Tag Archives: Forts

Building Forts or Equipping Knights?

In the last week I have visited with several couples about their angst and concern for their kids.  The normal response for most Christian parents I have met is to build a fort to keep their kids safe, to protect them from the “world”.  The problem with that plan is that one day these kids we raise will leave the walls of the fort you have built and will engage the world…and most likely they will fail, in fact more than 80% of them will leave the Christian faith.The_Lahore_Forts_Alamgiri_Gate_Picture2_taken_at_night_-_July_20_2005

The problem I see is the belief that building forts is the right strategy.  Might I counter that with another approach, another way of raising kids?  Rather than building forts I would encourage parents to equip knights.  Give your kids the tools and weapons they will need when they go into the world and leave your home because one day they will face the world….ready or not.  If you don’t arm them intellectually, biblically, morally, and spiritually for the battles ahead they will find themselves speechless and “naked” before a world that has been battling the issues you have protected you child from for most of their lives.
Sending a child into this world unarmed is the cruelest of all parenting decisions.  Let me suggest that, rather than protecting them from the world you help them engage the world, deal with the hard issues of sex, homosexuality, morality, atheism….ETC….and do it with them while still in your home.  The difference in the outcome couldn’t be more clear. A child raised in a fort will face the world and fail not far from the castle gates, but a child prepared for the world around them will know the issues, know how to think and be ready with a living faith to face a cynical world.
These ideas are just seeds sown at the moment. I would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas as we raise children in a post-Christian world. How much better to send them out into the world dressed and ready for the battle, able to deal with the issues they will face when they leave home.

Here is an article on this topic I encourage you to read- “Listening to Young Atheists”

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Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Boxes

I hate to admit it, but I live in a box.  It’s a box created for me by others, by business, family, friends and the world around me. But the really sad truth is that I willingly climbed in the box and taped the lid shut…never asking if it was a box I should be in at all, never thinking about the implications of such a box in my life.  Like everyone around me I was given a box by someone somewhere and willingly made it my own and even wrote my name on it!  It became part of my identity.

Like children playing, making cars, houses and forts out of boxes we adults build invisible boxes for one another.  Boxes of expectation, roles, position, and a hundred other words to describe the box we have come to call our identity, or role, our “place”.  We never stop to think about what that box means, how it might affect us and our choices or the way we think. Our box limits our choices, restricts our vision, and frustrates our gifts.

This morning I had coffee with a good friend who told me I was living in a box.  He didn’t know where I got it, but he described it well.  As he listened to me he made me aware  of how restricted my vision had become because of the box I had accepted many years ago.  It was humbling to realize I had been given a box and had never questioned its role in my life.  Was it right? Should I get into it? Is this the way I should live?  Is this how I should think?

Without any questions I took the boxes handed me and made them my own. They have limited me, identified me, and restricted God’s work in my life.  How did I ever let this happen? Why did I believe this box was what I needed to identify me?

Children love boxes.  They aren’t so much fun when they define your life, your thinking or your values as an adult.  I can’t believe that I let this happen….happy to look out the hole I had cut in my box and survey the world around me….trying to make boxes like mine for others….only to find I had made prisoners of us all.

I’m taking a different tack today as I look at my thoughts and my life.  I’ve decided it’s time to be done with the boxes of childhood and walk in the freedom of the grace that Christ has provided.

Read Romans 8 as you look at your own life. What boxes have you made your own?  How have you missed God’s grace by accepting the boxes others have given you?

 

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.