Bilbo Baggins and Teaching Boys to Become Men

Anthony W. Brooks

I was always taken back at the story of the Hobbit and the Shire. J. R. R. Tolkien was a master of story telling and imagination. The world he created about the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings was fanciful and delightful, but there are some lessons to be learned from his stories even if those lessons were not intended by the author.

I am not going to quote directly from the work itself, to do so would take too much time and I like to be brief for the busy reader. But the story of the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, is the story of a feminine Hobbit becoming a masculine Hobbit. Applied to us it would be the story of a effeminate man becoming a Biblical man. Biblo was a shire Hobbit. The story starts with him smoking a pipe at his home in the shire with all the comforts of good food and a crisp fire, but that is not where it led. It led to fierce battles and dragon fire and plenty of soul searching. He took a leap of faith that would change his life forever. I think the movie shows this almost as well as the book. Bilbo is smoking a pipe in front of his hobbit hole when Gandalf confronts him about an adventurous quest to reclaim the dwarfish homeland of Erebor. Bilbo, the home struck Hobbit, who didn’t think he could live without the comforts of his bed, kitchen, and doilies was about to learn to fight a dragon, kill an orc, and conquer a kingdom. And this is what we are to be teaching our sons.

In my last post I talked about teaching boys how to slay a dragon. In this post I want to say how you can develop that drive in them.

Sin Makes Boys Feminine

Sin is the undoing of the man of God. And if all your boys learn from you is how to sin then all you are teaching them is how to be cowards.

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” – Ephesians 2:1-3

Sin can undo the things of God in your sons life so you should strive to kill that sin as it forms in him. Bilbo sought many times to return to the shire, but his realization was that he had just as much right to return to the Shire as the dwarves had to try to reclaim their homeland. He would be a wicked Hobbit to not attempt to help them reclaim a place that they called home. It would be a cowardly to ignore the call to kill a dragon if that dragon has killed and is killing others you know. So just as Bilbo helped in the defeat of Smaug the Terrible and the Orc armies for the dwarves you should help your son defeat the dragons and orcs in his life.

Killing Orcs and Killing Sin

So how do you do this? How do you kill sin in your sons life? Well you give him the armor he needs to do so and you teach him how to use it. Armor is more that chest plates and bucklers, defensive weapons, but it is also swords and spears, offensive weapons. Biblo had Sting, his small and trusty sword and also mithril to cover his torso. Bilbo made good use of this in the battle of the five armies. So also do we have to equip our sons with such offensive and defensive weapons to do the same. We grow our sons in the faith so it will be a shield to him, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” -Ephesians 6:16 and also we nee to give him a sword, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” -Ephesians 6:17. These are necessary weapons to give our sons so that we can teach them how to kill the orcs and dragons that lead us into sin.

When you notice a pattern of sin in your sons life such as chronic masturbation, pornography, and such you need to call it out, admonish him with scripture, and seek the guidance of the church. Keep him in church and under the care of the Elders. In your home read and teach him from the scriptures daily. Teach him to be open to you about his temptations and be a guide to him. This is the only way the orcs and dragons of sin will be defeated daily in his life.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Published by A.W. Brooks

I am a husband, father, student, and classical Protestant Christian. My thoughts hold no authority, but they might help you shape the way you see the world. Who knows?

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