But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19-20 NIV 84
When they arrest you….
How’s that for encouragement? I started leading groups and speaking in front of folks as a teenager. I remember finding Matthew 10:19-20 and seizing the phrases “do not worry about what to say”, “it will not be you speaking”, “the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”. I memorized these verses because they gave me courage for those tense moments in front of others.
I don’t remember paying much attention to the first phrase, “But when they arrest you”. I guess I just conveniently skipped over that part.
Read the entire passage here. These verses are part of Jesus commissioning of his disciples to take the Gospel message to what he knew would be hostile territory. Take note of the fact that Jesus gave them a difficult assignment. He was putting his men at risk…. “they will deliver you over to courts and flog you”, “you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake”, “when they persecute you”.
There was no question Jesus expected his disciples to suffer as the gospel advanced. He expected them to take risks. He expected them to be arrested, flogged, put on trial and persecuted. Walking with Christ and following his example would be dangerous. And, in many parts of the world, it still is. Very dangerous.
So here’s an interesting question for us… Where are the risk tolerant, adventurous men who are ready to be sent out?
There’s much to be said about this but one thought is that our culture has simply become so ‘risk averse’ that we aren’t raising up young men who are prepared to accept a dangerous mission. We must give prayerful consideration to how we, as parents and leaders, can roll back some of our ‘risk aversion’ and raise boys to become men…
Men who will step into difficult circumstances with confidence in God’s protection and some sense of how to confront their own fear.
Remember God said to Joshua “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 ESV)
At our very first Iron Sharpens Iron conference in 2007, Crawford Loritts said, “It is categorically impossible to consider yourself courageous if you’ve never done anything that required courage!” I love this!
Men, we must do things ourselves that require courage AND we must create opportunities for our children, especially our boys and young men, to feel their hearts beat strongly in their chests as they try new things, scrape their knees, fall, fail, suffer and grow. We must process fear, failure, pain, danger and so many other behaviors with them. We must remind them of God’s nearness and encourage them to be men of bold faith.
Here are a few resources to get some thoughts flowing… Beware, these first two resources are not from Christian authors but simply speak to the value of helping boys experience risk and adventure.
I love this post from The Art of Manliness. Our kids have done most of these things and many others!
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden
What a great summertime book for fathers and sons to enjoy and experience together!
Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis
This fantastic little book will give you a great strategy and some excellent ideas to raise up Godly men! I read it as a young dad. I’m thankful for the way Robert helped me father our sons!
What else would you recommend? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.