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Raising a Modern Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood
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Raising a Modern Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  1,232 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
What does it mean to be a man? Moreover, how do you as a father instill that reality in your son? By Raising a Modern-Day Knight.

The medieval custom of knighthood offers an unique approach to shaping a boy into a strong, godly man. Centuries ago, select boys went through a rigorous, years-long process of clearly defined objectives, goals, and ceremonies—with the hope of ac
Paperback, 194 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Focus on the Family Publishing (first published November 1st 1996)
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Lisa Marie
Feb 18, 2012 Lisa Marie rated it really liked it
I ordered this book as a mom of 3 boys. Although it specifically said it was geared towards fathers teaching their sons how to become men, I was hoping that as a mother, I'd be able to glean some advice on how to help move them in that direction as well.

The book pulled on my heartstrings and really led me to want to encourage my husband to be a more involved force in our sons' lives.

As a mother, I can teach them the basics, but it takes a man to be a role-model and hero to our boys. I can tell
I first heard about RAMDK from a pastor a few years ago. He was making up for lost time with his son after putting in long hours finishing seminary and starting a church. It's easy for pastors to get sidetracked by the Church at the expense of their families.

The most well-known book I know of right now on raising a son is Dobson's "Bringing Up Boys." While that is an excellent resource with a lot of valuable research, it lacks concrete, creative ways to shape one's child. It sits half-read on my
Rachel Ramm
Oct 14, 2011 Rachel Ramm rated it it was amazing
Great book on the qualities of real men and how to help instill those qualities in boys as they grow up. Not only great for the men and fathers who are the intended audience, but great for young women like myself who also need to know what true manhood looks like in order to discern wisely for future marriages. Really, this book should be helpful for everyone, since in our confused society we all need to understand what a real man is, and what boys need in order to become one.
Aug 15, 2013 Taylor rated it it was ok
The author's larger point about being proactive and 'strategic' fathers (of sons) is well taken, and there are lots of good practical suggestions to help raise boys into 'authentic' men.

I found the book disppointing in its specifics. Tying his methods to scripture was a bit of a stretch for Lewis. Interpreting God's voice at Jesus' baptism as one of affirmation and encouragment for his son before he began his public ministry seems like questionable exegesis (though I'm no theologian). Are there
Marty Solomon
Mar 04, 2013 Marty Solomon rated it really liked it
Pleasantly void of any "taking back American Christianity from effeminate culture" language, this book is not about raising up your son to be a 'Manly Man'. It's a book about the importance of teaching your son values in a way that he hears them and they take root in his character. It's a book about the importance of being a father of integrity. It's a book about how to give your son something that will allow him to become a man because he's been taught about becoming an adult, keeping him from ...more
Oct 20, 2011 Seth rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the themes in this book very much. I think it present Biblical manhood without trying too hard to be macho or overstate the point. The focus on explicitly teaching concepts is welcome advice, and the concept of having ceremonies to mark important stages is certainly one to consider. The tone is challenging without being aggressive, and I would give the overall themes of the book five stars.

However, there are two things that take the book down a notch. For one, he urges men to build a
Jill Williamson
Jan 04, 2010 Jill Williamson rated it it was amazing
In this book, the author shares that no one ever told him when he officially became a man or what it meant. He and his friends were inspired to create an experience for their sons, akin to the journey a boy took to become a knight. This book shares their story, examples of what they did, and ways that you could do the same. Wow. What a powerful, life changing moment that really can be so simple.

There is nothing more satisfying than knowing your purpose in life and that someone believes in you. I
Oct 08, 2010 Jodi rated it it was amazing
I think that every father needs to read this book and to see what has become of our sons today. The book talks about how there is no real ceremony and no real way for sons to know that they have become men. The author plans ceremonies with other friends and influenticial people in the sons lives and leads by example. There were several great quotes as well. One about families use to rely on community to help reinfornce home values and now it seems to go deliberalty against family values.I am thi ...more
David Dent
Jul 07, 2013 David Dent rated it it was amazing
Great book. It brought tears to my eyes about my own childhood and underscored both my duty to raise my sons and my startling lack of knowledge or preparation on how to do that. I highly recommend this one to every dad and every son out there.

