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Sharon Norris Elliott
Judson Press
ISBN: 9780817015411

RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS offers counsel for a great number of challenges that Christian parents face today. It investigates the tasks of laying effective moral groundwork for young boys, getting through the tough middle years, and then helping them mature into admirable young men. It touches equally on children and parents, delving into what kind of role models we are making for our kids and what they see in us. Self-examination, spiritual devotion and dedication to daily improvement, both for boys and their parents, are a major focus.

Author Sharon Norris Elliott provides great detail, description and interpretation of many biblical passages relating to Jesus Christ. For example, when discussing the subject of men's responsibility toward women, she cites the Bible to illustrate how Jesus handled the situation:

"John 8:1-11 relates the tension-filled story of the woman caught in adultery. The women's disingenuous accusers orchestrated the whole episode to trap Jesus in a disagreement with Moses' teaching. Jesus ignored the challenge and focused on the woman...’If any one of you are without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’...Boys who will be like Christ in their treatment of women will always defend a woman's honor. A woman caught in a compromising position clearly knows her plight. There is no need for her protector to remind her of it too. What is needed is protection and encouragement to go on from there."

Here is how Elliott approaches the subject of Jesus organizing His life and the good that followed from that:

"Jesus sought John's baptism because it was proper (Matthew 3:13-15). He emerged from the wilderness, ready to begin his ministry --- with a routine that was consistent as he traveled from town to town, visiting the synagogues, preaching the gospel of repentance, and healing the sick (Matthew 4:23). He systematically recruited twelve disciples, students whom he would train and to whom he would ultimately delegate the work of ministry. And when the time came, Jesus resolutely turned his face to Jerusalem to face what awaited him there...Your son's integrity will shine when he leads an organized lifestyle that allows him to get everything done. When he makes a promise or a commitment, he will be able to stick to it because he is organized enough not to let other things get in the way."

Elliott's advice is very discerning and detailed, and individual descriptions relating to moral character are particularly thoughtful. What it means to have true integrity, for example, she describes as a character trait of being consistent and not related in any way to how others perceive us, but a mindset where we are committed to one set of values and our actions consistently reflect this. I was thoroughly impressed by her discussions of honesty and integrity and helping others. 

The views in this book represent radical conservative Christian ideals. As such, they will have great appeal to some but may not appeal to every reader. For example, while some perspectives here represent interpretations of the Bible and basic Christian values common among many Americans, other perspectives stray into a territory that is blatantly condemning of present-day American culture, individuals, choices and lifestyles. There are also occasional leaps of logic in conclusions drawn and a generally severe mindset denouncing values that stray even a little from the professed ideal.

That said, RAISING BOYS TO BE LIKE JESUS makes a very effective argument in comparing the virtuous qualities of Jesus to the efforts that we make as parents for our own children. Elliott is astute and knowledgeable in her biblical quotations and represents admirable core values. And she advocates a mindset of action and dedication as a means of producing positive results. This is a very influential book for conservative Christian parents.

    --- Reviewed by Melanie Smith (

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