Let Sleeping Giants Lie..

There’s a movie I watched -admittedly much to my embarrassment- about a man who experienced the late onset of puberty due to a medical condition.   One of the most disturbing things about the film was that it highlighted the self-obsessive, self-gratifying, self-debasing nature of uncontrolled sexuality of the teenage male.  Maybe the movie was intended to be satire, nevertheless, it was a pitiful depiction of reality.

Sexuality may be the most potent force in the life of a male.

Jerry Seinfeld, in one particular memorable episode of Seinfeld made a comment something to this effect: “A man will watch a movie no matter how pointless, if there is a slight chance of frontal nudity.”   We laugh at this line because it’s funny, but deep inside we know it’s true.

Your sex drive is called a drive because, well…it drives many aspects of our lives – maybe even every aspect.   For some it resembles a 2.2 Litre Chevy fourbanger, and others a Tuatara 6.9 Litre V8 Twin Turbo -they both drive…   As a matter of fact, you may have driven your life, integrity, reputation and precious family relationships right over a cliff into a spectacular fiery carnage of infidelity, pornography and broken commitments.  (Or maybe you’re in the process of doing that…)

Sexuality, in spite of being an amazing, wonderful gift from God, is a giant that can cause wreckage and havoc in our lives and those around us.

In high school, I experienced a growing sexual awareness.   I wanted to have a girlfriend, but felt quite a bit of frustration because things just never worked out.   (In retrospect, that was a great blessing.)  I was well liked and popular, but nevertheless with my shyness and the self-consciousness of my –what I thought at the time– big ears…  (which I now think are perfect), I just never really had the confidence to commit to the single-minded pursuit of a relationship.

In today’s setting teen relationships and sexual exploration are encouraged, supported and accepted.   More young men desire to wake the “sleeping giant”.   Why such a rush?  Do high school aged young men need to have girlfriends?  Do they need to be in relationships?

In a Discussion Club of high school males, we tackled that very question.   Surprisingly, in their minds, having a girlfriend equated to having experience with females.   They rationalized that if they didn’t have those intimate relationships, how would they ever know how to understand and relate to women and grow from the hurt and loss that may occur?

It seemed that having girlfriends (to them) were noble, necessary life lessons.   Personally, I suspect it had to do more with the unrestrained, sexuality of the hormonal teen aged impulses, cranked up in a fallen, lustful world.

It’s interesting though, on one hand, those young men all agreed how easily girls could be a distraction, (some boys have torched whole semesters…) yet somehow, they felt they should be able to handle relationships…

Well… intimate relationships lead to intimacy.   It all leads to sex, eventually.   (What’s the point of just holding hands or kissing?)  I supposed it doesn’t matter -if you believe that premarital sex is fine…  But, if you don’t believe it is, why not avoid the temptations?   Why poke the bear of your sexual drive?

A close Christian friend told me that he lost his virginity in high school.  One of the most painful things he had to do was tell his fiancé (now wife) that she wasn’t his first time.   (Can you imagine that conversation?)

Young men sometimes view women as objects of sexual conquest, and the mindset is to “take” so that “I feel good…”  It’s all about personal gratification.

I want my three daughters to know that a man is supposed to add value to a woman’s life.  (It’s the kind of value that comes with maturity and spiritual depth.)  It’s not about taking, but giving.  Married men take a large chunk of their early marriage life learning about sacrifice and unselfishness (with their wives being in the safety of a committed matrimonial relationship).  Those lessons are  intensified ten fold with the introduction of children.  We (present company included) learn that sex is more than sex, but part of intimacy and relationship and commitment.

What kind of value can a grade 9, 10, 11 or 12 add to young woman?  Listen, if I were running things, I’d ban guys from dating… at least until their 2nd year university.  (Can you imagine how many young men would then pursue post-secondary agendas?)

Young men, your sexuality, your sex drive will be there your whole life, wouldn’t it be better to wait on God’s timing before you wake that giant?  As a matter of fact, you must put him (that giant) under the influence and guidance of a really big God.  We’re lying to ourselves (big time) if we actually believe that we can handle things in our own strength.  (Ask King David about that…)

What’s my  counsel?  Don’t pursue intimate relationships, avoid pornography like the plague, and (for the love of Pete), figure out who you are before you even think of joining yourself to someone else.

One more thing…

My strong recommendation is a pre-teen program which fathers and close male mentors can participate in together, called “Passport to Puberty.”  (By Family Life Today -check out the link… Passport to Puberty)   This powerful resource can help your preteen boy (if I can continue with the metaphor) to scope out the giant before he awakes.

Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to comment.   (It would be nice to know if anyone is out there.)   We share the same struggles and walk a common road.  I encourage you to share your thoughts and experience with someone else.  Start a conversation, you would be surprised how valuable that may be to another person.

Israel

Advertisements

The Wire, Violence, Sex and Drugs…

What’s happening in Baltimore?  Right now, it’s more complicated than this blog could possibly explain…

 

However, Baltimore was also popularized with the rendering of the 2002 – 2008 HBO television cop show called “The Wire”.  To be truthful, this is not a show that I would recommend.  There were incredible amounts of profanity, violence, sex and drug use.  Interestingly enough though, the use of profanity, violence, sex and drug use (depicted in the series) are symptomatic to the desperate social, economic conditions of perhaps “any given Sunday” inner city environment.  I’m guessing that the producer opted in creating a realistic, raw, adult representation of what things really look like.  (It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.)

