Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Boys We Need

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The other day I was paging through a 100 year old school music book looking at the songs they used to teach children when I came across one titled The Boys We Need.  This book was compiled before the illness of political correctness infected our nation and is blunt in its description of it's purpose.

Excerpt from the Preface:

These songs, which are of an exceptionally fine character, are of every description -- patriotic, humorous, ethical, instructive and devotional-- but are on a high moral plane.

This unabashed intention to instruct children on strong morals is a shock for those of us raised in the laze fare style that predominates parenting today.  It is seen as mean and judgemental to teach your children that there is a right and wrong way to behave.  And now we are witnessing the fruits of that philosophy come to harvest as young adults who have no sense of morality leave home and begin to operate in the world.  Violence, teenage sex, cruelty, and in your face vulgarity are now not just a fringe element in our society but an accepted norm.

I have watched my friends and peers grow up without any direction on what is the right way to live.  They struggled to figure out life and most ended up spiraling down into sad lives full of drugs, alcohol, and serial relationships.  All these destructive behaviors started in  middle and high school and were passed off by parents who just didn't care or excused the forming habits as "experimentation".  What absolutely deadly experiments some parents let their children explore!  If you suggested to these parents to hand their 14 year old a loaded gun they would be aghast.  But trying drugs/alcohol/sex at young ages is just part of growing up.

My concern is that these broken people are then passing their brokenness down to the inevitable children they give birth to.  These precious babies with all the potential in the world are raised in homes where they never know the joy of a fathers unconditional love or the security of a peaceful mommy.  Instead mommy is frazzled from working all day and then coming home to needy kids.  Daddy is who knows where.  The new live in boyfriend couldn't possible care less about these innocent minds that absorb every sad example of our new society. 

When I go out and observe men near my age or younger I notice that they dress like they are still children or worse like they are homeless.  Sideways hats, pants that show their underwear, loose dirty shirts.  Their hair is intentionally cut to look as if they are too poor to go to the barber and haven't bothered bathing in a week.  They use cursewords every five seconds and cultivate an attitude of annoyance with life.  I have had several men tell me that they don't want to grow up just yet. They want to be kids.  These guys think they are being clever but to me it just sounds sad for a 35 year old man to still want to be a teenager.  Adulthood used to be something to look forward to.  Now its something to be avoided and replaced with teenage dramas and attitudes.

This is especially destructive to our sons.  Most are not raised with their father in the home and never know what it is to be a man.  Their example of manhood is what they see in the media.  Men who are childish, violent, disrespectful of women and children, and view life as nothing more than the next sexual conquest.  And yet we then expect our sons to turn out any differently than what we allow them to see?

And then our sons are taught that boys and men are stupid and that women are so much smarter, kind, and mature. Watch any commercial and see the overweight stupid man bungling up life who must be rescued by well dressed skinny attractive women.  Yet you never see a commercial showing the reverse.  The message is clear, men should be nothing more than overgrown children that need constant reprimands.  Our cultures disrespect of boys and men has gotten so bad that it is now OK to outright attack them.  Shirts abound that state things like "boys are stupid"  "girls are clever, boys whatever"  "Throw rocks at boys" and on and on.  What would happen if boys started wearing shirts that said "throw rocks at girls"?  Their would be a firestorm of how that will lead to the abuse to girls and the t-shirt manufacturer would be sued out of existence.

If my  innocent sons watch these shows or read these shirts what will they think?  Will they view women and girls as friends that they should protect and show respect to?  Or do they see them as shrewish mean people who really despise what it means to be a man?

How can we expect our children to grow into functioning adults when we allow them to be saturated in a society that embraces every degradation to the human condition?  Our children are giving to us to teach.  So what are we teaching them?  Read the song and imagine what kind of parenting it takes to teach a boy to be what is needed.

The Boys We Need

Here's to the boy who's not afraid to do his share of work
Who never is by toil dismayed and never tries to shirk
The boy whose heart is brave to meet the lions in his way
Who's not discouraged by defeat but tries another day
The boy who always means to do the very best he can
He always keeps the right in view and aims to be a man
All honor to the boy who is a man at heart we say
Whose legend on his shield is this: Right always wins the day!


Such boys as these will grow to be the men whose hands will guide
The future of the land and we shall speak their names with pride!

What kind of boys are we giving to the future?

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