My wife enjoys classic movies. Just a few days ago, as I was sitting and working on writing for the blog, she popped in “The Sound of Music.” I don’t know how, but in my 31 years, I never saw it before. Let me give a short synopsis from a man’s point of view. 

1930’s Austria- Woman gets chewed out for being too energetic in abbey. Goes to be a governess for big family. Decorated Naval Captain and widower controls family with strict and well planned methods. Woman takes over care of family. Captain Von Trapp goes to court beautiful, rich, hieress. Woman corrupts children. Captain returns to estate with hieress. Children and woman show Captain error in his ways. Hieress plots to get rid of woman. Woman leaves. Woman realizes she is in love with Captain Von Trapp. Woman returns. Captain Von Trapp realizes he loves woman, marries her, goes on honeymoon. Now here is where a guy gets interested. While they are on the honeymoon, the Nazi’s take over Austria. The children are entered to sing in an Austrian singing competition. On the morning of the competition, the Nazi’s come looking to draft Captain Von Trapp into thier service. Captain Von Trapp and his new wife return from their honeymoon and the Captain reacts in outrage. Captain Von Trapp makes a plan and leads his family to safety across the mountains after the borders are closed.

For those of you who have watched this movie, you know there is alot more to it. I want to point out a few lessons in manhood that Captain Von Trapp teaches… and learns.

  1. A man shouldn’t run a household without a woman. It’s best if this is his wife, but the important thing is that a mother’s nurturing touch is just as important as a father’s guiding hand.
  2. Children need their father’s presence and love more than a cold analytical leadership.
  3. Sometimes the right decision is not the easy one.
  4. The family will follow the father, so make your decisions with your family in mind.

These 4 lessons were as much lessons for me and they were for Captain Von Trapp. As we first met him, he ran his family with military efficiency. Captain Von Trapp is a man’s man who we all aspire to be like.  The fact that he fill all the masculine stereotypes also means he fails in fathering. He doesn’t show his family his love. The addition of the governess to the family brought the children’s joy out (1), but it took the father feeling the joy to start the change. When Maria tells Captain Von Trapp that his children want him in thier lives more than anything else (2), his walls start crumbling. It is only after losing Maria that he sees his feelings for her. When she returns, he changes his plans and asks for her hand. While the baroness is  rich and beautiful, Maria is smart and loves (and is loved by) the children (3).  After being conscripted by the Nazi’s, Captain Von Trapp makes the decision to leave everything behind and flee from Austria rather than joining the evil of the Third Riech. Through a series of plans, the Von Trapps cross the mountains on foot, leaving everything behind (4).

What do you think, am I just seeing things, or is this the kind of father we all want to be?

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

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