Fight! Fight! Fight! (Or Not . . . )

After engaging with Doug Wilson’s post regarding young men with black eyes and their suitability for the pastorate, I remembered a lovely dinner I had a few years ago as the guest of a Kirk woman who said she wanted to get to know me. L. was very kind to invite me, and I enjoyed talking to her. But as we talked, and especially about the Kirk’s boxing matches for its young boys, she did find it odd that my two sons had never been in a fight. I, in turn, found it odd that L. assumed they had.

But it’s true — neither of the Mix brothers, now 21 and 17, has ever been in a fight. They haven’t fought each other, and they haven’t fought friends. I don’t expect they ever will; in fact, my younger son is a committed pacifist. And yet they’re both entirely masculine, as L. and everyone in her world would define “masculine,” and they both are Christians, as the Lord would define “Christian.” I happen to think that’s not at all odd and is, in fact, as it should be for two wonderful but imperfect guys who’ve grown up confessing Christ as Lord.

So my sons have neither socked nor been socked. Further, my husband — an outdoorsman and a landscaper of 30 years, with calloused hands and knotted, sinewy arms — says he’s never been in a fight. My burly and bearded, tattooed and pierced brother, neither Christian nor coward, has never fought anyone, either. He grew up in crime-ridden Tucson, and yet will turn 49 in a couple of months with all of his scars — and there are many — having come from baseball, bikes, and bets placed by buddies he grew up with but didn’t find need to beat up.

Obviously there are people who believe boys will inevitably grow up with a few black eyes and other battle scars, and there are always going to be boys who oblige their expectations. But in a world choking on senseless violence and saturated in malice, malevolence, and malfeasance, it would seem that Christian parents would try to stem the tide — and be obedient to their God — by training up children who embody the childlike and adolescent-version fruit of the Spirit. That’s not negotiable, nor is it excusable that we live in a violent world to which we gladly contribute misguided, foreign notions of masculinity. The Church of our Lord, of a peculiar people called to be ambassadors of reconciliation, can’t also be an agent of accommodation when faced with bad behavior — no matter how much thuggishness is portrayed as a manly virtue by the Church and its male guardians.

2 Responses to “Fight! Fight! Fight! (Or Not . . . )”

  1. Ashwin says:

    You sound like a vegetarian condemning non-vegetarians as environmentally irresponsible savages.

    Your diagreement is merely with Mrs. L’s child-rearing methods. That is all there is to it.

    Your children did not get in a fight – the Lord be praised.

    Mrs. L’s children were encouraged to learn how to fight – the Lord be praised.

    He who abstains from fighting does so to the Lord and gives praise to the Lord. He who learns to fight and stands up to fight does so to the Lord and praises the Lord.

    In any case the Lord be praised.

  2. It’s hard for me to understand how you can equate activities like eating or not eating meat with fighting, which would seem to be a direct contradiction to Jesus’ admonishment that believers are to turn the other cheek. Please explain to me how defying the Lord on that point is at all equivalent to one’s choice to eat steak or not.

    And, by the way, Ms. L doesn’t have children.

    Keely

Leave a Reply