Random Notes From What I’m Reading

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Archive for the ‘John Eldridge’ Category

Capes, Swords Camouflage, Bandanas and Six-Shooters

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One of my favourite books is John Eldridge’s “Wild at Heart” so this afternoon when I had some time to kill before heading to my parents I decided to quickly flip through the book. I have a habit of reading through the old books by skimming the sections I highlighted when I read through the book the first time and halfway through the book I came across the following excerpt that I wanted to share:

Capes and swords, camouflage, bandannas and six-shooters – these are the uniforms of boyhood. Little boys year to know they are powerful, they are dangerous, they are someone to be reckoned with. How many parents have tried in vain to prevent little Timmy from playing with guns? Give it up. If you do not supply a boy with weapons, he will make them from whatever materials are at hand. My boys chew their graham crackers into the shape of hand guns at the breakfast table. Every stick or fallen branch is a spear, or better, a bazooka. Despite what many modern educators would say, this is not a psychological disturbance brought on by violdent television or chemical imbalance. Aggression is part of the masculine design, we are hardwired for it. If we believe that man is made in the image of God, then we would do well to remember that “the Lord is a warrior, the Lord is his name” (Ex. 15:3).

Little girls do not invent games where large numbers of people die, where bloodshed is a prerequisite for having fun. Hockey, for example, was not a feminine creation. Nor was boxing. A boy wants to attack something – and so does a man, even if it’s only a little white ball on a tee. He wants to whack it into kingdom come. On the other hand, my boys do not sit down to tea parties. They do not call their friends o n the phone to talk about relationships. They grow bored of games that have no element of danger or competition or bloodshed. Co-operative games based on “relational interdependence” are complete non-sense. “No one is killed?” they ask, incredulous. “No one wins? What’s the point?” the universal nature of this ought to have convinced us now: the boy is a warrior; the boy is his name. And those are not boyish antics he is doing. When boys play at war they are rehearsing their part in a much bigger drama. One day, you just might need that boy to defend you.

While I’ve grown out of my Eldridge kick – it’s usual for me to get wrapped up in a particular author for six months and then lose interest – this excerpt always speaks to me. Whether it’s me relating as someone who was diagnosed with having ADHD as a kid to me being a teacher and knowing that most of the boys in the grade 2 class I teach can’t sit still, the knowledge that boys weren’t created by God to be mellow and sit still is something that provides me with immeasurable reassurance.


Written by Ryan

August 14, 2007 at 12:21 pm