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Steven Arms- From Milestone to Manhood

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
September 17, 2022 1:00 am

Steven Arms- From Milestone to Manhood

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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September 17, 2022 1:00 am

Today, Nikita speaks with Steven Arms.

Steven Arms lives in Oregon with his wife Emily and is the proud father of two young children. In Milestone to Manhood, Steven shares his firsthand experience of his Rite of Passage weekend and reflects on how it shaped him into the man that he is today.


Milestone to Manhood shows how fathers of pre-teen boys can help their sons to successfully make the transition from boyhood to manhood. It is a father’s responsibility to bestow the title of “man” on his son, and the book outlines a once-in-a-lifetime weekend to help a father do so. The weekend involves the other male role models in the son’s life as well, like his grandfather, uncles, and older brothers, who all participate in order to make it clear to the boy that he is now considered to be a man. This coming-of-age ceremony is called his Rite of Passage.  Visit for more information.


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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.

Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. In Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos. The Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Now, the Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. My pleasure to introduce Stephen Arms to the Man Up audience. Stephen, welcome to the Man Up show. Nikita, thank you so much for having me. Well, it's great to have you, Stephen, and I'm excited. I'm excited what we're going to talk about, Milestone to Manhood, your book, because this is really right up my alley. And of course, those who follow the Man Up show and listen and know about our camps and our conferences, our Manhood conferences, etc., are going to, I think, really enjoy this conversation.

Before we get there, Stephen, let's enlighten our listeners to who Stephen Arms is. I know you actually are calling you today. You're calling in from California today, right? The West Coast.

That's right, yeah. California, born and raised. I actually live up near Portland, Oregon now, but I spent my first 25 years in California. Okay, so up in Portland. Now, are you familiar, a little side question, familiar with Bend, Oregon? Oh yeah, I've been out there a number of times, maybe 10 or 12 times.

Oh wow, okay. The reason I'm familiar with Bend is my oldest daughter, Taryn, is married to her husband's from Bend, Oregon, Chad. And of course, I've been out there. It's a beautiful, Bend, Oregon was a beautiful city. So yeah, just nestled there in the eastern part of Oregon, right? Bend is. Yeah, it's on the eastern side. Definitely, if you love outdoors, you'll like Bend.

It's an awesome place. Yeah, which my son-in-law does, having grown up there. So you're in Oregon now, so tell us about your family.

Tell us what you're doing in Oregon, transitioning from California. Sure, yeah. So like I said, born and raised in California. I come from a family of four boys. I'm number two of four, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of wrestling and eating contests and testosterone growing up.

Right. I grew up in the church, you know. We as a family would go to church every Sunday together and then come home and cook a family breakfast.

And church was just very much a part of our family growing up. And then in college is probably when, like many people, I kind of started to have those questions about what do I believe and why do I believe them. And it really sent me on maybe a six-month to 12-month long journey of questioning my faith and, you know, even questioning my belief in God. And I was, at the time, I wasn't sure if I should talk to my parents about that because I was afraid of what they might think. You know, if I told them, hey, I'm questioning my belief in God, I didn't know how that... How they might respond, right?

How they might respond, yeah. But ultimately I decided, you know what, I can't go through this alone. I need to seek wise counsel here. And so I did go back to my parents and actually my grandfather too. My grandfather had always been a North Star in my life and just a mentor to me. So I kind of brought my questions to them and they weren't able to answer all of the questions that I had, but they were able to set me straight in more than a few of them. And they were able to share more about their own faith journeys with me. And so I would say in college, having that experience with them, that was the moment where I kind of took my faith on for myself.

And my going to church now isn't about, I don't go to church just to make my parents happy anymore, but I go to church now because this is what I believe. And I want to have that closer relationship with God. So now I am 31 years old. I met my wife Emily. She is from Oregon, so I moved up here to pursue my relationship with her. We got married in 2018 and now we have two beautiful children.

My daughter Claire is three years old and my son Joseph just turned one. That's awesome. Well, you know what, Stephen, you bring up a very really interesting point and I think valid for really for all of us out there in Listening Land. And that is, I think it's not uncommon that, you know, if you grow up in a Christian home or you grow up in church or, you know, your family, your parents follow Christ and that at some point in time, I think each one of us has to reach that point of decision where it becomes, as you just really made reference to, personal. You know, it's easy to kind of, if you will, that what comes to mind is riding on the coattails of your parents faith.

Right. And and and so being in that environment. But, you know, for those listening out there, I want to encourage you as you're listening to Stephen's story, you know, depending on where you're at in your journey, it was a great word, Stephen, journey. You know, I went on a six to 12 month journey and ultimately making a decision to to have your own personal relationship with Jesus.

