Guest host Adam McManus interviews U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kevin Bouren, an avid listener of Generations Radio, who organized a Manhood Celebration for his 13-year-old son Brady last December. Based upon 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 which says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”, Kevin invited 21 Christian men to come in from 9 states to share their Biblical counsel, write a letter, and give a symbolic gift about manhood which Brady will treasure for years to come.
Kevin’s thinking about how to raise a boy into a God-honoring Christian man, qualified to be an elder according to 1 Timothy and Titus, was profoundly influenced by three key books. 1. A Father’s Reward: Raising Your Children to Walk in the Truth by Phil Downer. 2. Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis. 3. Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood by Dennis Rainey. In fact, Kevin strongly recommends the 10-week Stepping Up Video series which he hosted for fathers and their young sons.
One author wrote, “Today’s boys rarely, if ever, learn from the adults closest to them what it means to become a man – or learn when they become one. Instead they are left to search for answers in movies, song lyrics, the often ill-informed perspectives of their peers, and the mixed, even contradictory, messages from other ‘grown-ups’ around them. I believe this leaves many boys confused, hurting, and feeling terribly incomplete.”
In many cultures, there is a rite of passage for young men from the Masai Tribe in Kenya Africa at 15 to the Lakota Indians at 12 to the Jews who celebrate with their bar mitzvah at 13. But what do Christians do?
The Manhood Celebration concluded with the knighting ceremony as Brady recited what a R.E.A.L. man is, as captured by Robert Lewis. A real man Rejects passivity, Expects a greater reward, Accepts responsibility and Leads courageously.
Kevin blessed Brady, saying, “Brady, you are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” Then, he asked him 2 questions.
“Brady, will you commit, from this day forward, that you will, with the Spirit’s help, love God and love others?” His son said, “I do.”
“Brady, will you commit, from this day forward, that you will, with the Spirit’s help, reject passivity, expect God’s greater reward, accept responsibility and lead courageously?” His son said, “I do.”
Kevin said, “By the authority God has vested in me as your father, it is my honor to dub you this day.”
(placing sword on left shoulder) “The boy in you has died.”
(placing sword on right shoulder) “The young man in you now lives.”
(holding sword in front of Brady) “Arise a Squire of the 21st century, a young man of God.” Kevin then presented the sword to his son.
Homeschooled himself in the 1960's and 70's, Kevin Swanson and his wife, Brenda, are now homeschooling their five children. Since graduating from his homeschool and then serving as student body president of a large west coast university, he has gone on to other leadership positions in corporate management, church, and other non-profits.