Becoming Men of God!!!! (A right to passage)

God gave me 6 boys to raise, Aharown, Eliyah, Zachariyah, Shemayah and Amaziyah. Aharown is 24 years old and is already a man who loves God and displays his attributes often. Eliyah is such a God centered young man and at 17 years old, I am proud of the man he has become. He is honest, giving and will become a wonderful husband one day. Zachariyah is and loving spirit who enjoys giving, he is such a law keeper and I have enjoyed watching him grow into the young man he is today. Shemayah and Amaziyah are such sweethearts and I see that we are on the right path
I have a male friend that was raised Hebrew / Jewish and when he reached the age of 12 he had a special ceremony that would allow him to go into man hood. Almost every culture in the world has something to mark the difference between a boy and a man. A boy goes through a “rite of passage,” after which he becomes officially a man. The rite of passage may involve an ordeal, a test, or a training period of some kind. In other countries it might be getting circumcised. And in some cultures the boy who has reached a certain age might have to kill a deer, train with a bow and arrow, or go on a long journey alone, the youth might have to join in a dangerous hunt with the men, and after such a hunt he would then be declared a man. Each right to passage looks different but leads to the same purpose developing men of honor.
So I believe that God has given me a special idea about raising our boys, an idea that may be of use to you if you have sons in your family. We are looking to create a special celebration a ceremony to introduce them into Christ like manhood. This celebration we will call “Ben Yeshua,” that is, “son of God.” This celebration marks the point at which a boy becomes a man, a mature disciple of the Lord.
In America our normal right of passage is raising them to the ripe old age of 18, when he gets a driver’s license? When he graduates from high school? When he moves away from his parents home? When he can vote? When he gets his first full-time job? When he is 21? When he gets married? Or when he owns his own home? None of this steps make a man really there is no clear point of transition. In America there is no one “rite of passage.” If we look at it we have many passages and none of them lead to true man hood but more to insecure boys. They don’t know when they are men and in retrospect most have trouble growing up. Again and again they may try to prove that they are “grown up.” Sometimes they may choose destructive ways to do so like -joining a gang, learn to smoke, get drunk,use drugs and have many unhealthy relationships with many young women. The question has to be what do we as a nation do to give proper guidance to our young men? I am sure we all know that there is no magic to raising Christ filled young men. But the first plan has to be letting God be at work in teaching us and our boys, and he must be the one who causes them to grow up not us. So what I decided was that the one way I could help my sons was by having as many Christ loving, God fearing men in their lives showing them what it is like to be a man of God. Answering the question what is a man? What marks maturity? In the Bible I have never read a story that included anything about true maturity consisting of being able to kill or hunt! True maturity is spiritual. It is the wisdom in knowing God and his will, and being able to carry it out in our lives. As their mom and a woman I can't give my sons a working example of a man. But I can show them about giving God the center of my life. I can chose men who are the working examples I seek for them to learn from. I want them to follow an example but that example should be following Christ. Now I understand that we all fail and fall short of our father... And I understand that the men that my son's look up to the ones I have prayed for and God has sent might fail to live up to every standard. But what I want my son's to learn is that being a man is being able to admit when you fail and fall short of God's grace and then ask for forgiveness. So as I started to think about what a right of passage would look like for my sons I knew right away that I wanted it to involve testing and training. They would need to be able to prove themselves to be God fearing men. So what will the training consist of ? Godly man leading godly lives is the goal. The training must match the goal. So I set up projects for them. They must acquire and demonstrate skill in each of the several overlapping areas.
    Knowledge of the contents of the Bible.
    • Know the names of books of the Bible in order.
    • Know Bible history.
    • Read the Bible all the way through.
    • Know main themes of biblical books
    • Know Hebrew (amount of knowledge tailored to the child’s ability)
    Memorization of selected verses and passages of the Bible.
    Knowledge of the major teachings of the Bible (doctrine).
    • Know and understand all four feast and their meaning.
    • Using devotional materials
    • Prayer diary
    • Day prayer and fasting
    • Growth in understanding the meaning of overcoming sin
    Projects of service and mercy.
    • Serving with a non profit and church to serve the needy.
    • Learn about Finances: tithing, drawing up a year-long budget; checkbook balancing; investing.
    • Etiquette: table etiquette, greeting etiquette, letter etiquette, conversational etiquette, sexual etiquette.
    • Sexuality: knowing Gods teaching and standards for sex and relationships. Understanding how God designed male and female bodies.
They work on these areas over a period of time. Many times we just integrate the work into our family shabbath time. The day of the Ben Yeshua celebration should be on a Saturday, because we want it held on a shabbath. I explain the celebration to all present.. Our boy reads a short passage from the Hebrew Bible and explains it. We go over the picked lesson. We pray for him. And declare that he is a man. Then we eat and fellowship.
What do our boys think of it? It’s too hard,” they say. “I don’t like it.” “Why do I have to do this?” We did make it hard. Manhood is not easy. This life is not easy for a man. And we avoid showing any sign of giving in to the pressures around us. “Why are we different?” they say.

What happens after our boy becomes a man? He has the privileges of a man. The privileges must be real and meaningful. This part can be scary and you should put a lot of thought into this. Remember “It is better to give them some freedom now, while they are still at home. At 16 they are still young enough to come and ask for advice, young enough to know that they don't know it all. But in truth wouldn't you rather them explore under the safety of your watchful eyes. It is far better than waiting until they go away to college and you don’t see them or talk with them about all the challenges and changes they will face. I know families that do this with no holds. They allow there son to excuse himself from the table rather than being asked to be excused. They make their son buy his own clothing, school supplies, and gifts. He pays them rent once a month $15,00 dollars and a estimate of his share of the utilities, food, and other costs. And they give him an allowance to match these new responsibilities! But remember even when your son is a man, he is still part of the family and still lives with you. Love him just as much, kiss and hug him just as much. Play together. When we do this for our son we will have certain rules that we would have for anyone living with us, even people outside of our family. We will expect him to be at meals on time. We will expect him to be considerate of other members of the family. If he goes somewhere, we expect to know where he is and when he will be home. We will continue to talk with him about where he is spiritually. With us and others who have done this it has worked really well. Not perfect, not without adjustments but still better than just waiting for them to be 18....18 and without God as their foundation is scary even if the world says it is ok.... 


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