 

The viewer realizes very quickly that every character is more than just flawed, and they are great distances from perfection.  As a matter of fact, there are equal opportunities of corruption, and genuine bad stuff portrayed by men and women, gay and straight characters, politicians and citizens, cops and criminals.  There is no one who is good.  The moral line is shaded and elusive.   The “good guys” aren’t always good, and the “bad guys” aren’t always bad.   Moral relativism rules the day like the t-rex hero of Jurassic Park (the first one, which incidentally was the best.)

 

One consistent observation I noticed was the lack of fathers.  (It was glaringly obvious during a heart breaking Season Four which focussed on education, following a group of young male characters and there descent into manhood.)    Mind you, there were plenty of male influences, but many of them were bad, and few were good.   The critical mass of positive male influences was critically low.   (I wonder if the lack of direct fathering, positive direct fathering,  is not the greater issue in these circumstances.)

 

We need an army of men to lead our sons and mentor the fatherless into authentic manhood and masculinity which focuses on relationships in three realms:  relationship with God, relationship with people, and relationship with their environment.

 

Relationship with environment refers to the reality in Genesis chapter 2 that God made purpose and work for Adam (the first male prototype).    God created the “garden” before He created the man.  God had every intention for Adam to take a “tending” role in his environment.

 

Purpose.  Meaning.  Employment.  Spiritual Relationship.   (They seem to be lacking at times.)  Are these our Achilles heel?  Does this lack account for some of the failure amoung men and emerging men encounter?

 

Fast forward to Baltimore.   The issues are real, deep and complicated, but I feel that taking up more responsibility of mentorship and leadership as men must be at least one of the keys to the solution.

 

In The Wire, does art imitate reality, or  is it the other way around?  It’s debateable, but here is an interesting conclusion…

 

Despite the language, sex, drug use and societal despair, in the end, the earthly hopelessness of our insurmountable social problems can find optimism in the divine, within relationship with Jesus Christ.

(Kind of a weird thing to take away from the show… eh?)

 

This is the last comment:

 

Saturday May 23, 2015 the Men’s Group at Erie Street Gospel Centre will be hosting our 3rd annual “Young Men’s Summit.”   (in Oshawa at 17 Erie Street, 1-4 PM)   The focus will be on Mentorship, Employment and Purpose.  Join us as we engage in a conversation with our special forum guests.

Please register at themenandmaleyouthalliance@gmail.com or call 905-433-1438 -as a free lunch will be provided.

 

Sincerely,

 

Israel

No Ordinary “Joe” Part 2 – Sex and the Sound of Music

An Interview with Joseph – Part 2

So what if we could actually interview Joseph the step-father of Jesus…. What would he say to us?  This is a continuation of that interview based in Matthew chapter 2…

Question:  Hello again Joseph, I hope you had a great Christmas

Joseph:  I always do!

Q:  Now Joseph, I’ve got a personal question, and I hope I don’t offend you.

J:  Go ahead.

Q: Now, you’re a regular guy right?

J: <laughs> I believe so.

Q: Flesh and blood, regular urges and all.  Right?

J: Yeah

Q: Did the Angel tell you not to “know” Mary until Jesus was born?  I mean, did God tell you to keep your hands off your wife, or was it your personal decision?

J: That’s a fair question.  No, the Angel didn’t tell me that but…We all belong to God.  I do.  You do.  Mary does.  I didn’t want to do anything to complicate the will of God.  God was using her to fulfill something wonderful and to be honest, it was more important than my physical desires.  Was it all me?  I doubt it, I’m sure God’s Spirit was whispering to me to do the right thing.

Q: And what I think you’re getting at is that the “wrong thing” isn’t necessarily “wrong”, but the “right thing” is the right thing.  Makes me ask the question, what’s wrong with us guys and our sexual desires?  Why do they seem to hijack our lives thinking and thought?

J: Well, I’m sure you know that the truth of the matter is that God made us differently.  Men are different from women.  We’re not better or worse, just different.  If He could help me, He can help anyone.  Besides, I knew that that was the right thing for Mary as well.  Can you imagine what she must have been going through?

Q: Well enough of that line of questioning-

J:  May I add one more thing?

Q: Sure go ahead.

J: We do have power over our desires.  They were made to serve us, not we to serve them.  Whether you’re 1st century or 21st century, it’s all the same.  Don’t you agree?

Q: I think you’re right.  One more question.  What’s with all this dreaming stuff?  Why did God guide you through dreams?  I have a family, but I can’t remember ever making decisions through dreams.

J: You know, that’s just my thing.  That’s how God chose to communicate with me.   As the head of your family, God will speak to you in whatever way He desires.  Sometimes <laughs> the voice of God sounds like the voice of your wife!  Mary did say the same thing God did.  The important thing is that when we as men know God’s will and leading, we need to act.   We need to be obedient.

Q: When God warned you to get out of Bethlehem, you took the “night train” and got out of Austria like the von Trapps?

J: Huh?

Q:  Sound of Music – the NAZI’s…  Sorry, cultural reference!  You immediately snuck out under the cover of darkness to save the lives of your family.

J: Absolutely.  Listen, if God tells you to “get out”, then get out.  If He’s talking about a relationship, then get out… if it’s a business partnership… get out…if it’s the place where you’re living…then get out.  And, get out as fast as you can.   There’s no shame in running as fast as you can away from the thing that’s going to harm you and your family.

Q: Yeah.  I often wonder what the other Austrian men were doing when they saw Mr von Trapp getting out of Germany in the 1930’s before the  NAZI’s moved in!   Joseph, It’s been great speaking with you.  Any final thoughts to leave us with?

J: Yes.  Men, you’re more important than you think.  We’re all ordinary “Joes”, but the spectacular thing is that God has woven our lives into His extraordinary plan!  All the best in 2014!