Becoming an Adult

Just today, I came across two very different perspectives of what it looks like for children to become men.

The Desiring God blog gave a summary of an older article from 1999. Today's post is called How to Help Your Boys Become Christian Men, and it has a link to the original, full-length piece. In the original article, Vern Poythress outlines the plan and process that he and his wife used. It's intense, and includes such projects as:
  • Memorizing the books of the Bible
  • Knowing Greek and Hebrew (tailored to age)
  • Memorize a children's catechism
  • Day-long personal retreat of prayer and fasting (with Dad)
  • Serving the church and the needy
  • Apologetics
Pretty sure that we won't go to the lengths that he did, but I like the intentionality of their plan. We need that. We need to make sure that our kids know that they are a man (or woman) -- to define and grow into that role. Among other things that I love about being Jewish, there is something special about being a Bar Mitzvah (or Bat Mitzvah for girls), besides getting a bunch of gifts. Imagine that, that Jews and many other cultures that have been around for thousands of years have a specific process about becoming an adult.

On the other hand, sometimes we think that raising kids to adults is as easy as a push of a button.

HT:  22Words

I think we'll fall somewhere in between requiring knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, and pushing a button.

Related Link:


  1. Joey, while this is quite a rigorous set of goals and tests listed in the full article, my contention is this: at what point does this type of "preparation" become a salvation experience based on works? This is a very hard driving, demanding, relentless list of things that a son would have to complete to be named a "Christian man." If his sons never completed the list, or say, completed them at age 25, would he look down on them or chide them because they didn't pass their "tests" until a later date than he would have chosen for them?

  2. Very good point, Jeff. I think the key thing is that it should look different for every family, and every child in that family.

    I don't think he is equating any of this with a salvation experience.