I’m convinced that most fathers have a desire to be excellent fathers and to raise children who flourish in every possible way as they grow older. And yet, it seems like every father I know (myself included) rarely feels like they have what it takes to succeed in that role. That we are deficient when it comes to knowing how to successfully father our children through adolescence and into adulthood. We need help.
About a year and half ago, in an effort to get that help I took part in a six-week program our church was offering called “Raising a Modern Day Knight.” The idea was pretty simple. A group of fathers who were interested in raising young men of honor gathered together (just the dads) to learn and discuss what it looks like to provide what our sons need from us. Part of what made this experience so good for me and others was that it wasn’t just some lectures we heard and some vague ideas about what we might do. Rather, each meeting we left with specific things we would do that week to connect with our sons in a way that maybe we hadn’t before.
The whole experience culminates in a ceremony in which fathers and sons share a meal together, then gather in a circle as one by one a father looks his son in the eye and tells him how much he is treasured, gifted, a loved. Then standing among other fathers and their sons, the dad “covenants” with his son that he will be there for him. That when the turbulent waves of adolescence hit, he will stand with him in the storm and help him navigate his way to adulthood. Those are words that can be said in the privacy of one’s own home, but somehow saying it in the company of other fathers and sons adds weight to whole experience. It is something that I don’t think Cole or I will ever forget.
Fellowship North is offering the series again this spring. It kicks off on March 1st (Thursday) at 6:00pm. You may need more information, which you can get this Sunday after 2nd service in The Lookout – we’ll be having a quick lunch and orientation to help you know what you are getting yourself into. I invite you to come and join us.
As one father to another, you need help in your efforts to raise your sons to become all they are meant to be in Christ, and this is a place to get it.
Today’s post is by Taido Chino, who works with middle and high school students at FN. He is married to Alison, and they have 4 kids: Cole, Mary Polly, Ben and Simon (and currently, Vitara, an exchange student!) Taido is something of a theology nerd and mountain enthusiast. Oh, and he twitters.