Monday, December 12, 2011

The Heart of a Cowboy

My dad and I both have a love for western things. For me, it’s more about the look and feel that they bring to life. I love how deer antlers and a pair of cowboy boots strategically placed as “decoration” in a home, can somehow give off the vibe of “comfort” and “ease.” They kind of say “kick off your shoes, relax, and be yourself here with me.”

My dad likes western décor, as well. But his love also extends to cowboy movies and he reads a lot of books about cowboys.

I love that about him. To me, it says a lot about his character.

When I look at the origins of a “cowboy” – to me, it represents a hard working man. Someone who usually stood up for the law, and someone who radiated strength. No feminizing this man – he was a man’s man through and through. Yet he knew how to respect and treat a lady.

I miss that kind of man. We need more of them around.

I think our men have changed a lot over the years, in part, because we have pushed for it. Instead of letting them be the “wild,” “rugged” men that they were created to be, we started to control their environments and push them towards what we thought would be better for them. We contained them – like a lion or a tiger in a cage.

But there’s something in a man that cannot be contained – ever. You can change the outside of him, but inside he’s a man and he has a man’s heart. Just like you can’t change a woman. The wishes and dreams that live on in a little girl or a little boy – even if fragmented by life still live on in that adult form.  I think it’s that “part” of a man that draws him to action movies, the knight who comes in to rescue the maiden…and cowboys. It’s that “part” that we should encourage in him. For men like to be strong, they like to feel like they have what it takes to conquer the land (or the kitchen sink) and they like to take care of their women. It’s what makes them feel like a man.

Whether it’s a piece of driftwood that can be carved or sanded into a beautiful piece of artwork, or an animal skin that is hung on a wall – these pieces of native creation and representation of the land that God has given us are stunning reminders of the beauty that exists in its natural state. And it’s good to remember that we are beautiful in our natural state as well.

So encourage that “cowboy” in your son – the part that wants to lock up the bad guys and rescue the town. For it’s that part that is God-given and God-intended.

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