Television channels at my house are few and far in between. I don’t have cable or satellite, so I am stuck with whatever I can pick up over-the-air. Recently I was at my parents house which allowed me to see some shows I love but never get to see. Typically those shows consist of “reality” television. As I was going through my usual schedule checks looking for “Swamp People,” “Duck Dynasty,” “Ink Master,” “Beyond Scared Straight,” and anything with Gordon Ramsey, I came across “The World’s Strictest Parents.”
I love this show. For those who haven’t heard of it show, I’ll explain. Two troubled teens of the opposite sex are placed in the home of a couple of “tough” parents. I don’t mean tough like “we will ground you from watching TV tough. But rather “do as I say or I will force you to move that pile of manure to the other side of my ranch with a sand box shovel” kind of tough. It usually end with the teen breaking down and realizing how they have been acting is not right, and they genuinely change.
I learned some awesome consequence lessons I plan on implementing with my children. My favorite being the “slosh pipe” which is a 20’ capped PVC pipe half-filled with water. This is carried over their head as they make laps around a field. Bottom line is kids and teens need to learn that actions have consequences. And trouble maker Jacob had plenty of opportunity to learn that lesson.
Jacob was this scrawny 16 year old punk who looked like he should have just been leaving elementary school, though he tried to act big and bad. He treated his mom like trash, had the mouth of a Juggalo, and smoked like a chimney. He craved attention, and any way Jacob could get it, he would. After being outright defiant and “blessing out” the Mom, the Dad and Jacob sat down and had face to face. Once each calmed down, the battle of determination turned into a heart to heart.
After a long talk Jacob said something that struck me. He said, “Just having him sit there made it feel like I have a dad.”
See Jacob was an angry teen. His dad left his family in a wrong way. Not that there are any right ways, but this one was particularly bad. Jacob held in that anger without knowing how to deal with it in a healthy way. He also didn’t know what it meant or how to be a young man.
Sadly, Jacob’s story is a normal situation in America today. We have young men in this nation that have no idea what it means to be a man because they have no example of such. This creates a state of perpetual adolescence. These boys never grow up because they have no one to teach them what being a man is. Instead, they stay that little, angry, irresponsible twelve year old boys well into adulthood. So I challenge you, men, to find a little buddy. Take a young man under your wing and show them the ropes. Invest in their lives and help them to grow into the man they were created to be. The greatest influence we can have on a person is when we invest in their lives through a relationship. Let’s stand together and fight the epidemic adolescent manhood. Even just talking to them over a round of putt-putt will make a difference. It is up to us to develop the fatherless.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans… James 1:27