Six weeks at a time, a good friend and I find ourselves in the company of 20-25 young boys. We always begin the boys to men classes by asking them, “what do you think makes you a man?” Recently, one answer I received has not left my mind and has increased the weight of this burden I carry. One kid blurts out, “YOU BECOME A MAN WHEN YOU HAVE A LOT OF GOONS.” Sadly, I must say for many young boys growing up in inner city communities this is the reality. Rappers and entertainers have become the educators and the loudest voice in our kid’s ears.
There was a story a few years ago, about overcrowding of elephants at Kruger National Park in Africa. The park rangers decided it would be a good idea to move the juvenile males into another National Park, and have them settle there. Over time, they noticed something very alarming. The juvenile elephants had become very aggressive towards the rhinos in that environment and began killing them. They could not understand how the elephants could turn to this kind of behavior so quick. Thinking it was the new environment, they considered moving them back but it was just to crowded to do so. They had one more option. They moved some of the older elephants over with them. After a few weeks, something happened the juvenile males behavior changed. The rangers quickly realized the mistake they had made. “They moved all the juvenile males without sending any older males to guide them in that environment.”
Scripture says. “Where there is no [wise, intelligent] guidance, the people fall [and go off course like a ship without a helm], but in abundance of [wise and godly] counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 11:14 AMP
I can’t think of one friend I had growing up that had a dad around. Our male examples were men that sold drugs, used drugs, or the OG from the neighborhood gang. Statistics say that 25 million kids in America wake up everyday without a father in the home. That’s 33% of our country. Knowing that statistic and giving my time and love only to my biological kids will be selfish and unbiblical.
So this is what I say to MEN. Specifically, Christian men “THEY NEED YOU.” If godly men don’t set another trend the cycle will continue.
Consider this a challenge. Find a young man, get to know his story and get involved in his life. These are our future leaders and the people closest to him shape a leader’s future. A leader’s personal network is his emotional fuel: his models, heroes, mentors, inner circle, and accountability partners.
As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion]. Proverbs 27:17