Living Ink Books
If you’re looking for a book that teaches nice, easy steps to raising a son or understanding your man, don’t bother reading Don S. Otis’s Whisker Rubs: Developing the Masculine Identity. There isn’t a single word on how to coddle or protect your son from the cold, cruel world. But if you want to develop a strong, well-adjusted, godly man, open the cover and absorb every word Otis has written.
Unfortunately, rarely does an author approach his subject with such honesty and a tell-it-like-it-is style. Otis describes many of the differences between society’s messages of taming and feminizing young boys – through medication, behavioral changes, and societal attitudes – and their need for real adventure and development through various trials and tests. Among the topics he explores are the myth about the sameness of the sexes and the importance of male-to-male mentoring and bonding.
Otis doesn’t limit his discussion to little boys. He also looks at the teenage years, the middle-age years, and even men in their golden years to examine the specific needs of each group. Otis stresses the themes of encouragement and friendship that are vital in each stage for real masculine development. But he also passionately takes to task those forces, such as the women’s movement and the media that have tried to undermine and destroy those foundations.
Whisker Rubs should be required reading for parents raising boys or women seeking insight into their partners. Developing a masculine identity in today’s culture is challenging, but Otis assures his readers that adhering to biblical standards and following Jesus’ example will always produce strong men of God. – Jeff Friend, Christian Book Previews.com
Our quest to level the playing field between boys and girls has lead to a lopsidedness that leaves many boys feeling confused. God created man and woman as separate but equal. When we try to feminize boys or masculinize women, we discredit God’s original design. This book describes the importance of pushing boys toward risk and adventure; qualities that lead to genuine self esteem. There are no short cuts to personal growth or manhood. The book argues that every boy needs to face himself, to face some dreaded test. Some men go through most of their lives avoiding the test but they never become the men they want to be, or the men God wants them to be, unless they meet it head-on.
The opening sections describe what boys need most if they are to become the men that God can use. It includes anecdotes, stories, interviews, and studies to bolster the thesis that men desperately want to a blueprint for their masculine journey. It tells men how to prepare their sons to face their tests and explains why it is so important that well-meaning women encourage the growth into manhood instead of thwart it.
As our postmodern culture seeks to redefine Biblical morality, relationships have taken a serious hit, even within the Church. How does this affect men? From boyhood, to the teenage years, and on through mid-life and retirement, the book describes what men in each of these stages of life are dealing with—the challenges they face. In some instances, men feel they cannot measure up to the expectations placed on them at work, in their marriage or in their spiritual life. Fortunately there are answers and these come together in the final section, “Reclaiming Masculinity.”