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SPOTLIGHT| Lewis Collins | Making of a Modern Day Knight

Can you tell us about the Bible study program and how you became involved?

I was asked to be a mentor for a friend’s son who was going through a program with his dad 20 years ago called the “Making of a Modern Day Knight.” To act as his mentor, I had to read the book that this program  was based on and learn the way to raise a son as God expects — so the world doesn’t craft a son’s image of what it is to be a “man.” I was very impressed with this program and, when my son was born 3 years later, I promised myself (and him) that we would go through this program together. My church didn’t have this course so, when Luke turned 13, I volunteered to be in charge of this great study of what is takes to raise a son based on the ideals and standards that God provides for each of us. Almost 5 years later, this group of 16 fathers of “Knights” meets once a week to study the bible and hold each other accountable for raising our sons as Godly men. 

How much time is dedicated?

During the Modern Day Knight program, each of the fathers devoted about 3 hours a week to completing activities, studies and mentoring time with their son. The dads also spent an hour each week in our small group setting learning the materials and discussing the topics. In addition, we also went on outings with all the boys and participated in service projects together. As our bible studies continue, each dad devotes about 30 minutes a day studying the materials for the class and reading the bible. Our small group continues to meet for an hour each Tuesday morning at 7:30 am. As the leader of this group, I spend about 2 hours extra each week getting ready for our discussions. 

We continue to have regular outings with the boys and participate in service projects, which include serving the homeless in the “Sunday Brunch” the church holds, and collecting clothing, shoes and toiletries to distribute to the homeless and to residents at a battered woman’s shelter.

Why is your involvement important to you?

I cannot think of a better gift to my son than to raise him the way God intended. If I did not take on this responsibility, the world would shape his image. In doing so, I learned much more about myself in the process. The accountability of the other dads has also helped me to make good on the promises I made to myself and my son so many years ago. As Luke gets ready to head to college in just over a year, I realize that the time I have devoted to this study was some of the most important time that I have ever spent.

Is there anything you find challenging about being involved in the program?

There are many challenges involved in leading this small group. The struggle of the boys to find their identity as “men” without the proper guidance of their fathers is indeed a challenge. The concern over what would happen if their fathers didn’t have the guidance of our heavenly Father would be a very daunting and challenging task. The responsibility to lead a group of dads in this most important process is a weekly challenge because of the dire consequences that could occur if not thoughtfully and prayerfully undertaken. All of these “challenges,” however, have led to a reward without compare. 

What do you see down the road for your involvement?

As our boys head off, one by one, to college, the dads have committed to each other to stay in this small group and continue to study the bible. We have enjoyed how these studies and our “spirited” discussions have nourished each of us as we study the Word and learn more each week. We are committed to being Godly husbands, fathers, neighbors, friends and coworkers; and this small group holds us accountable and bonded to each other in that endeavor. 

Is there something you can share on a more personal level?

One of the ways we teach our sons what it is like to be a Godly man is to model our own behavior. We decided as a group to do something special for our wives for Valentine’s Day. We gave our wives a personalized invitation to come to one of the dad’s homes to have a dinner that we planned, cooked and served. When they arrived, each was given a rose and treated that night in a way that we hope our sons will treat women. The culmination of the evening — for me at least — was when each of the husbands stood behind their wives and recited a poem and pledge that we wrote. The look on the faces of our wives (many with tears rolling down their cheeks) was a special moment for me (and, I hope, an example for my son).

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