In my last post, I used my husband as an example of a real man. Now, after what we experienced when we moved into our house, I would like to present some boys. You know, for a good visual. And I don’t mean like, little kids having fun in their bouncy house because they’re four- but boys that can shave. Read on readers.
After a few days of living in our new home, Levi and I were watching HGTV after cleaning the entire house (because that’s what every first-time homeowner does at 11 PM, right?) and we heard what sounded like arguing next door. I asked Levi if he heard that, and he thought it was just kids. Realizing the vocabulary that was being used was far to advanced for kids, we tried to just tune out the yelling. Within a few minutes, it got so loud Ayden woke up scared and confused. We moved Ayden into our room and just sat there, listening to the argument. It was getting more and more heated, and more and more frightening. Being concerned, Levi looked out our window since we could see directly to the home and he saw the male throw the female on the couch. Then, at some point, there were loud thuds and then weeping from the female. After that, it got very, very quiet. We decided to call the police, afraid of what had happened. Within 2 minutes 4 officers had the house surrounded, and were demanding the door be opened even threatening to kick it down.
Once the police separated the two, someone showed up in a car, and I heard the male respond “Mom, I didn’t do anything I swear!” I was a little confused as to why he was worried about his Mom, and why his Mom was even called. As the next few days progressed, I saw the two that were fighting, and it became clear to me why the Mom was there- these two people were kids. They were, essentially, children. There is no way they could be out of high school. I was shocked and saddened. The people who usually live there are older (but not by much), and I’m sure, these kids look up to these guys. They are the guys that seemed to have forgotten shirts are for wearing, belts exist, underwear should be UNDER, and think base so loud that it shakes the ground is how you define being a man. I’ve seen young women after young women come and go. I’ve seen children no older than four years old play around one of these guy’s while he smoked and tried to woo this kids Mom. I’ve seen tow trucks come and take their many vehicles. I’ve heard talk of smoking pot (which, coming from where I do doesn’t scare me lol) and so many curse words I have had a lot of explaining to do with Ayden.
So why this long story? Because I can’t get them off my mind, and out of my heart. At first, I judged them and rolled my eyes at their efforts to be men. I’ve wanted to become that neighbor that asks from over the fence if they could use their “replacement words.” I’ve tried ignoring them. I have. I can’t. God won’t let me. Why??
Then I remembered this house is God’s house. We very much intended this home, this neighborhood to be a means of reaching out to our community. These next door neighbors don’t need my scorning or judgment; they need Christ. They need to know what real men look like. They need guidance. And the women they bring by, they need to know all those things as well. They need to know what a real man is, what real love is, and who Christ is. Having NOTHING in common with them, where do I even start? I’m afraid reason and logic here, won’t cut it (as much as I love that).
God recently brought me to Paul’s speech in Acts 17 where he uses storytelling, and the very language of the audience he was reaching to bring them to Christ. It’s amazing. I’ve never noticed it until now- I’ve read this passage too many times even to count. I missed it. In Acts 17 Paul gets on stage in Areopagus (what would be the nowadays Hollywood), and gets up as though he’s putting on a production. Paul is entering the Pagan story, retelling it, and then capturing the pagan audience with the Gospel. He quotes pagan sources, and not once uses Jesus’ name. Paul ge the audience to agree with everything he says then pull them for a loop when he brings up repentance, judgment, and the resurrection. Wow. Do I ever have a lot to learn from that?
I’m not sure what this means for the neighbors next door. What I do know is I’m praying about it. I also know I too often rely on reason and logic to help me think and process, and not enough on Christ. I also know I have a husband who loves God like mad and, in his life, had many real men step up and fill the void his Dad left. Although nobody trumps your Dad, nobody can deny the impact one, if not many, real male role models can have on a young boy. These kids next door- they need Christ- but they also need to see what a real man looks like. So the past few weeks, I’ve gone from rolling my eye’s towards them, to crying for them. Potential. They have such potential to be men. Those girls- have so much more value, and beauty then just what they can do to sexually please a boy. So.much.more. I hope by writing this, and by processing it this way, somehow God can use us. Not that we have it figured out, because we don’t…at all. But we have Christ, and He figures it out for us. He takes the broken, the messed up, the confused, the lost, and restores them. Daily. All that’s lost, God restores.
So now, we have a good visual of a man and boys. See the difference, yes?