This week’s post is in response to the recent murders in Jacksonville, Florida that involved teenagers. Like everyone else, I was saddened by what has been happening in our community. Recently, a 15 year old teen was murdered and about a month ago, two teen girls were found murdered on the side of the road.
After the latest incident involving the 15 year old teen, I watched a news story involving the pastor of a local church. He voiced his displeasure and added that he was working to set up some programs to try and address the problem of violence in the community. All of this sounded good until I heard his ideas for the programs, one of which is another gun collection program.
I personally feel that most of the time, those who want to help are going about it the wrong way. Churches and city leaders are busy trying to eliminate the symptoms of a bigger problem without tackling the core problem itself.
In my opinion, I see the problem as collapse of the family and Godly child rearing in which kids are taught and then shown how to live a Christ-centered life. Noticeable things such as absentee fathers, overworked mothers and irresponsible parenting are what I feel are helping to contribute to the problems we are seeing among our teens.
So, what do I mean by “unintended consequences”? Let’s start with the fathers who decided that their presence isn’t important. Well, children need the covering of their father, even if he hasn’t come to grips with how important he is. However, if dad decides to go missing, boys tend to look elsewhere for leadership, guidance and identity, not knowing how to distinguish good from bad. This is because their involvement with certain groups such as gangs or neighborhood clicks tends to fill a void of acceptance and a sense of identity that they are not getting from their father.
With girls, they seek to be affirmed by their fathers and taught by their mothers how to be woman of God. But, these days, the affirmation and teaching is missing from the home as children become slowly pushed aside by their parents. The consequences of the parent’s actions are boys who become displaced and sometimes violent, girls dressing for and seeking the attention of boys to confirm them as attractive girls and lastly, teens that become parents due to no parental guidance with regards to sexual purity. Instead, they are taught by their friends and society and act accordingly.
So, what can be done to address the violence with today’s teenagers? Tune in for part 2 as I discuss what I feel are steps we can take towards curving the trend of violence.
Till next time,
Stay On Guard