Moving Into Manhood

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 6, 2011 0 comments

My oldest son, Ezra turned 12 years old last year.

When my son was about 3 years old my wife and I decided that after each of our children turned 12 years old that I would take them on a trip that year for a “rite of passage” into adulthood.  We weren’t sure what this would all entail but we trusted God to lead us in the direction He would want these trips to take.  Of course I would have “the talk” about the gift of sex and how as a responsible person we need to use that gift in God’s perfect plan.

I would also make sure to teach my children how to start a fire, how to tie a knot for fishing, how to shoot a gun as well as other skills needed in life.

For my oldest son’s trip we went to northern Minnesota in early May. (A beautiful place called Wilderness North. I highly recommend it).

We were the first campers of the year. In fact, the cook took me aside so my son couldn’t hear what she had to say and told me to make sure my son didn’t go outside alone at night because, as she put it, “The wolves and bears still think they run the place.”  I was nervous but also realized we definitely came to the right place.

One thing I was excited for my oldest son to experience was solitude time with God. This was such an amazing thing to see how he went from fear of being alone to embracing the time of peace and quiet and just listening.

Before we began this time I told him in the morning that he would be spending 2 hours in solitude with God that afternoon.  He said with a puzzled look, “What do you mean?” I told him he would be in his own place for two hours just listening and speaking to God and waiting for His direction.  My son said, “Where will you be?”  I told him just up the hill in the place he and I had stayed for two nights together.

Then he said, “You mean I’ll be by myself?”

I said, “No, I’ll be just up the hill if you need anything but more importantly God will still be with you and just seek Him out.”

I could tell he was nervous.

We finished breakfast and then spent a few hours together just talking about gifts and talents he has that God has given to him while we went fishing. Back at our cabin I told him how much I loved him and how exciting it was for me to see him growing up to become the man he is becoming but how hard it was too for me.  To be honest, I cried quite a bit and so did my son. We realized that our relationship was about to change.  Yes, it was good but still difficult.

After we got back to our camp we moved all his stuff to his new cabin and I told him this is where he would be sleeping for the night. Again, he asked, “What do you mean?”

I told him that he was becoming a man and that he would not only be spending 2 hours of solitude here but he would also be sleeping there for the night by himself.  I could tell this made him very uncomfortable. So, we got him settled in and then he chopped his own wood for the fire, started his own fire and continued his solitude time.  It was such a blessing to see how he handled 2 hours of silence and being alone with God. He seemed to have no problems what-so-ever. In fact, he read quite a bit of scripture, wrote a lot in his journal and even took time to just be quiet and still in the presence of God.

Lastly, as we left our “rite of passage” trip I challenged him to read a Proverb out of the Bible everyday.  (If you didn’t know there are 31 Proverbs.) I challenged him to read the Proverb with the same number as the date for the month.  Not only is he reading it now but his younger brother is reading this as well as my oldest sons leading.  Praise the Lord!

So, why is something like this important? Read and meditate on Hebrews 5:11 – 6:3

Are you seeking our God’s plan for your life?

Are you willing to mature spiritually or just stay comfortable where you are at in your relationship with God?

Who is your discipler? If you don’t have one, who do you need to ask?

Who are you discipling?

Whether you are a parent or not do you think a “rite of passage” trip into manhood is a good thing?  Why or Why not?

If so, what are something’s you would want to do on your trip?