The Divine providence of God through the Holy Spirit sees beyond our human consciousness to places we have yet to imagine.
Friday, April 24, 2009
As a direct result of my passion for those who have fallen prey to the sin of fornication and to those who believe that marriage is no longer relevant to God I have founded a non-profit organization entitled ReEngage, Inc. ReEngage, Inc. is an organization made up of concerned parents, educators, health professionals, clergy, and citizens who want to begin the process of repairing these broken relationships between not only fathers and their children but mothers and fathers. Our mission is to foster the reconnection of the absentee father with their children through outreach and counseling, education, and preparation.
Absentee fathers have become an American epidemic that reaches across racial, economic, and ethnic lines. We have irrefutable evidence that most of our other social problems in the black community stems from this phenomenon. Last year we set a record for births in America with 4.3 million, of those 4.3 million births 40% were to unmarried women. As we become a nation of more illegitimate births, separations, and divorces more and more of our children will face the real possibility of growing up without the financial, spiritual and emotional guidance of their fathers and this we must not allow to happen.
Let us be clear, the experiment of women raising children alone and the belief that fathers in the lives of their children is overrated has failed and failed miserably. The evidence is clear that children being raised by single mothers are not doing as well as children being raised by both parents.
Here are just a few examples of how horrific the results have been for our children.
* Children from fatherless homes are five times more likely to be poor, and ten times more likely to be extremely poor.
* Seventy percent of juveniles in reform school and long term prison inmates come from fatherless homes.
* Children from fatherless homes are twice as likely to be high school drop outs.
* Fatherless children have more emotional and behavioral problems.
* Girls from fatherless homes are three times as likely to be unwed teenage mothers. Adolescents in mother-only families are more likely to be sexually active, and daughters are more likely to become single-parent mothers.
* Boys from fatherless homes have a higher incidence of unemployment, incarceration, and noninvolvement with their own children.
* Seventy-one percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
* Seventy-five percent of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.
While these numbers appear as figures on a page they are actually people, primarily children who are suffering. We should begin to address the problems of crime, drug and alcohol abuse, educational failure, and teen pregnancy in a holistic way. For decades public policy has treated the black family as three separate entities. We have focused on the poor underprivileged children, the strong matriarchal black mothers, and the irresponsible black fathers. We must begin to reestablish and reappraise the role of fathers in the family structure. We should craft policies and strategies that treat the black family as a unit. We should direct our public policy to reinforce the institution of marriage and discontinue policies that reduces or diminishes the status of the father. Many of our policies have had the unintended consequences of rewarding behavior that is detrimental to the formation of families.
We must begin to reestablish and encourage the belief in marriage in the black community not purely for religious reasons, but for social and economic reasons as well. We cannot truly discuss the fatherless child without including a discussion on the state of marriage in the black community. As we begin to heal the relationships between the father and their children we must also begin to heal the relationship between male and female in the black community. Many women today view the role of the black male as that of surrogate parent, merely there to provide DNA for the creation of the child.
For decades we have become paralyzed by the argument of why we are in the state we are in. There are those who blame it on slavery, racism, and economics. While others say it is a moral or cultural issue. The time has come to stop focusing on the why and begin to focus on the what, as in what are we going to do about it? Regardless of whether the government or the larger society chooses to support our efforts the black community can no longer be excused for refusing to act. These are our children that are being deserted. I can’t tell you the times I have gone to meet with young black men and listened to their anger and their pain towards their fathers. They have every right to be angry you see when they were younger and needed a father to protect, support, and encourage them no one was there. Not only was there no one there but no one came and no one seemed to care.
Our mission is the following: To foster the reconnection of the black male with their children through outreach and counseling, education, and preparation.
We have the following goals:
1. Reduce the number of black children growing up in single mother households by reengaging the black male back into the family dynamics.
2. Educate black children to the consequences of having children without fathers and the benefits of marriage.
3. Work with established community and government entities to provide the needed services for these reengaged black fathers.