And then reaching out. I love what you said, too, about reaching out, reaching back to your parents and having that conversation, that discussion with them. And what a cool what a cool thing it was to have a grandfather in your life who is a mentor, who you looked up to.

I like what you said. He was my North Star. That's really cool. And so and now you've got a little boy of your own to raise along with with your daughter. And that's amazing.

So let's. So on on on that note. So I know you wrote this book, Milestone of Manhood, and I'm just reading a couple of the notes here. And and it's interesting, it's about a once in a lifetime weekend designed to mark a boy's entrance into manhood. So for our listeners out there, especially those who have boys, and this can be boys of certainly of any age.

I know we're going to talk more specifically here in a moment as we dive deeper into this. Let's just start with let me just start with who this book is for. So obviously those who have boys, but what inspired you to write the book? Let's just start there. What inspired you, Stephen, to write this book?

Sure. The book is for fathers of 10, 11 or 12 year old boys. And the premise of the book is that if a boy is never told that he is a man at the appropriate age around 10, 11, 12 or 13 years old, then he will try to prove his manhood to himself and to his peers through other ways. And what that might look like is violence, pornography, the sexual conquest of women fighting.

These are all examples of boys engaging in dangerous or perverse behavior. You're listening to the Truth Network and If you would like to support Koloff for Christ Ministries for a gift of $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of $50, Nikita will include his book Wrestling with Success. And for a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption. Go to and donate today. Nikita Koloff here. If you're needing to buy a car and have marginal credit and considering using buy here, pay here, that's worse than taking the Russian sickle. Winston-Salem motor cars will put you behind the wheel of a car you can rely on while helping rebuild, repair or establish your credit score.

Conveniently located on Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem, be sure to check them out today at because you are number one. You're listening to the Truth Network and All in effort to prove their manhood to themselves and to their peers. And what we write about in the book is that a lot of that pain can be avoided if a father of a boy simply tells him that. Son, I just want to let you know, I no longer consider you to be a boy now, but in my eyes, you are a man. And by doing that, the father affirms a boy's masculine identity. So when the boy feels confident in his masculine identity, that his father sees him as a man, that he no longer feels the need to prove his manhood to himself.

Yeah. So several things, let me interject several things that come to mind here, Stephen, even for my own story. So just a little quick back story on on me, because and the other thing that, you know, comes to mind, too, is, you know, you're listing off some things they may, you know, pursue to, you know, to to prove their manhood, you know, drugs, drinking, right. Gangs might join a gang because they're accepted by the gang, you know, as maybe they're not in their own home. And I like what you said, you know, instead of letting, you know, the young man just kind of figure out, figure it out for himself.

Right. Well, that's part of my story to give you a little quick back story. You know, my dad left when I was three. I was the youngest of four. And actually, you had you grew up you and three other brothers.

I had two other brothers and sister. I was the youngest, but I had no male role model. And so, you know, my my view of manhood and masculinity came from just just as you what you refer to through peers, TV, Internet, magazines, smut magazines.

Back in those days, conversations in the locker room as a as an athlete. You know, that's what defined my manhood personally. To to your point, to your point, because I didn't have a dad in the home and would later on come to realize once I gave my life to Christ in 1993 and then went to a camp and and watched a teaching on biblical manhood. Now, there's a difference of that to write the way the world defines manhood, the way God defines manhood.

There is a decided difference there. And so. Yeah. So my eyes were open to how God defines manhood.

Right. So, I mean, the fact that you were inspired to. So that's what the books about. So what inspired you to do this book? So what inspired me to write the book was actually an experience that I had when I was 13. My dad organized for me what's called a rite of passage weekend.

So when I turned 13, my dad took me away to a cabin in Lake Shasta, which is in northern California, about three hours from where I grew up. And he surprised me with my aunt, my two uncles and my grandfather on the drive up. They were at a restaurant waiting for us. And the purpose of the weekend was to have all the men in my life, all the men that I looked up to take me away for a weekend. And they shared advice about what it means to be a man, what it means to be a godly man, to your point, Nikita. And then at the end of the weekend, they all told me they looked me in the eye and they told me, Stephen, we want you to know that in this family, you are no longer considered to be a boy, but you are now considered to be a man. And so in our family, that's called the rite of passage tradition. Every boy gets surprised on his 13th birthday and has a weekend like that with his father and with his other male role models. And then our family did it for the girls as well. So the guys were not invited to that trip, but all the females, all the women of the family organized similar type weekend events for my cousins. Well, and I think it's very significant what you're doing in writing this book and what's so needed in today's day and time. And I see where you're encouraging uncles and older brothers and cousins and your grandfather and others that can really speak life into you. Right.

That had to be a powerful week. So you're 31. That happened when you were 13. So we just reversed the numbers there. How about that?

