“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”
You may be thinking right now that I am crazy for using Spartan Warrior within Christianity, but read the entire piece before passing judgment. Spartan Warriors were fierce fighters. They would fight to the death for their family, king, and kingdom. They were ruthless and unconventional in their process and training. However, my research on Spartan Warriors turned up better qualities for these fighters that many of us as Christian men need to pay attention to. These warriors were trained from the very young age of 7 to be fierce in battle. The meaning of Spartan is to be “totally devoted to one cause, self-deprived or stripped down to nothing, but the bare essentials, undoubting and courageous”. They were trained to give their lives without hesitation. These warriors did not think anything about danger and always expected to win or die trying to win. These were dreaded men in battle.
Gentlemen, I am here to inform you that if you did not know this before now, we are in the battle of our lives and the lives of our families…time to wake-up! I am afraid that unless we as Christian fathers do not began to train our young men to be like these Spartan Warriors, the future looks very dim. We need to be training up our boys to be fierce when in battle and this battle takes place daily. Young men that will not back down from authority that makes rulings in direct conflict with the scriptures. We need young men that do not mind being ridiculed when they stand up for the under-dog or under-privileged or as they share the gospel to a neighbor or friend. In some cases this may mean taking up arms to defend our nation and our families from the enemies abroad or even within our midst. On a daily basis, we need to equip these young fighters with the Truth of God’s Holy Word above all else… God’s Holy Word is not found in the Koran!
Within the pages of the Bible are many fierce warriors who fought bravely like King David as one example. The Lord helped him fight with full control of himself and bravely. David fought mightily with the hand of God on his life…”And David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.” 2 Samuel 5:10 (NAS) He as a warrior for the Kingdom of God and Spartan Warriors in ancient Greece were courageous and self-sacrificing. The crusade I am speaking of today is for the minds and hearts of our young people. Many Christians have already given up this crusade long ago and have decided to just blend in with the rest of the world in order to have peace. They may go to church and bible study, but nothing is different in their lives or the lives of their kids. We have bought into the society belief that we can be immersed in the life style of the world and still maintain an effective evangelical witness.
Titus 2:12(NIV) says, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” In John 15:9(NIV) it states, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Just hoping our kids will turn out alright is not the answer. Our adversary, Satan, would like nothing else than for parents to take this approach. Of course by the grace of God some do turn out alright and frankly that is how we all turn out alright. However, these kids are placed in our hands for a short time for training and preparation for the future and we do not want to let them down if at all possible. The battle for the heart and mind of our children today include homosexuality, pornography, drunkenness, illegal drug usage, over eating, moral relativism, unfaithfulness, theft, lying, and so on. This corruptness is being taught in nearly every public forum and institution in America as being “right”. Our children are being taught that there is no sin and there is no right or wrong. Their cry is that we all need to be more tolerant of each other. They are taught that Adam can marry Robert and Eve can marry Laura and it is “ok”. The truth is that homosexuality is sin and it is not “ok”. This sin is as forgivable as over eating, as is drunkenness and so on. Glory to God that they are forgivable, but I do not want this deviant trash taught to my children and grandchildren as being “ok”. Pornography is down played as just a natural thing that men and women desire and it is “ok”. Christian men are not immune to this. Men it is not “ok” even in the privacy of your own home. What we put in our minds has a direct impact on what comes out of our life each day. Much of the violence against women today stems from pornography. If this kind of trash goes into the mind then I can guarantee you that vile trash will come out in some form of your life. Drunkenness is very accepted these days as well, although it is nothing new to the ages. Drunkenness is mind altering and you will do and say things that will not honor God in any way and will bring shame upon your family.
Psalm 23:33 says about too much wine, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will utter perverse things.”
