I want to speak to fathers for a moment. Have you talked to you son about his behavior with women and girls? Does he understand how to appropriately conduct himself with the opposite sex?
I recently had the opportunity to witness some teenage boys acting very inappropriately. These are not hoodlums, or street kids, but good churchgoing kids who “SHOULD” know better. They obviously feel entitled to refer to girls as animals, and they feel free to discuss sexual acts they want to perform on them. This took place in a church!!!
When I grew up, I fell in love with stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the round table. Those stories made me want to act with chivalry and honor the women around me. I open doors, I let them go first, I give up my seat for them. I never debase or objectify them. But somewhere, somehow that love of chivalry has gotten lost. As men and fathers, it’s up to us to fix that. We need to get busy.
If that doesn’t convince you, then consider this. Would you like one of those boys to say and do those things to your wife, your mother, or your daughter. By allowing it to happen, you are allowing it to happen to all. Because any girl will likely be a mother, could possibly be a sister, and is somebody’s daughter. Let’s also put it in a Christian context. Each girl is a daughter of the King. They are children of God, just like you and me. With that relationship comes a certain dignity, that we attack if we allow such behavior to continue.
As fathers, we are the example. If our cell phone is more interesting than our kid, we fail. If the ball game is more important, we fail. If a night on the town with the boys is more important, than we fail, and we fail twice because that behavior will be duplicated by your son with every relationship he will ever have. Yes being a parent is hard, but what is our other option, we raise them or we turn them out into the streets and let their feral nature take over.
Heavenly Father, please direct the actions of fathers. Help them understand they the male authority, and example in the family. They can be tough, but also can be soft and loving. They need to raise their sons to follow your path, and to love their fellow man. In particular, they need to teach their sons to be honorable to women and girls. Help us all do a better job. In Jesus’ name, Amen.