Yeah, it was almost 20 years ago. You're totally right. You know, the presence of other men besides the father is a critical component to the weekend because, you know, most 12 year old, 13 year old boys, they don't want to listen to their father after all.

You know, when my dad invited me to go along the weekend, I was kind of hesitant to spend, you know, a whole weekend one on one with my dad. Right. What are we going to do? Exactly. You're an awkward preteen.

Right. But having the other men there, having my uncles and my grandfather, you know, they were sharing advice that really sunk in because they weren't my dad. You know, and I was I was open to accepting advice from other men who I respected, but they weren't my dad.

So their presence is critical to the weekend. But yeah, in retrospect, you know, as a 13 year old, I didn't really understand what a blessing or how unique this weekend was, this experience in my life. And it wasn't until many years later, you know, when I got married and had children of my own that it kind of dawned on me, like, wow, this is a very unique experience, you know, maybe a one in a million type experience. And I need to share this with the rest of the world.

You know, that's where I see God in the book for me is sharing this virtuous family tradition with the rest of the world so that fathers can help their sons make that transition from boyhood to manhood. You're listening to the Truth Network and I am excited. Did you hear the huge announcement, the big announcement? Well, maybe it's a minor announcement.

Anyway, Facebook, go look up my new fan page, Nikita Kolof Fans, and like it and follow today. You're listening to the Truth Network and Well, and it's the significance of that. It's interesting, right? You pick the, you know, you pick the age where they pick the age 12, 13. You know, there is other cultures. The one that comes to mind the most, first and foremost, is the Jewish culture, which has a rite of passage, if you will, for 12 and 13 year old girls and boys called a bat mitzvah for the girls and a bar mitzvah for the boys. And symbolizing this very same thing, their step from essentially childhood into manhood.

And of course, in the Christian community, this is not something that's typically, to my knowledge, talked about or done. Now, I will say this. I had some dear friends of mine, Bruce and Lisa Birchfield, who a number of years ago, my daughter, actually one of my daughters. So I have four girls. You grew up with four boys. You had a daughter and a son.

I have four girls. My daughter, Kendra, interestingly enough, was the only one that went through this journey, Stephen. But we had a rite of passage for her. My friends had come up with a similar concept, a similar idea, a rite of passage for her. And man, it was powerful.

I mean, powerful for me as a dad. You know, she went through that particular program that she went through is actually over about six weeks, where like you had different men speaking to your life. She had different women speaking to her life each weekend, teaching her etiquette, what it means to be a wife, what it means to be a mom, you know, just right, what it means to be a godly woman, a Proverbs 31 woman and all of that, culminating, culminating with a big formal banquet, not unlike even a wedding reception almost. I mean, I mean, dolled up, dressed up. And then the coolest thing that I remember as a dad, one, just so for our listeners out there, I mean, I couldn't keep it.

I don't know if there's any dry eyes, Stephen, in the audience. But one of the coolest memories, one, I wrote out some words of affirmation for her and got to speak truth into her life and who she was, who I saw her. In fact, I'm getting choked up about it right now. How I saw her as a woman. And so I got to speak that to her, put a, I guess a tiara, is that what they call it?

A little crown, a tiara on her head and take off underneath her gown, take off her, whatever she's wearing, flip flops, tennis shoes and put high heels on her. Oh, wow. And then finished with a father daughter dance. And my goodness. And I was just recently with her. She lived, her and her husband, they have two girls of their own now. They live in Maui, Hawaii.

They're suffering for Jesus out there in Maui. But and to see her now as a godly mom and a godly woman and an amazing husband is such a blessing. But I sense I got to believe that that rite of passage had a profound impact. So what you're doing is so important. The fact that, Stephen, that you put this book together, you know.

Now, let me ask you this. So 12, 13 is the end. It's a critical age, like you said, trying to boys and girls are really trying to find their identity. Right.

Kind of find who they are. Right. Yeah. We find that 13 years old is kind of the perfect age to do it. You know, it's a milestone birthday. They're becoming a teenager. And, you know, at the end of the day, it's probably better to initiate your son or daughter into manhood or womanhood a little bit too early than a little bit too late. You know, right.

Yes. By the time they're 18, you know, they've probably already made some major life decisions. And you want your son or daughter to know that they have their parents full support going forward through their teenage years. And to tie it back into my own story, you know, when I was in college questioning my faith, I really was some of the things that were shared with me during my right of passage weekend as a 13 year old that gave me the trust to go back to my father and to my grandfather and ask those tough questions with them and to seek their counsel. Because during my right of passage weekend, they told me, you are a man now and we are men of your family who are here to support you no matter what. And our proverbial door is always open.

You can come to us with anything that you might be struggling with. And it was eight years later when I got to college that I took them up on that offer. So we find that 13 years old is probably the best time to do it now. Right. You have a 14 or 15 year old son.

