Saturday, February 5, 2011

Teach the Youth (Males)

I was home Friday going over some of my lessons and I paused to take a break.  My normal routine is to go outside via my back door, and just stand outside and marvel at God’s glory.  That day, I wanted to take a seat under the corridor that leads up to my front door.  As I was about to open my door, I peaked out via the side glass and seen a bunch of young men running over my lawn until they were out of site.  Then I seen this big strapping one, position himself on my lawn, wiped his feet, made some adjustments and he too ran until he was out of sight.  So I went outside to investigate and I saw what they were doing.  My next door neighbor’s boys seem to entertain their friends often when they (the parents) are not home.  On the side of my driveway there is a portion of grass that is approximately 10ft-12ft in width, which we share since the homes are built sort of close to each other, and then is their driveway.  What these young men were doing was seeing if they could clear that grass from my driveway to theirs by running and leaping over it.  What caused me to address these young men is the type of grass that I have.  It is low tolerant when it comes to traffic, and can easily wither away.  So when I came outside, they already knew I was coming to speak to them.  The big one adjusted himself as though I was no one important, I’m guessing since he had more size than me.  I fell into the trap and entertained my flesh.  I violated his space to where I was close enough to kiss him, and made my point clear to stay off of my lawn.  I believe the point was well taken.  My behavior on the other hand, was completely in error.

            One reason why I was in error is I assumed that these young men knew better.  I am not privy to their upbringing, whether they are raised in a respectful home, or in a dysfunctional one.  My second error, is I may have embarrassed him to now he will have an ought with me instead of seeing me as a friend.  Their behavior is no different from young males walking around showing their dirty drawers, acting the fool in the malls, or trying to sleep with every girl they lay their eyes on.  It is no different because in every situation the question begs, have they been taught better?  Just as I shared yesterday regarding teaching the young women, there is a stronger urgency to teach the young men, especially young black men.  I do not want to flood this reading with statistics; however this is the first statistical data I have ever read that now shows teenagers as young as 13 being in danger.  It is very, very disturbing.  Click here to read more about it.

            Why are our young males behaving in this manner?  What is the root cause?  Allow me to share something that may shed some light.  In 1985 a young beautiful woman penned a song called “The Greatest Love of All.”  This young beautiful woman is Whitney Houston.  Look what her first and second stanza reads:

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

Now please consider these verses from the bible:
“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” (Pr 13:24)
“Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.” (Pr 19:18)
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Pr 22:6)
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.” (Pr 29:17)
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4)

What does Whitney’s song and these verses have in common?  It points to the necessity of teaching our youth the right things, or else.  Whitney’s song said, “Teach them well and let them lead the way” These young men who walk around showing their behinds, who are they leading, more important, who taught them?  Whitney’s song said “people need someone to look up to”  These young men who are making babies but not owning up to their responsibilities, who were they looking up to, more important, who will their children look up to?  The verse above states “train up a child in the way he should go” These young men who do not respect women, or go as far as raping them, where did they get their training from?  Another verse says “correct your son, and he will give you rest” These young men who are constantly in and out of jail causing their mom or dad to run back and forth to court, or staying up late at night waiting for them to come home because that would be their comfort that they lived another day, where is the correction there?  I can go on and on.  Whitney was on point, and the bible is crystal clear.

That thug that you see on the corner that you turn a blind eye to is a product of him not being taught how to be a responsible and respectable young man.   Let’s analyze this a bit further.  Let’s give this thug the name Dushawn. You come to find out, that Dushawn’s father was is thug also, and went to jail when Dushawn was young.  So he had no positive male role models around growing up.  Dushawn’s grandfather was an alcoholic and so was the grandfather’s father, and so on and so on.  Dushawn’s mom was molested by her father.  Dushawn’s grandmother on the mom side knew about it but did nothing because it has happened to her as well, and it can go back and back which points to a pattern of behavior.  These issues can go deep as the black hole, until it reaches to Adam and Eve.  My point is what about the now?  What do we do, so the cycle does not continue moving forward?  The overall solution, is they have to be taught different than what they know now.  Is it simple? No it is not, but nonetheless that is what has to happen to break this damaging chain of behavior. 

When looking at our youths, both male and female, it is easy to talk about their negative behavior.  It is easy to comment on the way they dress.  It is easy to look at them with disgust.  It is easy to point out why they are the way they are and put blame on being raised this way or that way, but if that is all we do, then it is just as bad as we ignoring it.  When milk is spilled, it is spilled.  Wash the glass and pour some more in it.  Talking about why they are the way they are is not going to help.  Yes, some of this behavior is based on generations of the same thing, ok, let’s break that cycle.  Yes, the t.v. and the music videos, and the songs, and other media avenues add to the problem.  It is easier to train youths to not feed into that stuff, than to address the companies and media outlets to change their delivery, so let’s start with what is easy. 

To address these issues will be long and the methods may be complex.  There can also be different avenues outside of the bible that can be of assistance.  What is evident, is what they know now, is leading them down the wrong path, and in order for their path to change to the right one, they will have to learn that there is a different and better way and it must be taught in order to learn it.  Amen!

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