4. Provide counseling and support groups for emotionally damaged black fathers.
5. To prepare fathers for the reintegration process through parenting training, anger management, and ensuring their lifelong commitment in the child’s life. Our primary concern is the welfare of the child.
6. To provide mediation when possible between mothers and fathers to ensure the smooth integration of the father back into the child’s life.
7. Become a community clearinghouse for the qualified available research and programs designed to combat this epidemic.
8. Begin to utilize the steps created from the conference co-sponsored with area organizations and educators, clergy, and social service professionals.
We can no longer sit idly by while our children are being deprived and our nation is losing generation after generation of children. Black children just like all other children deserve and require a loving and caring relationship with their fathers, will you help us to make that day a reality for them.
Friday, July 20, 2007
And a little child shall lead them.
I recently read an article stating that fewer teenagers today are engaging in sex. If this report is true, then Glory be to God. It appears that the young people are able to do what many thought was impossible, they are forgoing sex. This will come as a shock to many adults who promote the idea that teenage sex is inevitable and so we may as well not make any efforts to curb it. However, with this data many states have cut and curtailed their abstinence programs. The problem have with the studies that say abstinence doesn’t work is because they don’t take into account the 90% of other information that teenagers receive through movies, television, music, and video games. Abstinence education is just a small area in the child’s overall day. The important aspect of abstinence education is that it helps to shape attitudes not necessarily about sex, but also about marriage.
“You have to look at why sex was created,” Eric Love, the director of the East Texas Abstinence Program, which runs Virginity Rules, said one day, the sounds of Christian contemporary music humming faintly in his Longview office. “Sex was designed to bond two people together.”
To make the point, Mr. Love grabbed a tape dispenser and snapped off two fresh pieces. He slapped them to his filing cabinet and the floor; they trapped dirt, lint, a small metal bolt. “Now when it comes time for them to get married, the marriage pulls apart so easily,” he said, trying to unite the grimy strips. “Why? Because they gave the stickiness away.”
While I would love to believe that all our children will grow up and save themselves for marriage, this is really not realistic. What is realistic however is that we can stress the importance of marriage to many children who have lost interest in it as an option, due to their own single parent experience. Why is stressing the importance of marriage important? Because study after study has shown that children do better regardless of economic conditions in two parent families. This should be something we want to promote as a society, for the well-being of the society. I find it interesting that we expect people who have been unable to maintain a committed relationship to develop that in our children, it’s not going to happen. Just as parents that did not complete their educations require help educating their children, so we should also help them prepare for marriage.
The institution of marriage is under an onslaught, but unlike my religious conservative brethren I don’t believe it is from gays. The current threat to marriage is and always has been heterosexuals, whether they are adulterers, pornographers, or other sexual deviants. The breakdown in the family and marriage has nothing to do with whether gays get married or not. While I find it personally offensive, my experience shows that the breakdowns in marriage are due to the partners in the marriage. I think the gay question is a smoke screen to cover the real issues which is that we are not preparing our children properly for marriage or adulthood.
For the first time, however, Virginity Rules and 700 kindred abstinence education programs are fighting serious threats to their future. Eleven state health departments rejected abstinence education this year, while legislatures in
I find it hard to believe that with all the pressure our children are under to fornicate, that many find offering a counter message worthless. It’s as if we give freedom to the sex trade, but it is imposing on our freedom to offer another view. This is in part why the rest of the world finds our values so hypocritical, we allow promotion of and the selling of sex in every area of our lives, but God forbid if we show that there are other alternatives. This is crossing the boundaries of State vs. Church, we must not continue to buy into this for the sake of commerce. We are selling out our children for the sake of making money. What value are you willing to place on the lives of your children?