I would say go for it. Better late. Better late than never. Right. Exactly. Yes. And let me ask you this, too. Before we run out of time here, I want to ask you, let's just say, what's your show? What do you say? What would you say, Steven, to those? And let's face it, there's too many homes, too many without a dad in the home or a male role model. Like I didn't have one.

Right. So what would you recommend to you? Would you like would a single mom want to get this boy? How would someone who doesn't have a dad listening right now, doesn't have a dad in the home or whatever? What would you recommend to them? What what what should they do? What would they do? So we do have a chapter addressing that in the book.

Okay. And that that exact scenario did occur in our family because I have a cousin who was raised from a single mother. And in that case, what we recommend is for that single mom to identify a godly, virtuous man. This could be the pastor of their church. It could be a grandfather. It could be an uncle. And ask them to organize a rite of passage weekend for their son.

You know, the mother will still be heavily involved in organizing the weekend and pulling it off logistically. But the weekend itself should be only men. Right. And the reason for that is it takes a man to form another man.

It does. That's how we get our manhood is from other men. Just like women get their womanhood from other men.

You know, that example of the women virtuous womanhood. Right. Exactly. Right. So that's good advice. So maybe a mom could get the book, get your book, hand it off to to a church leader, hand it off to a grandpa or some, you know, her godly brother, you know, or says, right, that could could step in and fulfill that role.

Right. And so I would say, you know, if you are a single mother, it's actually more important that you do one of these rite of passage weekends for your son because he doesn't have that father figure in his house. So he needs one of these weekends more than a son who does have a dad in his life. Although I think everyone should have a weekend like this.

I think it's especially important for for boys who don't have a father in the house. Yeah. In today's world, for sure. For sure.

For sure. And well, and I know we've just got a few minutes left here. I want to cover something else before we run out of time. But I want to just say this, too. I know before we came on air, you said we are informally organizing these ourselves.

These are more kind of up to the household, the family. I want to encourage you, Stephen, maybe at some point, you know, maybe make that available. But for now, you're listening out there. You get the book, you read the book. It lays out the whole the whole plan of how to do this and walk through this. And I want to say that five elements of a Christian rite of passage, just real quick. First, quality time.

We don't have time to go into the details, but that's why they're going to need to get the book. First, quality time. Second, to to write a passage, take him out of his comfort zone and be a new experience for him. Third, crucial to the rite of passage, additional other male role models. Number four, rite of passage should provide an opportunity for men of the group to share advice, wisdom. It's it's a judgment free zone, an open discussion with the young man. And then last but not least, the opportunity to encounter Jesus, which is that's almost a good good note to almost really to end on here. Last but not least, that that the young man, if he hadn't already, can encounter Jesus.

So we just got just a minute or so left here. Steven, any other thoughts or any of the suggestions you'd like our listeners and where can they go get the book? So you can get the book on our Web site, which is milestone to manhood dot com. And on the Web site, we also have free resources for your audience. We have email templates that fathers can send out to their group of men to organize one of these weekends. So, you know, even though we can't book your cabin for you or do your grocery shopping, one thing that we can do is give you the words that you need to organize one of these weekends.

So we put together five email templates for you that you can just copy and paste to organize one of these weekends. Again, our Web site is milestone to manhood dot com. Steven Arms. God bless you, man. If more people do this and I know we had really so a good, dear friend of mine and I do we do a camp every spring and fall called man camp.

Right. Where we bring men of all ages 18 and older, 18 and older into camp to to equip them, empower them, to train them up to be godly men, godly husbands and godly fathers. And they come from all walks of life and and they come from from fatherless homes and not all of them, but but many of them are, you know, and so I envision if if we can get guys families doing this, Stephen, you know, get your book and give a rite of passage.

Not that we would have less men come to our camp, but we'd have less men come to our camp who have major problems in their life. You understand what I'm saying? So, Stephen Arms, man, milestone to manhood, making a difference by encouraging families out there to have a rite of passage, 12 years old for the girls, 13 years old for the boys, teaching them how to step into womanhood, how to step into manhood. Man, God bless you, Stephen. Thank you for writing this book. Thank you so much for having me, Nikita. Well, and hey, listen, I hope you'll go get a copy of this book, and if it doesn't apply to you, buy it and bless somebody with a copy.

Give it to somebody else that maybe you know they've got a son and or daughter who's struggling. And be sure to tune in again for another episode of The Man Up Show. It's time.

It's time. God bless you. Thanks for dialing in today. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts. May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to and donate today. This is Nikita Kolov, and I want to thank Clemens Karp for supporting my new show, Man Up, Saturday afternoon at 1230 on the Truth Network. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-24 18:38:56 / 2023-02-24 18:49:53 / 11

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