EMOTIONALLY BLIND DADS
Guys who go to prison have to learn how to survive in the prison culture. Most of the guys in prison haven't had an active father in their lives. To gain respect you have to be hard, silent and strong. Anger and resentment are buried until they're needed as weapons to survive. The authority in prison is meant to restrain you.
When guys get out of prison it's tough to let go of the "hard, silent and strong" mindset. Women and children bear the brunt of the buried anger and resentment. Women want strong men who use their strength to protect them. Men have shut themselves up and built emotional walls to protect themselves. Men lacking emotional attachment to their wives and children create an open wound. Inadequate communication breaks down relationships and causes frustration.
Most guys who've grown up without dads don't even know what's missing. There's a gnawing emptiness deep in their souls, but they don't know what it is. It's hard to understand something you've never had. Pride is a stronghold on our hearts and minds. Your mind has a memory and an imagination. Without the memory of a father it's difficult to imagine what a father is.
Surrender is not something you will learn in prison other than the forced submission to prison guards. Not all prisoners will end up in a solitary confinement cell, but most will lock up their emotions. Men and women have been hiding themselves since Adam and Eve put on fig leaves to cover up their shamefulness.
It's time to set pride aside, take a risk and become vulnerable with God and each other. Some people will abandon you, that's life. Your circle of folks you can really trust will always be small. Give your abandonments and rejections to God. His promises have always proven to be true. The generational plague of fatherlessness can be broken by the promises of God. He said He would never leave you or forsake you.
There are answers to stopping the plague of fatherless men blindly leading fatherless men. We don't have to sit back and accept disappearing dads as the inevitable life-path for young people. It's time to Man-Up and attack this plague full force. We've written some answers below. Turning to Father God for advice on how to be men of valor should take first place in our hierarchy of actions.
DAY 20 WORD
Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”
Hebrews 13:5 AMP
In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders.
And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another,
for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
1 Peter 5:5
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 AMP
DAY 20 PRAYER
Thank You God for being our supreme authority. You gave us Your Word and You always keep Your Word. Help us to be as committed as You are - never abandoning us or giving up on us. You have shown us the type of father that we should be. You've shown us how to respect women and be responsible for our children. Guide us now as we turn from our neglectful ways.
In Jesus name.
DAY 20 DEEP THOUGHTS
Mentoring programs that teach men how to be transparent, vulnerable and accountable is one answer to stop the plague. Here are some ideas that have been successful.
- Reach young people before they join gangs.
- Teach youth in schools and after school programs how to respect each other.
- Expect purity in relationships.
- It's never too late to reach out to children and be a father.
- Help inmates and former inmates learn about the responsibilities of godly men.
- Mandatory programs that teach responsible manhood in juvenile detention centers, homeless shelters, parole and probation programs.
- If you're a guy in need of a mentor, ask a man with whom you have a relationship with. Study other men who you respect. Look for authentic manhood programs. Join a men's program at a Bible teaching church.