This is the question/cry that is being asked/heard across the country…young people…and some even older are coming to the realization that the very essence of their being is craving for a father…for someone to steer them in the direction that they should take. I can tell you that I remember my dad. I remember him for his leadership and for the authority that he walked in. I can remember as if it were yesterday, hearing his voice tell me “everything is going to be okay.” His gentle touch, yet commanding voice would seem to bring both peace and fear at the same time. The fear I speak of is not the fear as if he were going to hurt me, but the fear of him being the man in authority. His very presence would demand respect. My father didn’t have to say much to get a response from my sister or me. All he would have to do is look. His facial expressions were more than words could ever say…by the time he’d open his mouth, if we were doing something wrong, we would have stopped before any repercussions would have been met. My father had many different sides to him. Like most fathers, he was a man that you could ask anything of and he’d more than likely have an answer. My dad was the greatest because he was always there for me. As a kid, anytime I’d be outside playing, I knew that he was just a stones-throw away…on the porch reading the newspaper. My dad found enjoyment watching the kids in my neighborhood play kickball and tag in the summertime. He was also was a great cook. He could take anything in the kitchen and make a good meal. In my house, my mom worked the nine-to-five, whereas, my dad was self-employed.
Being the son of a great preacher brought a certain mystique to the house. People would think my family had to act a certain way because of the way my father carried himself. My father is the one that I would see preparing to minister to the Lord’s people on Sunday. He’d close himself up in his office and ask not to be disturbed. However, my sister and I knew that didn’t include us…he’d find the time to address any needs that we would have all the while keeping focused on the matter at hand. Sometimes my sister and I would find ourselves as a part of the storyline during his message on Sundays whereby we would feel like melting into the pew. It was quite embarrassing at times, but he was my dad, so he was entitled to do whatever he needed to get his point across to help God’s people. He would always say, “That is why God gave me children, for illustration purposes for my sermons!” My sister and I would always make him pay for it by purchasing ice cream for us after church. There would be no hard feelings…why? Because that’s what daddy’s do!
My father is the one who taught me how a Christian is supposed to act - by showing me, not just telling me. When something would happen, for instance, finding out that someone in the church had started a rumor regarding him, he would show me the authentic love of Christ by loving the person and not giving the person a “piece” of his mind. He would always tell me what his responsibility as a believer was regardless of who said what, he was supposed to “turn the other cheek.” Personally, I would tell him to cuss the people out! I would tell him that he should beat them down! I would tell him to do this and that, but he would just look at me and smile and say, ”I can’t do that, because God didn’t get rid of me, therefore, I have no right to get rid of anybody.” This is what we’re lacking today.
We don’t have fathers in the home transferring vision and destiny to their children. They’re more concerned with depositing seed into a woman rather than raising the investment (child) that comes out of her. I thank God that my dad raised his investment (me). My dad also went a step further, and this is one of the reasons that I am the way I am today, he would take those who weren’t being invested in, the fatherless, and seeing their value, he would take someone and cultivate them and begin investing in them as well.
That’s what has been lost today. Today we have a people who are all about self. The thought for today is “I gotta’ get mine! Fu__ the children, it’s all about me!” It is this philosophy that has torn the fabric of our society to pieces. It is this philosophy that has caused the crime to rise at an overwhelming proportion. This way of thinking has taken us from being a blessed nation to a nation who is in jeopardy of having God turn His back on us. In the book of Malachi, God spoke and said that He’s going to send the spirit of Elijah and the spirit of Elijah is going to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers - otherwise the earth would be hit with a curse. This is the curse of today. Children, from the rejection of the fathers in our society have lashed out into crime…drugs, promiscuity of any and all kinds, murder, rape, money laundering, jealousy, and teen pregnancy. Things are so bad now, that it’s going to take God to step in and send intermediaries who are willing to step in and steer this generation back from the depths of despair. When I say that, I am referring to men, such as myself, who are willing to serve as “surrogate” fathers in order to bridge the deprivation of our society and save the next generation.
This is why the cry for men is being echoed out in every place that the real Gospel of the Kingdom is being preached. God needs men to rise up and be who He has ordained them to be. For far too long, we have placed too much of the burden on women and they can only take things so far. The backbone of society and the responsibility for the way things are today is on the man! God is going to speak to men and cause us to answer as to why the crime rate is so high, why the prison population is bursting at the seams. God is going to come down in the “cool of the day” and bypass the women and He’s going to ask the men, including me…what did we do? Everything rises and falls on us as men! It’s time that we stop sucking on the breast of women and it’s time for us to be the men that God has ordained us to be. The spirit of thousands of youth today is crying out for a father…all they want is for someone, anyone to give them some direction.
Let me get personal for a minute. One of the young men that I work with got into some trouble with drugs. When I was informed, instead of shrugging my shoulders and wanting nothing to do with the situation, my soul was provoked to reach out. Instead of turning away from him, I turned my heart to him and showed him authentic love. Instead of preaching to him, I opened myself up to show him my own wounds and how I rebelled as a young person, as well. I didn’t try to sugar coat anything with him, but I was very transparent with my own past, of which he seemed quite interested in. As I began to be transparent, something spiritual took place and a divine connection was made between the two of us. Devin turned himself in to the authorities and was sent to a drug rehab program. I take literal, the scripture of becoming “all things” to win some to Christ. I didn’t leave him in the drug rehab facility for him to go through by himself, however, I made a commitment to him that I would see him all the way through to completion. I made special arrangements with the facilitators of the program to visit Devin twice a week. Reason being, he had been kicked out of this same program on two previous occasions, so they were rather reluctant to accept him this third time. However, this time things were different, his counselor told me that Devin was a different teenager from the one that had been in their facility on previous occasions. They said, unlike the first two times, they said that my interest in Devin changed his complete outlook. They said my interest in Devin, not only changed Devin’s outlook, but the rest of the youth in the program began to change for the better as well. As long as I continued to check up on his progress, the reports I received were excellent. Devin began to share this discomfort of his past and the things that he was actually thinking about himself began to come out during his counseling sessions. Devin was the best teen in the program for his six- week stint! After speaking with a few of the staff at the facility, they attribute Devin’s attitude change to the interest that I showed in him (the same love Christ showed me when I was in my mess). His drastic change in attitude made such an impression on the entire staff that I was asked if I would continue to visit the young men in the drug rehab program on a weekly basis.
All most young people want is for someone, especially a man, to show some interest in him or her. They want to know that someone is proud of them…that someone is in their corner pulling for them, cheering them on. Just like, a child who plays a sport, there is nothing better than knowing your dad is in the stands watching you play. There is a cry going out for us to deal with our own individual mess, so that we can minister the love of Christ to young men and women who have no aim, no drive to go on and upward.
Devin and I will be connected for the rest of our lives…and his life has been changed drastically. All it took was for someone to love him through his mess and steer him in the right direction! My father did it for me; I can’t help but do it for someone else. It’s called the love of a father.