A boy raised on great literature is more likely to grow up to think, to speak, and to write like a civilized man.
Tom Spence wrote a great editorial for last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “How to Raise Boys Who Read.” It’s worth the read if you know any kids. Boys are way behind girls on reading habits, and I don’t know that I would even be satisfied with girls’ reading habits.
The publishing companies have started throwing the paper version of “shock and awe” at our boys with unconscionably, base content. Instead of trying to sell books by the true, good and beautiful path; they are following the private-things-made-open route. Proverbs says that, “Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom; but a man of understanding walks uprightly.”
One obvious problem with the SweetFarts philosophy of education [read the linked article for more info] is that it is more suited to producing a generation of barbarians and morons than to raising the sort of men who make good husbands, fathers and professionals. If you keep meeting a boy where he is, he doesn’t go very far.
The little boy in this picture belongs to me. He would love these base books. He and his other three brothers could sit and laugh and scorn and chortle with them all day long. It would make him very happy.
But if I have received a commission to parent him, if I am going to be held accountable for how I do it, if I believe Proverbs, if all this important speak in Scripture is true that children are a heritage unto the Lord, then I must not allow him to revel in these things or allow them to shape his thinking. I must not let him to be saturated in it, because he would be all-in, and the desire for perverseness would roll bigger and bigger.
There is so much truth, goodness and beauty to revel in. There are so many heroic stories he must learn, so many brave hearts that he must meet, so many honors that must captivate his mind. I must put the best before him.
Sweet Farts is admittedly getting too much attention here, even in this post. It’s on the cusp. But there are plenty of other low-level books our culture is reading and loving.
(Now go read the article at the link above.)