Have you been intentional about setting milestones in the lives of your children? Why are milestones important? Why do they need to be celebrated?
I had the privilege of being asked to speak at a young man’s high school graduation party, along with many others. But for me it was a humbling experience. I wrestled with who I was to be given the opportunity to speak into the life of a young man.
The father and mother are being intentional about setting milestones in the life of their middle child (they have 5 children). They did similar events with their two girls. I am positive they will do it for their two younger boys. Each of us took turns speaking encouragement to a young man about what we have seen in the time we have gotten to be around him. We were cementing our love and confidence in the character and man God is growing him to be.
Milestones are important because it recognizes a point in time in an individual’s life where something remarkable is taking place, or something has already taken place that needs to be remembered. Milestones builds confidence in young men and young women’s lives because they get to hear from people that love them, care about them, and recognize they truly are loved. The tradition that Christ-followers follow comes from our cousins in faith, Jews. The Jewish people celebrate a bar mitzvah for boys coming of age (13) and a bat mitzvah for girls coming of age (12).
In the Christianity something know as a bar barakah (Hebrew for Son of the Blessing), is what we closely relate to the bar mitzvah. This is essentially what was done at the family’s home for their son that graduated from high school (a huge milestone). Many people from the son’s life came and spoke blessings over him.
I first heard of this concept of blessing when I read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, and again when I listened to the audio book of his, Fathered by God. He talks about the adventures of doing something very similar with his boys when they were growing up. I highly recommend these two books for fathers and mothers to read. Mothers should read these books too; John and Stasi bring insights to women too on raising boys that are wild at heart and created by God for His purposes.
Life is about a rite of passage. Growing up can be daunting if you aren’t being invested in by others. People desire to know how they are doing in life; I know I desire to know how I am doing.
How about making your life mean something to someone else? Join with a parent that has a child who you can bond with. If you have children find them another adult to bond with. I believe all children grow up looking up to their parents, then reach an age where the parents aren’t cool anymore (so they stop listening), then at a later age their parents become cool again. During the uncool parenting time you need a godly man or woman in your son or daughters life to tell them exactly what they will dismiss from you.
Be intentional! What about you? I would love to hear from you. What have you found to be helpful?