You’ve watched it. Some CSI show captures your attention and you watch it for years. Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, whatever, and whenever your senses are tickled by the obtuse and violent trends in society. Over supper, you watch blood and gore and grim. In time you are desensitzed.
In the rooms of your home another crime scene is being repeated. The number one cause of death in ages 10-24 is accidental death, followed by suicide and murder. 70% of death in this age range is violent. According to CDC surveys reported by Child Trends “High school males are more than three times as likely as females to carry a weapon (28 and eight percent, respectively, in 2013). This difference holds for all racial and ethnic subgroups, as well as at each grade level. (Figure 2) The prevalence of carrying a weapon, however, has declined significantly among both males and females (by 15 and four percentage points, respectively) since 1991.
What? What is going on here? We are talking in many cases 1 in 3 high schools students carrying a weapon. Is life really that violent for them? What fear causes that? Are they being aggressive or defensive? Do you know your own house?
Men, you have the power to protect. While working for over a decade with Dr. Ken Canfield and the National Center For Fathering, one of the Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers stands out as Protect and Provide. But, we aren’t doing the job. So many men have stepped off the curb of manhood and integrity that our young men are resorting to violence to protect themselves and assert their ideas and identities.
The Huffington Post has a great eye opener to this violence trend in youth and relationships. Don’t read it unless you are ready to weep and have your sensibilities stripped back to reality. We have and epidemic of violence.
Take a look at the graph. You will see that family violence offenders are predominant in ages 20-39 and too high in ages 15-any age. Our young men are angry and taking it out on others. No, all offenders are not men. But the preponderance are.
Fatherless young men are perpetuating fatherless young men and women.
Men, you can make a difference. You can give this generation a better view of the world and you can still this storm with your compassion and concern
What can a man do when the foundations have been destroyed and violence reigns?
. Men, listen to your sons. Listen with your mouth closed. Get into a Life Skills class and build some new skills.
. Men and women, resolve your own angst and develop new insights as a parent. Get support.
. Couples, young, old, planning to marry, struggling through coupleness, never married… Take action. Get moving.
. Men, get control of your eyes and examples. What are you teaching through your life?
. Men, do something kind to your child’s mother every week that they can see without having to try to see it. I don’t care if she hates you or not. I don’t care if she is married to you or not. Your children are watching you.
. Men, contain your habit of awfulizing.
What is AWFULIZING? n. refers to an irrational and dramatic thought pattern, characterized by the tendency to overestimate the potential seriousness or negative consequences of events, situations, or perceived threats. AWFULIZING: “A person who engages in awfulizing, likely predicts the most catastrophic outcome in every circumstance.” Psychology Dictionary
. Men, put hope and healing into your language and actions. Find a way to apologizing for your disconnection, absence, and anger. You are the stronger one. Begin the journey.
One of the most common names for fathers today among teen girls is “sperm donor”. Yes, it is common and frequent. Ask anyone working with young women. That is an name of anger and angst. Why would any daughter call her father such a name? Why is it so common.
I hope you are a father of teen or twenty-something daughter reading this note. You need to change. You need to do something significant in your family, relationship, and community.
Over the years in OKC, we’ve sponsored hundreds of couples of men and their teens and twenty-something daughters in conjunction with a Father/Daughter Summit. They come into the door with enough room between them for another person to walk. They leave side by side. A miracle happens on those days.
It is harder and harder to make that happen. Overall fatherless families are on a major rise. The worse trend is that overall births to unmarried women are on the rise among women in their twenties, thirties, and forties. This is not a teenage trend. It is a national epidemic. Over 40% of births fall into the unmarried category. Fifty years ago this was less than 1% and mostly young teens. Now it is becoming a norm. It is unheard of in history.
Women have been abandoned by a most important male. Fathers have flown the coop. Sperm donors don’t inspire stable families for future generations. Why would you get married to a man, who is headed out the door? Why not just do it on your own?
Take a hard look at the numbers. The increase in unmarried births among all races is escalated at frightening percentages.
What can a man do when the foundations are being destroyed?
Men, you have the power to turn the tide. You can be more than a sperm donor. You can be a caring and listening man to your daughter. You can be a visible and compassionate example to daughters in the community alongside your wife.
. As a couple, choose to mentor a young woman.
. As a man, be there for your daughter.
. As a man, get control of your eyes and actions.
. As a man, speak well of women and quit your griping.
. As a couple, be visible in the community in loving leadership.
. As a man, find a place to serve outside your isolation.
What Does Fatherhood Look Like? I’ve Never Seen It
Most weeks, I teach a class on thinking. Tonight we are back in session. By altering our attitudes and beliefs and premises and promises, we alter our behaviour. A subtle change at the core of being effects feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
Yesterday was a big modifier. Prayer interrupted some lives and set them on a different course. Music and worship shifted others. A movie modified a few more. Teaching worked. Small group discussion engaged. Covered dish conversation caused growth. Many means influence our thoughts.
Tonight it is all those again in class with the sons and daughters of Gainesville. Many are sent to us by the courts. They look for a new hope and a a new life. The Spirit of God is able.
A young woman recently released from drug rehab came into the lot yesterday. Unlike most, she did not ask for $. She wanted hope and healing. She wept as we prayed. God intervened. As long as I kept my head stuck through Mississippi’s truck window, we kept audience. Some thoughts got to her. Some hope intersected.
On Facebook we grew 10 new families and hundreds engaged with devotions. Secular radio touches thousands a day.
Via text, the word went out to some 200 in OKC and this Texoma I35 corridor.
In a classroom in Marietta, an auditorium in Gainesville, over FB, secular radio, in the parking lot, at Starbucks and McDonalds, in a meeting room, and windshield time in my car, people had thoughts strengthened and straightened with God’s word.
Oh well, another day dawns. The are 4000 waiting for an email devotion. Thoughts drive action. Words drive thought. Jesus should drive words for the righteous.
Kids need lifelong Dads with Great Attitudes. Great Attitudes work hard for the possible and trust God for the impossible. Every day presents an impossibility when raising children. Be an impossible Dad.
And he said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” Luke 18:27
Kids need lifelong Dads with Great Attitudes. Great Attitudes enjoy what they have. The people, the friendships, the projects, and the possessions are enough. Be happy with your family. Talk to yourself in the mirror about it. Think yourself happy.
For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be content with it. I Tim 6:7-8