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A Q&A with “Rite of Passage” Author, Eric Ballard

What do you mean by the “Peter Pan syndrome” and how do you hope to combat it through your book, Rite of Passage?

The Peter Pan syndrome is when a guy refuses to grow up and take on responsibility of any kind. I feel that we so idolize youth and being young so much so, that no one really ever wants to grow up. But this is faulty thinking. We were never meant to remain immature children. We were never intended to stay undeveloped mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. For us to become fully matured followers of Jesus there must be a maturing process. We must grow up. In Rite of Passage, the reader is walked through this process with concrete applications and opportunities to put into practice what they are learning.

Why does biblical manhood need to be addressed in the church today?

I believe that American culture is stripping away at the biblical definition of manhood. The Bible describes a family as being led by the husband and father. But if you watch any show on TV, for example, the father is always the buffoon that gets the whole family into a mess on a weekly basis and is dependent on the wife to save them. It is great to be married to a smart and capable wife (I should know) but the woman was never meant to lead. It’s the man’s role and the church must start doing its part in leading and equipping men to lead or the status of our families will continue to deteriorate. If the church can reach a man, it will reach his family. If it can reach his family, it can reach his community.

What biblical character do you look to most as a model for modern-day manhood?

David is the first guy that comes to mind. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a warrior musician that all the girls sing victory songs for, right? But I’m a big fan of his best friend, Jonathan. That guy had to make some tough choices and still remained the picture of loyalty and focused on the good of others. He was also quite the fierce warrior himself.

What was the most difficult thing about writing a book like this?

Self-doubt and insecurity. For the most part, any book that I pick up, I simply assume the author is an expert on the subject matter he/she wrote about. I’m still learning what it means and what it takes to be a man. The only guys that I really consider to be masters of all things manly are older gentlemen who have decades of life experience to look back on and glean the traits of manhood. With that said, I still think now is the time for all guys to start taking steps down the path that leads to the journey of manhood or we’ll never get there.

How can readers connect with you?, @atestofmanhood,

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