It’s weird really.
Of all the culture morphing changes we see in the Christian world currently, one of the most enduring and essential traditions of our forefathers has almost completely been lost in the modern era. Rites of Passage for our kids.
Coming of Age.
For generations, families have been celebrating and marking the transition from childhood to adult. These rites of passage are geographically unique, beautiful and often dangerous. Coming of Age as a specific event in one’s life, is an established and respected milestone for most societies and have served nations for millennia as THE foundational cornerstone of passing one’s heritage to the next generation.
These traditions are powerful, inspirational and reverently experienced by the initiates and the parents, often elaborate and carefully planned ceremonies designed to confirm and release each child into maturity.
For many, these rites of passage serve as a legitimate way to protect and preserve their cultural traditions & values. Effective in raising up each generation of adults regardless of the often dramatic changes of government, education and pop culture around them. These coming of age milestones have powerful historical connections between generations that have been maintained for thousands of years.. except for the modern Christian Evangelical world.
Why is that ?
I think in part its a side effect of our RUSHED lives and the shifting societal perspective on all things “ancient” and or “traditional”.
In our rush to move forward we may have left behind some rather critical traditions for the effective raising up and releasing of our kids into adulthood. I think it’s also in part due to the epidemic of single parent families out there. The celebration of adulthood and the conferring of a life blessing to our children has been replaced by a rushed meet and greet party with some money and a nice set off luggage… But can’t we do something more meaningful than that ?
I recently connected with a important and growing ministry based out of the Nashville TN area that is working to help change that pattern in our modern evangelical circles. ABBA’S WAY is working with fathers and their sons / daughters to change this trend. They run summer weekend events, day camps and celebrations year around to help dads connect with and celebrate their kids “Coming of Age” years.
I would urge any parent of a pre-teen son or daughter to seriously consider starting some NEW traditions in your families.
Rites of passage for coming of age are a lost treasure for many Americans and I would love to see that “forgotten” celebration return as a beautiful and life-long affirmation of our kids during their most influential ages.
I believe that God is always working to help families of faith and particularly us parents! He is raising up new and insightful family ministries with powerful and effective help for us to learn new ways to share our faith and our hearts with each of our kids… gifts that we can give them that will shape their self-esteem, values and core identity for a lifetime.
Check out Abba’s Way online to find out more and discover for yourself the value of blessing your kids on their journey from adolescent to adult.
Peace out, Pastor B.