Customer Reviews: Preparing Your Son for Every Man's Battle: Honest Conversations About Sexual Integrity (The Every Man Series)
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on March 14, 2010
My expectations were too high for this book. I have been disappointed for many reasons.

First, the good. This is a topic that fathers ABSOLUTELY need to cover with their sons. If they don't, someone will and this book provides some great ideas / thoughts on how to approach the subject.

My disappointment: 1) The topic order in the Dad / Son section is chaotic, swinging wildly from one topic to the next. For example, chapter 1 is about puberty, but then chapter 2 jumps straight into the mechanics of sex. There is a great gulf of information between these two topics that is left for other chapters that follow, if covered at all. It will require some serious planning to get the topics into an order that actually makes sense. 2) In the section for 11-13 year olds, the author covers his high school experiences. For the 13-15 year olds, he covers his college experiences. In my opinion, the intended audience of these sections is too young for the stories he shares. 3) There are topics that are completely absent but are extremely relevant today. Abuse, homosexuality, situational awareness, how to protect yourself (school, public, church), camera phones, sexting, and social networking are just a few of the missing topics.

Today's world is even more complex sexually than when we parents were kids. But this book is silent on many topics, reasons unknown. If you are going to do right by your sons in teaching them, you have got to cover all the topics they face in today's world, not just those we grew up with or those this author experienced. That means Dads (or Moms) are going to have to find other sources of information and uncover topics that may be uncomfortable but have to be explored and shared with our sons.

This book is one source of information on your journey. But, don't consider it the only source and certainly not the singular authority because it is quite lacking on several levels and topics in my opinion.
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VINE VOICEon June 12, 2006
This is a great book for many reasons. First off, it makes the point very clearly that a father's relationship with his sons is vitally important during the "second half of the game," the years starting with pre-adolescence. Not only are too many of us are caught up in difficult work schedules, but it gets more difficult. No longer is he that little boy who worships the ground you walk on. It's too easy to make an effort and, when you are rebuffed, just quit and hope for the best. All too easy to just figure, "well I turned out ok ... besides, maybe this is the way kids relate to their parents nowadays."

Well, Dad, that would be the worst decision you can make. This is the time of his life when he needs you more than ever. Many problems that will plague your dear son for a lifetime (including confused sexual identity, lust, pornography addiction, etc.) grow up during this period. After all, he's a good kid, but he doesn't know the ropes. Who knows how many traps are waiting for him out there - the world, the flesh, and the devil are all working against him.

The second reason the book is excellent is that it gives you a relatively painless way to go about doing what you know you should do. Many times I have struggled with starting conversations on these topics with my son, but was not quite sure where to go. I see three extremely valuable suggestions here. First off, relate stories to him. Your son probably knows little about your background. Knowing that you've faced struggles helps him to relate to you better and will probably help him to be more open sharing his own concerns and problems. This includes the dirty laundry too - such as the first time you viewed pornography. And I can't help but thinking of ol' Dad whenever some temptation comes up will help him to resist the temptation - the secret thrill is gone.

The second valuable suggestion the book makes is to create a safe place where he can "approach the throne of grace." I set up something like this in our spare bedroom years ago and it has yielded some benefits already and I expect more. Finally, the book provides suggestions of method to prompts discussion, such as reading this book and others together. These keep you going and provides a way to discuss difficult topics, and also helps answer the question "how much should I tell him and when." Certainly, you have to apply your own wisdom and knowledge of your son, but having an experienced father like Fred Stoeker making suggestions is extremely valuable, especially for those of us who never had a good role model in doing such things.

I should mention something that this book is NOT. It is not a "birds and the bees" kind of book. Although it does have some information in the early chapters, it pretty much assumes that either your son already knows the basic mechanics of sex - hopefully from your teaching over the years rather than through his friends. If you are interested, there are other good books on this subject from a Christian point of view. Where this book really comes in is helping your young man manage the resources God has given him. That is, not the mechanism of sex, but the policy of how to manage it before it starts managing him. And many of us know that sex will manage him unless he has the tools to take charge of it.

I should also note that Steve Arterburn did not write the book, it just shows up under his name. Fred Stoeker wrote it and virtually all the experiences and suggestions in the book appear to be Fred's. Some who may question Arterburn's own morality may be put at ease knowing that it's just Arterburn's name attached - the book is really Fred's. Don't pass up an extremely valuable book because somebody's name appears on the cover.

So Dad, get this book, and get on with doing what you know you should do. I think the age range of 11-13 is probably the time to start it. Don't let the "Sexual Code of Silence" continue!
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on December 29, 2006
I read the first half of the book (which is to be read by the dad alone), then proceeded to read the latter half with my son. I would highly recommend that the dad read the whole book first, not just the first half. Generally the book is well done, but I found a variety of the descriptions to simply cover situations and scenarios which I largely did not experience as a boy. Since the book asks the dad, at the end of each chapter, to talk about their experiences you want to be prepared to address issues you may not have experienced. I don't fault the author so much for this (everyone has a different experience, and it is ultimately absurd for anyone to think that everyone is cookie cutter), but this is an important set of topics to discuss with your son - read the whole book and tailor appropriately, IMHO.
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on March 7, 2004
Fred Stoeker and the team of EveryMan have provided an invaluable tool for equipping young man in the battle for sexual purity. Fred provides dialog and insight to the necessary discussions that will need to take place with young sons. A must have for every father. (The author does acknowledge the single mother and her plight and provides gracious assistance throughout the book.)
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on August 3, 2004
I was thouroughly impressed with the writing of this book. While being careful to not overstate the obvious, the authors were forward and truthful. I felt that their honesty and integrity as men were painted in the way they told their own stories.

