How does a parent raise a child with the faith, character and values of Doss?
Daron has a soapbox moment. The world needs more of Doss! So I have just finished watching Hacksaw Ridge the latest Mel Gibson production, and promises to be a blockbuster - the story of Desmond Doss. Released into cinemas in November. Doss is a modern day Daniel/Esther/Joseph. The movie vividly portrays all the violence of war in graphic detail as America fought for Hacksaw Ridge in Okinawa. It is not for the faint hearted but this was one of the bloodiest battles in World War 2. What impressed me the most was the bravery, character and values of Medic Doss who refused to carry a weapon and insisted on keeping the Sabbath at all costs. Oh and he is a vegetarian. Despite pressure from his training unit he insisted on these ideals and became a hero both on and off the battle field. He single handedly lowered 70 injured men off the ridge under heavy enemy fire. What was it about his character that inspired him to stand for the right no matter what the cost and to go out onto the battlefield to save one more? From a children's ministry/parents perspective how does one raise a child with the faith, character and values of Doss? Values like no compromise, standing up for and helping your mates, a man of faith? A man who stands for right and truth no matter what? A life of sacrifice and service? A man who never gives up in the face of the enemy. A man who provides relentless service to others no matter the cost. The world needs more of those sorts of people. Seven things that impressed me most. 1. Discipleship begins early and begins at home... Desmond's home is not perfect by any means but his mother is faithful and intentional in shaping her sons life and this shines through in and off the battlefield. 2. Rituals and traditions... His mother took him to church and taught him the importance of the sabbath. The faithfulness of his mother had a profound effect on Doss. Despite a father who fought his inner demons and what would now be described as post traumatic stress, the mothers faithfulness and her values set Doss on a unwavering path of faithfulness and heroic destiny. 3. Identifying the teachable God moments... These happen daily and can be both good and bad. Seizing these moments and using them to teach values is key to shaping a faith that is unshakeable in our children. 4. The pictures on the wall... There was a picture on the wall with graphics portraying the Ten Commandments and the Lords Prayer. This picture had a profound effect on Doss and etched the Ten Commandments on to his character in particular the commandments re not killing and the Sabbath. What pictures are on your walls and what values are they teaching your children? 5. The power of memorable life changing events... Incidents both good and bad shape character. The fact that he almost killed his brother with a brick and then witnessing an incident with his father and a gun were two incidents that consolidated his resolve to never kill another person. It is important that we as parents talk with our children especially when such moments occur. 6. The power of God's Word/Ten Commandments for shaping values... Desmond has a Bible that goes with him everywhere, even on to the battle field. Desmond reads this regularly and hides the words in his heart. We as parents need to let the scriptures speak into the lives of our children through reading, repetition, memorisation and telling the stories that change lives and shape values. 7. Never give up... Parenting is hard work when you are raising a Doss. It is relentless, tiring and just plain hard work at times. Doss repeats the line, "just one more" as he goes out on to the battle field to save one more soldier again and again. We as parents need to have that same attitude as we seize the moments that occur daily to raise a child with the faith of Doss. Just one more moment, just one more prayer, just one more bible text, just one more story, just one more teachable moment is what shapes a Desmond Doss. Deuteronomy 6:4-12 definitely sums up Doss and his early life and later depicts him on and off the battlefield as a man of unwavering faith and conscience who stood for God no matter the cost. The world needs more of Doss. Daron gets off his soapbox and goes up onto the battlefield of life to reach one more!