Spiritual Strength Training: Disciplines of a Godly Young Man (Family Bookshelf)


It seems like there are a number of books out there aimed at young Christian women, but relatively few aimed at young men. There are a handful, but not a wide selection. One of these is the brand new  Disciplines of a Godly Young Man by R. Kent Hughes and W. Carey Hughes.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

Point blank, this is a punchy, no-holds-barred book for young men that lays out the call and command to be disciplined, godly, and sold-out for Jesus. Addressing topics such as purity in one’s thought-life, peer pressure, and perseverance as a Christian, this specially adapted work stands to influence a struggling generation.

Using the same no-nonsense approach that made R. Kent Hughes’ Disciplines of a Godly Man a positive influence on thousands of adults, this adaptation by Kent, his son Carey, and veteran youth leader Jonathan Carswell outlines the disciplines necessary to help a young man align every facet of his life with the fundamental truths of the Bible. It not only teaches how to live a life of Christian discipline, but also instills the desire to do so into a young heart longing to live a life of integrity, meaning, and fulfillment. This book brings the authority of a trusted name with a new flavor that will engage a younger audience.

Since Karate Kid is still a little bit young at 11 for this one, my husband and I looked through the book to get a feel for it. We like what we see.

1 Timothy 4: 7-9 serves as the basis of the entire book:

Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.

An introduction lays the foundation with a discussion of the absolute necessity of discipline, explaining that the sense of the word conveys training, exercising, “working out” for the purpose of Godliness:

In a word, Paul is calling for spiritual sweat!  Just as the athletes discarded everything and competed free from all that could possibly burden them, so we must get rid of every weight, every association, every habit, and every tendency that impedes godliness. p. 21-22

This is followed by sections focusing on discipline in the areas of relationships, soul, character, and ministry, with a closing chapter discussing discipline as grace, pulling all the threads of the previous chapters together. Each chapter ends with a “Food for Thought” section listing several thought-provoking questions to further thinking and discussion, making this useful for personal or group study.

I found the book engaging and challenging. The chapters are short and to the point. The tone is conversational, and the discussion is made very relevant to issues that young men face every single day in our culture. Disciplines of a Godly Young Man would make a convicting, motivating study for a teenage or college age young man or discipleship group. It would also be fantastic for a father and son to work through together. It’s definitely a great tool to have in the family discipleship toolbox. We’ll be keeping it on our shelf for future use.

Thank you to Crossway for providing a review copy of this title to me. I wasn’t required to give a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

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