I was also stricken by the power of ceremony and rites of passage and their nearly complete absence in modern America. We have fallen so far away and don't even realize it.

May God save us from ourselves.
Aug 03, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book detailing how to raise a boy to become a man, following in the example of Jesus Christ. It shows intentional steps one can take to facilitate this process.

It is also a very challenging book, because regardless of what a parent says, it is the example set by a parent that children typically follow. So, I must follow Christ's example if I want my son to also follow Christ's example.
Aug 16, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing
I am still reading and Greg will be reading this week. This is a quick read but a book we will need to own so that we can refer back to it on a regular basis. Written by Fathers for Fathers who wish to help their sons discover the path from boyhood to manhood with honor, ceremony, purpose, scriptural understanding. This book is brilliant, warm, inviting and manly. Thank God for another great tool to have in the toolbox of raising our boys into Godly men.
Mar 09, 2015 Denny rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: I would not recommend it to anyone.
I wasn't going to waste any time or effort on writing anything about this travesty of a guide to raising a son, but since I agree strongly with two of the 2-star reviewers (though I feel they were overly generous with their ratings), I "liked" them and would urge anyone pondering reading this book to check them out first: Greg Harriman's review posted 7/5/13 and especially Taylor's review posted 8/15/13.
Greg Harriman
Jul 05, 2013 Greg Harriman rated it it was ok
I really thought this book would provide more biblically-based advice on how to guide a "boy" to "manhood" but it just became more and more creepy as I read stories about ceremonies to mark manhood milestones. Would not recommend!
Feb 24, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
I will say the *ideas* of coming-of-age ceremonies, strong mentorship, the need for connection to our parents, and inspiring children to find purpose to their life is sound.

The rest...I'll just take what works for us and leave the anti-feminist, gender-limiting stereotyping behind.
Shaeley Santiago
Apr 08, 2011 Shaeley Santiago rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Shaeley by: Junessa
Great book about how to raise boys modeled off the mentoring process of becoming a knight along with biblical principles. Written for dads, but a good read for mothers as well who play an important supporting role in the process.
Jul 02, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fathers
Recommended to Steve by: Shane Unger
Good - quick read. Having rituals for our sons to pass into manhood is a lost art. Lewis does a great job with the call to action to start making investments in our sons.
Aug 06, 2012 Jerry rated it it was amazing
This book Opened my eyes to a need in christian america today. I would recommend it to any man with children or, thinking of having children. Be ready to be challenged.
Cadence Stanley
Jun 26, 2009 Cadence Stanley rated it really liked it
I read it for Joel and gave him the cliff notes!!!
Danny Vanderbyl
Oct 21, 2013 Danny Vanderbyl rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I have read by Robert Lewis. (I read the AMAZING "Rocking the Roles" - it is one of my favourite books of all time.)

Now- here's my bottom line: I wish my dad(s) had read this book before I was born. Since they didn't have that advantage, I am using it to rebuild my picture of manhood.

In our culture, the icon of manhood is either a porn star (whose Viagra can keep him going all day long), or perhaps Peter Griffin from Family Guy - a crass idiot. How sad is it that this is
Any book that counsels fathers and sons to look to Jesus Christ as a model for authentic manhood gets at least three stars just for saying that, and Robert Lewis has given the rest of us advice that will help a lot of people. I agree with his definition of a real man as one who rejects passivity, accepts responsiblity, leads courageously, and aims at "the greater reward," i.e., the beatific vision.

That said, I also found "Raising a Modern-Day Knight" frustrating in ways that Fr. Larry Richards'
Jason Cox
This was a good book, overall. I think the topic is timely and this is a reasonably proper Biblical basis to the book. The key factor here is the focus on pomp and ceremony.

