I rode my bicycle to church this morning as I do every morning. Near the church some boys yelled obscenities at me. This is not the first time something like this has happened. I have been hit with leather straps, had bottles thrown at me and, more often, been yelled at. I was on the sidewalk or in the bike lane on every one of these occasions. I was not impeding traffic or causing them any distress. So, why did they do this?
In each case these were boys. Please note that I didn't call them young men. They weren't young men. They were boys. They want to become men but they don't know how. They don't know what it takes to be a man and they believe that exercising some power over another individual will make them men. Their fathers have not taught them what it is to be a man. Maybe their fathers don't know either.
A man does what is right. He seeks to know what is right and does it no matter what the consequences. Taking advantage of other people is not right. It is the action of a boy trying to determine what a man is. What these boys did this morning was not right. Even they would know this if confronted.
A man stands up to his adversary. These boys knew that I could not catch the SUV they were driving. They tried to say they were standing up when everyone can see they were sitting down. They wanted to think they were brave when there was no bravery. At other times I have tried to catch boys who have done these things. I have seen passengers yelling at the drivers to go faster because I might catch them at a red light. How much bravery is in this?
A man always puts love before himself. He seeks to be a friend rather than a foe to others. He seeks the best for others. He does not hate. He may pity but he does not hate. He may not choose to be around a fool but he does not hate. These boys were exhibiting hatefulness. They were just boys.
Have you noticed that the heroes in the stories don't exhibit the traits of real men anymore? There was a time when heroes in movies showed they were real men. Now, they are just boys. I wonder if movies changed the characters so that viewers could identify with them better.
Who is responsible for boys becoming men? Fathers are. Other men are. Boys don't teach boys to become men. Men teach boys to become men.
Boys will not take their sons to church. They think it isn't manly. They don't understand the greatest Man who ever lived started the church. His name was Jesus and He wasn't the milk toast individual that movies have made Him out to be. He didn't even speak with a British accent. Jesus was a real man.
Maybe we would have more men in the world if they would learn that standing up for Jesus will make you a man.