Monday, February 26, 2018

Ministering to Good Kids...

This is going to be a bit of a random post, with info that has been rolling around my brain for some time now. Thoughts I have mulled over and wrestled over for years.

Why is it that in christian circles so many people are willing to minister and serve the kids in the community, the unchurched kids, the teens in prisons, and the under privileged kids, but they are not willing to reach out to the churched, the good kids who are in need of role models?

Now, please don't misunderstand me. There is a huge need for all of the above. Those kids need so many strong role models and they NEED the church. But.. so often there are those within the church who are overlooked.

I have prayed for years and years for male role models for my kids. We had a great system for a 2 short years, but when we came to a crossroads, they went one way, we went another. That was really devastating for my children and has left them with more issues.

So I decided a long time ago that fighting and begging for mentors is not the answer, I do not want to force anyone to spend time with my kids. My kids are sensitive to that. They don't like being a ministry project. They just really want grandpa/uncle like people, and I want them to have men in their lives they can learn from.

I have gone to great length to teach my kids all the typical dad things, I taught them to throw a ball, to play baseball, to climb trees, I wrestle with them, I teach them how to run a  farm, build things, fix things and just about everything a man can do. Thing is these skills are great, but now my daughters are learning my extremely independent nature and not seeing the value of good men. How will that impact them in the future?
I watch my friends' husbands and learn from them, I let things go that drive me crazy, because I am told dads do that kind of thing. I work hard at demanding respect from my children (and respecting them too).

I asked my girls the other day, what do you think it would be like to have a dad?  My girls informed me that girls don't need dads Only boys do... Now, I realize that this has been the way I have modeled life for them. I am thankful for new good friends who have strong dads who can model a good father daughter relationship! Because I obviously missed the boat on that one.

 So I have mulled over this for years.. why do people willingly make time to go into prisons, to minister at youth centers, to go into the inner cities, but no one can take the time to throw a ball with my sons (or the sons of all my single mom /widow/divorced friends)? ( I am not judging here, just observing)

I realized that our culture has made it a noble ministry to serve the unchurched and the unbeliever. However the single mom, ESPECIALLY the adoptive single mom, has chosen to parent these kids, so it's their problem. People think "well you shouldn't have adopted those kids if you can not provide everything for them". It is not a ministry, it's not as noble to go help the good christian kids who seem to have it all together. Taking off work to go serve at a facility is considered great, taking off work to work alongside a "good" young man seems not worth the bother.

My friend (also a single mom) and I had a conversation recently. She has 2 foster kiddoes, and she is ministering to 2 young girls from two seperate "good" families. She was struggling with the question of "do I release these girls and go back into foster care or do I not take more foster kids so I can continue to minister to these girls from "good" homes". It is a question that I have struggled with as well, so we had some interesting conversations. It is easy for me to become discontent when I am babysitting for a mom who just needs a break. It is easy for me to think that babysitting for kids from a troubled home is more noble. Why? I realized that my own attitude needs adjusting..

What many people don't realize is that  boys without involved male relatives see christian men as "out there", they feel unworthy of their time and attention. They are not learning what a good marriage looks like, and they are not learning how Godly men do life. They are not learning to identify with christian men.

What people don't realize is that girls in a home without a father or involved males relatives, need to find healthy male role models too.

It doesn't take special men, every day men can be heroes. It does not mean taking them out to do all kinds of wonderful fun things. Its the little things, the everyday things, the showing interest in them and their lives, the working alongside them, just everyday stuff.

We have been blessed over the past year, there have been several men in our lives who have stepped up. One is our neighbor, landlord, my friend's husband. He is a not one to fuss, or make a big deal, he just includes my boys when he takes his boys to do stuff. His quiet ways make an impact. He took them fishing, he got them to help him build a tree house, and he took them hunting.
Another is another neighbor, 2 men, whom my oldest son works with. They are teaching him how to do farm work, they are pulling in his interests and teaching, investing and working him. It's not any big deal stuff, it's little everyday things. He struggles to trust men, he doesn't like a fuss, but these 2 men have done much for him in the past several months in quiet, unassuming ways.  It has changed his personality for the good. It has been such a huge huge gift for him.
Today my second son was dropped off to help an older man, he was planning to work alongside this man. I asked this man to give him a chance, to work alongside him, to let him have that experience of working with a man. Of all my children, he needs this most. He struggles the most with wanting a man to look up to. I am beyond grateful that this man was willing to give him time this afternoon.

I have learned to ask for these things, tho it is hard for me. Time is valuable to people and very few people wish to sacrifice their time, they willingly give their money, but time is valuable.. often to valuable to be spend working alongside young men.  For that reason, I am thankful for the people who have taken time for my boys.

I am going to wrap this up with this.. if you happen to know a young man or woman who does not have a good strong father/grandpa relationship, take time to say hi, to talk to them, to reach out to them. Do not be offended if they rebuff you at first, often they struggle with knowing how to relate, but it is important that they learn. Their eternal future may be changed by your simple kindness.