Torch or Baton?
How will we secure the next generation of young men?
We have all heard it.
One man passing the "baton" to another. A father passes a baton to a son, an outgoing CEO passes one to the incoming one, or a retiring athlete passes the baton to his younger successor. Nice idea but wrong metaphor when it comes to faith, mentoring, leading, and discipleship. Why wrong? Because from the first relays in ancient Greece to the world track and field championships of today runners who pass a baton stop running after handing it off. One runner completely powers off and shuts down while the new baton carrier turns the afterburners on and powers up.
That’s why I prefer torches to batons when I talk about generational impact. Torches transfer the flame while continuing to stay lit themselves to shine light and ignite fires elsewhere.
Understanding the heart of a woman is an oxymoron.
Key word? Moron. That’s because only a moron would be arrogant enough to bloody their nose on the rock of the unthinkable. But I am not your average moron. I am a conflicted moron on a mission. The Yin in me says to the Yang “just give up already, accept emotional kindergarten.” But the Yang fights back and says, “the pay-off dude, think about the pay-off if you figure out what she wants!” The prospect of the pay-off wins again and the Yin taps out. But that’s another bone of contention: the pay-off. That certainly has changed over my 30-year dance in the shifting sands of relational intimacy. What once was the effortless and easily secured warm fuzzies of the dating years (complete with over-laughing and pretend listening) has morphed into the intentional, quasi-mature pursuit of communication and emotional intimacy. That last admission will cost me a 100 point debit off my “man card” but I have learned that the risking for my relationships reaps “phat” rewards.
TEENS HIDING THEIR SEXUAL REALITY FROM PARENTS
By Kenny Luck
Sexual revelations about their children shake most parents to the core.
Let’s face it – “our little Katie” getting naked with a boy or “our little Kevin” guzzling porn on his smart phone and chronically masturbating is an exercise that – again – most parents can’t mentally engage or never want to imagine. However, to personally witness the shock, awe, shame, and personal disappointment in themselves as they deal with a teenage sexual revelation after the fact is even more painful. Their face says it all:
- What happened?
- How did we miss this?
- Why didn’t they come to me?
- Have I failed to pass on my values?
- Am I such a bad parent?
These are the questions parents around the country are asking themselves in the wake of deeply held moral and spiritual expectations colliding with what are, for parents, unexpected sexual revelations about their children.
High school pick up.
I wish that meant the act of picking up my sophomore daughter in the car. But after sitting in the car waiting for her to leave cheer practice, observing the parking lot “happenings,” and filtering what I saw as a dad, I am convinced we have epidemic cluelessness as fathers. “High school pick up” is a theme not for cars or carpools here, but for what is happening to daughters of clueless dads being visually and physically preyed upon by young boys looking for the next girl they can conquer. So… dad… let’s start by talking about the clothes your daughter wears for a moment.
What’s your stance on shorts? I am not talking about the kind a dad in Utah protested recently by wearing cut off Daisy Duke style jean shorts to teach his daughter a lesson in modesty. I am talking about the booty shorts or yoga pants that leave no curve or cheek to the imagination becoming acceptable in the name of sports or cheer or exercise. My “high school pick up” experience made this loving father mad: one football player and eight female high school volleyball players in the parking lot all in booty shorts and cut off shirts. Forget about the guy for second. Think about these young girls as a father. At that moment I wish I could have every dad of a high school girl on a simulcast conference from the parking lot. Listen: high school boys DO NOT need to see your daughters butt cheeks or draw them into imagining what they are like. I am not suggesting pants. Nor am I suggesting pulling out the tape measure. You were a young man once right? You know too short when you see it. That’s usually synonymous with too tight, too revealing, and way too visually noticeable.
Imagine waking up to a fresh cup of coffee, opening your daily news and the top headline alerts readers, “God Fears Your Faith is Going Stale.”
Not sure the networks would pick up that newswire. But God’s man should! I can envision the lead paragraph going something like:
DATELINE -- WORLD NEWS TODAY -- God, who calls himself “I Am,” announced today he fears Christian men are forgetting their first love, allowing their faith to grow stale which is creating major weaknesses in the front lines of the ongoing spiritual battle between good and evil. God warns men who follow Him to keep their faith fresh or they will fall victim to sin, self, and Satan.
I fear men often accept Jesus into their lives, get excited for a season, then check the box called “faith” and resort to showing up Sundays to sit in a pew. The excitement of forgiveness of sin, being loved by God, and the power of life transformation can grow stale unless you fan the flame of faith.
That’s what happened to Nineveh. It’s a sad story because within 100 years after turning to God, not one man followed God. It’s also a parable for us men. We can’t be like Nineveh. Don’t let your love for God grow stale. Keep it fresh. Here’s how: