Just to start out I want to make it clear that I am not critiquing anyone else’s ability to parent their children Or the decisions they make in raising them. Nor am I speaking as a pro at parenting or theology.
I think most people are fairly familiar with the narrative of the battle between David of Israel and Goliath of Gath that is found in the Hebrew/Christian scriptures. The story of this battle is honestly one of the first things I learned in my sporadic visits to church as a child and as the years have gone by I can say for sure that it is a staple in most churches Sunday School curriculum. The fact that this story, one of a man killing another man, is taught to young children deeply bothers me. Sadly we romanticize it as an epic about good defeating evil, about all things being possible with God, and even about righteous judgment. We can read those concepts into the text, and even make a case for using it as a metaphor but is the moral of the story really ‘All things are possible with God’? I have a really had time believing that to be true. Especially once I continue to read the events that follow the battle.
As a Father, a human being, and as a Christian I can not justify using this story in such a way that celebrates the killing of a man while trying to flippantly make it about God doing the impossible through a young boy. When we fail to read the whole story we do a disservice to the scriptures and the truth that this story is trying to convey. The truth that violence begets violence and when we resort to using it as a means for advancement then we will certainly be molded into it’s image. David defeats Goliath while refusing Saul’s armor and sword only to later flee Israel and take up Goliath’s sword and armor for himself. Not only did he use The Champion of Gath’s armoring but he found himself in the middle of the Philistines ready to go to war alongside their king against the same people he had just saved, the Israelites. David killed their champion and then became their kings champion. Violence made him into the very thing he sought to destroy. Violence always makes monsters out of us.
I refuse to teach my son of the “valiant” acts of King David. I can not place value on the taking of someone’s life and neither did Jesus. Later on when my son has grown older and matured I will teach him that rejecting the way of Christ can bring incalculable harm and let the narrative of David speak for itself. There is a much greater lesson to be learned from the narrative than a boy facing a giant; When we reject the way of peace we will inevitably heap up for ourselves destruction. For those that live by the sword die by it and those that are violent are overtaken by it.
King Jesus > King David
Through whom, to whom, and for whom all things exist!