In our home, turning 13 is a big deal. We view it, in some ways, as the transition from childhood to adulthood. In centuries past this was more true than it is today, as we have sadly extended “childhood” under the guise of “adolescence” well into one’s twenties.
We have a tradition when a child turns 12 – we have a special meeting with them and give them their “13 year old challenges.” These are visionary goals, missions to accomplish before their 13th birthday. Sometimes they succeed, other times not – and that is OK.
My son JD, our third child just turned 12. We met last night to talk about his challenges. Having seen his big brother and sister go through these, he was chomping at the bit.
Here were his challenges:
1. Read through the entire Bible. We have set him up with a printed list of “read through the Bible in a year” Scriptures, as well as a daily email.
2. Lead family worship once a month. I believe God will call him to be married and have a family someday. His most importantly responsibility as a husband and father will be to lead family worship (regular prayer and Scripture reading) in the home. I want to do everything I can to equip him now for success!
3. Earn $1000. This week we will open a bank account for him, and the ball is in his court to use his entrepreneurial creativity, hard work, and diligence to have $1000 in that account before his 13th birthday. Once the money is in his account, we will talk and pray about how to a) spend it, b) save it, and c) give it to those in need. This giving is on top of the tithing on income that he will do throughout the year.
4. Triple the amount of pushups he can do in a row. (I probably should not have said this, but I said that I would join him in this mission…prayers appreciated)
Has your family developed any traditions for helping your kids transition from childhood to adulthood?
Dr. Rob Rienow
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