Raising a Modern Day Knight

 

Raising a Modern Day Knight - Blog
by Carl Caton

January 7, 2007
Hey guys. The time is fast approaching. Chad, my son, turns thirteen in February, so I've got to get the ball rolling. I've contacted four important men in Chad's life who will be a part of his first ceremony. I'm planning to reserve a room at a restaurant where we can eat and discuss with some privacy. Each man will be assigned a "charge" for Chad. Here are the categories that I will have them cover:

Staying Strong in the Faith.
Rejecting Peer Pressure.
Moral and Physical Purity.
Pursuing Excellence.

Any other suggestions?

I will be presenting Chad with a "fishers of men" bracelet from James Avery because "I want him to live his life in a way that will bring other men to Christ".

I also am thinking about putting together a scrapbook of pictures and writings about his growing up years. I want us to celebrate the wonderful childhood he has had and how much we value that time. Then we will turn our focus to moving forward as a young man. (1 Cor 13:11)

Thanks,

Carl Caton

February 5, 2007
Getting closer here. I've made reservations at a great restaurant, the Tower of Americas, in San Antonio. This is the 750' tower that was built for the 1968 World's Fair. It is certainly a memorable location. Each man is working on his "charge" for Chad and everyone seems truly excited. I provided some copies of the RMDK book to everyone who will be involved so they can really get a good understanding of the meaning and significance of this event. Please pray for us! Thanks.

February 19, 2007
We drove a stake in the ground on Saturday, February 17, 2007. That was the day of my son's "passage event". Using some great ideas and advice from Raising a Modern Day Knight, four men and a teenager celebrated a boy's passing into becoming a young man. I felt the Holy Spirit at work and sensed the magnitude of what transpired that night. I would describe the time as an hour long "conversation" about being a young man. We talked about the adventure and freedom that lies ahead. We encouraged my son with some wonderful insight into his God-given character, abilities, and talent. We challenged him in a few ways. Finally, we shared some of our own failures and warned him about some danger points that lie in the road ahead. We didn't talk at him or down to him. Basically, we all shared in a great, God-scripted discourse about what it's like to become a man.

I've spent some time thinking about our time on Saturday. Here is some insight I've gleaned having passed this spiritual marker in my son's life:

#1 - Be careful to manage expectations.
As Dads, we're geared to see the long-view. In fact, I think it is important to think in "generational" terms. We need to see this process as one that will impact our families for generations. So, from my perspective this passage event was huge. I think the implications will be enormous. In fact, that's exactly what I'm asking God to do in all of this: create a powerful, multigenerational legacy of faith in our family.

I don't think my thirteen year old sees it from this perspective - at least not yet. I might be worried if he was already thinking "generationally". My guess is that he sees this as a nice dinner with some older guys. He probably heard a lot of discussion about being a young man, about growing up, some wonderful and maybe embarrassing encouragement, some challenges he understood, and some challenges he may not have understood. To be honest, the whole evening probably made him feel a little awkward. But that's ok. (Your kids probably find that talking about sex is horribly uncomfortable and embarrassing but that shouldn't stop you from teaching them about the subject.)

#2 - Our primary goal isn't for this to be fun.
I didn't ask my son if he had a good time. That wasn't the point. Becoming a man isn't always fun. Ask any army recruit if he "enjoyed" boot camp. He probably didn't. But find me a man who isn't proud that he stuck it out. That's just how we're wired. Listen to the stories that old men tell over and over again. They're stories about fear, courage, hardship, difficulties, sacrifice, pain and suffering. Men like being over comers. They like to stick it out. In my opinion, we're not challenging young men enough these days. On the other hand, I think that much of the evening was very enjoyable. The meal was great, the fellowship was terrific. 

#3 - Some guys see this whole thing as "overblown".
Guys that grew up in stable, loving homes may see this whole thing as a little over the top. These guys likely received their father's blessing, leadership, and counsel throughout their lives. All of this became a part of their lives in such a natural way that it's hard for them to recognize the importance. Frankly, these guys are at greatest risk for dropping the ball with their own sons. Their response is often: "what's the big deal?" 

#4 - Be careful how you measure success.
I'm not expecting some sort of instant transformation in my son. Monday morning was pretty much life as usual. 

#5 - A surprise blessing.
A passage event can be a quite a blessing to the older guys as well.

March 2007
I just started a RMDK Dads Group using the Small Group, 6 part training video. The materials are expensive but it is a first class production and worth every cent. Being in a small group gives you time to interact with other dads and get a different perspective than your own. I encourage you to do this if you can.

May 2007
Just finished the RMDK Dads Group. The RMDK material is outstanding. I highly recommend the small group kit that includes a DVD led small group format. This is a complete, well designed package that allows an inexperienced "facilitator" to lead a group.

When we finished our six week study, something interesting happened. Three of the guys who attended said, "hey... I can lead a group like this". And so they did. There are more than sixty men enrolled in three different small groups - all learning more about how to be a "strategic dad". Wow! That's a "viral" approach to small groups!

June 2007
Well guys, the next logical step was attending a "father-son adventure retreat". Chad and I just finished a weeklong adventure at Christ in the Rockies. Let me help you understand what this is like, in layman's terms.

There is a group of dedicated Christian men living in Ft Collins, Colorado who have taken their sons through the Christ in the Tetons retreat (featured on the RMDK videos). The experience was so rewarding, these guys decided to put on their own Father/Son adventure. Now, keep in mind, here's a group of men who all seem to be solid outdoorsmen. They are strong in their faith. And they all live next to Rocky Mountain National Park. This group of men would love nothing more than to treat you and your son to a life-changing adventure in one of the most beautiful and inspiring locations in the country. Sound great? I can tell you that it was beyond our expectations! It was a perfect next step for my son! We climbed Twin Sisters Peak, did some serious mountain biking, built and shot potato cannons, and capped off the week with an incredible manhood ceremony in the historic "Church on the Rock" in Estes Park, Colorado. What an event!

December 2007
I just spoke with the guys from Christ in the Rockies. They're looking for father/son pairs from the June 07 retreat to come back in the Summer of 08 to volunteer. We're going! 

 

 

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