This week marked the beginning of a year long ritual for our second daughter Amy, called a Christian Rite of Passage. This is one of our most significant family traditions. Let me share with you some details about this awesome experience.
What is a Christian Rite of Passage?
It comes from Jewish roots – the Bat Mitzvah – meaning “daughter of the Commandment”. (the Bar Mitzvah means “son of the Commandment”) In the Jewish community, the Bat Mitzvah is a period of instructing the child in her faith and traditions, culminating in a ceremony that recognizes entrance into adulthood.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put away childish things.” The Jewish Bat Mitzvah is a strong connecting point for the young woman between faith, traditions, family & the community.
There are four main goals of the Christian Rite of Passage for a young woman:
- To provide instruction on what it means to be a godly woman.
- To create a point in time for the child to accept responsibility for her own spiritual growth. The child will enter into spiritual adulthood and we, as parents, move from being teachers to coaches.
- To establish mentoring relationships with adult women. These mentors will teach, encourage and guide the young lady in her walk with Christ. They are the her accountability team.
- To extend a formal parental blessing upon the child
It is the culmination of teaching many Biblical life principles to Amy and having her choose to follow them for herself. It is a time of commitment for all of us – to renew our commitment to Christ. To choose to be consistent in Bible study, prayer, church attendance, listening to God & being led by His Spirit. To let the world know we are serious about following Jesus – no turning back!
We officially began Amy’s Rite of Passage year with a Tea Luncheon this past Sunday. It was a wonderful afternoon of warm fellowship & sharing. Amy picked out her favorite teas (peach and cinnamon apple), tea sandwhiches (almond chicken, shrimp crescents, cucumber cream cheese & egg salad) and the dessert (banana cream pie). We began a new tradition of purchasing a special tea pot to commerate this occassion. (don’t worry Michelle we will let you retroactively get a tea pot too!) Amy picked out a perfect “Amy” teapot….with a yellow butterfly on the lid.
We shared with her mentors the importance of this Rite of Passage and told them the specific areas they would be mentoring & teaching Amy in over the next year. The topics included the following:
The Word of God
Purity & Holiness
Lessons from Women of the Word
Evangelism & Missions
Friendship – Developing & nurturing Godly relationships
Defending your Faith/Biblical world view
Christian Family Life & Children
Christian Leadership & Influence
We closed our time together gathering around & praying for Amy.
It is really an incredible & meaningful event for the child going thru this experience as well as the mentors & the entire family. It truly is being purposeful about your job of raising up your children in the faith. Perhaps my eldest daughter, Michelle who completed her Rite of Passage four years ago, as well as possibly her mentors or even those who attended the ceremony will comment here as to their thoughts on this ritual and its significance & impact on them. I hope it inspires you to consider doing something like this for your children.
If you want information on this ritual as well as celebrating other spiritual milestones with your family….let me recommend Spiritual Milestones: A Guide to Celebrating Your Child’s Spiritual Passages by our friends from Colorado, Jim & Janet Weidmann. It has been a fabulous resource for our family.
I will occassionally keep you updated on Amy’s progress and of course next fall you’ll get the full story of her Rite of Passage ceremoy & celebration!
10 responses to “Family & Friends Friday – Rite of Passage”
I love it. Absolutely love it! I just read a chapter of the book this morning, and then checked my email to read your post. I’m printing it and putting it in my “Rite of Passage” file! THank you so much Beth for mentoring me. 🙂
I am so overwhelmed by the need i see all around me in the church for this kind of thing–I remember a Focus on the Family program which talked about this. Do you happen to know who that was, so I could a copy of the program for a friend? Thank you for your post!!
Yes it was the program featuring the author of the book – Jim & Janet Weidmann. The Weidmanns are an incredible family who we are privilaged to know!
Wow, this information is awesome. My son turns “14” in October and I think that is about when the Wiedman’s said they presented the ceremony part. I couldn’t sleep tonight because I was thinking of how I could plan this event. I was wondering if I could dare find the focus on the family “episode” and here you not only direct me straight to it but also inspire me with great information and personal hindsight. I am off to order the book and continue my planning.
Oh one thought about what I am thinking. I think I will have a dinner with key people over Ryan’s life to somewhat celebrate his growth by kind of roasting him. As a part of that will be people, particularly men who have an important part in his current Christian growth to speak on the issues of guidance and direction you outlined.
I can’t find the program on Focus on the Family anywhere. If anyone can give me a direct link I would be most appreciative. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
We did a summer-long rite of passage for my son and are doing his ceremony on Saturday. I read about it when he was 6. He is now turning 15. I can see how God has orchestrated the event, the timing and the men involved to prepare him for the challenges he is now facing. I will be doing my daughter next year. I believe this time is the most significant time of their young lives. I don’t even remember the name of the book I read years ago that lead me to this process, but am grateful for the blessing it has been and the impact on the lives of my children.
Incredible. It’s not too often I can “feel” God’s Light and Love through something someone does. Especially across the internet. God’s blessings to you and yours! Congratulations Amy!
My son is four months old, I have two daughters who are 5 and turning 8. I so need this in my community. I prayed for guidance for milestone markers for each key point in thier lives. I’m already planning their rite now and preparing my self for the teen years. Thanks for this website. It is very inspiring. You set the example
I have many Jewish friends and always thought they had the ceremony for Bat Mitzvah so correct. It is a rich and important event. We are planning our daughters Christian Bat Mitzvah for this summer and searching for ideas for the event. I have in my heart part of it, but look forward to getting the book you mentioned.
Our son & daughter have attended a private (non-religious) school since Kindergarten & have had many Jewish friends through the years. The Bar/Bat Mitzvahs we’ve attended have left us longing for a similar sense of family & community that is so much a part of their faith and culture. Thank you for this site: A “Christian Bar/Bat Mitzvah” Is what we really needed! My son is 18 and I am participating in a “blessing” with other dads & sons of our soon-to-be graduates, before they set off to college. It’s a great way to honor children into adulthood. (This is being coordinated by our son’s Young Life/Campaigners leader – for which we have all been blessed to know.)