Rites of passage really do not exist in our culture except for ones our government imposes–driver license, age to vote, age to drink and so on. Our daughter’s Jr. High pastor reminded me of this while chatting with me the other day. I believe that we need to take the initiative to make rites of passage for our kids. There needs to be a definition of manhood and womanhood that the parents and spiritual community pass on rather than the passive retreat to allow our kids to be perpetual adolescents. Here is something we are doing.
My wife is an amazing woman. We both have talked about rites of passage and our desire to provide something for our kids as they grow up. My little girl is now a beautiful teen and Tammy, my wife, decided that this was the time to do a Passport to Purity weekend with her Part of this is a study that goes through not just the "birds and bees" and sexuality but the spiritual side of making a commitment to purity. Obviously, there are things a mom should talk through more explicitly with the girl, just like a dad should with his son.
The setting for this rite of passage takes place at Spirit West Coast music festival in Monterey, California. The gift to my girl is that she is a musician and loves loud music! Her mom is so committed to this that they are actually camping on their own, with no electricity, blow dyers or running water. Emilie has the opportunity to look back on this week as a time where she hopefully sees how much she is cherished and loved by her mom and I.
This, with our intentional teaching of responsibility is not a guarantee that she will turn out perfect. There is no silver bullet in parenting and these little people really do end up making their own choices. However, it is our responsibility as parents to do whatever we can to make the right choices easier and warn them of things that might hurt them.
I am indeed proud of my wife and daughter and am praying for a fun, life-changing week. If you feel so led, please pray with me for my daughter and her mom. And if any of you out there have ideas on this subject, give them to us…please.