As our nation grieves over the outbreak of violence in the recent school shootings in the Denver, Colorado and Lancaster, Pennsylvania areas, we may want to take this opportunity to teach our sons a lesson.
They need to be men and protect the women in their life, no matter how little they may be or how dangerous the situation.
Have you noticed that both shooters walked into classrooms and ordered all the boys to leave? According to news reports, none of the boys involved refused either gunman's request. No boy's life was taken. They all complied and in each case left girls with a man obviously intent on harming them.
Is the only story of resistance by any boy the one that ended up being a lie? A young man went on the Today show portraying himself as one who had initially resisted gunman Duane Morrison at the Platte Canyon High School tragedy. Yet the very next day he appeared again on the same show admitting he had not even been in the same classroom. He said, "I hope that people will know me for who I am, and not a liar." Sorry, but after trying to get attention as a hero, when girls are being molested and dying, it is a bit too late for that. And besides, even his lie reveals cowardice. As part of his lie, the fifteen year-old boy had said he still left when his life was threatened by Morrison. Are not heroes supposed to be willing to sacrifice their lives?
Some might object that expecting preteen boys or even high school guys to face down a mad gunman is asking too much. Yet I direct you to the only story of bravery I have so far run across in these tragic events, which almost reads like an indictment against my gender. Fox News reports that in the one-room Amish school house, some of the girls who survived the shootings related that thirteen year-old Marian Fisher, one of the older girls whose life was taken, begged to be shot first. Apparently she hoped by giving her life that the other girls would be able to escape. Should it not be the boys, in this violent, terror-filled world, who are trained to protect girls with their very lives? Again, the objection may be they are too little. Sorry, but even grown men feel like grasshoppers at times - just ask ten of the spies who went into the Promised Land (Numbers 13:33).
The church must train its boys to be little men who grow up to be big ones. At a young age they need to learn to show respect for their mother, sisters and other ladies in their lives. Small acts done early such as holding the door open for a lady or standing when a woman enters the room will develop into larger ones such as providing for and protecting wives and children later. Boys should be taught when it is appropriate to defend themselves and others. They must be trained and directed into leadership responsibilities in the church. And they need to be severely reprimanded when they fail in any of these things. Most importantly, they need to be inspired by the men in their lives with instruction and stories of courage such as what men did on the Titantic or on United Flight 93. If called upon, it is a man's duty to show the greatest love as Jesus did, which is laying down your life for another (John 15:13).
The evangelical church has grown feminine or, in the words of another, its "men are soft." How much more ecclesiastical and societal decay (translate that "death") will have to take place before strong bass voices, theological acumen, male moral purity, men crying to God for strength they do not have, and even a sword or two when necessary (see Luke 22:36-38) will be found among the people of God again?