If you’re still looking for a last-minute gift idea, how about making it a gift that will leave a lasting spiritual impression on your family? 

Years ago, we started the tradition in our family to open one gift on Christmas Eve that will encourage each of our children in their spiritual growth. We like to choose a Bible, book, magazine, study, or another timely resource. Often, we’ll look for something that Stacy or I can participate in with them, so we are actively growing together. This tradition gives us a great opportunity to speak specifically into the life and spiritual development of each child and for them to see us actively pursuing growth as well. Win-win! 

Read more about our family tradition. 

What about you? Do you have any traditions that help spotlight the importance of personal, spiritual growth for your family? 

Another super cool idea for a memorable experience that helps the whole family remember to keep Christ in front of Christmas is building a manger using Dad’s Tools for Spiritual Leadership: Let’s Build a Manger Kit!®Tomorrow, December 18, is the last day to order to receive it by Christmas. Click here for the Build One Give One Special!  

We recently received a testimony from Triumph Church of the Lutheran Brethren in North Dakota, where they had a classroom set-up for families who registered to build their manger. Afterward, they encouraged them to fill their mangers with baby items to donate to a local non-profit that provides housing and education for young women in unplanned or crisis pregnancy situations. 

They created meaningful memories with their kids on the true meaning of Christmas and then shared it with others. Now that’s the Christmas spirit! 

Check out this list of some of the books we’ve read over the years and some that have been recommended to us. Hopefully you can find a few that will be a great fit for your family this year. 

Apologetics  

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis  

A classic that every young man who follows Christ should read. It’s referenced so often that you’ll want to know what everyone’s talking about.  

More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell  

Another classic. I give this one away frequently to folks who are asking questions about Christ and faith with the encouragement to simply read the chapter titled Liar, Lunatic, or Lord and then reconnect to talk.  

Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger 

Help arm your teens and young adults with well-reasoned responses to the accusations that are most likely to appear in their lives. 

Ethix by Sean McDowell 

Helps young adults combat moral relativism and better understand how to make Bible-informed ethical decisions on current issues. 

Biblical Manhood 

Point Man by Steve Farrar  

A friend gave this book to me shortly after Stacy and I were married. I believe that the sooner young men are exposed to the Biblical ideas expressed by Steve, the better prepared they will be to lead a wife and family.  

Wild at Heart by John Eldridge  

Young men gain insights into how God made them as Eldridge helps them understand that Christ is the model for manhood. We’re all on a quest for a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and a cause to embrace.  

The Resolution for Men by Stephen and Alex Kendrick  

The whole book is great and so Biblically sound, the contrast of two men who make different decisions about Christ in chapter two will help young men develop a long-range perspective.  

The Measure of a Manby Gene Getz  

I love the instruction that Paul gives Timothy and Titus about seeking out leaders for the church. Dr. Getz unpacks those qualifications and helps men grow in critical areas. There is a version for young men that I’ve not read.  

A Guide to Biblical Manhood by Randy Stinson and Dan Dumas  

With whimsical style and powerful truth, this book lays out Biblical manhood in an easy-to-read format. I love to give this one to young men. The chapter about how to teach manhood through the game of baseball is inspiriting.  

Cover Her by Rod Hairston  

Rod’s clear challenge to all men to provide a covering for every woman in their lives is instructive and encouraging. Young men need to understand their responsibility to create and provide safety for their  relatives as well as strangers.

Checkpoints (Devotional) by Brian Mills  

Helps arm boys going through adolescence on core issues they will face 

Virtuosity (Devotional) by Brian Mills 

Help your sons strive for excellence in their spiritual lives, not settle for a life of spiritual complacency and mediocrity. 

Purity 

Every Young Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker  

Every Man’s Battle is a classic for helping men with the purity issue. This version for young men has produced some great conversations with my sons. We must help young men with tools and strategies to engage in the battle.  

Sex Isn’t the Problem, Lust Is by Joshua Harris  

A pretty quick read and a great resource to help with perspective. The issue is the heart, and the battlefield is often the mind. Behaviors begin with temptations. Great insights here to equip young men. 

The Purity War by James Cecy

A biblical guide to living in an immoral world. 

The Fight of Your Life by Tim Clinton

Man up to the challenge of sexual integrity. 

Leadership 

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley  

I loved talking about this one with my oldest son. We’re all headed somewhere on our journey. Sadly, too many young men aren’t sure where that is. Charting a Godward course and being willing to make course corrections are key. I consider every young man to be a leader; leaders must know where they’re going.  

21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell  

Habitudes Series by Tim Elmore

Each deals with core habits of leadership. 

Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

Leadership begins with devotion to Jesus Christ. 

Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft

Helping equip leaders to finish well.  

Stewardship 

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn  

There are plenty of other resources regarding Biblical stewardship but this small book gives great perspective and is a quick read. It would open up some great discussions with a young man.  

Fiction 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis  

It would be impossible, I think, to come up with a better Christian fiction series to recommend to young men. These can be read over and over again. I’m hopeful that our children will ultimately read them to their children.  

Biography 

Never Surrender by LTG (Ret.) Gerald Boykin  

General Boykin has spoken at quite a few of our Noble Man/ISI conferences over the years. His story is compelling and inspiring for young men. My boys have all heard his testimony and read his book.  

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand  

Wow! What a story of courage, resilience, and ultimately, redemption. The movie stopped short of telling the full story of Louis Zamparini coming to faith in Christ later in life and how his faith inspired so many others. You have to read the book for the full picture!  

Evangelism 

Dare 2 Share by Greg Stier  

One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill 

Other Topics 

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

Learn to live singularly for Christ. 

Join the Movement by Alvin Reid

Challenges young adults to commit to being used by God to change the world. 

Gospel by JD Greer

A focus on the one thing that’s too often been eclipsed in the church: the gospel. 

Follow Me by David Platt

What does it truly mean to follow Christ? 

Nobodies for Jesus by Chuck Lawless

14 days of going through the NT to develop a great commission lifestyle. 

Ordinary by Tony Merida

Make an impact on the world by practicing humble acts of “ordinary” Christianity. 

Almost Christian by Kendra Dean

A look inside the faith of the American teenager. 

Counter Culture by David Platt

As Christians, how do we respond to cultural issues?