Put Up Your Dukes

“Suppose a boy gets into a fight protecting his sister. Unbelief sees the lack of wisdom that created a situation that could easily have been avoided; faith sees an immature masculinity that is starting to assume the burden of manhood.

Unbelief squashes; faith teaches. Faith takes a boy aside, and tells him that this part of what he did was good, while that other part of what he did got in the way. “And this is how to do it better next time.”

This issue of fighting provides a good example of how necessary such distinctions are. Of course parents do not want to encourage fighting in their sons. But this is not the only item on the menu. Neither do they want to encourage abdication and cowardice. There are times when men have to fight. It follows that there will be times when boys have to learn how to fight, how to walk away, hot to turn the other cheek, when to turn the other cheek, and when to put up their dukes. If boys don’t learn, men won’t know. And boys will not learn unless their fathers teach.”

Douglas Wilson, Future Men

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