Let me ask you a question: When did you know, really know, you were a man? For me, it was after completing Army Infantry Basic Training at Fort Benning Georgia. Three months of Georgia summer heat, swearing Drill Seargents, and hard physical work from 4:30 AM to bedtime. That will make a man out of you. So, in a culture where there aren’t rites of passage how do we initiate our boys into manhood? What does that look like and is it even necessary? This month we’ll take a look at rites of passage.
“Manhood has to be shaped by Jesus,” Wright says. “He had the classic traits of manhood, fighting with the Pharisees, clearing out the moneychangers, and also a passion for justice, equality, and compassion that leads to action. You also see him weeping at the tomb of his friend; you see a man of deep emotion. We need to reconnect men to Jesus. Some people seem to be emphasizing manhood for its own sake, rather than connecting men to Jesus.”
Jesus is exactly the model we need and our boys need.
Rites of Passage for Your Son – Robert Lewis
the important thing is that you do something creative and memorable to initiate your son into manhood. Remember, too, that the power of the ceremony is the actual experience! It is the lingering memory it makes and in the potent vision it marks.
This is a 7 part series from Robert Lewis (Raising a Modern Day Knight) on the rites of passage for his sons. He lays out the 4 rites (puberty, high school, college, and marriage) through their early life. There are some great ideas to incorporate into a rite of passage for your own son.
Rites of Passage – From Boys to Men – Rod Arters
As I groom my son to become a man one day, I’m tempted to take him fishing. Or hunting. Or show him how to shoot a gun. Or use a hammer. Or change the oil. Or rotate the car tires. All good things for men to know. But without passing the baton of my faith, what have I really given him?
There it is in that last sentence. Does it make a difference how good of a man our boys become if they don’t have faith in Jesus? No, it doesn’t. Any rite of passage must help pass on that baton of faith to our sons.
Why Boys are Failing – Philip Zimbardo
Boys are opting out. Opting out of a confusing world. They are isolating themselves in a safer simpler place. They are going in to virtual worlds, where the objectives are clear. They have control over the outcome, they have no fear, and never get rejected.
Do we need rites of passage in this day and age in our culture? I think Philip Zimbardo answers the question of the need. Philip George Zimbardo is a psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He became known for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment. There are some surprising statistics in this video for boys related to health, video games, porn, and school.
The guys discuss helping their own and their friend’s sons into manhood. Boys need their dad and the godly influence of their dad’s friends.
Did you have rite of passage yourself? Did you or will you have one for your son? What will that rite of passage look like? Let me know in the comments!