Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hurting for our youth

Last week, I found myself heartbroken once again by the violence that has affected our young people. I began to cry as I watched video online of the incident in Roseland that ended with a young life taken. I thought of my friends who work at the Agape Center who watched this unfold in their parking lot.

Much is being spoken and written about youth violence because this video brought to light things that are happening day in and day out in many communities. I can't say that what I saw on the video was something that I haven't seen in front of my own house on occasion. Mobs of people fighting. Boards. Bats.

The Chicago Tribune published an article today titled "Fenger kids tell why they fight". It gives a bit of insight into the challenges that many urban teenagers face daily in their pursuit of an education and a better life. Some of them are honor students like Derrion Albert.

Dennis Byrne points to all male high schools with all male teachers as a solution. I think this has some validity, but the problem is more complex than one solution can offer.

Youth violence has many causes: male aggression, youthful indiscretion, rebellion, hopelessness, racial neglect by society, poverty, etc. But I believe that one of the core issues is a breakdown of the family. We live in a culture that does so many things to discourage strong family relationships. As a result, we are reaping what we have sown.

What do you believe is the answer to the violence of our youth?

What can be done to strengthen the role of the family in society?


Brokenpoet said...

Kevin! These people need Jesus man. I really feel you on this, you know I do. I pray for the youth in our community every day. It hurts!

KG said...

Yes, Jesus is the answer! But many youth don't know what the questions are. They need caring Christians in their life to help them see the love of God in action. They need people to listen to their story and their pain. They need people to care. Ultimately they need the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit to open their eyes. We must continue to pray!

Anonymous said...

The lack of morality, violence, educational system, and the breakdown of the family is just a few of the issues that plague our youth and their communities.
With violence in mind, I will add a few thoughts.
Let me say that I think the answer to youth violence is not a simple answer. I have said on many occasions that one of the biggest lies that youth believe is that “A real man will not take no stuff,” and “If someone hits you or whatever, hit them back.” I am not trying to over generalize…
I believe that these youth have a deep case of insecurity. Youth validate their manhood by being violent, showing aggression, or retaliating on someone. There is a jacked up sense of male masculinity due to the lack of a healthy view of a real man, man of God.
As a believer, I believe that a real man is a man of God. In their world, a real man is a man who will slap, spit, hit, kick, or beat someone down as soon as they start running their mouth or being disrespectful.
I think that our first line of action should be prayer. It is impossible to solve the crisis in the black community without the help and wisdom of God.
Next, I think we need to fast and pray for black men to take hold of their households.
Then, join efforts with others who have a heart for the problem and engage them in conversation.
Lastly, I believe that the real issue behind the youth violence and lack family stability in society is a matter of the heart. On many occasions the Bible talks about the condition of the heart. With this in mind, the gospel of Christ must be proclaimed with purity and clarity. We are not looking for behavioral modification, but a true change of heart. A selfless heart focused on the cross of Christ and the awesome power of God.
In conclusion,
1. Prayer for strength and wisdom to tackle the problem
2. Specific Prayer for fathers to step up
3. The gospel proclaimed boldly in purity and clarity
4. A movement started to restore the family in communities
5. More prayer to not give up
6. Start believing in the youth, being an example of Christ.
7. I don’t know…
His Life Today,
Steffon S.

KG said...

Good word brother. We need people to be actively engaged in gospel centered life on life ministry to our youth and especially urban youth.