Having a son interested in making chainmail items makes words like hauberk, coif, and gauntlet all make sense. The gauntlet is a “mail glove to protect wrists and hands from wounds.” The phrase in the title of this article becomes clear when the terms are understood.
As parents, one of the most difficult things to do day-by-day is to remain fixed on the end goal of life. In educating our children, we get stuck on “getting good grades,” or perhaps “just getting the work done.” As parents, we forget about the end goal of having students that do their best and that desire what is good and right. So we badger, plead, accuse, and decry their faults. Our concern for them is often not expressed as love, but as manipulation. Their interpretation of even our best efforts is many times misunderstood. We end up having relationships that distance, rather than ones that bridge gaps.
A new year is a good time to “pick up the gauntlet”— to refocus our minds for a battle that takes place inside us.
“Do I desire my child to just ‘get it done,’ or am I concerned with what character issues are being built as well (perseverance, quality work, desire to do well)?”
“Do I tend to give biblical hope in my counsel, or am I an accuser?”
“Does my child perceive that I love them, or are they more likely to see the perpetual disappointment in my facial expressions and hear that in the tone of my voice?”
My mind/soul needs a ‘gauntlet’ to protect me from living out of my feelings, living for the immediate satisfaction (i.e., “It’s done.”) and ultimately living without the end goal in sight. So, pick up the gauntlet for your heart and battle valiantly with truth ringing in your ears: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).