Lies Boys Believe: And the Epic Quest for Truth / A Parent’s Guide to Lies Boys Believe – Erin Davis and Jason Davis

Lies Boys Believe: And the Epic Quest for Truth by Erin Davis, Jason Davis
Published by Moody Publishers on November 7, 2023
Genres: Children's, Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Parenting
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Lies are powerful. God’s Truth is stronger.

Graphic novel meets meaty Bible teaching in Lies Boys Believe, helping boys identify lies and replace them with Truth so they can stand firm in a fractured world.

Jason and Erin Davis—parents to four boys—use witty storytelling and playful graphics to present solid biblical truth to combat the most common lies boys believe. With easy-to-read chapters, this book focuses on ten core lies:

Loving God Is for Girls
God is Mad at Me
It’s Not My Fault
No One Needs to Know About My Sin
I Can’t Control My Temper
It Doesn’t Matter What I Watch
Reading the Bible Isn’t for Me . . . and more.

Through the Davis’ fictional and humorous stories, your son will begin to trade the lies he’s believed for the truth God intends. He will learn to swim upstream against the tides of deception and be equipped to recognize future lies as he develops a passion for knowing and living God’s Word.

Join him in the battle by using the accompanying tool: A Parent’s Guide to Lies Boys Believe. This companion resource invites you to critically examine the lies boys believe, discover how to strengthen and encourage your son, and employ creative and practical tools for ongoing discussion.

In my experience, the boy versions of things are ALWAYS better, and this is no exception. To be fair, I never read the girls’ version of this book, which didn’t exist until I was an adult, but I firmly opted out of reading Lies Young Women Believe in high school, even when someone was organizing a group to read it at church. I knew that it was utterly irrelevant to me, and I really struggled with feeling gender-stereotyped with resources intended for teen girls. My life didn’t align with the assumptions that people made about my demographic group, and my sister and I both found things directed to boys far more interesting, helpful, and appealing than their counterparts for girls. I’m glad I had the confidence to pursue those resources, and I’m glad that I can laugh about it now, seeing my assumption bear out once more!

Unlike the other books in the Lies We Believe series, Lies Boys Believe is narrative-driven. It made me think of some of the devotional books my parents used to read to me and my siblings, because we always liked the story-driven ones and would look forward to future installments. In this book’s story, two boys are traveling out West with their dad, and they have fun adventures and learn important truths along the way. Although it’s definitely a teaching book, the stories are genuinely engaging and the dialogue sounds surprisingly natural and real, even during spiritual conversations.

Erin Davis and Jason Davis are parents of four boys, and it’s clear that they wrote this from a lot of knowledge and experience, and specifically designed it to be fun and appealing. A Parent’s Guide to Lies Boys Believe shares more about their vision for the book and ideas for how families can use it together, and gives adult-level teaching about the topics in the book, encouraging parents with biblical truth and giving them helpful tips and conversation starters for how to engage with their sons. The book for parents is an optional expense, but it’s substantive, includes its own unique content, and doesn’t just rehash or outline the content from the boy’s book.

Each chapter in Lies Boys Believe covers a different lie and counters it with the corresponding truth, such as “God is always mad at me” and “God forgives!” Some chapters include activity ideas, and they all conclude with a short teaching section with reflection questions and space for boys to write out their answers. The book also avoids culture wars topics, focusing instead on fundamental, basic elements of spiritual formation, such as reading the Bible, repenting of sin, loving Jesus, needing friends, and having self-control. This makes the book appropriate for a broad age range and introduces very few touchy subjects that parents might want to address differently.

However, I thought the chapter about the lie “Girls rule, boys drool” could have used more nuance. Firstly, even though this chapter reflects common dynamics in its contrast between boys acting loud and rambunctious and girls being more subdued, talking a lot, and needing less hands-on parenting, the book doesn’t mention the role of personality differences. I wish that the story had acknowledged that even though God made boys and girls different and generalizations sometimes apply, He also made some boys quiet and subdued, and made some girls wild, loud, and energetic.

Secondly, and more significantly to me, the story doesn’t provide any historical context for female empowerment messages that end up putting boys down. It’s impossible to really understand this dynamic without an awareness of historic sexism and the ways that people react against it now, often going too far in a pendulum swing. For example, one of the boys in this story talks about how a teacher constantly finds fault with the boys in her class, but lavishes praise on the girls. That’s a legitimate thing to be upset about, but even though the teacher may just be biased due to her personal preferences, it’s highly likely that she thinks that boys are already set for life, and that girls need active support and empowerment to succeed beyond sexist barriers.

Lots of people have such narrow, incomplete perspectives that they ignore and marginalize boys in their attempts to empower and encourage girls, and they don’t even see it. This chapter encourages boys that they’re important and valuable too, but it completely misses the opportunity to explain why so many people show favoritism for girls. There’s also no acknowledgement of continued barriers that girls may face, or the reality that many girls throughout the world lack basic rights and don’t even have access to education. Parents can personally provide this context, but I wish that the book had included a brief, gentle explanation that could be a light bulb moment for boys who don’t have the social context for why they sometimes get snubbed in adults’ eagerness to uplift girls.

Overall, Lies Boys Believe is really good. I enjoyed the narrative-driven approach to teaching life lessons, and appreciate the ways that the authors wove in spiritual truths in a way that feels real instead of overly didactic and forced. This is a great book for parents to read aloud with boys, and it’s also great for independent reading and reflection. I would recommend this for families who are looking for engaging resources to help them with faith formation in the home, and many parents will also find A Parent’s Guide to Lies Boys Believe helpful as they consider ways to make the most of this discipleship resource and continue to invest in their sons’ lives.