Friday, July 06, 2007
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child,
I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11
The next idea I would like to share is about how we see our children. For many women, the child is an extension of themselves or the man who fathered of the child. In too many cases women are thinking, if I can’t have the man I will have the child; as if a child were some sort of consolation prize. I’m sorry, but too often we excuse women because they are women, I can no longer in good conscious keep silent. Women write and comment concerning my writings that I am bashing women, nothing could be further from the truth. What I am bashing is selfishness on the part of both men and women. Men for the simple fact that they are allowing their need for selfish gratification to cause them to create children they have no intention of raising and women because they selfishly have children for companionship, as if they were some kind of live doll. I know for a fact that there are women who know they are not going to be with the man that is lying with them, but for the sake of their own selfishness they want a child.
There is enough blame is this thing for everyone, but the real issue is what about the children. Who is concerned about them? Who is willing to sacrifice and lay aside false pride and selfishness to improve the lives of our children? I have women writing me saying how they are the ones who are there for these children and that is true, but what about the selfishness in putting them in that position in the first place? Where is being there for them then? I know we are slaves to our passions and we cannot control our urges, as if we were just beasts in the field with no self-control.
Women you should not look at your son as their father, they are not. They may someday resemble him, but they will always be their own unique person. God has made us all to be unique creations and worthy of love and acceptance. There is a tendency to want to identify our children with the parent, especially if there is conflict in the relationship or if the biological parent has deserted the relationship. Unfortunately sometimes there is a propensity to demonize the father through the child. This can be done by denigrating the father in front of the child and expecting the child to co-sign with the assessment.
It has been my experience that no matter how bad a parent may be as a partner or as a parent, children will always rally around them. Many times I have witnessed where one parent will try to turn a child against the other parent and it backfires. Nobody wants to be told that the person they love is unlovable. It seems to be human nature that we want to kill the messenger instead of heeding the message. Children appear to be no different and maybe even more so.
The other way women can view their sons as the father is that they ascribe the same traits of the father to the son. “You are a liar just like your father”, is a good one and I am sure there are many more. Again, if there is a strong resemblance the tendency seems to increase. Many times we become what we are called or who we are identified as, especially when we are young. The attitude can be, what’s the use I will be called or accuse of it anyway. We must not break our children’s spirits. There are certain things we will have to break in them, but their spirit should never be one of them.
Take time out today to see your son as the beautiful, unique, and precious gift that God created him to be. Nurture his identity and special gifts. Water his creativity, so that they may bloom in due season.
 Luke 12:7
Monday, July 02, 2007
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to every creature.
While I believe in the Boys Town project, I am a realist and I don’t think we as a people have the courage or the will to make it a reality. Since it also does not appear like our young women are going to stop having babies. I have decided to put up some simple common-sense ideas to help single mothers trying to raise male children. I was recently contacted by a number of women who wanted to know what to do “after the cow has left the barn”, I was struck by the request because so often we ignore those who need the help most, because we are so busy concentrating on getting our point or agenda across. I would like to state for the record that I believe that my job on this earth is not to convert anyone to my religion. That is not what God has me here to do, what my job is in conjunction with God is to introduce the people I encounter to the One who sent me.
So many Churches today measure their success by earthly standards. How many “souls we saved”, how many are in Sunday school, and my favorite how much is in the “building fund”. I don’t believe that this is how God measures the success of the Church. Nowhere in the Bible have I located a passage that says convert anyone to anything. Jesus speaks of us being converted to little children, not little Baptists, or Methodist, or COGIC, but little children. I say these things to say that all I want to do is to introduce you to my Master; I am not here to judge anyone. I write the things I write out of love for my people, not out of judgment. It is my fervent hope and prayer that we return to our rightful place under God’s authority. The Bible talks about unless we are “born again”, we will not see the Kingdom of God. I don’t know of any Church that can give a man new birth, only God can do that.
