It is a noble thing, a boy growing into a man.
Boys are protectors, designed to grow backbones of steel – and shoulders to carry massive weight of responsibility. A boy’s love of dirt and mud is creator-designed, foreshadowing the hard jobs, the dirty jobs, sometimes fox-hole-kind-of-jobs of the man they will become.
Negotiating playground differences without interference is conflict training for more grown-up matters, like business and freedom. Learning how to defend against people who chose not to go by the rules teaches that sometimes you have to use physical aggression to stop bullying – on the playground and later in the world.
A boy not taught concepts of nobleness risks becoming a mercenary man. A boy taught loyalty, faithfulness, and fairness will honor and protect the weak without thought to material gain or fame. A boy taught this will sacrifice his comfort, his lunch money, his play time to help. The man taught this will sacrifice his golf date, sacrifice his pride to ridicule for standing up for what he believes, even sacrifice his life: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13.
A boy needs a knightly example to follow, preferably someone who champions for good against evil. Someone who loves his neighbor as himself. Someone who can introduce him to Jesus and His Father. Someone who shows a boy how a man loves God. A boy finding a noble hero finds a mighty mentor.
A boy with a knightly purpose carries himself differently, speaks differently, handles responsibility differently.
If only our culture saw a boy as knightly as they see a girl a princess – imagine how our young men would lead today.