Monday, May 30, 2005
King Me: What every son wants and needs from his father
Steve Farrar has written numerous books on manhood and being an example husband and father, like Point Man and Finishing Strong. King Me is powerful because he details what went wrong with his sons and how he worked with them to re-establish ties with them. He gives various examples of father-son relations gone both right and wrong in the Bible. He details David, Solomon and Rehoboam, the 3 successive generations of kings. He briefly goes over pre-kings Eli and Samuel and how they BOTH failed as fathers. And even though the Bible clearly points out (Deut 6) the need for fathers to take active roles in the teaching and leading of sons, too many examples are of passive fathers (starting with Adam, unfortunately).
I love how Farrar starts the whole book with a great example of a successful minister who was in high demand as a speaker but when his wife called, during his business trip, that their teenage son was being rebellious, he came right back, cancelled 4 years worth of speaking schedule and sold their home and became a paster of a smaller church in another state. All to mentor his son for 2 years before sending him off to college. The pastor never recovered his speaking career and, hence, paid a great price.
The son, however, went on and started a ministry called Focus on the Family. His name is Dr. James Dobson, Jr.
And the book reaffirms my desire to see my sons raised into manhood. However, my sons are going to need more than just me teaching them -- I really believe in John Donne's "no man is an island" and the need for other godly men and their sons to be part of our lives (my sons and I). Which is why I want to see other men join me in raising their sons! The real biter is: am I willing to change my career to make more time at home so that I can raise my sons into men?
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." 1 Corinthians 15:33Great Biblical advice, but how to train children to get this into their hearts and follow it?
Joy in my sons
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 4Great words to be able to say and at least aspire to as a father!
Father to son
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. Malachi 4:6I believe that father's time and interaction with children is important esp. regarding life and spiritual matters, topics which are easily avoided today. Daily devotionals help but I also want my sons to see other fathers working with their sons, more than just fun activities -- it's easy to get together once in a while for father-son fun-time (camping, etc.) but to do so on a regular basis throught out the year (weekly like Sunday School) will be more lasting, in my opinion.
Real man parties like Jesus
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' Matthew 11:19Trying to translate it to the 21st century, "tax collectors" could be mobsters and gangsters, and "sinners" was a code word for prostitutes which is still the same today. So the visual image I have is:
Jesus dancing and sipping beer with gangsters and prostitutes in a (marijuana? hashish?) smoke filled room.Yup: He would get kicked out of most Christian churches today, no question about that!
NOTE: Jesus started His ministry at 30 (Luke 3:23), and He wasn't known as a partyer as He was growing up: "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." Luke 2:52
Sunday, May 29, 2005
1) They are growing into man and have increased interest in females, even if they pretend not to notice. I remember being shy until years past college before I really asked someone out for a date but I had interests in woman when I was a teenager (13 or so). So, I don't want them to be distracted by young women without their dads around (I mean the young women's as well as young men's dads).
2) If they think about it, then they are likely to try to get noticed, even if sub-consciously-- to show off or just to stand out. (Now that I think about it, I did a thing or two to get noticed even in mid-elementary years (3rd? 4th? grade).)
3) I don't want them distracted by each other during discussion time -- physically poking each other or verbally picking on each other or else discussing about the latest TV or games. Without their dads around, they can easily get off topic, even with a leader or two around: I've observed them one Sunday and was not impressed. Too much discipline problem was what I noticed.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
I've read Raising a Modern Day Knight.
Today, I've ordered two books:
Passed Thru Fire by Rick Bundschuh
The Young Man in the Mirror: A Rite of Passage into Manhood by Patrick Morley
Update: Concerned citizen and father recommended Dobson's Bringing up Boys:
I've read Bringing up Boys before and I don't recall any specifics on rites of passage. I've just scanned through it right now and didn't see any (too bad it doesn't have an index) rite of passage section(s).
The books Iron John and Men and Marriage have some great examples from the past or non-Western societies. Neither authors are Christians so not very helpful.
I've listened to audiobooks Passage to Purity (which I went through with my son) and Preparing for Adolescence (which I won't be using), but both are good for talking about sexual purity, peer pressure, etc. but not recognizing manhood (they are for both male and female teens or soon to be teens).
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Boy Scouts: my take
Anyway, as much as scouting can bring out the best in boys, the title alone saids it all: "boys"
It's not "men's scouting" or "scouting to draw out men." I suppose if they had made a Boy Scouts for pre-teens and have another manhood scouting (training?) track, it might have been more appropriate (say, "Eagle Scouts of America?"). Unfortunately, dads who are part of scouting are more interested in getting through certain plateau (e.g., a son getting Eagle Scout) rather than being in it until, say, death.
Today, there is no club that boys apire to join except maybe a country club (rarely men-only these days) or should that be "gentlemen's" club (I'm only kidding with the latter). Or for those into drinking, maybe the barstool next to dad (but then what bars are men-only -- OK inappropriate question again -- sorry)?
So, I have to ask: What men-only paid-membership group are you (or your dad) part of?
Bar Mitzvah & Synagogue & Gangs
So, a boy is not only recognized to be a youngman but also welcomed into an exclusive world of men with a real belonging.
What's so sad is that, today, gangs are about the only such group available in a non-Jewish, Western world! Sports teams come close but they are based mainly on specialized skills not a challenging rite of passage which anyone can do after certain maturity (like for gangs, one has to commit some serious crime -- with tools like knives and hand guns, it doesn't require athletic abilities to join).
Training to be men
In terms of training, I have in mind of something like the "classical education" model:
Grammar: reading out loud the materials and summarizing ideas
Dialectic: application of the materials, showing some proof of understanding the topic
Rhetoric: abstract thinking, ability think through hypotheticals.
I would expect all young men to be past the grammar stage, so the goal is to stretch them in the dialectic and into rhetoric, but will come only over time.
We should not expect spiritual maturity overnight or even in one year -- hopefully, we are all growing so spiritual growth is a never ending process and I want my sons to see that (even dads are still growing).
Saturday, May 21, 2005
I'm currently meeting with Home Educating Dad's each Saturday Morning, but it was originally meant as a support group for Dad's. We do cover all areas of life, so it is great but not geared to train boys to men. And I may use this blog to list topics to discuss in our meetings.
However, I want to expore more on what to do about my soon-to-become teenage sons.
(See my original ideas found at http://www.io.com/~dnk/cm.html which I'll put in this blog over time, and with updated info, of course.)