry. For more information about Between Us Guys: Life-Changing Conversations for Dads and Sons and other releases from New Growth Press, visit