So the first idea is your male child needs a male role-model around for learning what a man is. It doesn’t have to be his biological father. It doesn’t have to be a man around all the time, but it must be someone consistently in the child’s life. Someone he can count on to be there and someone he can trust and talk to. This role can be filled by an acquaintance, a teacher, or a relative. Who the person is not as important as what that person is and what they represent. The person should be a man of strong character with patience and love for children. I know it is hard to believe that are still Black men of this caliber around, it is just that they are outnumbered by the selfish ones. Any man will not fill the void, again it is not about just having someone there, it is about the character of the man there. So often, Black women are attracted to the men who are not good fathers, husbands, or providers; instead they are drawn to the flashy, smooth talkers. Look at the women of other races they will marry men who are not the best looking, best dressers, they will take the one who they know they can depend on, the one that will love them and provide for them. He may not be the most exciting and fun person, but he will not desert you when you get pregnant, nor will he desert his children.
So where are these role models? Where should you begin to look to find them? I would start at a church or a community center. I would contact male relatives that are being responsible. Remember this isn’t about you getting married or finding a mate, it is about you providing your son with a male to fashion himself after. It is to give him an outlet for his “male energy”. The reason most of our young men are in gangs or hanging out with the “homeboys” is because they don’t have any outlet for their natural male aggression. They end up channeling it in negative ways, but if they had been provided with a positive influence maybe it would have been different. I would contact Big Brothers or some other mentoring program. In our larger cities there are men who have volunteered to provide our young men with the positive role model. You have to look, but they are out there. In the rural communities there usually is a more extended family atmosphere in the community, so I have found it easier to locate role models in that setting.
I know that as a single mother you want to protect your child and I am not advocating just anybody for the role. Research has shown that boys that have regular, stable men in their lives do better. As mothers you must be willing and make the effort to provide that child what he needs. If that child needed a particular medicine what would you do to get it for him? It is the same here, he needs this companionship to mature into a strong Black man and isn’t this what you want for him?
Friday, June 29, 2007
Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law.
Now that we have gotten over the shock phase, let’s look at how we would create these schools. Let me say for the record that it is my firm belief that children of all races and economic status do better with both parents in the home, most studies will attest to this fact. So I am not advocating the complete isolation of the young men from all female contact, this would be just the other side of the same coin we have now. We would replace young men who have the emotional state of women with young men that would not be able to display compassion or tenderness.
Let’s begin with how we would house the young men. I think the school housing should be done as a two parent home. The homes would have house parents that would supervise the homes and the young men when they are not in school, physical training, and or other curricular activities. Preferably the couple would be a married couple, but that would not be a necessity. A married couple would help to teach the young men in a real world scenario how a man treats a woman he loves and it is a statistical fact that children from two parent homes do better than those from single parent homes.
An increase in the numbers and proportion of children born outside of marriage and a rise in divorce rates have contributed to a three-fold increase in the proportion of children growing up in single-parent families since 1960. These changes have generated considerable public concern and controversy, particularly about the effects of these changes on the wellbeing of children. Over the past 20 years, a body of research has developed on how changes in patterns of family structure affect children.
Most researchers now agree that together these studies support the notion that, on average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological1 parents who have low-conflict relationships.
I don’t think we can stress enough the importance of marriage for these young men, due to a number of economic, cultural, and selfish reasons marriage is not highly valued in our community. We should begin the process to change this phenomenon, because the statics concerning the chances of children growing up in poverty in single parent families is well documented. However, studies show that it is not just purely economics; there is something inherent in marriage that transcends to the family. It is what I call one of the mysteries of God, God has sanctified marriage and He continues to support marriage.
Also, if income was the major factor behind the negative association between single parenthood and child outcomes, one would expect children of single-parent families who are not poor to have better outcomes than children of poor single-parent families. However, a recent study in Sweden—where the safety net is stronger than in the U.S. and where the poverty rate among single mothers is very low— found problems for children of Swedish single-parent families similar to those found for children of American single-parent families.
Two opposite sex staff members could fulfill the same purpose only to a lesser degree. They could demonstrate to the young men inter-gender relationship skills that a lot of our youth do not presently have. They would learn the value of respect for women and see them as more than faceless bodies gyrating on the television. Under no circumstances should it be an unmarried couple or staff members who are romantically involved, this would only reinforce behavior we hope to modify.
