Battle Cry for Our Sons

11:47 AMHeather

Where have all the good men gone?  I have been diving into Dannah Gresh's newest book Six Ways to Keep the 'Good' in Your Boy.  And, she begs that question.  In the first of 6 book club meetings, we chewed on this question last night.  But, we chewed on the root of it.  You see, the question really should be--where have all the examples of good men gone?  

Our information and technology age surrounds us with images and stories at lightening speed.  And, last night we came across something.  Our sons are hard pressed to find examples of really good men.  I don't mean the dads or real life people in their lives.  Thankfully, my sons have plenty of those.  And those are of the utmost importance.  No, I mean the media and cultural examples.  We sat around my living room last night--moms of boys--and pondered what children's movies or televisions shows really exemplify an intact, loving family led by a strong, intelligent leader dad.  Go ahead.  Rack your brain.  And, if you can create a long list--or any list at all--please, do share.  

The message is clear.  Dads are goofy or dumb or absent.  Respect for authority?  Nope.  And, the root of how Dannah Gresh defines good--putting others before yourself.  Seen much of that lately?  Uh, not so much.  We live in a culture that gives little for our guys to look up to.  Or for that matter--to live up to.  It's up to us, mamas.  And, daddys.  If we are going to raise boys to be counter cultural, then we have to be intentional.  

That's what my little book club is all about.  That's my battle cry to you--do something intentional!  If you want to know a good first step, then I have just the answer for you today.

I was reading in 1 Samuel 13 and 14 last week.  Saul has led his armies into battle with the Philistines. Yes, as in Goliath's Philistines.  He marches forward and then, talk about an OOPS!  When the prophet Samuel reaches him near the battle lines, he scolds Saul for acting first--without seeking the Lord.  Saul, realizing his mistake, says, "Now, the Philistines will come down against me here at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord's favor...."  Uh, yeah....OOPS.  Two things happen to Saul as a result.  

First of all, he missed a big ole blessing.  Samuel says in 1 Samuel 13:13, "If you had [sought God first], the Lord your God would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time."  Wowzers.  Established his kingdom FOR ALL TIME.  But, no....Saul's headlong rushing into battle means he can forget that.

And, second of all, Saul was disciplined.  Just after he is told about the blessing he'd now miss, Saul is told that "now, your kingdom will not endure."  Saul's reign was coming to a close.  God was now going to seek a new king--and one that would be a man after His own heart.  One that wouldn't dare into the battlefield without seeking God first.

I don't want to leave you hanging.  I want to show you the trickle down theory here.  Because the kind of father Saul was--the example he set--indicated the kind of leader his son would be as well.  History repeats itself in the very next chapter of 1 Samuel when Jonathan decides to attack the enemy and says:

Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.
1 Samuel 14:6

Jonathan was following in his Daddy's footsteps when he took the "tis better to ask forgiveness than permission" approach to battle.  AFTER he makes this statement, he decides to ask God for a sign.  In the Lord's faithfulness, he did indeed rescue Israel in this battle. But, it certainly wasn't a result of a humble leader who sought the Lord before making a move.

Let me tell you something.  We as moms would be foolish to parent in this manner.  We would be unwise to approach the battle for our sons by acting first, seeking God last.  Do you want to send your sons out into the world saying, "Well, PERHAPS the Lord will act on our behalf?"  

Glimpse of grace:  No, I think not.  I think it's best to join in the battle cry that we will be intentional, we will learn and seek and wait for the Lord's instructions.   We will be wise to the battle for our sons.  We won't bury our heads to the insidious tempations in our culture--for our boys to become perpetual playboys, adultescents, me-first, unfaithful, unwise, dumb, goofy boys-who-never-grow up.  Don't be mistaken.  As Dannah Gresh so eloquently and pointedly addresses...our boys are living in age of the temptations of pornography, gaming, and self-centeredness at every corner. May we take up the battle cry and prepare ourselves by soaking in the Word and wearing out our knees to cover our boys in prayer.  Then, we may be like David as he approached the giant Goliath.  He had so sought the Lord's favor that here is the description of how David approached his battle:
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, 
David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.
1 Samuel 17:48

Confident and grounded in our Lord, may we too run quickly into the battle line for our sons, ready to meet the opposition, armed with the Lord's instructions! 

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