This book came highly recommended by one of my former middle school leaders. After reading the book I think I understand some of why. Lewis touches on the things that all of us, as Christian fathers, desire to pass on to our sons. It goes beyond chivalry to the very nature of what it means to be a man.
The positive takeaways far outweigh the difficult imagery one must wade through to get to the valuable parts. There are some very good, practical ideas here. One that caught my attention was the emphasis on ceremony. It helped me to compare it to the emphasis we already give to other societal rights of passage and more importantly what they represent… graduation, baptisms, and weddings.
I particularly identified with the thrust of chapter 11 as he deals with the dangers of individualism and how we communicate this (largely through modeling) to our sons. Someone once wisely said that, “A lone ranger dies alone.”
Do not get hung up on the old school metaphors. The wisdom of this book should lead us back to teaching our sons what it really means to be a man. It’s not about how many times a week you go to the gym or how many rungs you’ve climbed on the success ladder. Being a man is all about having a transparent relationship with God that reaches for honesty (even when it’s ugly) and believes in passing on the things he has learned.
I am thankful for a father that modeled this for me. May I be half the dad that he was and still is to me!