Your Son Wants You to Notice Him

A dad laughing with his young son

General Ulysses S. Grant, whose victories at Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and elsewhere sealed the conflict for the Union, is considered one of the heroes of the War between the States. But Grant's success is remarkable when you consider his background.

You see, prior to the war, Ulysses S. Grant was a confirmed failure. He had failed as a farmer, a peddler of firewood and as the proprietor of a leather store in Galena, Illinois. At one point, he was so broke that he pawned his gold watch — a family heirloom — for $22.

But deep in his heart, Ulysses S. Grant knew he could succeed. William S. McFeely, in his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, makes this powerful observation: "[Grant] had, all along, ideas and a [good] sense of himself that he could make no one notice" [italics added].William S. McFeely, Grant: A Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982), xii. No matter how hard Grant tried, no one seemed to sense his potential.

Many sons today are just like Ulysses S. Grant. They have a sense of themselves, a premonition that they were created for something significant, if only someone would notice them!

Someone like a father. With great clarity and regal pronouncement, manhood ceremonies tell a son, "I notice you! You are important to me! You are important to the kingdom of God! You have an important masculine destiny to fulfill!"

You can do it, Dad! Take the time to craft some ceremonies for your son. Make them costly. Make them memorable. Celebrate!

He'll remember these special occasions with you as some of the finest days of his life.

Excerpted and adapted from Robert Lewis' book Raising a Modern-Day Knight, a Focus on the Family book. Copyright © 2007, Robert Lewis. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.