The tips below are activities, tools, and resources my husband used with our sons to further encourage the truths found in Conversation #1. Feel free to pass them along to your husband and in turn, if he has something valuable to add to the list, please comment and share the idea with the rest of our 5 Conversations blog community.
Dad:2:Dad tips (by Keith Courtney)
- I took each boy on a camp-out every year for his birthday starting when each was 4 years old. The primary purpose was to have fun with them and grow in my relationship with each boy, to try to avoid the truth that “rules minus relationship equals rebellion”. (Note: There were also appropriate rules and boundaries in our home, to avoid the corollary truth that “relationship minus rules equals rebellion”.)
- I took each boy on a weekend trip when each turned 13 years old ? purposes were to listen to Preparing for Adolescence tapes, encourage them to make wise decisions regarding sexual purity and on other issues as they move into their teen years, and of course, have fun doing father/son activities.
- When my sons turned 16, I led them through a program called Journey to Manhood (see information at the end of this post for a description).
- Asked key men in each boy’s life (me, pastors, youth pastor, grandfathers, uncles, etc.) write my son a letter that provides encouraging words and encourages the boy to make wise, godly decisions as the grow into being a man.
- After age 16, we watched Men’s Fraternity DVDs (by Robert Lewis)
Journey to Manhood:
Journey to Manhood is a program I developed based on other programs I had participated in (including Men’s Fraternity by Robert Lewis and a father/son program that a large church in the Austin area, Hill Country Bible Church, developed) and books I had read (such as raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis).
Journey to Manhood involved 2 other fathers and their sons. Our sons were in early high school at the time.
Once a month, the three fathers and three sons would meet. Each meeting would involve the following: (i) doing some fun activity with the boys, (ii) teaching the boys a key character quality (see table at the bottom of this document), and (iii) teaching the boys a Christian discipline (see the outline below).
A. Why do Journey to Manhood?
1. To give you a clear picture of your transition from being a boy to a godly man, and a plan for how to
2. To teach you the definition of a man (which we will discuss today), and challenge you to memorize
and follow it.
3. To help you connect more with your dad, with each other, and with the other dads in the group. (One
benefit is that each of you can hold each other accountable.)
4. To challenge and train you to become more capable and willing to be godly leaders in the youth group
and around your friends.
B. What will Journey to Manhood be like? For 9-10 months, we will get together monthly for teaching,
challenge, and fun.
C. What will the expectations be?[Read and sign J2M Challenge]
1. Be committed to the Journey to Manhood process.
2. Have an open mind and open heart, and pay attention during the teaching times.
3. Do some work between meetings, like memorize the manhood definition, and Bible verses we give you.
4. Support each other, and challenge each other, during our monthly get togethers, and during all times
II. Definition of a man —– memorize the four parts of the definition of man
[This definition of a man came from the Men’s Fraternity study , which Robert Lewis developed.]
A. A real man is one who:
1. Rejects passivity
– tendency of men is to be passive (ex. of Adam sitting by while Satan tempted Eve) ? Read Genesis 3:6
Are you ever passive, i.e., you do not do what you should do?
2. Accepts responsibility
In what ways?
– to grow as a Christian in knowledge and, most importantly, in obeying God – our obedience is what
God really wants
– when get married and have a family, to lead and help wife and kids grow as a Christian in knowledge
and most importantly, in obeying God
– take responsibility for own sins and ways you hurt God and others
What does that involve? (i) confess sins, (ii) having godly sorrow, rather than sorrow that you got
caught (see II Cor. 7:10) , (iii) repent – turn from sin and turn to God
– follow through on commitments
– obey parents
– school work
– financially (be good steward with God’s money)
– other ways?
In what ways do you accept responsibility better?
In what ways do you need to start accepting responsibility?
3. Lead courageously
– it takes effort and courage to lead the way God desires
– leading, especially leading a family, requires setting direction, providing protection (physical, spiritual,
etc.), and making provision (financially, etc.)
In what ways can you lead?
In what ways do you lead courageously?
In what ways do you need to start leading courageously?
4. Seek the greater reward, God’s reward
– Seek to please God and receive His rewards rather than to please self or others and receive the
“rewards” that results from doing so. (Read Matthew 6:33) — memorize Matthew 6:33
In what ways do you seek to please God and receive His rewards rather than to please self or others and
receive the “rewards” that results from doing so? In what ways do you seek to please self or others and
receive the “rewards” that results from doing so?
– Have an eternal perspective. To get one, think of your life as merely a dot on the timeline of eternity,
and choose to live for the line, rather than for the dot.
B. What can cause us to not follow this definition for a man?
– one major obstacle to leading courageously is our feelings – we often will not feel like following.
Solution? “Act your way into a feeling” —- memorize “Act your
way into a feeling.”
What does that mean?
In what areas do you generally act your way into a feeling?
In what areas do you need to act your way into a feeling?
III. Bible Study
A. Why should we do it?
– it is the “users manual” that God, our maker, has provided for us
– it tells us what God is like, what we are like, how to relate to God, how
to relate to others, etc.
– other reasons?
B. What are ways to do Bible Study?
C. When is the best time to do it?
D. Is it enough to study the Bible, and even memorize parts of it?
No, we need to obey what it says. Read James 1:22-25 —– Memorize 1:22
In what ways have you recently not obeyed something God calls you to do in the Bible?
IV. Home work
1. Memorize the verses and the saying above
2. Pray for yourself and each other – that God would be able to do in you and them what He desires to do
through this process.
3. Review this hand out, including the expectations.
4. Do the other things on the J2M Challenge sheet
a. Go though this again with son
b. Help son follow through on this.
V. Outline of the Journey to Manhood topics
Character quality: Definition of manhood
Spiritual discipline: Bible study
Character quality: humility and accountability/committed Christian friends
Spiritual discipline: willingness to confess and forgive
Character quality: love and others-focused/selfless service
Spiritual discipline: responsibility/self-discipline and financial stewardship
Dec. sexual purity and prayer
respect for girls (sexually
Jan. leadership and honesty/integrity church/ABF/Christian group participation
Feb. Thankfulness and contentment filled with Holy Spirit
Mar. Faith and eternal perspective witnessing
Apr. seek excellence/do their best and personal worship
May Review during final ceremony review during final ceremony