Thursday, February 02, 2006

Putting Battle in a Boy

I feed my boys on a bit of war. That may sound shocking to some, even scandalous. But I don't want to raise tame, harmless men. Granted, it gets frustrating at times to have to keep saying,"It doesn't matter who is the best at fixing toast!" Or,"Quit calling your brother a girl! You KNOW that isn't aloud!" BUT I want them to be fighters (just not with each other!). The world is a wicked, scary, seductive place, and I want them ready to fight for what is right and true.

The movie Braveheart has one of my favorite boys' quotes. The hero William Wallace (a true-life hero!) is facing troops of poorly trained commoners, going to battle with the well armed, well trained forces of England. England is greedily fighting for more land. The Scots and Wallace are fighting for thier home. But they face incredible odds that could easily cost them their lives. These poor farmers question the value of such a battle. At just the moment when they are ready to turn around and leave, Wallace says:

"Aye, you may die! Run, and you'll live--at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance--juse ONE CHANCE--to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they will never take . . . our FREEDOM!!!"

If Providence sees fit, my children will be free men. They will claim the promise that "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." But they will face an enemy who will try to convince them that they are not free. This sneaky, deceptive one will not actually be able to take their freedom away, but he will try to make them believe they should just surrender and let him control them. Oh, it won't be overt. He will promise them land and castles and titles. And like so many of the Scottish lords, some of thier friends will fight for the wrong side, thinking they are benefitting their country by doing so. But I don't want my boys to end up in a place where they believe they are subjects of a slave-master. I want my boys to spend their lives fighting for thier freedom, for their true kingdom. And I want them to be used to win battles for the King!

So even though I'd rather watch Princess Bride, we watch Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Spiderman. I buy them swords, guns, and superhero costumes. In spite of my preference to read to them from Anne of Avonlea or Little House on the Prairie, together we read Redwall. And we even read the gory parts of Judges in the Bible.

Yes, women should have a calming effect on men. But for now, I am raising modern knights and warriors. The world around them is trying hard enough to steal their fight. With wisdom, I am trying to nurture it. So give us a battle and here our war cry!

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