Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Raising a Knight in a Decaying Culture

Ideas for Raising Knights in a Decaying Culture plus a great resource to help you

Four weeks ago, my son along with all the other boys in his boys' club at church, was presented with a wooden sword. It had his name and the words of I Timothy 4:12 painted on the blade.

It was given to him as a symbol. It's a call for him to be a modern day knight -- to show mercy, humility, honor, fear of God, faithfulness, courage, sacrifice, and respect -- all the qualities of the knights of old. It's to remind him of Proverbs 27:17 -- that iron sharpens iron and that by surrounding himself with other Godly young men, he will be drawn towards Godliness. And it's to be a picture of the very Word of God, the sword of the Spirit.

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He hasn't been able to put it down. He's brought it to bed with him. He's tucked it by his side during math fact practice. He's wielded it inside and out during imaginary battles with the enemy.

And as a momma seeking to raise a modern-day knight in a decaying culture, I can't think of a better sidekick for him.

Ideas for Raising Knights in a Decaying Culture plus a great resource to help you

I know if he were in a traditional school, his sword would be confiscated, at best, and he'd be sent to the principal's office for brandishing weapons, at worst. Strong, confident, fearless boys aren't currently in vogue. Valor, chivalry, and humility are all things of the past...or so I've been told. Childhood should be defined by neutrality, the experts say. 

But you see, The Hubs and I don't usually listen to the experts when they contradict The Expert, the God who not only wired boys to be different but called that difference good. 

And so, we choose to raise our sons by a different standard. We choose to celebrate their desire to be bold, fearless leaders. We choose to foster in them honor, faith, and submission to God. The world doesn't need more men opting for extended adolescence. So when faced with the call to parent four sons, we parent differently than the world. We recognize that our goal should never be to raise boys, but to raise men -- future husbands and fathers. 

Ideas for Raising Knights in a Decaying Culture plus a great resource to help you

That doesn't mean that our boys will miss out on childhood. It just means that their childhood will perhaps look vastly different than that of the average American boy's. 

Since we don't have television access in our home, screen time is greatly limited.

Our boys don't own the latest video game system...or any system, for that matter. (Somewhere in the deep recesses of the basement lies a dusty original Nintendo, a souvenir from the late 80s that only gets unearthed two to three times a year.) 

They don't get an allowance for doing chores because we believe that chores are a necessary part of living life. But, our sons have opportunity to earn a real wage for doing work. 

We don't sign them up for a million extra curricular activities, but instead leave their schedules open for free, exploratory play...the kind of play that is wild and imaginative; void of structure and adult-organized rules. 

We value real skills and the tools that are needed to do those skills. 

We have never bought into the modern grossology reading culture that has hijacked the majority of libraries and schools today, but instead encourage our boys to read books about real heroes -- men throughout history who have exemplified the kind of courage, faith, and personal character we're hoping to build in our sons. 

We point out and celebrate modern-day warriors like police officers and military service men and women. 

We don't allow our boys to wear narcissistic or prideful labels on their clothing that elevate their looks, their skills, their smarts, their fill-in-the-blank. Shirts that tout "Department of Rad" or "My game is sick. Too bad it ain't contagious" are, in our opinion, contrary to Proverbs 27:2 and foster pride, not humility. 

We want to raise modern-day knights and so we parent differently. 

Ideas for Raising Knights in a Decaying Culture plus a great resource to help you

Over the years, I've read many books on parenting, especially parenting boys. Some I've agreed with and others I've given the side-eye. Some have challenged my way of thinking and some have provided me with tools to help train courageous men in the 21st century. 

Recently, I read a book that has not only bolstered my resolve to raise valiant boys of honor and integrity, but has also given me suggestions for practical activities to help me do just that.

Knights in Training, the recently released book by homeschool-grad-turned-homeschooling mother, Heather Haupt, is a MUST READ for any parent striving to raise modern-day knights in a decaying culture.

Ideas for Raising Knights in a Decaying Culture plus a great resource to help you

After she and her children studied the medieval knights one year in history, this mother of four, decided to take up the challenge to raise boys by the same Knight's Code of Chivalry as depicted in the French epic Song of Roland

She and her husband were purposeful to provide activities and daily training that would inspire their sons to live out the following:
  1. Love the Lord your God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  2. Obey those in authority over you.
  3. Stand against injustice and evil.
  4. Defend and protect the week.
  5. Respect and honor women.
  6. Refrain from wanton offense.
  7. Speak the truth at all times.
  8. Be generous and willing to share.
  9. Persevere and finish the task at hand.
  10. Pursue excellence in all you do.

She's compiled all of those thoughts and more in her book, Knights in Training

Ideas for Raising Knights in a Decaying Culture plus a great resource to help you

Knights in Training 

The book is divided into three parts each designed to help you raise honorable, courageous, and compassionate boys. 

Part One: The Boy-Raising Adventure

Part one will help lay the foundation by pointing out the differences between boys and girls. As a mother, I don't always understand my boys. They are wired differently and created to have different needs. Heather addresses those needs and also explains why we, as parents, should not want to raise typical boys. 

Part Two: The Chivalry Challenge

Part two breaks down each tenant of the Knight's Code of Chivalry and provides definition, illustration, and practical application for all of them. Each chapter in part two contains a "Throwing down the gauntlet" section which, like its medieval namesake, provides challenges for sons in order to prepare them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for modern-day knighthood. 

Part Three: Continuing the Quest

Part three is a call to arms; an invitation to join a movement of parents all dedicated to resurrecting chivalry in a culture that has snuffed it out.

In addition, Knights in Training also includes several curated book lists for boys of all ages. These suggestions will most certainly help parents point their sons to valiant heroes worth emulating and provide them with additional resources for reinforcing the code. 


Join the movement!

Will you join the growing movement of parents who want to raise different boys...boys who will stand strong in the midst of cultural decay? Grab your copy of Knights in Training and visit Heather Haupt to learn more ways you can raise a modern-day knight.

More thoughts on raising boys


*I was given a copy of Knights in Training in exchange for a thorough review. All opinions expressed were true and completely my own. I am not responsible if your experiences vary.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you for this recommendation. I have 2 girls and then 2 little boys. Even though they are just (almost) 3 and 1, we are already thinking about how to raise gentlemen in this crazy world we live in! This book is going on my amazon list.

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    1. Elaine, I actually think you are at the perfect season of parenting boys for this book. It gives suggestions for even boys as young as toddlers to begin training. Remember, training is a life-long process. You'll want to start with right habits before bad habits start to form. Happy reading!

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    2. Thank you for letting me know there are even suggestions for toddlers. The book just moved up on the "to buy" list. I am really looking forward to reading it!

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  2. I am really looking forward to reading this book! With 2 boys, I am always looking for resources to help me raise them to be strong, kind, and God fearing in this oftentimes backwards world. This looks amazing and I plan on sharing it with my mom friends and on my blog! Thabks for your review!

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    1. You're welcome. I hope it will be a helpful resource for you as you train your sons.

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  3. I'm so grateful for this book recommendation! Thanks! Do you know of anything similar for girls--Tailored toward Godly womanhood?

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    1. My favorite resources are Bringing Up Girls by Dobson and Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl

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  4. What a great post and encouragement to us moms raising boys! I have bought a copy of Heather's book, and it is in my pile to read this summer. After seeing your post, I am even more excited to read it and apply these practical suggestions with my son!

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