What are some ways dads can help homeschool? Become the trainer of future Dragon Slayers!
Early in the Bible God tells us who our enemy is.
Gen 3:14-15: “The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.'”
Later, God tells us what will happen to our enemy.
Rev 20:2: “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”
Our enemy is a dragon, THE dragon. And Jesus Christ, THE offspring of the woman will crush his head, while he will bruise Christ’s heel. All throughout the Scriptures, we read stories of Godly people crushing the heads of God’s enemies. Samson pulls a pagan temple down atop the pagans worshiping within. Jael pounds a nail through the head of a wicked general. David plants a stone in the head of the giant Goliath. As the great Dragon Slayer, Jesus Christ, would bruise the head of the great Dragon, Satan, so too did these saints follow him in being lesser dragon slayers who slayed the lesser dragons. And this is what we are, (to borrow the language of Douglas Wilson) lesser dragon slayers.
Dads, we play a crucial role in training our youngsters to be dragon slayers. This is because we should do it, not because moms cannot. Moms are the intercessors, the protectors, the comforters. Face it, what mom would send her young child out to face a dragon rather than face him herself? But, mom would send dad to face the dragon. She expects dad to protect her, but expects to be the protector of her young. Think about it from another perspective. When American men and women serving in wars overseas have been asked why they do it, what is the number one response from the men? Their girl, they do it for their girl back home. When women are asked, what is their number one response? Their children, they do it for their kids back home.
Being the primary dragon slayer in the home, it is crucial that we take with that the task of training the next generation of dragon slayers. How is this done?
Animals in the wild train their young by wrestling them. They either wrestle them themselves, or they allow them to wrestle their siblings. What they are doing is having their offspring wrestle something that isn’t a threat in order to prepare them for the enemy that is a threat. This is how we train our children to be dragon slayers. We don’t immediately toss them into battle with the Dragon as my grandfather did me into a pool to learn to swim. We train them with more harmless battles in preparation for the real battles with evil they will face.
One obvious way in which we do this is to literally wrestle with them on, say, the living room floor. Certainly this builds up motor skills and physical strength. We may also do this by having them learn and master certain athletic skills through participation in athletics: baseball, football, soccer, and basketball.
Another way we do this is less a physical training and more a spiritual one. We train them to recognize evil and how to deal with it through family devotions, the study of the Bible, prayer, and corporate worship with our church. What better way to teach them of the temptations of lust than by teaching them the story of David and Bathsheba (or the Proverbs)? We teach them how to deal with evil that interferes with our relationship with God in the story of Adam and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (and others that follow in that vein). We teach them how to deal with evil that interferes with our relationship with our brother or neighbor in the story of Cain and Abel or Jacob and Esau (and others in that vein). And we teach them how to deal with evil that interferes with our relationship with the world in the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife or Joseph and Pharaoh (and others in that vein).
A third way we train them is through their education. We prepare them how to use their minds, because, in a world where we fight principalities and powers more than physical enemies, their mind and spirit are going to be the weapons they depend on in dragon-slaying. Help them to overcome their scholastic training as a means to develop them as dragon slayers.
Here are some practical examples we dads can use in our training our little dragon slayers.
1. Teach your son that he is a dragon slayer who has to protect his sister (or other girls in his life) from the dragon. The dragon, in this case, can be a neighborhood bully or can be himself. When it is himself, remind him that the little dragon that lives within him has to be defeated too.
2. Teach your children to view their school subjects as dragons to be defeated. Conjugating verbs, and conjugating them well, is to slay a dragon. And slaying that dragon will make them better at dragon-slaying as an adult.
3. Teach them to overcome unreasonable fears. Teach them to climb trees, ride bikes, kill spiders, and eat their broccoli. All of these can be little dragons that debilitate them in life. Help them defeat these dragons!
4. Teach mom that Junior is going to be a dragon slayer. That means Junior needs to sword fight with branches, and gets a bloody knuckle once in a while. Junior needs to wrestle on the floor with dad or his cousin or brother. Junior needs to climb trees and from his perch view the kingdom he is fighting to protect. This doesn’t mean that Junior needs to be allowed to do things that are insanely dangerous, but Junior does need to be allowed to be a boy. Help mom to understand that, but understand too that she is being a concerned mother.
Practice these things now. And when Junior grows up with calloused knuckles and banged up knees, but will protect his sister, recite time lines, and eat broccoli you know that your lesser dragon slayer is ready to face the world.
Author: Matt Bianco