At my house, Greg has succeeded in convincing our sons that The Lord of the Rings is the best trilogy of all time. Personally, I could take it or leave it (which is why Greg had such a vested interest in convincing somebody in the family of its sheer awesomeness).
My indifference is borderline blasphemy if you ask my boys. They speak the names of Frodo and Aragorn in almost hushed and reverent tones. Oh, the adventures…and the battles…and the triumph of good over evil. What could be better than that? I can think of a few things that top my list of “better than that,” but I will leave that for another day.
Having said that, there is one part of The Return of the King that I love. Aragorn is leading an army into battle against impossible odds in order to distract the enemy, thus allowing Frodo and Sam to destroy the ring of power, which destruction will purge the world of evil. His speech to the
“Hold your ground! Hold your ground!
Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers,
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of men fails,
when we forsake our friends
and break all bonds of fellowship,
but it is not this day.
An hour of wolves and shattered shields,
when the age of men comes crashing down,
but it is not this day!
This day we fight!!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand, Men of the West!!!”
I have been thinking much about this speech lately. I have been thinking about the terrified army as they realize that their chances of success are nearly zero because the forces of evil are simply too great. I have been thinking about how they look as if they want to run and hide, but finally take courage as they listen to their leader remind them that this CANNOT be the day to give into fear – that this MUST be the day to stand and FIGHT. I have been thinking about how they do stand and fight, and how they WIN against all odds. (Sorry if you haven’t seen it and I gave that away.) I have been thinking about how much this applies to US in our lives RIGHT NOW.
There are times when I look around at what I am up against – what we are up against – in attempting to raise children who can maintain faith in a world that discourages it at every turn, and I feel a little bit like Aragorn’s army. There are times when I feel a sense of fear, even panic, when I wonder how this seemingly impossible task can be accomplished.
Our children are on the front lines of the battle every day. They spend hours outside of our watchful care, making daily decisions that will eventually determine where their loyalties lie. There are influences all around them that can destroy the faith that we, as their parents, strive to help them develop.
Given the uphill battle, some may wonder if this is a pointless fight – if surrender, though not what we want to do, is staring us in the face, waiting for us to accept it as a regrettable option. And, to those, I echo Aragorn’s passionate plea, “This day we fight!”
In this episode, we talk about why family is the first line of defense against the evils of the world, and how to nurture faith in our kids.
Scriptures, Talks, and Podcasts Referenced in the Episode:
- Ephesians 6:11-17
- Do Not Fear, by Boyd K. Packer
- The Women with Fire Podcast, Episode 100, with Emily Freeman
How to Nurture Faith in Kids
- Encourage questions, even if you don’t have all the answers.
- Meet them where they are, and they get to choose where they are.
- Teach them to apply faith.
- Teach them to pray.
- Teach them to recognize how God speaks to them.
- Take advantage of
- Tell them what you believe.
- Be patient.
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