By Rand Kreycik
My family and I are kind of Pirates of the Caribbean geeks. While there are weird scenarios and definitely goofy theology in these movies, what keeps drawing me back to them is the heroics portrayed. You see, growing up, I always wanted to be the best sword fighter, the hero who saved the maiden, and the guy who would back my friends no matter the cost.
A number of months ago, we watched the Pirates movie where a young mermaid is captured by the pirate gang to be used to find the Fountain of Youth. They have also conscripted a young missionary to work aboard the ship. (As an aside, this character is actually a pretty accurate portrayal of a godly Christian – something rare in Hollywood these days!)
Several times, this young man intervenes on behalf of the mermaid to keep her alive or make her more comfortable when all the heartless pirates want is what she can do for them. Then they will throw her away.
Sound familiar? One of the lines from the movie really struck me and stuck with me. The young mermaid says to the missionary, “I knew you were different. They [the pirates] are takers. You protect!”
Wow! Have you ever heard more clearly what a man’s true calling is?
Yesterday, in a radio interview, I heard the story of a former gymnast who was sexually abused by a team doctor over several years. This doctor is finally being tried for his crimes. When asked what she hoped her own kids could learn from her experience, she poignantly stated that she wanted her son to grow up to be a protector and defender. And her daughters to grow up to be warriors!
While I’m still ruminating about the daughters as warriors part … and coming to think there is some truth in this … the part about her son being a protector and defender is spot on.
Men, we have a lot to overcome. Our first father, Adam, stood by as the devil tempted his wife and she gave in to his lies. Then, not to be left behind, he ate the forbidden fruit too. Men have been tempted to be passive, selfish, cowardly ever since. It is in our nature to be warriors and to protect and defend, but so often we cave and compromise and hide.
I don’t want to be “that guy.” I want to be like my Warrior King – the second Adam who gave all for the Bride (the Church) he loved. I want to be That Guy.
Oh Lord Jesus, make me a man of courage – a fighter, a protector, a defender, a rescuer like you. Help me to see that all my small, seemingly inconsequential, daily decisions greatly impact my beloved wife, my precious children, and all those around me. Thank you that I can change the world – a decision at a time – by stepping up and manning up in your Spirit “of power and love and self control” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV). Amen.