I grew up with a loose definition of manhood that mostly surrounded my ability to provide for myself.
“I’m a man now that I have my own car, have my own place, and pay my own bills.”
What a poor definition of manhood; that is such a low expectation to aspire to!
When I was younger, I struggled as a man. I had a false vision of what manhood meant, and no one acknowledged my transition. Maturing from boy to man was nebulous.
The world’s poor definitions leave grown men insecure and cause them to silently question themselves, leading to the outward detriment of the families they lead.
Think back to when you transitioned into manhood. Perhaps it came when you turned 18 or bought your first car. Maybe when you moved out of your parents home or got your first full-time job. Do these things really define manhood?
Is it possible you still feel like a boy in a man’s body?
Do you feel the plague of insecurities? On the outside you’re strong, showing the world your pained charade of confidence, but inside there are fragile gaps in your identity.
As a father, you have an incredibly important job.
You have the power to breath life or death, progress or decay into your children, perhaps even something in between. Unfortunately, many receive, from their fathers, that which is in between. Stagnation wreaks havoc in their lives and those they lead because they don’t know what to do, or what not to do.
Are you going to let the patterns you grew up with continue through your children and influence your legacy for further generations? Or are you going to break the cycle of weakness?
Will you truly disciple and train your sons to pursue a clear and Godly definition of manhood?
My oldest son Austin turned 14 this year and he has reached a level of maturity and Godly strength that warranted a clear definition of manhood and a recognition of his transition towards it. So, I planned a manhood ceremony to publicly acknowledge and breath life into his transition.
Seven godly men were invited with the sole instruction to prepare a 5-10 minute message for Austin that spoke truth and life into him as a young man. The only other thing was to present a gift that symbolized some aspect of their message to him.
Ceremony is a lost art today because our culture undervalues it. Today, ceremony is primarily reserved for marriage and death. “Not for my family” I say!
And I challenge you to purpose the same. This was something I hadn’t done before, but it had been on my mind for the last eight years. The idea was inspired by the book “Raising Modern Day Knights” by Robert Lewis.
A real ceremony is memorable, which requires preparation, thoughtfulness, and spending some money.
This was a pivotal milestone in my son’s life and it can be in your son’s life as well. It needs to matter to you.
We hosted our event at a beautiful country club, in the best private meeting room, with food to be served during the ceremony.
It was an incredible day that my son and I greatly anticipated, the results did not disappoint. He and I greeted the men as they arrived. There’s nothing like men getting together to support the foundation of your son’s manhood.
I’ve run many meetings in my life but this one stood apart just watching the impact these men were having by bringing a great sense of purpose in speaking to my son.
And we began; Austin and I at each end of the table with four men on each side. I opened with a short, well-prepared message about manhood, and then we proceeded around the table as each man spoke wisdom into my son’s life.
Each of the leaders that were present are “Mighty Men of God”, with lives full of fruitfulness, each mature in the ability to accurately divide the word of God. The Holy Spirit was all over this ceremony, each man spoke incredibly powerful messages to my son. One by one presenting a gift as a symbol of manhood. It was incredible to see the truth, encouragement, and wisdom spoken to him.
I’m forever grateful for how they showed up with such reverence for the significance of this ceremony. They prepared such powerful truths, that will forever be near Austin’s heart.
It’s important to create signature experiences for your children, that catalyze their development. This one is an absolute must do.
Ask yourself right now, regardless of how old your children are: “Who have I cultivated strong relationships with who would be worthy of speaking into my son?”
Real fellowship is vital. If you lack people around you that can do this, you may want to take an honest look within.
The kind of man who will do this for their son is the kind of man who “Believes in God enough to obey Him” as Gregg Harris would say. And if you’re obeying God, then you’re going to build relationships with other men who do the same.
It’s your job as a father to cultivate the right relationships so you have a table of Godly men willing to do the same.
We must reject passivity, reject our insecurities, and do things that are counter-intuitive to this world if we are going to raise leaders who follow God’s callings on their lives.