Within the homes, the young men should be given instruction in cleanliness, trustworthiness, and thriftiness. They should be taught in life skills and be required to take an active role in the chores of the house. They should be required not only to have scholastic studies, but also spiritual and historical studies of their ancestors. At all cost we must provide a stable and secure home for these young men, they should learn conflict resolution at an early age.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD;
neither be weary of his correction:
For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
As more and more of our young men fall prey to violence and our young women continue to have children outside the covenant of God, we must begin to look at some radical ideas to change the direction we are headed. What I am about to propose will be seen by many as controversial and maybe inhumane, but I believe it will help to bring our people back to their rightful place as strong men and women of God.
As the rates of Black on Black homicides increase annually and murder has become the leading cause of death for our young Black men, these rates appear to correspond to the rise in single mother households. This is not an indictment against single mothers, it is an indictment against the men who are willing to create life, but do nothing to sustain that life once it is born. Despite everyone’s calm demeanor and political correctness we are in a crisis that demands our immediate attention and our action.
What I propose is that we create residences for our Black male children born to single mothers staffed by Black male educators and social scientist. These would be homes that they would reside in once they reached an age where they could be separated from their mothers. They would remain there for possibly 10 months out of the year being educated, prepared, and trained in what it takes to be a successful Black man. They would be given a regular scholastic curriculum bolstered with history of our people and continent. They would be separated from their mothers and from girls of the same age. I guarantee if we had the courage and the will to do this, in one generation we could turn the fortunes of our people around; in two we would be the most successful minorities in this country.
This all seems so drastic; why do we need to resort to these measures?
In regard to the subtitle of the book, single motherhood is what hurts insofar as it often deprives children of important economic, parental, and community resources. Most single-mother families have low incomes or, following a divorce or separation, experience sudden drops in income. According to McLanahan and Sandefur, low incomes and sudden drops in income are the most important reasons that children in single-mother families fare worse than other children. Indeed, these two account for about half of the disadvantage in high school graduation, and somewhat less of the disadvantage in other outcomes.
Another factor behind the disadvantages faced by children in single-mother families is inadequate attention and guidance from the mother. Children need more than just economic security to thrive; they require parents who have the time to help them with their homework, read to them, and listen to how their day went in school. They also need parents who can supervise their activities outside of school. One parent alone does not have the time to do these things, whereas two parents working together often do.
Finally, children who live in single-parent families lack the community resources that other children frequently have. They are more likely to live in disadvantaged neighborhoods and to associate with peers who have negative attitudes toward school. They are also more likely to change residences, which disrupts their lives even further, since it usually means going to a new school and losing contact with old friends.
The issues outlined in the above quote are all issues that have led to our no longer being competitive in education, invention, and science. It isn’t that single mothers are not trying to be good parents; it is just that they have the deck stacked against them going in. Most have to work for minimum or low wages; they have to work long hours and shifts that are not conducive to raising children. It is not that single mothers do not love their sons, but we are loving them to death right now. Maybe it is time to discuss alternatives to what we have been doing in the past and what we want to accomplish in the future. Do we want to continue down the path we are on condemning our children to a future of poverty and the cycle of lawlessness? Aren’t our children worth more than that?
I have deliberately not included statics supporting or refuting the benefits of same sex schooling, I have learned that no matter what numbers I pull out, opponents can pull out an equal number disputing my numbers. But this isn’t about numbers; this is about the things our young men need that don’t appear on any sheet of paper or scholastic test. Our young men more than anything need to learn how to be men and they will not learn it from our women. No other culture expects their young men to be trained by women in how to be men. We are the only ones in the world who are doing this.
The time has come to put emotionalism and sentimentality away and think about for a change what is best for our children. It is a selfish thing to have kids you know you can’t support, to sentence them to a lifetime of struggle just to survive. God have mercy on us…