Every culture has its rituals and rites of passage. The rituals of some cultures are a little more demanding than those of others. In the Maasai culture, killing a lion which is attacking the livestock entitles a boy to a special ‘hero’ status. That’s quite an introduction to manhood. And from a young man hearing about that type of experience while learning how to become a man in a different type of culture, comes this book. Killing Lions: A Guide through the Trials Young Men Face by Sam Eldridge and his father John Eldridge (Thomas Nelson, 2014) is a dialogue of sorts, taken from weekly phone calls, between a young man learning to be an adult, and his father.
These are the types of conversations I would like to have with my son, and hopefully in a few years, when he reaches Sam’s age, we’ll enjoy that type of relationship. Now the travails of adolescence seem to interfere on a more or less regular basis. And this book gives me hope!
As a side note, reading this book reminded me again of the ‘Fatherless Generation’ that is trying to make these difficult transitions without the benefit of paternal guidance. I’m not saying that everything a Dad says is the best way to do things, but for the huge numbers of kids growing up today that have to go it alone, my heart breaks.
Sam shares some of his adolescent rebellion, and the shock when the reality of adulthood finally hits. And what I enjoyed most was the interplay between father and son… The conversations are about the everyday things that are so important, or, put another way, the important things that we tend to push aside as not worthy of needing someone’s advice on: dating, marriage, jobs, school, being a son and being a father. There’s even a section talking about a relationship with God.
My prayer for this book is that fathers and sons would read it together, and as for the young men growing up today without a real dad in their life, that they would read this book anyway, and find a godly man to mentor them through the challenges of growing up.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing a review. There was no requirement to write a positive review.