God has always spoken out against drunkenness in His Word. I said here, “drunkenness”, not a glass of wine at dinner…I just wanted to clarify that. A trendy activity nowadays is to go to church on Sunday and raise your hands and sing in what is perceived to be praising and worshipping God. Then the rest of the week live as you wish and on the weekend get stumbling drunk with your buddies and come to church on Sunday to be holy again. Is this truly grace in action? What a mockery to the glory of Jesus Christ! Does this show a deep love for our Savior? Does raising our hands to the “bouncy” music in the churches today that stirs up the emotions really make us spiritual and holy? I am not attacking praise worship music entirely, but in observing the true impact of this movement that has forgotten the testimony of the hymns of old, I have witnessed people actually growing more vile in their lives rather than a closeness to the Lord as the music stirs up emotions rather than a deep seeded devotion to worshipping Christ in the music and message of the pastor.
Men, take a hard look into your heart….is that burning desire to know Jesus and love Jesus really there? What is your reason for going to church or reading your Bible? Another hot trend within the world today is embracing the Muslim or Hindu or Buddhism religion as another way to heaven…that we should be tolerant. We are told that there are many ways to God.
Matthew 7:13-14 speaks of those broad roads and narrow gates, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
We are taught to believe they should have equal access to the minds of our children, our culture, and we should move over for their ways and embrace their teachings. I will make this statement as clear as I can, men, NO ONE has the right to access the mind and heart of my children other than God Himself. God gave those children to me and my wife to love, nurture, train and protect. The liberal left does not have the right to them, the Communist left wingers do not have a right to them, the Muslims, Hindu’s, or Buddhist do not have rights to them, the homosexuals do not have rights to them or the legalist within the church today do not have the rights to them, or any other kind of evil that permeates this dark world we live in today. If I sound a bit combative in this, I am combative. This is no powder puff football game we are in, people.
So, I am declaring today that we must start raising our sons ,as the Spartan Warriors of the 21st century, that will carry on these truths that are in God’s Word and do it unashamedly. We need a crusade where young men will give their lives so that our future generations can survive without having to bow to the vile images that are so prevalent in our culture today or be subject to the horrific views and taunting by the homosexual leftist agenda. A desire must exist for young men to train themselves to be satisfied with only the bare essentials as Spartan Warriors were disciplined to be and not raised under pampered lives like so many of the Christian and worldly kids of today. These young men need training to buffet their bodies and keep their actions under control regarding women, children, money, alcohol, politics, and the things of this world. Our world is groaning for young men who have a deep seeded desire to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can we train up young men that will carry as their motto, “Give me Christ and Christ alone”? We long for young men who are willing to die for the cause of Christ. This does not come naturally…it comes as we battle forward immersing ourselves in God’s word and let Him develop in our hearts and minds a “biblical world view”. God is sovereign! He has never moved or changed His mind. He is not surprised by the darkness that envelops the world we live in today. He created this universe and every living or non-living being in it. He is not bashful about war, battle, death or even love. So, our challenge today as fathers of sons is to bring up a new generation of young men that will fit the image of God, like a warrior for truth, justice and become a loving family man. Steve Farrar put it very plainly with this quote from his book, “Standing Tall”:
“Gentlemen, we are raising our kids in this sewer of moral relativism.
If your kids buy into this philosophy, it will ruin their lives.
Here’s the deal, guys. Our kids won’t know anything unless they see it in our lives. Our kids won’t know that there are moral absolutes unless they absolutely see those truths lived out in our lives.”
-Steve Farrar, “Standing Tall” 1994
This is what I am talking about. The training is about walking and talking God’s truth daily. It does not mean we are perfect, but that we are able to show our weaknesses as well as our strengths. We need to show our kids that God creates strength from our weaknesses. There is a loud voice trying to wake up our countries Christian fathers. I am afraid though we have ear plugs in or are ignoring this loud call.
“The Christian world is in a deep sleep.
Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it.”
