Are we raising up the next generation of leaders? Or have we left them to wander the desert?
Recently I started working on some of our holiday offerings for Radiant Lit. (I know, I know. Quit groaning! If we’re going to gather up products to review or write articles about that will post then, we really should have started at least a month ago!
Anyway, one of our more popular series at Radiant Lit was a couple of years ago when we highlighted a lot of Bibles. It seems Bibles are a hot Christmas gift for a lot of people. So we got a ton of Bibles for everyone from toddlers to scholars and everyone in between and we reviewed them. We’re looking at doing this again and I’m really excited about it. I love seeing all the different ways God’s word can be presented and packaged. It’s actually pretty fascinating and this year is already shaping up to be exciting! (You’ll have to watch Radiant Lit for this feature!)
But as I was researching, I noticed this odd trend. There aren’t a lot of Bibles geared toward boys. And when I dug further, not really tons of devotions or guidance for them either. Now I know we’ve had a problem in recent generation with men not being as involved in the church as they should or could be. In fact, I’ve been to many churches where all of the leadership positions are filled by women. Now let me say this before we get too much further. I’m NOT going to debate women in leadership. That’s a topic for a much different time. No matter what your stance on that particular topic may be, I think we can all agree that boys need to see men in leadership roles. They need role models and too often, that’s sorely lacking in our society.
But back to that Bible search…
I found Bibles in pink, purple, sequins…purse Bibles and backpack Bibles and princess Bibles. I even found coloring book Bibles! They were everywhere. But more than that, it was not difficult at all to find a Bible that ministered to young girls growing up – no matter what their age or particular difficulty might be. Packed with a variety of studies, devotionals and extras, it was possible to find a Bible targeted toward any stage of a young girl’s life.
Here’s a screencap of the images I found when I searched for girl’s Bibles:
A search on boy’s Bibles came up far different. There were a few Bibles with decorations and different covers that would appeal to boys. I did find some young men’s Bibles that would work for teen boys. But for the most part, there just wasn’t the same huge selection of Bibles that could speak to a boy at whatever stage of life he’s at. In fact, the bulk of the Bibles that came up in searches were men’s Bibles with just a few boy’s Bibles sprinkled through. And I put in the same search terms I did for the girl’s side. Even more disheartening was the realization that a majority of the Bibles I could find for young boys were KJV. Really? For kids? That version can trip up a lot of adults. I can’t see it being easier for kids to wade through.
Here’s a screencap of what came up when I searched for boy’s Bibles:
Do we see a difference? Go ahead. Try it for yourself. All I put in was girl’s Bibles and boy’s Bibles and then I took the images from the first screen of each. I could have stacked it if I’d wanted to – put in different search terms or scrolled down on the boy’s side until I didn’t get a lot of Bibles. But sadly, I didn’t.
A fast search on devotions and lessons for kids showed the same thing. Lots and lots of potential Bible study and growth for young ladies. Not quite as much for young boys.
So…what does this dearth of Bibles for young boys mean? Does this mean that, in the past few decades, in order to make women feel more included (cause seriously – we all know that women weren’t readily accepted in the church for a long time) that we’ve gone the total opposite direction and now swung to the other extreme? That’s completely plausible. Or could it be that men have fallen out of leadership so there aren’t men pushing to get Bibles for young men? I suppose that could be part of it as well.
Either way, as the mom of a 12-year-old boy, this bothered me. God’s word is exciting and amazing. The stories in there beg to be told to young men. Soldiers and warriors. Kings and princess. Men of honor. Men who learn what a lack of honor will bring you. These are the things that delight little boys. Yes, I am fully aware that many of them really hate reading. I struggle with my son not wanting to read ANYTHING. I get that. But we don’t need to make it harder for them do we?
We are raising up the next generation of leaders. Strong, capable and intelligent young women are learning how to step into their destiny in Christ after generations of not really being ministered to. But while we’ve been fighting that battle, have we left our boys to wander the desert?