You may have seen my posts recently of a maaaassssive binder. FYI for those who don’t know – before finalizing an adoption from DFPS (formerly CPS) you get a big binder (or 4) with every single solitary piece of information anyone has ever had in writing about that child in regards to DFPS/etc. So we finally get our little man’s story! (But nope, still not going to tell you.)
Here’s the thing. I can’t even begin to go into societal issues etc. that we are learning about these days and over the past several years. Well I could begin, but I’d write a 1,000 page treatise and barely have started.
But I can say this: I want to see more men involved.
I really, really don’t want to get into a thing about gender or man-hating or feminism or anything like that.
Hopefully you can’t get mad at me for observing what I have observed, which is this: DFPS cases, of “bio families” trying to regain custody of their children, are CRAM-PACKED with moms who were abused as children. Moms who were sexually assaulted (SERIOUSLY THIS IS LIKE ALL OF THEM). Moms who were bought and sold. Moms who were told they were trash from day one. Moms who manage to get clean for six months and follow every rule, even though their addiction is fighting them every step of the way, all for the sake of their kids who they love, and then who are picked up by a man, given drugs by a man, pulled off the track by a man who claims to love them and uses this “love” as a vice. Moms whose moms went through all of that; moms whose dads weren’t around, and who were only ever given poisonous shards of the love and support they needed from a male figure (because we are all just plain wired that way, or so I believe) in the form of an abusive, territorial, selfish mockery of “love.”
I am not absolving anybody here. I wouldn’t begin to pretend that’s my job or place. Many of those things had nothing to do with the women’s choices, but some of them did.
All I’m saying is that in foster care, in trafficking, in abused women’s shelters… to be honest it seems like it’s MOSTLY women volunteering/case-working/child-caring/etc. What these situations need is MEN*.
These women need to know what men are supposed to act like, what husbands or boyfriends are supposed to do.
Their kids need to know what fathers are supposed to act like, how they’re supposed to treat their wives, how they’re supposed to keep their promises and protect and serve their families.
Girls (you guys this is becoming such a huge deal to me) NEED TO KNOW what healthy attention from a man is. Even your own junior high/high schooler or your high schooler’s friends. The wrong picture is EVERYWHERE. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this means to me. As a daughter and a wife and a mom. I am the most fortunate girl on the planet because I grew up with a dad who filled us all up to overflowing with confidence, security, and honor, and I have a husband who does the exact same thing.
I think sometimes people try to go the route of “Who needs men?!? They’re worthless!”
Maybe I am wrong, and I am neither a professional nor do I speak for every girl on the planet, but it seems to me that WE ALL DO. I know sometimes trying to convince people that we don’t need any affirmation from men is preferable to the forms of male attention that are readily available these days. But I seriously do believe we’re built to need it, and that desire can be fulfilled in a magnificent way, or it can be twisted and distorted and cause unimaginable damage.
Step up, men. Counsel one another. Be present in and around the lives of women and girls who have no good figures to look to. You don’t have to adopt necessarily or preach – just be present and be a person of integrity. Make sure people know you honor your wife. Make sure she knows. Make SUPER EXTRA sure your kids know.
Volunteer at Union Gospel Mission or at New Friends New Life to mentor a child of a woman who is going through rehab, has been abused, or is coming out of slavery. Join with your wife to mentor ‘at-risk’ pregnant teens with Young Lives. Teach the boys how to be men. Teach the girls what real love is. Show the moms that you exist, and that they need to hold out until they find one of you.**
*I hope you understand that I don’t mean that they DON’T need women, I’m saying that they LACK men.
** I think sometimes men don’t want to get involved in these areas because they think they aren’t particularly welcome in, say for example, a ‘battered’ women’s shelter. They might get sideways glances from man-haters who will lump them in with a demographic/gender who has treated them wrongly.
Um, you know what? Maybe. But if your example is Christ, it sure seems to me like he made other people’s sins his own in order to demonstrate grace and love to people who needed it. He took a fair amount of ridicule, abuse, or even just disdain from people for things he hadn’t done. He knew who he was, he didn’t need to be instantly loved or approved by everybody else. He would say “I am truly sorry for what has happened to you,” not “quit picking on me, I didn’t do it.”