A friend recently asked me the following question. Thought I'd share it here in case any of you in the internet abyss ever wonder the same thing. I don't know that I have the best answer, but it's an answer. Be blessed!
Kori, I've been meaning to ask you this for awhile now. I really admire and respect you and your FB postings. Can you please give me some sound words of wisdom to share with my friends/ family who are being fearful when my 3 year old son is just involved in imaginary play? He's recently been using his thumb and forefinger "gun" to play the "good" guy, and shoot at people ("bad" guys). He has never played a video game or seen a cartoon with violence (unless you count Veggie Tales and Curious George as violent) - I know it is innate and some picked up from his playground friends. I just told him not to point his finger at someone's face, but he can play "good" guys and "bad" guys. How do I convince the well meaning naysayers?
Hello precious friend, I wish I could tell you the magic words that would change them. We live in a society that has been stripping masculinity from our boys for a couple of generations now. As is often said, "Boys will be boys." I have not encountered the situation you have... mostly because we are not in a public school scenario and the families we are close to are likeminded to us. I do try to be sensitive when I'm with families that I'm not sure are in support of guns. I tell my boys to not point "guns" at people and to not even play guns when I can tell that people are uncomfortable with it. I discourage them from playing gun games at church during their after-service playtime since they play with kids they (and I) don't know very well. I would just be sensitive and state the truth: boys are defenders and protectors. It is in them to be so..and that ought to be encouraged. We certainly don't want to advocate violence and cruelty, but when boys act as the good guys going after the bad guys (my boys have imaginary bad guys unless some in the group their playing in agrees to play the bad guys), then that should be commended and encouraged. It is in us as humans to love epics, to understand that there really is good and evil, to be heroes. We are characters in a real-life, universal epic where there truly is good and evil. And Good will win. Maybe encourage your sweet little guy by asking him what he is protecting. What is he fighting for? And give him noble ideas. Freedom. To protect the oppressed. Against evil dragons. Fighting the beast and the false prophet at the end of time (a real slaying of the dragon that will come). (Even though we won't have to lift a finger because Jesus will open HIs mouth and "one tiny word will slay" our enemy.) I don't know if that helps at all. Mainly, be sensitive to others and don't let our freedom become a stumbling block to another. "All things are lawful but not all things are beneficial." "I become all things to all men that I might win some." If they are lost, keep their eternal souls in mind. Love. Which I know you are excellent at. We can love our friends who are afraid of gun play by abstaining from such play when we are with them. Love you. Wish I had a better answer.