Our now five-year-old son is like any boy that age I suppose. He likes to build things, explore, play with cars and legos…and fight bad guys.
It’s not that big of a deal, but some days or days on end, it is his choice of play. It goes beyond just playing make believe. I think he really feels a need to fight bad guys.
I notice that he “fights bad guys” when he is uneasy about his environment, such as, anywhere new, noisy, or anywhere or anyone that unsettles him. Instead of just playing chase or some other usual kid’s game, he assumes the role of protector. He has to fight the bad guys, whether they are other kids, me, or some made up villain.
I have told my son that he doesn’t have to be the one to fight the bad guys. He can enjoy being a little boy. He can explore his world knowing that he has a daddy and mommy who protects him.
I understand that any child has a need for security, but something innate in a child from a hard place puts them on constant surveillance. They need to make sure that their environment is safe.
Sadly, this extreme need for safety robs them of their childhood. Kids who live years in foster care or orphanages are often know to be “street smart”.
Even though our son has lived with us for over four years, he still exhibits these actions.
I hope that he will feel safe in his environment sooner rather than later. However, I recognize that anytime something new is introduced into his world, he likely will respond in some controlling way like “I need to fight the bad guys!”
I Tend to Do the Same Thing!
As I think about all of this, I, and a lot of my peers, do the same thing. I think that I have to fight the “bad guys” in my life.
If someone does me wrong or offends me, I feel that I have to stand up for myself. Besides, if I don’t, who else will? I am the hero!
But the reality is I have a Father who tells me that He is my protector. He is the one who repays wrong done to me. God tells me the same thing I tell my young son. I guess I’m not all that different from him even though I am much older and didn’t come from a hard place.
How would my life look different if I let my Heavenly Father protect me? Can I learn to rest in that truth and live life as He intended for me to live? I bet if I can learn to live like this, my son can better learn that he too doesn’t have to fight the bad guys in his life—both real and imagined.
Sigh…I think God has the same message to me as I do my son:
Learn to Rest in Him and learn to live life freely as He meant for me to live.