TODAY I HAVE BECOME A MAN
This weekend our family will celebrate the 13th birthday of my second oldest grandson Thaddeus. As with his older brother, Simon, part of the celebration we will make a declaration of manhood upon Thadd much like the Jewish tradition of a Bar Mitzvah.
We live in a culture where manhood is delayed as long as possible. Even many men in their 20’s seem not to understand the concept. You do not read of the term “teenager” until the 20th century and adolescent is not found in the Bible. Instead you read of children and then they transition to a young man or woman. In the Jewish tradition, this was at 13.
We decided in our family that we would follow this pattern where at 13 expectations and responsibilities begin to change and focused on what it means to be a man. What we will do this Saturday is that Thaddeus’ father will read to him about the changes and what is expected now that he is 13. I will then gather the men of the family there (including his 14 year old brother) and we will lay hands on Thadd as I recite a blessing from Psalm 112.
Doing this short ceremony certainly does not make Thadd a man, but it does initiate for him what is ahead. Perhaps your family should consider abandoning many of our culture’s excuses for teens and start treating them more like young men and women. Titus 2 speaks that young women need to learn how to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored. Likewise, urge the young men to be sensible.
Though there is only one item for the young men, you can see what a daunting task this is for today’s young men to just be sensible!
Are your teens learning this?