Nick’s voracious appetite for learning all he can about the Titanic has lead us to read many great books, watch one documentary on dvd, and take one field trip to the Titanic exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Science.
There are no shortage of stories about the tragic event of that night on April 15, 1912. The night the “grandest palace on the sea” struck an iceberg and found the term “unsinkable” was a descriptive word that should never be used to depict any floating vessel – ever.
Because as we all know, the Titanic did indeed sink. She sank in just over two hours.
All of the stories teach us tremendous lessons which can be directly applied to life today. We have learned about people – the ones who survived and the ones who did not, the countless heroes and the cowards, the warnings and the irresponsible and ultimately fatal choices, the classes and social statuses that separated and the circumstances of life and death which revealed their commonness. We learned about “women and children first” and my husband and I questioned whether widespread chivalry exists today.
And when Nick asked the definition of chivalry of course I made him research the word. He discovered that the term chivalry originated during the middle ages and was a term used to describe the system of values, such as loyalty and honor, that knights were expected to follow…”the code of chivalry“. He also learned it is an honorable and polite way of behaving – especially toward women.
And as he continued reading about the knights and their code, we learn that it represented men of valor, virtue and courage – all the things I want my son to grow up to be.
And I realized that the “duties of knighthood” are a great guide for raising up boys.
The Knights Code of Chivalry described in the Song of Roland and an excellent representation of the Knights Codes of Chivalry are as follows:
“To fear God and maintain His Church
To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
To protect the weak and defenceless
To give succour to widows and orphans
To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
To live by honour and for glory
To despise pecuniary reward
To fight for the welfare of all
To obey those placed in authority
To guard the honour of fellow knights
To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
To keep faith
At all times to speak the truth
To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
To respect the honour of women
Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
Never to turn the back upon a foe”
This code, while established long ago, is still very applicable today. This behavior – this “Code of Chivalry” – reflects that of valor and strength, but it also reflects the heart of a servant, which we see in the life of Jesus Christ.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and tookupon him the form of a servant, and wasmade in the likeness of men.”~ Philippians 2:5-7
As we raise up our next generation of men, let us remember and apply all that the Bible teaches us. We must teach our boys to not only respect themselves but to respect women and children as God would have them to do. I pray we will let scripture be our guide in raising these little men, and let us not forget the important role of servant-hood when teaching them virtue.
Our boys are watching all that we (mothers and fathers) do and they are learning how to be men. They are especially learning from dad and the way he treats mom. They are learning also from the books we encourage them to read and from the ones we read with them. They are learning from the video games they play and from the television and movies they watch and they are learning from other men in their lives.
Will our boys be ready to be men when the “Titanic” appears in their lives? The Titanic for them is unlikely to be an actual sinking ship – but make no mistake – they will have a “Titanic event” in their lives at some point. Will they be ready?
What kind of men are we teaching our boys to be?