This is the third post in a series. You can read part 2 here.
For a boot to the head
I don’t ascribe to the notion that I am to trust the Lord for my protection and the protection of my family to the exclusion of making any preparations. Why? Because that logic is inconsistent. I’ve heard Christian men scorn others before for learning self-defense because they’re “just trusting God”. They say it with such a self-righteous tone that “snooty” would be too kind a word to describe it. It can be dangerous living life atop a “high horse”. I suggest they get off of it.
A Christian who thinks that way should also then not bother wearing a seatbelt, taking vitamins, exercising, saving money for a “rainy day”, or any other sensible way in which we try to be wise stewards of things. Bluntly, if a man saw his wife subjected to an attempted rape, don’t you think he’d want to be prepared to stop that? Or should he in that moment trust the Lord only? Perhaps he should both trust the Lord AND use whatever skills and resources he has to put a stop to it. Unless of course he thinks that it must then be God’s will for his wife to be raped. Then I’d say he’s lost his marbles. Christians sometimes succumb to “either/or” thinking, and yet many times Biblical truths are “both/and”. This case is the latter. Men can BOTH trust the Lord for protection AND develop defensive skills the Lord can then use in moments where there are threats to himself or those under his care.
Personally, I have trained in multiple combative disciplines including boxing, kickboxing, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and sometimes further weapons training when I can afford it. Do you need to do all that? No. But do something! Go bare-knuckle box a tree in your backyard (Just kidding. Don’t do that…unless you’re into that sort of thing). Learn a simple takedown and ground-control and practice it with a friend in your yard. Read a book on situational awareness. Get a CCW permit and defensive firearm classes. Know and understand the law regarding self-protection. Whatever, just prepare both mentally and physically with whatever means you have available to you. Why? Because preparation is wise and the Lord can use it. Honestly, you prepare for other scenarios. Why not prepare for protection? This is not paranoia. This is protection, preparedness, and wise stewardship of ones body and family.
As a man, I must protect in several ways: 1) To be a diligent steward of my family, of my own body, and any under my care, 2) To have balanced and sensible faith in the Lord for protection, and 3) To be prudent enough to prepare in advance for as many possible outcomes in my world. Considering these three things, I am forced to conclude that the Bible does not teach that I am to be a pacifist and allow someone to inflict death or grievous bodily harm upon me or those under my care. Instead, I am 1) Not to permit someone to harm my physical well-being or that of those under my care. 2) I am to trust the Lord to protect me, and this may include trusting Him to use effectively the physical and/or tactical skills He has enabled me with. And, 3) I am not to succumb to normalcy bias and presume I will never be the target of physical threats but am to advance my physical and/or tactical skills as I am able and as I am led in order to mitigate such. I also acknowledge that certain scenarios may someday exist in which I may be called upon to instead lay down my life for the example of Christ, and that I should have the discernment to recognize such moments. (See Psalm 127:3, Proverbs 22:3. Genesis 14:14-16, Matthew 24:43).