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THE STAND ACADEMY

RITE OF PASSAGE

Validating our children is so important. A wonderful way to do this is giving them a blessing ceremony (Rite of Passage).

Introduction

For tens of thousands of years, in many countries and cultures throughout the world, rites of passage have been an important part of human culture. A rite of passage is a ritual or ceremony that marks a change in a person’s social status. There are ceremonies in many cultures that memorialise the birth of a child, puberty, graduation, engagement, marriage, death, and other stages of life. In our western culture, while we still celebrate marriage through a wedding ceremony and observe death through a funeral, we lack a generally accepted rite of passage from childhood into adulthood. This rite of passage that occurs around the time of puberty is sometimes called a “blessing.”

What is a blessing?

The Hebrew word for “to bless” is Baruch. Baruch means “a good word.” When we bless our child, we are placing our “seal of approval” upon them and giving them the power to prosper in many areas of life, including in marriage, with children, in finances, health, and career.

Why do children need the blessing of their parents?

A ceremonial blessing is an act of the parents recognising the passage of a son or daughter emotionally and spiritually into manhood or womanhood. It helps to establish their identity and purpose as an adult.

Establishing identity answers the question “Who am I?”

Establishing purpose will answer the question, “What am I here for?” Additionally, when we release our children into this new season in life, we are also releasing them to take on more responsibility and decision-making. There is something inside every child that makes him crave for a blessing from his parents. And without that blessing, many people spend a lifetime searching for identity and purpose in life. They are always trying to prove themselves worthy to their mum or dad. They are constantly seeking attention, affirmation, and acceptance in all of the wrong places. They are often striving to prove their manhood or womanhood to themselves and to others through their sexual encounters, the way they dress, their work, the money they make, or by attempting daring feats.

Is it right to bless a rebellious, misbehaving child?

Yes. We need to separate identity and behaviour. Remember, when we bless a child, we are giving them power to prosper in life, not condoning rebellion and disobedience. We are blessing them for who they are–a child of God created with infinite value, dignity and worth–not for what they do.

When does the parental blessing occur?

It should probably occur sometime between the ages of 12 and 15, depending on the emotional maturity of the child. One sign will be when the child starts to take an interest in the opposite sex and begins to lose an interest in childish things. Another clear sign is when a child reaches puberty.

How does a parent bless his child?

Weddings. Graduations. Award banquets. We remember those occasions, in part, because they were sealed by a ceremony and a celebration. Ceremonies often drive a stake in the ground memorialising a season or time in one’s life. Memorable ceremonies do three things:

1. Ascribe Value. They say to the person being honoured, “You are important.” “This occasion is important.”

2. Employ Symbols. A ring, a pen, a necklace, a plaque, a certificate all provide recognition of the significance of an event.

3. Launch a New Season in Life. They say, in essence, “from this day forward, things are going to be different.” And they do it with celebration.

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