When someone mentions courage, we usually think of wrestling bears or facing down terrorists, but godly courage is so much more than that! Courage is doing your duty despite your fears. Sometimes courage even looks like cowardice…
“Why don’t you try it? It’s really cool,” the older boy said.
“No. I…I…I can’t.” Tom slowly said.
“Why not? Everybody’s doing it. You don’t want to be left out. All dudes do it,” his challenger promised.
“No. It’s just not right,” blurted out Tom.
“I dare you! You’re just scared. Hey guys! Tom’s scared to try. Sissy!” the older boy sneered.
Write your own ending. Does Tom resist, daring the mockery of his peers, or does he succumb, afraid to be the butt of their jokes?
How hard to teach our sons that true courage lies in doing what’s right, even when you’re made to look like a coward. It’s the real coward that violates his conscience rather than be teased, falsely accused or ostracized. A real man cares more about righteousness than fitting in.
Our son told us, sadly, that most Christians at his college were so worried about being thought “weird” that they were ineffective for Christ. He said that the only believers who were more afraid of what God thought than their peers had been homeschooled.
That seemed odd to us, so we put a lot of thought into it. Quite a few of the other young adults had come from Christian homes, even ministers’ families. Quite a few of them had gone to Christian schools. What was the difference?
We realized that the homeschooled young people had fellowshipped with other kids mainly in the context of families, or groups of children with the mothers present. That had limited their exposure to the unhealthy coercion of their peers until they were old enough to understand the irony of, “You’re just afraid to do something you don’t want to do anyway.” Yeah, those that fall for that are afraid – afraid of their peers!
Regardless of how your boys are educated, they need to really get this about courage: Courage is about doing what’s right, no matter what. It also really helps to plainly understand who’s more powerful; the Creator or the people He created – even when they act like animals, destroying the weak.
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities… because it is the quality which guarantees all others. ~Winston Churchill
I sought the LORD, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them. Psalm 34:4-7
The fear of the Lord is the cure for fear and the root of true courage.
Hal & Melanie
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