The real take-home meat of this book is in the first few chapters - defining "authentic manhood" in a way that we can both aspire to as fathers and aspire to raise our sons to that same standard. In a way, I think it's a bit short on helpful suggestions. But then again, maybe it's more of a "call to arms" than a "battle plan
Nov 21, 2013 Bob rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, parenting
A very good book. A part of it is the standard "call to arms" for fathers that's fairly common amongst Focus on the Family books (not saying it's bad, just that it's not unique): you know, your kids are counting on you, you're the most important determinant of how they turn out, so get on the ball, dads. Good reminders, but not anything I haven't read before.
However, where this book is unique is explaining the importance of ceremonies in defining that a boy can identify himself as a man, and as
Jan 01, 2016 Lauren rated it really liked it
Very interesting, definitely worth reading if you have sons or grandsons that are not yet grown and consider yourself an evangelical Christian. This is an easy read that has a fascinating theory for raising boys. It may give you some insight into your children even if you don't buy into the whole theory. Basically it talks about how important it is to mindfully raise your boys to be men. The father and other men should be actively and mindfully involved in training the boy to be a man. It also t ...more
Dalaina May
Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis is essentially a dad's guide to walking his son into manhood in a clear and meaningful way. A quick read, the book spells out how to define masculinity for a boy and how to encourage a boy through the milestones of his childhood so that when he enters adulthood, he has a clear understanding of what a man is and can self-identify as one. Two of the major components in the book are a "community of men" and meaningful rites of passage. The author encourag ...more
Jun 09, 2011 Erik rated it really liked it
Recommended to Erik by: Focus on the Family newsletter
Shelves: catholic, edification
Unlike many books about raising children with character, this book is practical. The author is forthright about his feeling that manhood needs to be celebrated with symbols and ceremony. Some may think the suggestions corny, but he is clearly not merely about pomp and circumstance. His stories reveal a deep conviction that fathers celebrating their sons' progression through adolescence to manhood is key, and the suggestions are full of deep meaning. While it is all tied back to knighthood, do no ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Scott rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
If you don't mind analogies taken from a millennia ago, then this book may be a help to dads looking to successfully prepare their sons to live godly, spiritually mature lives in today's world. The book is laid out in five parts: I. the need for modern day knights; II. the knight and his ideals; III. the knight and his ceremonies; IV. the knight and his round-table; and V. the knight and his legacy. The author attempts to define manhood as one who 1. rejects passivity, 2. accepts responsibility, ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Brett rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fathers
Recommended to Brett by: Andy Beaver
This was a worthwhile and quick read. Lewis emphasizes the need for fathers to take responsibility for nurturing their sons to be God-fearing men; "modern day knights." In a culture that continues to assault the virtues of masculinity this book is a breath of fresh air. I agreed wholeheartedly with his emphasis on creating memorable ceremonies for our sons. However, the connection between the ceremonies and their timing (puberty, high school graduation, college graduation) was not meaningfully d ...more
Tosh Demsey
Jul 20, 2015 Tosh Demsey rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to any father who wants to raise a son who will embrace authentic manhood and reject the many false portrayals of manhood that are so prevalent in the media and popular culture. The author, Robert Lewis, asserts that the three facets of authentic manhood are: 1) a definition for manhood, 2) a code of conduct and 3) a transcendent cause. The four-fold definition of manhood is that a real man 1) rejects passivity, 2) accepts responsibility, 3) leads courageously, and 4) lives ...more
Mike E.
Jul 19, 2013 Mike E. rated it liked it
When and how does a boy become man? Contemporary American culture lacks a process or cues for the transition to manhood. If fathers do not take the responsibility to lead their sons to manhood, the world will. I need help in doing this and I found some here. Most helpful to me were the specific examples the author provides of various dinners, outings, ceremonies to mark and commemorate manhood. He gives ideas for age 13, high school graduation, college graduation (or equivalent), and at marriage ...more
Mike Bercier
Aug 29, 2013 Mike Bercier rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the concepts in this book. It shows me how important a dad is to raising his son. Not only being a present dad but, how important it is to be a strategic dad. I would rather that Xavier learns on becoming a modern day knight from me and not from the media etc. This means that I have to step up my game and lead by example in all aspects of my life... from family life to finances, how to treat people, especially women and so much more all while being the courageous leader that I n ...more
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Anthony/Jer 2 9 Aug 20, 2012 09:32AM  
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“Sons need fathers who are involved in their lives—dads who will love them, teach them, and discipline them. But clearly, sons also need a masculine vision. They need a manhood language. They need a ceremony. And they need other men. Knighthood, as an outline, offers all this and more.” 1 likes
“Real manhood begins with a decision to reject social and spiritual passivity when nothing is the more comfortable and natural option. M” 0 likes
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