When I read this book, I had both of my sons in mind, and will read this with them one day. No hesitations.

A big "thank you" to Fred and Mike.
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on October 14, 2011
There are some bits of wisdom in this book especially in planting the idea of not being afraid to dialogue openly with your child and boldly creating an atmosphere of "you can talk to me about anything". The first section was great in that respect but went drastically down hill in the "Book 2" section. I'm a Christian and, like any good parent, Christian or not, I love having tools to set and keep my son on the right track. That said, if you can pick this book up at a thrift store for 25cents, as I did, you'll be glad for some of the ideas it will give you for some good impromtu dialogue. It's NOT worth the buying new. And DON'T, hand it over to your son to read at the Book 2 point as the author(s) suggest. Personally, I think the author (Fred Stoeker, specifically) is so busy name dropping where he went to college (Stanford) and that he was a "star football player", and letting us know just HOW qualified he is to talk about transgressions by recounting wild times, I think the true message (that I hope he was trying to convey) is lost! I don't really think we need to be planting ideas here. Back when I was at Stanford... and On my way through Colorado I stopped to visit some old Stanford buddies... And oh, did I happen to mention I went to Stanford? Ok, we're suitably impressed that you had the means to attend such a fine institution and I'm sure the parties were wild. But I think the message is murky's somewhere behind your pride. Instead of the message of "See what Hell sexual impurity leads to?" I came away with, "I had a wild ride, I miss my glory days, wish I had someone to rehash them with... Hey, I know...I can write a book about it and say how aweful it was and save your sons from such sexual impurity from just reading my "homework", That's Stamford homework, mind you. Because despite my sexual impurity I turned out ok! Now I'm an upstanding citizen and a rich author." If I were a kid reading this I'd be wondering why my dad gave it to me and then I'd be thinking, "Hey... I could dabble in porn and wild women (even at the cheap-o community college)and if I'm lucky I'll turn out like this guy if I just pencil it in my calendar that in a few years I'm going to start "glancing away" when I'm tempted to look at womens' bodies lustfully. It worked for him!" Truethfully, I'm almost done the book and I'm having a hard time even thinking, "Well, at least his heart was in the right place." I can't seem to see past his inflated ego to find where his heart is. They must not teach humility at Stanford. If they re-release this book and update it for addressing challenges that kids are facing with today's technology, I recommend he leave out the name dropping and bits about his glory days. Focus more on the misery and self loathing experienced at feeling addicted to lookiing at filthy magazines and movies and sleeping with cheap girls and how he sought help from the trenches due to the shame he felt at knowing his daughters and nieces might be seen in that light... and that only by God's grace he's not still addicted today. Then this book will be worth buying at full price.
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on January 28, 2013
This book was pretty much a tell all tale of the author's supposed "glory days." The way he talks about "sexy girls" in high school and their "well proportioned chests" and "little butts" doesn't really do much for his supposed point of teaching men to respect women.

I believe it is mentioned almost a dozen times that he went to Stanford and what a big shot he was in middle school and high school. Yes, we got it, but what does this have to do with teaching young men purity?

I also wanted to point out I don't understand his sharing in detail all of his sexual exploits?

I understand you went to Stanford but please know that yes, some women are turned on by a bunch of guys in Speedos. Seriously? You know so much about women that you know for a fact women aren't turned on by men's bodies? Seriously?!? I couldn't believe that was said in this book, I laughed out loud! I also like the line about women's breasts "the bigger the better."
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on April 11, 2008
I read this book, seeing I have a younger teenage son. The first half of the book is good basic information for young minds to grasp. However, I will NOT be reading the second half with my son. Why? It's my feeling the authors are much too graphic with their whoremongering (Yes, that is it's true title. Yes, I know "mistakes" is more politically correct) when they were younger. Almost bragging/proud to tell about them?? I'm glad, after numerous sexual encounters with many women, he finally came to himself and decided to be "pure" until marriage, and do the "Lord's" work/write books, etc. Sorry, he lost the opportunity to carry that title (Pure)when he got "tired of being a virgin", and gave up his purity, which can never be gotten back, no matter how chaste he is after. (which was definitely NOT the case for this guy) So, the question for me as a Dad is: Do I want my son to think he can be just like the author, an abuser of women for his own selfish gratification, and come out "OK" on the other side? Writing books, etc? I have to say a resounding, No!
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on July 31, 2014
This is a great book for dads to read and discuss with sons. I wouldn't recommend a mom reading this with her sons, as it would be quite uncomfortable, and most likely unauthentic, as the topics are about sexuality and are discussed from male's perspective. For single moms out there, I would suggest this could work as a study between your son and a close male relative or friend.
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on August 31, 2013
This book is a challenge to a father. He must read the beginning half of the book and then then commit to walking his son through the second half dealing with very concrete, specific issues that he will be faced with as he continues the journey toward manhood. Appropriate, in my opinion, for boys 13 and up it doesn't mince words. If you've read any of the Every Man's Battle books, this one is mandatory reading if you have a son.
It can be used by single mothers, but I would imagine it would be a bit more awkward unless the relationship was very strong.
Parents have to face the fact that even by the age of 10, boys have already been pummeled with unhealthy messages about sex that can poison their relationships with women as they move toward manhood. This book does a good job of providing a forum for discussing that in a wholesome and biblical manner.
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