Killing lions is hardly a national pastime in the Western countries. Yet in some African tribes, it has been a rite of passage into manhood.
It is precisely because there isn't any such kind of rite of passage here in North America that many young man are lost, unsure of who they are and what they should be doing during trials or in life. That is why New York Times best-selling author John Eldredge and his son Sam decided to join forces and write "Killing Lions: A Guide through the Trials Young Men Face", based on their weekly phone conversations.
When Sam graduated from college, he started having these phone calls with his dad, John, on a weekly basis. Sam got a degree and had expected to start working in that field. However, he soon found himself struggling in the deep end of the pool, not really getting anywhere, wrestling with work and women. He found himself wondering what he should be doing with his life. So he turned to the person whom he knew had the most wisdom - his dad.
They started these weekly phone calls, talking about life, money, dreams and romance. John quickly realize that many of Sam's peers do not have an older man who is a father figure that they can talk to about matters in life. Even though Sam attended a Christian college, none of his friends had that.
So what does manning up mean in this time and age?
When David faced Goliath in the bible, he was discouraged by others around him who felt that he was too young and small for the task. Yet David had faced the lion and the bear while he was tending the sheep, so he knew that Goliath would not be a problem for him.
David had already gone through threshold experiences or rites of passage that enabled him to conquer his fears. It gave him the subtle confidence that allowed him to face Goliath and allowed him to become king.
As John explains, that is what we are after in young men.
Young men want to move into the world with courage, with strength and with vision. There is a warrior within! However, they do need those "lion" and "bear" experiences and fathering through those challenges to get that subtle inner confidence and strength as a man.
That is what John and Sam wish to help impart into young men - to find their identity.
"Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue." (Wild at Heart)
Please visit Crossroads' eStore for a copy of Killing Lions by John and Sam Eldredge!