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The Fight

Our eyes took in the scene on the screen, riveted in the moment, waiting for the turning point we knew was coming…

Condemned to death, the knight stood, head and hands in the stocks—an angry mob jeering at him from all sides.

He was not alone.

His men appeared from among the crowd to stand with him, willing to brave the odds because of their sheer devotion to this man they loved.

The din of the crowd rose, and the condemned man looked at his accusers—not in fear, but in confidence—sure of his identity, sure of his choice.

Then, in a surprise moment, a figure draped in black removed his hood and stepped out from the crowd while everyone gasped in awe.

The prince!

The prince, the future King of England, looked into the eyes of the condemned and said,

“Your men love you. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough. But I also know that you fight when most would withdraw, and that is knightly too.”

Then to the crowd he said, “Release him! My researchers have found that he is from an ancient line of royalty. That is my word and as such, it is beyond contestation.”

As they released the condemned man, the prince knighted him and forever more, Sir William would be treated as such.

A scene from A Knights Tale

I pondered that later. Why did I like that part so much? What was it that made that scene so epic?

I remember as boy how I felt like I could conquer the world.

No matter what odds are against us, little boys feel they can stand against them with their imaginary swords in hand, sheer will yielding the bravado they need—in feeling if not in deed.

We all knew deep inside that we were knights.

But over the years—the battles come—and as we grow older, our bravado starts to fade. Our bosses pushes for results, our wives feel disappointed in us for some reason or another, our friends all seem to be going faster and farther in their careers than we are.

Until the day our first child is born.

In that moment, the fullness of our knighthood resurfaces as we take in this little human being that we are given to teach and defend. We suddenly remember WHO we are as our chest puffs out and we feel the power return. Nothing else matters but to do right by this tiny child.

It’s as if the prince has stepped forward and called us out—charging us with bravery, strength, wisdom and leadership.

We are dubbed – a father.

I love adventuring with my four daughters. So many of the moments at home are all about shaping and molding behavior and there is SO MUCH correcting, teaching, disciplining, coaching. It can be very taxing, somehow not really how I imagined fatherhood!

But then on an adventure—everything else stops and the priority becomes simply sharing the beauty of world around us, together.

I went on a surfing adventure with one of my daughters today. It was her first experience going deep into the sea and her bravery stunned me. She stood confidently on the surfboard with my hands holding it still, it was a glorious moment: the majestic mountainside draped behind her, the sun hitting her face just enough to highlight the sheer joy of her accomplishment.

I’ll remember it forever.

But then on an adventure—everything else stops and the priority becomes simply sharing the beauty of world around us, together.

Not just a man – a father.

We are knights to our kids. To them, we are their heroes, the ones they look up to, the ones they learn from.

When our wives see us adventuring with our kids, engaging with them and just being there, perhaps they adapt those words from that epic movie scene…

Your children love you. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough. And you fight when most would withdraw, and that is knightly too.

Men—my charge to you—

Fight for marriage.
Fight for raising compassionate, strong, brave kids.
Fight for a life devoted to the things that matter.

Be the knight you know you are.
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