Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Train Up a Child in the Way that He Should Go

Posted by Thomas on May 17, 2009

(January 21, 2010: As I continue to peruse the net reading information on sites related to manhood; fatherhood; responsible male adulthood—I’m starting to come across some informative sites. The Art of Manliness for one caught my eye months ago and I recently found it again. Check it out and read my previous post below. As adults we’ve got to set our fears aside and train our boys in manhood. As society continues to crumble for the lack of responsible male adults, we have only ourselves to blame. Also check out some of the Ascension Dinner photos toward the bottom of this page. Peace!)

Originally posted: May 17, 2009

Three concrete takeaways from this post:

  1. Training our young men must be a conscious act, approach it that way.
  2. Take advantage of the natural talking moments presented each day.
  3. Succumbing to our adult fears is not an option; work through your fear for the benefit of the young man.

A young man enters the world; armed to make babies; unskilled in business skills; following the masses. He becomes a father, husband, employee—and falters at those roles for the rest of his days. It is irresponsible for us (caring adults) to neglect the proper training of our young men. Yet, it happens every day.

What does training involve? In short everything: how his body works; anger management; money management; job interviewing skills; entrepreneurship; male-female dynamics; self control; respect of others; reverencing God. You (caring adult) think of it and the young men in your life need training in that area.

How is training executed? I mention training and that may sometimes be understood as some formal sit-down lesson or lecture, but, training is constant. In your daily activities with the young man, teach him the life lessons needed to live a fulfilling and responsible adult life.

I recently had a conversation with a friend whose burgeoning teenage son voiced his interest in girls and talked openly about his body’s reactions (wet dreams, erections, etc). I shared with her to take advantage of these “willing-to-talk” times. Exploit them for they vanish quickly. She looked at me with wide eyes “what do I say to him?” His father doesn’t have the patience to talk things out with him.

Adults stop being fearful. If you do not train up the boy now where will the men be that society needs later? Maturing boys need information from loving and caring adults. They need us to explain that their bodily changes are natural and that they are not alone. They need to understand that self-control during adolescence is paramount. We must share our past mistakes; they need us to be vulnerable before them.

That vulnerability, I believe, is the obstacle. Training up a child in the way that he should go so that he doesn’t depart from that way in adulthood involves conquering our fears. When we do not, we set our boys up for failure. Let’s instead set them up for success.


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