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"Boys become men by watching men, by standing close to men. Manhood is a ritual passed from generation to generation with precious few spoken instructions. Passing the torch of manhood is a fragile, tedious task. If the rite of passage is successfully completed, the boy-become-man is like an oak of hard-wood character. His shade and influence will bless those who are fortunate enough to lean on him and rest under his canopy."
-Preston Gillham

As we have been given the opportunity to share about the importance of the father daughter relationship through the Father Daughter Purity Ball, we have also been asked how we call our sons to the same standards. Every year we invite the sons to attend the Ball to watch the way their fathers treat young women, and have had many attend with their families because we believe this standard is also important for young men to live out in their lives. But some specific ways we have also chosen to call our sons into manhood has been through ceremony, wise mentors, and modeling manhood to them.

The Manhood Ceremony
We believe that manhood is passed from the masculine to the masculine, and because the defining line between childhood and manhood is often indistinguishable in our world, we wanted to show our sons a clear line they can cross to enter into manhood. We chose to mark their step into manhood at the age of twelve--the same age Jesus first questioned rabbis and discussed the Scriptures in His Father's house--with a celebration called Brave Heart of a Warrior. The purpose of this celebration is to mark in time, to raise a monument, that testifies that our sons have crossed a threshold that separates boyhood from manhood.
The Presentation of Symbols
As a part of teaching our sons who they are as men, we selected a few symbols of a warrior to give to them during the manhood celebration. I asked my mentors and friends to be apart of this ceremony and share with our oldest son lessons they had learned and wanted to pass down to him through symbols and story. One of the symbols with our son that his mother and I presented him with was a purity ring. As with our daughters, we want our sons to guard their hearts and walk in purity and call them to live in wholeness and strength in mind, body, and spirit. We call them to protect young women's hearts by living lives of integrity, purpose, and purity. And this ring is to remind him to honor God at all costs. 

Another symbol we presented him with was the sword. At that time the immense sword was almost his height. I explained to him that although he could not wage war right now with this imposing sword, he would grow into the weight of the sword just as he would grow into the weight of manhood. We sensed the incredible privilege and responsibility we have to stand courageously as mighty warriors of God calling our sons to "fight the good fight" (1 Tim. 1:18) for the sake of the cross.

Modeling Manhood for Our Boys
What we have done over the years is commit to proactively mentor our sons through starting groups that train boys to become men based on biblical models. And now we see more and more of these things taking place, where sons and dads take time to plan a camping trip together, or put together a sporting event where men can be men. This is important for young men to have, and it is in this kind of environment we have seen that they thrive in, not in a ballroom setting, but a place where men can lead boys.

As fathers, we need to lead our sons into making decisions that protect their hearts and minds and honor God. We need to instill in our boys the sound advice that King Solomon shared with is son, "Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil. My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge." (Prov. 4:26-5:2)  But we too may feel deficient at times as men and fathers; that is why it is helpful to meet regularly with men of like mind. 

This is about linking codes of male conduct directly to the well-being of others, as David Blankenhorn says in his book Fatherless America.1 He says, "Fathers place the ideal of male servant hood at the very center of their definition of the good father...That in today's dominant cultural conversation, probably the central prescription regarding fatherhood is to lower our standards. Expect and accept less. Instead of good fathers, settle for child-support payments, divorce reform, and other attempts to salvage something from the for adequate substitutes for fathers." 
  • To check out Logan Wilson's School of Honor for boys click here!
  • To learn more about boys, order Randy and Lisa Wilson's book "Celebrations of Faith" and click here.
  • For more resources on a crest for your sons, click here.
Portions of this have been take from Randy and Lisa's book Celebrations of Faith. Copyright 2008
1. David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America


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