Hey Mom! Watch This!
Young men have a tremendous desire to try their strength and to be tested in return. This is integral to their competitive nature, but let’s take a look at how it impacts their interaction with the real world, not the contrived world of competitions.
Adults sometimes equate a desire for adventure with immaturity and recklessness. The Bible makes a distinction and so should we. The desire to conquer, to win against the odds, to do great things — these can be admirable ambitions. The willingness to pit one’s nerve against an unsettling foe is frequently called for in Scripture: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, is repeated six times to Joshua and Israel before initiating the conquest of Canaan. (see Deuteronomy 31 and Joshua 1, NASB) The same phrase appears in passages calling for moral courage to carry out God’s commandments or to undertake a major project (the building of the Temple!).(1 Chronicles 22:13 NASB) The righteous man is bold as a lion, and God gives His people boldness to preach the Gospel.(Proverbs 28:1, Acts 4) Paul — and all the churches of the Gentiles — say thanks to Aquila and Priscilla, “who risked their own necks for my life.” (Romans 16:4)
On the other hand, overconfidence and rashness is soundly criticized. The Proverbs say, “He who is impulsive exalts folly…he sins who hastens with his feet.” (Proverbs 14:29, 19:2) When Satan tempted Jesus to presume on God’s protection, Christ rebuked him:
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up,/Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” (Matthew 4:5-7)
The sin of presumption takes many forms, whether denying what God has clearly revealed, or attempting to test His patience and provision. The reckless man may be doing both; the one who is serving Him may be guilty of neither.
Without that adventurous spirit, there wouldn’t be many discoveries or inventions; few great soldiers; no great explorers. The question for us as parents is how to channel a God-given desire for adventure into productive, God-honoring endeavors, rather than let it slide into pointless, potentially self-destructive recklessness. Can we send them off with a cheer, or must it be with fear?
(from Raising Real Men, pp. 48-49)
Do you worry about teaching your sons to take reasonable, considered risks for worthwhile goals? Or do you find your concern for their safety makes you put on the brakes – maybe more than you should? We’ll be talking about this important balance and more in Boyhood Boot Camp, starting Monday evening and running February 23, 24, 26, and 27. CLICK HERE for more information! (Plus get a discount when you order Raising Real Men at the same time!)