Struggling to connect with your son? We have 6 ways to help.

Struggling to connect with your son? We have 6 ways to help.

In helpful tips by Ryan Sanders, M. Div. / September 19, 2017

When I'm meeting someone for the first time and they ask me what I do for a living, after I tell them, "I work for a non-profit ministry called Manhood Journey." The very next question is usually, "Cool, what's that?"


When I say, "Oh, it's a fatherhood ministry. Basically, we help dads be more intentional about connecting and leading their sons." In almost every instance, the person ends up #1 having a son that needs help with a certain issue, or #2 the person immediately tells me about a friend and his son and what he thinks that dad needs. 


I love having these conversations. But, these talks have made me wonder, maybe folks like yourself who are reading this post—maybe you get our mission and understand its importance. But, do you know HOW we actually help dads?



If you're reading this post, then you know about our MJ Blog. Awesome, thank you for reading! You may also know us from attending one of our father-son events like Project: MANHOOD or even a "for fathers only" event like FIGHT NIGHT or Father On Purpose


Here's the thing, at MJ's core is our one-on-one and small group bible study resources for fathers to intentionally disciple their sons. 


In this post, I want to make you aware of the 1 on 1 Discussion Guides we have to help you lead your son through what the Bible has to say about some major issues. Let's talk about these six (6) big issues facing your son. 


Issue #1 > Biblical manhood. You have to start somewhere. Start here.

Call it biblical manhood. Call it teaching the major truths of Scripture. We call it "Embarking" for a reason. We want you to start here! The Embarking 1 on 1 Guide is the starting point for great biblical conversation. 


Embarking_1on1 (small).png

Here’s what you can expect from the entire guide:


  1. The five (5) vital principles to make your time with our son valuable
  2. Preparing for the journey > The five (5) Big Rocks of a godly man
  3. Setting out on the journey
  4. Relying on the compass
  5. Seeking guidance along the way 
  6. Encountering others along the way
  7. We have embarked—where to next? 

This guide will help you and your son – or a young man you’re mentoring – get oriented to five key areas of biblical manhood. Visit Embarking 1 on 1 to learn more and get your free sample.

Issue #2 > Manhood Myths: Do you know the four (4) manhood myths? 

You and your son are bombarded with lies from the enemy. These lies come in some attractive forms and can be disguised behind the veil of honorable pursuits.


In this guide, father and son will learn how walk through the four (4) manhood myths:

Myth #1 > Men are always strong and don’t ask for help.

Myth #2 > Success is having more or doing better than others.

Myth #3 > No one should impose his beliefs on anyone else.

Myth #4 > God wants us to always be happy.


Do you know how to handle these myths? Are you confident enough to lead your son through them? No worries. We can help. Visit Manhood Myths 1 on 1 to learn more. 


Issue #3 > Clean Hearts: Is your heart ready for God's work?

Young men can be uniquely challenged in the area of purity – and not just related to sexual temptation. They need to be kept pure from greed, selfishness and other destructive life patterns. 


Father and son will walk through this study together and learn the following:


  1. The Purity Principles
  2. Drink the Word
  3. Guard the heart
  4. Chase Righteousness
  5. Abide in Christ
  6. Act on what we’ve learned

This guide does not focus exclusively on sexual topics, but, depending on how you handle it, those may come up. Are you ready? Is your heart ready?  Visit Clean Hearts 1 on 1 to learn more. 


Issue #4 > Working Well: Are you working hard or hardly working?

Working Well explores God’s design for careers, responsibility and productivity. Doing rewarding work is a blessing we can help our young men discover. This guide is highly relevant for young men. It will help us discuss with them how schooling and chores are their current “job.”


Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll cover with your son through this guide:


  1. Seeing work through God’s eyes
  2. Working to develop character
  3. Satisfying work
  4. Working to serve God and others
  5. Resisting satan’s fiery arrows at work
  6. Charting the future

This guide isn’t a career-counseling course, but may help your son or young man you’re mentoring discover what he wants to be when he grows up. Even better, he might discover WHO he wants to be! Visit Working Well 1 on 1 to learn more 


Issue #5 > Leading Lessons: So you want to be a leader?

Leadership is a popular topic. For men, it often centers on how to lead a business or sports team. But, as we explore biblical leadership, we see patterns formed by servant leadership, loving others and putting their needs above our own. We see that leadership equals service.


You can walk with your son through these leadership topics:


  1. Why leaders make rules
  2. Leaders follow first
  3. Power > Leaders learn the art of being humbly influential
  4. Proverbs > Leaders are continually sharpened by wisdom
  5. Prayer > Leaders discover the mind of God
  6. Who wants to lead? Leaders must be shepherds

This guide explores the power of God in our lives and how we as leaders should pray and serve. It draws on the deep well of leadership wisdom from the Book of Proverbs. Visit Leading Lessons 1 on 1 to learn more. 


Issue #6 > Standing Strong: Are you ready for battle?

This life and the enemy throw a lot at men – from pride to temptation to chasing significance through our careers. Standing Strong focuses on tools we can use to defend our ground and advance God’s cause for our lives.

1on1-Standing Strong-1.jpg 

Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll cover with your son in this guide:


  1. Preparing for battle > we must know that a battle is raging and we are in it
  2. Friend or foe? Knowing your enemies from your allies
  3. Suiting up and standing your ground > we must be firm in the Lord, ready for anything
  4. The belt, breastplate, boots and shield > putting on key elements of God’s armor gives us strength
  5. The helmet of salvation and Sword of the Spirit > salvation and God’s Word help us fight courageously
  6. Creating your battle plan > arming ourselves appropriately based on our unique makeup

This guide concludes with a powerful exercise that will help you both build a personalized battle planVisit Standing Strong 1 on 1 to learn more.


That's all six (6) of our 1 on 1 guides! They don't have to be done in order like they are in this post. We only recommend you start with Embarking. After that, go forth and conquer!


We're here to help you grow in biblical fatherhood. We want you feeling confident you can intentionally disciple your son. We're confident these guides can help you build a strong relational bridge between you and your son.


Why? Because these guides have been tried and tested and have helped many dads across the nation. Join the journey today. 


connect with your son with these six resources

Question >
Which of these six topics do you need the most help addressing with your son? You can always email me or tweet @ManhoodJourney.



Ryan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey. Ryan is married to Tonia and they have two daughters and one son. He lives in Reston, Virginia, serves at McLean Bible Church and is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan. Learn more about Ryan here and find him on Twitter @RyanSanders.


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