What does it mean to raise your boy to be a man of honor? In a world where domestic violence, crimes against women, and crime in general are constantly on the rise, it seems like an obvious answer. But if we look to God’s word and the example of previous eras, becoming a man of honor means a little bit more than just not hurting women or breaking the law.
Honor, as a noun, is defined by Dictionary.com as “honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions: as in a man of honor.” And that is certainly one aspect of the man of honor we are all looking for. However, I do prefer this definition of honor as a verb:
to show a courteous regard for: to treat with honor.
And this type of honor, when acted out in the lives of our sons, will carry over into all kinds of behavior. Honor will, in fact, become a hallmark of the man’s character affecting everything he does. Isn’t that our goal as we train our boys to be men of honor?
A boy who behaves as a man of honor will:
- Treat women and girls with courtesy and respect.
- Obey his parents and the law.
- Practice honesty and integrity in all situations.
- Handle each moment of conflict with fairness and courtesy for all.
- Help and defend those who need it.
These are just five hallmark traits of a man of honor. And I’ll be honest, just this very basic list fills me with concern. How will I ever train my loud, rowdy, angry, rough boys to be men of honor such as this?
An interesting thing happened this month as I worked through the content in the book Knights In Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boys. One of my boys hit a girl. I will admit it is not the first time. It was not my proudest moment as a mom. I’m sure you can imagine.
The message of this book hits home. We are raising a generation (or two or three) of boys who feel entitled and are coddled and justified in rage. By contrast, the author of Knights in Training shows us how to raise up a standard for our boys such that they are inspired and driven to meet the challenge of becoming honorable, courageous, and compassionate.
The idea behind Knights in Training is to share with our boys the stories and gallantry of the knights of old, the code of honor and life training each received, and to mimic that in our own homes, complete with physical, mental, and spiritual training, culminating in a dubbing ceremony by the king of the home.
But that sounds dry and boring. In fact, the training of boys to be knights is anything but boring. Jousting tournaments, weapon creation, fair sword play, and proper fight etiquette could not possibly be boring. These are just a small sampling of the kinds of things your boys will enjoy as you work through the ten principles of knighthood using activities, games, and reading material to guide your boys along the way.
For my part, the book Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous and Compassionate Boys could not have come at a better time. If you are also raising boys and hoping to train your boys to be men of honor, I expect you will benefit from this book and the method as well.
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