The glory of sons is their fathers. — Robert Lewis
This is the final article in a three-part series on fatherhood, masculinity, and the irreplaceable role that fathers have in the task of guiding their sons into a proper sense of who and what they are to become as men.
What is a Father to Do?
In my previous articles, I outlined two of Robert Lewis’ building blocks of manhood. These are that A Real Man Needs a Vision for Manhood and A Real Man Needs a Code of Conduct. As I noted in the first article, Brian Molitor has rightly argued that boys do not acquire or achieve manhood on their own. True masculinity is bestowed from generation to generation, and only in the company of real men. This is accomplished through rites of passage, ceremony and intentional instruction, and mentoring throughout a boy’s life. And, if a father does not fill this role in his son’s life, someone less qualified will do it for him.
So, what is a father to do? What is the best way to fill this important role in the lives of our sons? In his book, Raising a Modern Day Knight, Robert Lewis has provided a social and spiritual framework to help us think about how to guide a boy in his journey from boyhood, through adolescence, into manhood. What follows is an overview of Lewis’ third building block of masculinity.
Building Block #3: A Real Man Needs a Transcendent Cause
This pillar answers the question, “What is a real man’s purpose?” A real man’s purpose in life should be defined by more than the balance in his bank account, the car he drives, or the size of his house. True success is more timeless and meaningful than anything material or financial. Instilling a transcendent cause into the souls of our boys directs their attention above and beyond themselves to a connection with Jesus and an investment in the lives of other people. If we foster in our sons a life centered on pursuits that lack transcendence, they will likely find themselves in a fruitless pursuit of temporary pleasures that ultimately leave them empty and searching for more.
A transcendent cause ensures fulfillment beyond the moment. It cultivates a sense of dignity that comes from achieving something or contributing to something larger than oneself. Every man needs a transcendent cause. It is a father’s job to make sure that his sons enter manhood with this building block firmly in place.
What’s Next on Your Son’s Journey to Manhood?
Are you up against some parenting difficulties in your home? Are you at a loss about how to navigate the stormy waters of adolescence? Do you feel like you need some outside perspective on your relationships with your children? Are you dealing with problematic behaviors or increased conflict?
It’s never too late to begin making changes and parenting in a healthier, more proactive way. A father has an irreplaceable role in the life of his family — and particularly in the lives of his sons. That is true no matter what his age or the age of his sons.
Christian Counseling is a Powerful Resource for Fathers and Sons
Bellevue Christian Counseling has a number of experienced, trained, and caring counselors who know how to help parents and families deal with difficult issues, especially if you are looking for a counselor who can incorporate a biblical worldview into their approach to treatment. We have several locations throughout the Puget Sound region and a wide range of hours available to meet your schedule.
With the help of a Christian counselor who understands family and parenting concerns, you can begin to find the solutions you are seeking. Christian counseling can help you learn how to re-open lines of communication, rebuild trust, and provide new skills to deal with difficult problems. I would be delighted to partner with you as you enter this challenging and important healing process.
Lewis, R. (2007). Raising a modern day knight. Colorado Springs, CO: Tyndale House.
Molitor, B. (2004). Boy’s passage, man’s journey. Lynwood, WA: Emerald Books.
Images provided by Microsoft Office courtesy of Fotolia: “Glass jar filled with bills and coins that have been saved” and “Father and son at beach”