CrossPolitic: Thank you for doing this interview, Joseph. Your book It’s Good to be a Boy! recently came out. Why did you write this book?
Joseph Spurgeon: Almost five years ago, my first son was born. My wife and I had been blessed with two daughters before that. I wanted to come up with a way to teach my son what it means to be a godly man and my daughters to be godly women. I came up with two short catechism questions, one for the boys and one for the girls. Every night I say to my sons (I have three now and one due in October), “What did God make men for?” And they say back “Men worship God, build the kingdom, fight the devil, protect the people, provide for families, lead their homes and preach the gospel.” I shared this with a couple of people and they suggested that it would make for a good book. The more I thought about how biblical sexuality is under attack in our day, I became convinced of the necessity of a book teaching these principles to children.
We live in a time when masculinity and femininity are attacked by both those inside and outside of the church. Boys in particular are bearing the brunt of this confusion. I want my sons to know that God created them for a purpose and that purpose is good. What our culture needs is young men embracing their God-given masculinity and serving God and neighbor. I wrote this book to help fathers set that foundation with their sons.
CP: How have people responded to this book?
Spurgeon: The feedback has been better than I imagined. Men have posted videos of them reading to their sons. I have heard stories of young boys reading the book every night and then asking their fathers about the material. I have been overjoyed hearing how God is using it to stir biblical conversations and open up teaching opportunities.
CP: Is there a book for girls?
Spurgeon: Every night I say to my daughters, “What did God make women for?” They say, “Women serve God, love your husbands, give life, nurture your families, adorn yourself with humility, cultivate a quiet and gentle spirit, and don’t grow weary of doing good.” Stay tuned for “It’s Good to Be a Girl.”
CP: I saw that you included a discussion on abortion. Why did you do that in a kids book?
Spurgeon: The book is a bit biographical. The main character is named after my son Charles and so when it came to talking about sharing the gospel, it seemed natural to include what I do with my children. While I was in seminary and about a month after the birth of my first child, I was invited to minister at the abortion mill. I went and it wrecked me. To hold a brand-new baby in my arms and then watch as a woman came into the abortion mill literally yelling that she was going to murder her baby. It was not only shocking, but God used it to wreck me. How could I allow this holocaust to continue unchallenged where I lived?
God used this ministry to awaken in me a passion for sharing the gospel. It was also through this ministry that I became “woke” to the fact that abortion and masculinity are related. Men shirking their responsibility and women overstepping theirs has led to millions of dead children. It is because men seek to build their own kingdoms of comfort and ease that they either actively or passively lead women to slaughter their own babies. This is not to put all of the blame on men. Women rebelling against their own design by God is another primary component. Feminism ruins everything.
If I was going to write a book, teaching boys about manhood, I wanted to make sure to include this component in a tasteful manner. This allows for a teaching moment with sons and an encouragement to fathers to not be apathetic about this senseless slaughter. I have already heard good stories of sons and fathers having age appropriate conversations.
CP: What are you hoping that boys will get from this book?
Spurgeon: I want boys to know that God made them to be men. They aren’t defective girls. They are boys and they have a purpose. They are supposed to be leaders, builders, and protectors. It is good to be a boy.
CP: Thank you for doing this interview, Joseph. To our readers, get your copy today: It’s Good to be a Boy!
Joseph Spurgeon is Pastor/Church Planter, Sovereign King Church.