Who Will Lead Them?


Who Will Lead Them?

The media is quick to report the bad news about our teams, especially our boys. Remember Columbine? It was big press in 1999, and then today it still gets media attention. Columbine was about "bad" boys, boys were killers; so it was big press.

That same week in Pontiac, Michigan, 7300 teens assembled the pledge honor, responsibility for the actions and respect for authority. Do you remember reading anything about it? This event was two years in the making and it meant a lot to more than 7000 kids were there but no one from the secular press covered the story it was finally reported in Christianity Today not in the New York Post or USA Today. No wonder so many people think that teens today are bad, headed for nowhere, nothing but trouble; that's all they hear.

Mark Twain said, "when kid turns 13 we should put him in a pickle barrel nailed the lid shut and feed through a knot hole. At 16, plug up the knot hole." Thoughts about teens haven't really changed, have they?
"Youths today love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, they talk nonsense when they should be working...." And it goes on and on. Sound like today's kids? Socrates wrote these words 500 years before Christ! People don't really change, just the scenery.

There have been times I would have agreed with Mr. Twain and Socrates, however we need to dispel the myth that all kids are huge problems and that the dollar since is an illness that needs a cure. We need to show our boys a better life. A little boy was overheard: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am." Too many boys think they're having a "real good time" like they are because they don't know there's a better way. And they continue having more good times, trying to fill up the emptiness in their hearts, the holes in their souls.

As men, we need to especially focus on our boys; they desperately need our help. Too many boys have no male role models in their lives, so will they follow? Are you available for that task? Any man can be a mentor, only a man who knows his cries in a personal way can be a godly mentor and role model in these boys' lives. Are you willing?

Boys have always been driving their parents crazy, even in biblical times. Look at Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus. They were returning from a trip with all their relatives and friends, along with hundreds of other people, when they suddenly realized that Jesus, their 12-year-old adolescent, was not with them.

"Where is he?" asked his mother.
"Isn't he which you?"
"I thought he was with you," said dad.
Sort of like the old joke of leaving the kid in the bathroom at the gas station. But we all know that it is not a joke when it is your child and you cannot find him.

"Where is our son ?"
Do you think they were frantic?
You bet they were when they found him, he wasn't doing anything bad; in fact he was in the temple teaching. However he was not where he was supposed to be, that was the problem. I would imagine he got a lecture from his parents. His mother probably told him how much she had scared her and that he needed to make sure he stayed with them. And daddy Joseph probably had a few words of wisdom for him, too.

But you know what? The Scripture goes on to say, "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2 verse 52).

Put your son's name and that verse – and Andrew grew… And David grew… And Michael grew… And Richard grew… And Bobby grew… And Steve grew… And Nigel grew… Perhaps the names of the boys who were on that viral video disrespecting the Principal grew… "In stature, wisdom and favor with God and man." Now go another step further and add the name of a boy in your neighborhood or church or immediate surrounding, a boy without a father in his life, or perhaps who has a poor role model for a father and could use some direction from you.

And that boy "grew in favor with God and man."
Boys have always been doing their own thing. Can you remember what it was like to be a teenager or adolescent?
So my best friends, who are women say you couldn't pay them to be teenagers again; that holds some truth for all of us. Our boys are going through the same things we went through, spirituality, physicality, and mentally, but it is a tougher work today. And more and more boys are traveling this road without a man in their life to give them direction, with no godly role model to follow.
Who will lead them to Jesus?
Who will show them that they can still be real men and follow Jesus at the same time?
Who will teach them how to be good fathers?
Or men of integrity?

We want our boys to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, but they cannot do it without our help. Our local newspaper carried an editorial by Dan Rather called "Boyz to Men:it's a tough ride." Mr. rather said:
many boys face the sensitive years… Without a father or other strong male figure in their lives… Even young man who have fathers are too often sired by the popular culture that teaches them that violence and revenge are the path to true manhood. Video games, television music video rap rock and big-budget movies SHOUT this message, drowning out the meek, the infrequent, and the tentative words heard to the contrary.

It is about time that men stand up and loudly shout our message of hope through Jesus Christ, the Gospel message. Let's not let our voice be referred to as "meek or infrequent, or tentative."
Our our voice must be strong and full of passion so it can be heard. How else can we save our boys if we remain silent?

One day I was home when my wife was watching a talkshow about parenting, specifically boys without fathers in their lives. Someone made the comment, "There is a hole in every boy's soul that only a dad can fill." I had a hole inside me that nothing could fill, but I didn't know what it was. I remember the times when I was stumped doing homework and I would think, "I'll ask Daddyman, I bet he knows." Then I would be challenged by daddy to think up the answer by myself. I didn't know that daddy didn't know the answer I just thought he wanted me to think my way through it. A lot of things challenged me and I would ask him for the answers and as smart as he was he was not college-educated or high school educated so he didn't have all the answers. It took me a while to learn that DaddyMan, my Superman didn't have all the answers to my life's persistent questions.

Thinking back to my seventh grade year, in High School, I had plenty unanswered questions. I had a gaping hole in my soul which I suppose came from the stresses and frustrations of having to traverse the psychological financial spiritual and moral and just plain teenage mind-set imposed