I have discovered that my heart was no different than the hearts of many of the young men who father the children of the thousands of clients that pregnancy centers serve every year. In my background and upbringing, my desire for worldly acceptance and success, my drive to be recognized as a man yet act like a boy, and my disregard toward providing for and protecting the lives of the children I fathered, I resembled the young men I come in contact with through my efforts at BRWC.
Please let me clarify something before I get ahead of myself. It is a rare exception that the father comes with a client to an appointment at our center. If one of them showed up in the waiting room during a normal week, it would be a lot.
But I do come in contact with young men regularly in my travels and activities throughout our community. I engage them at church and youth presentations, sporting events, and through the network of young men who congregate around one or more of my four daughters or those who hang out with my three sons.
Many of them can be described as personable, interesting, talented and even gifted. You might refer to them as “good kids,” whatever that means. At first blush they don’t seem like inherently bad or evil people, although there is an exception now and then. They are different and unique from one another in many ways, but the vast majority have a few things in common.
Almost all of them define their manhood by their sexuality, or sexual desirability. Most of them are drawn to young women who themselves define their womanhood by their sexuality or sexual desirability. Very few if any of them have even a basic understanding of the criteria God uses to define them as men.
It really isn’t a great mystery to me why.
I also know a lot of men who are in my generation and we don’t know the criteria God uses to define us as men either. Since it is impossible to pass down to the next generation something that you haven’t received, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that each subsequent generation would be less familiar with the concept than each preceding generation was.
How can this change?
By the men of my generation experiencing the revelational truth of God’s plan for his men to reflect his character of Provider, Protector, and Priest and then creating an environment that facilitates that revelation being purposely passed on to the next generation.
How does the Father function as your Provider, Protector, and Priest?