Learning “truths” is good, but this is a far different thing than learning to love truth. Courage is one of the Seven Points of Valor and as such is a powerful character trait to which God calls each of us, but courage is also one of those truths that must have deep roots if it is to survive the moments when it is tested. Mere propositional truths are simply not durable enough when fear and doubt buffet the foundations of a boy’s courage.
If we want our boys to learn to love courage, and to stand faithfully and stubbornly in the face of fear and doubt, then the hearts of our boys must be tuned to the beautiful melody of courage that will rise above the tumult and noise that the world will use to make him bend in the time of testing. We must utilize the means God has given us to help our boy’s hearts beat with a pulse of courage. Below are just a few tips to help nourish our boy’s hearts in such a way that courage will not break under the pressures they are sure to experience.
1. Celebrate courage when it happens in your home: When he steps up to bat in the midst of fear, rides his bike without training wheels, acknowledges his sin, or lets his annoying little brother have the last cookie, celebrate those moments with sincere encouragement. Look for the little things.
2. Show your son that God has his back: God has promised to protect those that demonstrate courage in faith. Deuteronomy 31:6, 1 Chronicles 28:20, Isaiah 41:10-13, Psalm 27:1, 2 Timothy 1:7 are just a few scripture verses that will encourage your son to have courage, not because your son is strong enough, but because the God who has promised to protect and care for him IS strong enough.
3. Point out the differences between the world’s courage and Godly courage: Courage is not a lack of fear and is not synonymous with heroism. Real acts of courage are often never noticed or praised, yet often happen when we simply obey God rather than our fear. Use his acts of courage to point him to God’s strength not his own.
4. Pray when courage is needed: If your boy is scared, be quick to pray with him. Read some of the Bible verses above or take him to this story of Gideon.
5. Celebrate heroes of courage: Let your boy be inspired by stories of men and women who provide a vivid picture of courage. Heroes of the faith that have endured persecution, the first astronauts, heroes in battle and people who have risked their own lives to save others.
Here’s a great story about courage to share with your children