The Terrible Twenties

The mid-twenties are a difficult time for most American men. At 25 he can no longer fall back on “I’m just a college student” and he realizes that he must become responsible on new levels. He grieves over the loss of the freedom of youth as he recognizes that life will never be the same. There is also a growing frustration as he feels inadequate, ill-prepared, and afraid because his parents, schools, and churches did not prepared him for adulthood. He becomes aware that society has changed its attitude towards him and that they now have an expectation of manhood without showing him how.

Some cultures have a rite of passage for children at 13 years of age. The adults come around the boy to affirm his belonging to them and to help him transition to manhood. But because America does not have an intentional rite of passage the men find themselves struggling alone through a self-directed rite of passage at around 25 years of age (about 12 years too late), which only reinforces rugged individualism and isolation rather than the sense of belonging that God intended for all men. Forming a rite of passage for our children is the responsibility of the nuclear family and the family of God.

In closing:

  • Be aware that those around you in their mid-twenties maybe going through a difficult time.
  • Our spiritual family/church establishes belonging with each twenty-something. He belongs to us and we belong to him.
  • We come around those in their mid-twenties to help them navigate the transition to manhood.
  • Our spiritual family/church comes along side our families to assist in a rite of passage for their sons and daughters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *