Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Lessons Every Young Black Male Should Know

I have often thought about the essential knowledge that every young black male should possess and master. I believe young black males have the God-given potential to accomplish any goal or objective presented to them. I am so disappointed in the current trend of our young men emulating people who have no future or self-esteem. When did it become acceptable for our young men to sag and show their underwear as a type self expression? That choice to disrespect themselves and everyone who looks upon them is saddening. Nevertheless, the solution to this fad and others is to ensure that black men intentionally impart specific traits into the hearts of every young black male. Allow me to share six practical lessons that our young men should learn:

1. Extend respect to all authority- We must teach our young men the value of displaying respect and humility to persons who have authority over their lives. This starts in the home. Our young black males must understand that their first order of respect must be to God, their parents and anyone who has the right to exercise authority over them. The lack of respect reaps terrible dividends that could ultimately lead to failure and destruction. Let’s stand as black men and demand if we must that our boys exemplify the highest level of respect and dignity to whomever they must take directives from or serve.

2. Learn the word of God- Black fathers who claim the name of Jesus Christ, must ensure that their seed hears, knows and understands the word of God. In addition, our children should see the practical application of honoring the word of God in our lives first. It is through the word of God that our young men will find strength in the time of weakness and encouragement in the time of despair and direction in the time of perplexity.

3. Learn to be responsible- Too many of our young men are derelict in their duties because they have never been trained to be responsible for their actions, words and decisions. Again, this begins at home. It starts with teaching our young men to keep their rooms clean and organized. How many times have you walked into your son’s room and found clothes under the bed, on the floor and a strong order that could spoil your appetite? It’s true! We look over it and never hold them accountable for their actions. The result is a grown man who does not clean his house and has a home that would be unacceptable for anyone to visit. We must start with the everyday practical things in the lives of our sons to ensure that they understand that strong black men are responsible for their actions, words and decisions.

4. Learn a work ethic- Young men need a job! They must learn the value of work early so that they do not develop a lazy mentality. Young boys should learn the value of work by taking out the trash, washing dishes, cutting the grass and contributing to the maintenance and care of the household. They must also learn to get things done in a timely manner. Often times they take the posture of putting chores off hoping that mom or dad will go ahead and take care of the tasking themselves. One of the worse things that we could ever do as fathers is to raise a lazy black man in our house who does not want to work or do anything.

5. Learn how to value money. Fathers, are your guilty of buying your sons shoes that cost over $100 dollars and your sons constantly demonstrates that they do not appreciate or care about the sacrifice made to provide them with the things that they have? If you do not teach them how to take care of the things that you buy them, they will always look to other people to give them something. Teach your sons how to save some of his money. Teach your sons not to spend all of their money on frivolous things. Teach your sons about stocks, bonds, IRAs and investing their money.

6. Learn how to respect females- Brothers, do not allow your son to be a player. Teach him how to treat young ladies with respect and dignity. Dads, you have to demonstrate this in the home so that your son sees that this is normal and acceptable. Teach him never to call a female out of her name. Teach him to never put his hands on a female to disrespect her, abuse her or misuse her. Teach him to open doors for ladies. Teach your son to bless the women in his life instead of degrading them.

There are so many more lessons that our young black males need to learn, but if they could start with just these five, then they will be well on their way to being that outstanding example of a strong, intellectual, confident and refined young man of God. My brothers, what we do not teach our sons about life, God and manhood can very well hurt them. Commit to teaching these first five lessons and look for great results in the future.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to Keep Saying "I Do"

The statement, “I Do”, is two short and simple words that mean life-time commitment. I wonder how many men and women really understand what it takes to keep saying, “I Do”. The wedding day seems so whimsical and fairytale like, but the reality of sharing your life with someone else settles in after the honeymoon period is over. The bottom line is it takes work to keep saying, “I Do” year after year. Here are a few things that you do as a man, to ensure that you and your wife continue saying, “I Do”.

a.Keep spontaneity in your relationship. The element of surprise always brings excitement and renewal to the marriage relationship. My brother, if you continue to do the same old thing, you will continue to see a downward spiral in your marriage relationship. Women appreciate spontaneity. Rehearsing the same routine is a quick way to kill intimacy in a marriage. Surprise your wife with something that she least expects. Watch that smile form and wait for the rewarding after effects of that one gesture.

b.Foster and nurture intimacy. Intimacy goes beyond sexual activities between a husband and a wife. Sex is the by-product of previous comments, flowers, cards, holding hands and doing all of the things that were done to win over your wife’s heart while you were dating. Christian men have to learn the value of intimacy that is produced before the end result, sex. Yes, God has blessed the marriage union with such a wonderful experience of sexual intimacy. But sex alone is not the totality of intimacy. My brother, you have to do whatever is necessary to till, plant, water and nurture your love relationship with your wife. Just like a plant cannot grow without the proper care and nourishment, your marriage relationship cannot grow without the proper care, love and nourishment. Get started now!

c.Provide strength and security for your wife. Demonstrate strength to your wife by defending her and not allowing anyone or anything to attack her mentally, physically, or spiritually. Your presence alone should provide your wife with the security that she needs to feel safe. This will not happen if your priorities are out of order and other things are placed before your wife.

There is nothing like a praying husband, who understands that his prayers avail much on behalf of his wife. There are times in the marriage relationship when the best option to take is to pray and intercede. It is not always a good thing for the husband to try to have all of the answers and provide advice. Sometimes we need to be quiet, listen and pray.

d.Spend quality time together. Time is the greatest commodity that you can give your wife. Make it a point to schedule a date with your wife at least once a month. Take her to her favorite restaurant, a movie, take a walk in the park, or go to a neighboring city for an overnight stay. Whatever you do, do not neglect to spend quality time with your wife. God wants you to invest your greatest asset in your marriage and that is your time. So when is your first date scheduled?

e.Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Talking to your wife on a routine basis may seem foreign to you because most men would rather keep to themselves and not do a great deal of talking. This will not work my brother. Your wife wants to know in detail how your day has been. She wants to tell you things that are on her heart and she expects you listen and acknowledge in some manner that you care. Please do not ignore her attempts to talk. Don’t give the street man an opportunity to fill that void of needing someone to talk to about her problems. The enemy still comes to kill, steal and destroy marriages. Do not help him by refusing to make an effort to communicate with your wife in sincerity. Schedule a regular time with your wife to just sit down and talk over a cup of tea or a cappuccino.

f.Grow in Christ together. The central figure in your marriage relationship must be the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the shining example of how husbands are supposed to treat their wives. In Ephesians 5: 25-27, the Apostle Paul compares husbands to Christ and the Body of Christ to wives. Paul admonishes husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ sacrificed, loved, gave, ministered and died for his bride, the church.

Are you willing to die to self in order to facilitate spiritual growth in your marriage? When is the last time that you and your wife have discussed the scripture or prayed together? If this is something that is absent from your marriage relationship, make a commitment today to begin to read and pray with your wife. Why not start with Songs of Solomon. This is a beautiful love story that foreshadows Christ’s love for His church. If you and your wife are growing spiritually then your combined power in the Lord can defeat any tactic the enemy tries to throw your way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Male Mentors. You are Needed Today!

Have you noticed the number of young men who are walking around in our communities without any direction? They need strong men who can provide guidance, accountability and encouragement when everyone else leaves or abandons them.

They scream out for attention and help by wearing their pants hanging down and showing their underwear. They scream for help through their repeated arrests and gang fights. Our young men desperately need strong men who can provide guidance, accountability and encouragement when everyone else leaves or abandons them.

Mentors must answer the call to mentorship before those who need to be mentored die. Mentors are needed immediately before another young man becomes a teenage father. Mentors are needed today before another African American young man drops out of school in middle school.

Will you answer the call to mentorship? Can you sacrifice some of your precious time to spend with a young man who has no one? Does the demise of our community concern you my brother? If it does, then go! Go to the schools and mentor. Go! Go to the church house and mentor. Go! Go to your own nephews and their friends and mentor them to become strong and positive men. Male mentors are needed today.