Parenting advocate Rick Johnson has written a number of excellent and always timely parenting resources. In his newest offering, A MAN IN THE MAKING, he shares with both moms and dads (and all interested others) a bevy of to-the-point practical ways to help rear men of character. In a day and age when even the word itself is almost forgotten, Johnson helps light a fire of enthusiasm as he shares how to purposefully influence boys into men who will make a positive difference with their lives. He also lays the foundation (for those who may have forgotten) why godly character qualities can change not only one man’s life and family, but also an entire nation.
"Readers of all ages and backgrounds will find Johnson’s material both helpful and encouraging. For newbie parents or seasoned veterans, this book is one to read, hang on to, and share with anyone who cares about this generation’s boys and where they are headed."
Johnson begins this parenting primer by telling of his own broken home childhood story (all too common these days). He explains about the value of role models (good and bad) and how they alter a child’s future. Since coming to Christ as an adult, Johnson has made it his mission to spread powerful messages of hope to single moms (and their sons), incarcerated men (and their children), and men of all walks of life who desire to become the leader God designed them to be (in the home and in society in general). Lest any female readers wrongly assume that Johnson negates their influence on their children, reading through this material proves just the opposite. He has the highest respect and regard for women in general and moms specifically because he understands how difficult the task of child rearing is, especially when women don’t have the support they require from their children’s father.
The specific topics that Johnson presents in this excellent and doable resource include teaching parents how to help develop courage, honor and nobility, a right sense of duty, integrity and loyalty, self-discipline, perseverance, hardihood and resiliency, common sense and wisdom, vision, intellect, compassion and empathy, and a warrior-poet. Each chapter opens with a simple introduction of the principle and then Johnson highlights a famous male figure from history who exemplified that character quality. He summarizes the life story of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert E. Lee, George Washington, John Wooden, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Jedediah Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo da Vinci, George Muller, and the biblical character David.
Immediately following the brief review of the historical figure, Johnson then explains why the character quality is important in today’s volatile world and how developing it can both protect and provide for young men and those for whom they become responsible as they grow into adulthood. Next, Johnson provides the how-to of developing each character element for moms and dads to use as springboards for teaching their sons (or other young men over which they have influence). Johnson, always a fun and lively communicator, excels in this resource at gaining our interest and keeping it throughout this 12-chapter text.
Readers of all ages and backgrounds will find Johnson’s material both helpful and encouraging. For newbie parents or seasoned veterans, this book is one to read, hang on to, and share with anyone who cares about this generation’s boys and where they are headed.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on August 13, 2013