Last week a friend came by in the morning to have a chat with me about his step-son. It was sadly a story that I’d heard many times before.
- He didn’t have respect for him, or his biological father who he lived with
- He regularly stole from his step-father
- He mistreated his bothers and sisters
- And most importantly, he didn’t listen to anybody
This sad story gave me one more illustration of an important truth.
Boys need fathers!
I doubt anyone would question that fact, the problem is, fewer and fewer young men have the fathers they desperately need.
Though I love the community where the Lord has called me, it has it’s problems (every place does). One of the biggest burdens God has placed upon my heat is the fathers of Saint Vincent.
It isn’t that the fathers aren’t there……instead they choose not to be fathers.
It is difficult to find work here since there aren’t many consistent jobs. Many men have to spend the day doing one odd job after another, which is obviously exhausting.
Yet once that work is done they don’t return home to take care of their children,
Instead its to the local rum shop where they will drink all night.
Worst of all this gives young men like this step-son a toxic view of manhood
- Men don’t protect those in their families
- Men are violent
- Men spend most of their time at the rum shop
- Men if they can’t find work will sit around doing nothing all day
- And men don’t let ANYBODY tell them what to do!
With role models like this, it’s no wonder why boys become incredibly rebellious in their teenage years!
In a culture without fathers, the Lord calls male Believers to become spiritual fathers.
A spiritual father is someone who gains the respect of a boy at any early age, and patterns for him what a Godly man looks like. Part of this is leading them to Christ, and then discipling them with Scriptural truths.
The best I’ve ever seen do this is Pastor Alan Berry, veteran missionary in the Caribbean. Countless of the men in my community fondly remember his teaching and training them in their younger years. Some of those he won and discipled were referred to as “Berry’s son.”
Pastor Berry through everything gave them a Biblical view of manhood
- A man who protects his wife, and those under his care
- A man who is calm, but never weak
- A man who spends his time doing hard work
- A man who displays an attitude of humility instead of arrogance
Reflecting on this I know the world needs many more Pastor Berry’s!
While I’m not quite on his level (working on it) I am using every opportunity God gives to teach and train the younger generation of boys while their hearts are still tender.
And by Gods grace, I can carry on the legacy of showing boys what a true man is like.