Harnessing courage

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My son is a running, jumping ball of courage right now.

  • He rides his 4-wheeler down our front steps.
  • He jumped down 3 stairs the other day…measuring at least his height.  He hit the floor, tumbled a little, and kept on running and laughing.
  • Yesterday, he rode down our driveway (a fairly steep hill) as fast as he could on his little plastic truck…which was definitely not intended to be ridden as fast or as hard as he was riding it.
  • He’s not afraid (usually) of talking with a complete stranger.
  • He jumped off of his bed.  It’s taller than he is.

He just has this courageous spirit in him.  And I fight my hardest to not discipline that out of him.

Because seeing my son do courageous things thrills my heart, and I know it’s a expression of his God-given spirit of adventure.  And it would be easy for me to discipline that out of him in the name of safety and order.  I could demand that he not run amuck, that he play it safe, that he walk (err…jump) a more careful path.

But I am convinced that that’s not best for him in the long run.  That’s simply what’s good for me and my sanity in the short-run.

I want to encourage my son to continue to take risks.  Stand up to challenges.  Do things nobody else is doing.  Blaze his own path.  Follow his dream.  And live out the calling God’s placed on his life.  I want to teach my son to live dangerously. It’s much easier to rein that courage in, and point it towards Christ, than to re-program a man to live dangerously. I want to encourage him to be courageous now, and reward those small feats.

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished. – 1 Chronicles 28:20

Have you ever been encouraged to live dangerously?

Disagree with the idea that boys (and men) living dangerously is a good thing?  Feel free to push back!  Click HERE to jump in the comments!


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sgd5312

    amen,amen,amen!!!!!!!! that is wonderful advice. sometimes we are so caught up in ourselves,and our own comfort and we miss out on allowing people to be what they should become.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Yep…agreed for sure. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • http://profiles.google.com/tiffany.malloy Tiffany Malloy

    This is a great reminder, thanks ben.

    I was thinking the other night along these lines, but with my daughter. She is 2 and is a strong-willed child. She’s bossy, assertive, and very determined. I am trying to find good ways to let her be who God created her to be, yet redirect it for good, instead of selfishness. What a CHALLENGE!

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Yeah, that’s a huge challenge, Tiffany! Keep plugging away…it’ll be worth it in the long run.

  • http://justinfalls.com Justin Falls

    A spirit of courage, love and power. Not timidity. Great post, Ben. I am encouraged to live boldly – by my creator and those around me.

  • Brent Moore

    I’d let my son do all of that, but with a revolver in his hand

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      That’s probably illegal in most states…

      • http://twitter.com/BrettVaden Brett Vaden

        Not in West Tennessee.

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    I don’t have kids, but I hope that I never discipline the courage out of them. Like you said – it’s harder to develop courage when you’ve been told all your life to take the safe path.

    Great post, Ben!

  • http://compellingparade.com Ryan Tate

    I just subscribed to your blog… Been stumbling around your archives. Great stuff.

    My son is like this too. Fearless. He is only 2 and I can already see emergency room visits in our future.

    I have a circle of men who encourage me to be a dreamer and live with what we call “reckless obedience”.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Thanks Ryan…sure do appreciate the encouragement!

      And yeah, I’m with you…ER visits are definitely in our future as well!

  • http://pinnaclebalance.com Steve Crenshaw

    Ben, I struggle with when to stop my boys and when to let them go as well. I think I fall on the “stop them” side to much. Theys are 10 and 8 so it is getting harder to stop them because I can’t find them.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      That’s tough, Steve. I wish there was a clear, “You have to do _____ all of the time” answer that we could find, but, you know, there’s not. I just always try to parent with the end goal in mind. My end goal for my son is that he would grow into a fearless man of God.