Vol.XVIII No.VI Pg.6
August 1981

Boys Will Be Boys

Robert F. Turner

"Boys will be boys" apologizes a wise (?) old sage. What else might we expect them to be? Donkeys? Old men?

Yes, "boys will be boys" but that does not alter the consequences. Boys drive recklessly; boys wreck cars, break bones, get killed, maim and kill their friends. LSD can blow a mind — even when taken as a boy's bravado stunt. This turns parents' hair white.

"Boys will be boys" but rulers will rule (Rom. 12:3). They are terror to lawbreakers and punish the rebels (1 Pet. 2:14). Rulers bear the sword with purpose; they use it — even on rebel boys. Countless boys have challenged the powers and awoke in jail — or without a head.

"Boys will be boys" but fathers must be fathers. They are charged to admonish, train, and correct (Eph. 6:4). Because boys act like boys, loving fathers (Prov. 3:12) must use the rod. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him" (Prov. 22:15) — Dr. Spock not withstanding. And mothers will be mothers. They worry and fret, advise when it is uninvited and unwelcome, and generally meddle in their boys lives. That just goes with the turf. Mothers tenderly love those ornery boys. For the same reason, mothers teach their boys the scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15) and nourish in them a real faith in God (2 Tim. 1:15). They delight in their family and work to maintain their home (Tit. 2:4,5).

"Boys will be boys" is a sage's observation; "flee youthful lusts" comes with much higher recommendation (2 Tim. 2:22). "Boys" are not exempt from walking as Christians. They may "sow their wild oats" because they perceive we expect no better of them. Rather, that "boy" is expected to be "an example of the believers", "a pattern" in doctrine, values, attitudes, conviction, purity, and sensibleness (1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 2:6). When a "boy" is such, no one will discredit (despise) him nor need to apologize — "boys will be boys". The adversary is shamed having no bad word against such a "boy". And who said these boys are weak and must be coddled? The communists do not. They expect boys to join up, pay their own way, and even go to jail for the cause. The army does not think they are weak. They require those boys to train body and mind, face the rigors of war, and die to win a battle. And some folk fear these same boys are unable to endure a snide remark, miss a dance, or put a rein on their passions. Do not believe it; they are tough as nails! John appealed to "young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one" (1 Jn. 1:14). These boys are boys; they will be godly men — IF they have good, sound instruction in truth, wise counsel from experienced Christians, loving correction when wrong, patience from all, and just a little time. BUT left to themselves, they will follow after youthful lusts, break their parents' hearts, be a blight to society, defame God and his people, and end up in hell.

Joe Fitch, 6326 Peacepipe, San Antonio,TX.