“For 95 percent of human history, boys weren’t launched out into adulthood, they were welcomed into it, into a lifelong support network that would work to ensure their contribution would be a good one.” Steve Biddulph (Australian Psychologist & Author)
“A boy becomes a man only through the active intervention of his father and the fellowship of men.” John Eldredge (Author)
John Eldredge in his book “The Way of the Wild Heart”, goes on to say… “Far too much has fallen on the shoulders of the Father alone. It takes a company of men to bring a boy into the masculine world, and to bring young men along in their maturity.”
I’ve felt the weight of that burden myself over the years. Why? Because too few men today experience real community with other men. Most men have male acquaintances… guys they work alongside of… guys they share a drink with socially… but very few actually ever experience real friendships with other men, who share a common purpose, larger than themselves, like initiating this generation of boys into authentic manhood.
But I have been extremely proactive over the last decade to ensure my sons would be able to have other good, masculine influences to draw upon, and be mentored by… men who have skills, gifts, talents, and abilities that I myself lack. But none of that has come easy. I have had to selectively seek out other men, to offer them a vision worth pursuing, to inspire them, to lead them, to serve them, and in some cases, actually mentor and father them.
Together as a band-of-brothers, we have experienced adventures… with, and without ours sons present. We have invited them and involved them, in our missions to various communities where we’ve helped men to establish band of brothers themselves. And we have affirmed, validated, and played a part in initiating one another’s sons. You can read about part of my eldest son Brandon’s journey here, and part of my second eldest son Isaac’s journey here. All of my sons know… what too few kids do these days… that they have men, other than Dad, who love them, who have invested into them, and who are there for them… no matter what!
So Dad, if you want your boy to one day be a real man, then you too must be intentional in enlisting other men, and establishing a community of men of your own. You’ll have to fight to find them, and you’ll have to fight to keep them, but it is worth it!
One of the things that I love about our 5 Night Father-Son Adventures , is that a community of men are brought together from all over Australia, and the world, for a single purpose, to ensure the success of a great mission… to initiate our sons. You can register for our next 5 Night Father-Son Adventure here… http://www.fatheringadventures.com.au/5_night_father_son_adventures.php .
You can see some photographs and read the testimonials from the fathers and the sons, from one of our recent 5 Night Father-Son Adventures here… http://fatheringadventures.squarespace.com/blog/2011/7/13/inside-one-of-our-5-night-father-son-adventures.html .
So how about you? Were you as a boy ever invited into a community of men by your father or another man? And what about now? Have you made it a priority to be a part of a community of men… to find, or establish one yourself, for yourself, and for you to invite and welcome your sons into when they enter their teenage years?