G.K. Chesterton had a great quotation, when he observed:
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
Children are far more perceptive than we often give them credit. I remember having a keen sense, even as a child, monsters were real. No, not the monsters of fairy tales, though I did believe in them for a few years (and still wonder about a few of them!); but the monsters who live amongst us.
Of course, if we are honest, we would admit the monster lies within us all to some degree or another. Rarely are things simply “black and white”, at least, not from my view.
But, that monsters are real and roaming about is a sad truth. I am avid in my precautions to ensure my family, and especially our daughters are safe. I check and recheck doors and windows each night to make sure they are locked. The alarm system is armed constantly.
However, there are some monsters from which I cannot protect them. These they must, in due time face. They come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes and scare-factor. My job is to do all I can to prepare them, so when their times come, they will be ready to vanquish the foe.
So they, like Gandalf the White, will be able to say, I threw down my enemy and smote his ruin upon the mountainside.
I have to assure my daughter from time to time there is no monster in the closet or under her bed. I wish I could assure her there were no monsters at all; but alas, I cannot. Monsters which will seek to rob and steal her joy, life, confidence, self-worth, mercy, peace, justice, love, kindness, awe, and innocence.
Predators lurk not only in bushes and around corners; but in peer groups and idolizing commercials of some grotesque illusion of beauty or perfection, boys with wandering hands and simple minds, songs spewing filth and degradation of the feminine form and spirit, buffoons, idiots, cons, and the like.
I, as a father, as a parent, have the obligation, the responsibility to teach them how to cut through all such non-sense and ignorance. To wield the sword of truth, to hold sure the shield of faith, to wear proudly and confidently the armor of virtue and the helmet of courage.
So that they can become heroines and say to the dragon, Here I stand and I shall not be moved. Or, they could go the Eastwood way, Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you? Or, Go ahead, make my day.
Father, help me as their father, to teach them your love and hope. Help me prepare them to become young women of faith and courage. The world is deep and dark, but you are the light. Help me be light to them, to show them your light, so they too will be light-bearers and thwart the schemes of the enemy and vanquish the dragon-clad lies and conquer the monsters they must, in time, face. Amen.