-George Whitefield, 1739
Guys, I cannot tell you what to do or how to raise your kids. I cannot make you do anything you are not entirely willing to do from your heart. This is not a legalistic set of rules or point of view even though it is my opinion. I abhor legalism in all of its form when it comes to the scriptures and the life God would have each of us live. However, I am simply challenging you to rethink how you are training your children, especially the boys and how you are living as an example for them today. Is it with sacrifice or from a life of pure luxury? At the age of 7, are you training warriors to do battle for their future wives, children, countrymen, and ancestry or just over educated athletes in hopes of landing that multi-million dollar contract so they can buy more boats, larger houses, more jewelry and filthier women? What is their view of supporting the ministries that abound in their area today? Do they have a worldly view or a biblical world view? Can you see a servant’s heart or a future adult that will be demanding and hard to live with? Think about what is important in this life that enhances your eternal life and the eternal life of others. Out of your actions and training which of those give glory to the Lord? Does baseball, football, basketball, the finest schools, dances, an exotic vacation, or other activities like these have an eternal purpose? They could have, but just think for a moment how it is coming across to the kids. Does giving them every single toy they ask for prepare them for the battles ahead in life? Does saying yes to their every plea really give them a proper outlook on the future? Does taking their side in every argument truly help them in preparation for debating the liberal left wing of this world? Do they see you react to a problem with prayer and digging into your Bible or do they observe you speaking harshly of that person or problem and vow your revenge?
Men, I am not bringing this message from an attitude of having all the answers or that I always do it right, because that would be a bold face lie. I battle the same sins and problems you do. I battle the same pride and ego that every man fights. But the truth is what it is, guys. I cannot speak totally from example, but simply from God’s truth. We need fighters, warriors, kids that grow up knowing the Bible and believing that the Bible is completely true as the inspired word of God and fall in love with their Lord Jesus Christ. Our world can stand young men that will be devoted to their wives, children, and country and see them as a blessing upon their lives rather than a curse.
Today, I encourage you to pray sincerely about all that you have read here. Reach down deep into the pit of your heart to find that which God placed in your heart years ago. Lift up your family, co-workers, in-laws, and enemies in prayer. Dress down spiritually and put it all on the table, guys. Leave it with the Lord…all of it…the hurt, the pain, the tears, the stress, the financial problems, sexual problems, weaknesses, family problems…all of it. Leave nothing behind to carry on with you. Then take a long deep breath and set there for a while in silence to listen to hear if God will speak to you. It may take Him days, weeks, months or years to speak, but He will speak to you. See if He speaks, not audibly, but spiritually, through His word, through His people, and through the circumstances. It is better to not move a muscle until you hear God speak then to do anything that would be in direct disobedience to His calling upon your life.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 (NAS)
Guys think on a few questions this very day:
-Would the Lord have you change anything about your life, the treatment of your wife and children and then the training of your children?
-What change can you make today that would be positively noticeable to your family when you got home from work that would inspire them to want to follow you and serve the Lord more?
What changes would bring glory to Christ today?
-Do you have a servant’s heart like Christ or is pride and ego in the way?
-Why do you go to church, bible studies, and other “religious” functions?
-What kind of men do you hang around with everyday?
-Most importantly, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are you just playing church or religion because it is the cultural thing to do?
This is serious guys…your life and the lives of our children and grand-children depend on the decisions we make today….tomorrow may be too late.
–Scott Bailey 2007 ©
*Disclaimer: In no way am I against sports, athletes, vacations, or money. Joe Lewis, the late great boxer, once said that “no, money isn’t everything, but it sure ranks right up there with air…try to live without for a day.” Each of us have a God given purpose in life and is according to what God’s desire for our lives are and we should be obedient to Him in that purpose if we want to live a successful life. That could mean a pro baseball career for example or using your income to provide for families in need that live around you. So, please reread this with an open heart and mind and look at it from God’s side as to what He might be seeing in us right now. He wants us to be completely devoted to Him in all things and my heart felt belief is that we have missed this as dads on nearly all accounts…I am as convicted of this in my heart as anyone else.
May God bless you as you go out each day to provide for your family and as you work hard to make that much needed time to spend with your wife and children.