Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Result of NOT Fathering Your Sons

6 year old, Aliyah Shell, pictured above.

This past weekend saw 49 people get shot, with 10 fatalities, in the city of Chicago, where I grew up. One of the victims who died was a 6 year old little girl named, Aliyah Shell, who was shot while sitting with her mother on the front porch of their home, as her mom brushed her hair while they prepared to attend a birthday party on a warm, sunny afternoon.

Read the article here.

The reason this post is entitled, "The Result of NOT Fathering Your Sons," is because these shootings, as with most violent crimes, were perpetrated by young men with no fear of God, and no measure of self control, which fathers, like myself, are commanded to instill in their sons when they're growing up. When boys are allowed to grow up without men teaching them what manhood is all about, we end up with weekends like this one. The two young men who shot and KILLED this innocent little girl are 18 and 16 years old, who's lives are now forever changed, like Aliyah's.

I have a hard time believing that these two young men have hard working fathers who spend lots of time with them living at home. If that turns out to be the case, I will be very surprised. More often than not, young men who commit crimes like this are being raised by single moms, who are doing what they can to pay the bills and keep food on the table, while the men who fathered the boys, are out doing their own thing. I grew up in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, so I know what I'm talking about. But not for the grace of God, I would have been one these young men.

Having said that, I really wouldn't have a problem with the fathers of young men who commit crimes like this being held responsible in some fashion. True, the fathers didn't pull the trigger of the gun that killed Aliyah, but neither did they train the hearts of the boys who did, and for that, I say, hold them responsible.

Now the Chicago Police Department is scrambling as they look for ways to combat violent crime in Chicago, so that the citizens there can feel safe, when the only answer needed is found in the world's most bought and read book in human history, the Bible. One verse we can start with is Ephesians 6:4, which reads;
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

Or how about Psalm 78:5, which says,
 "He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,"
 And if we're man enough to read on, Deuteronomy 21: 18-21 says this to fathers of rebellious sons:

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Now, will sin reign in the hearts of some sons, even though they've been brought up and disciplined by Godly men, yes...

Are men responsible for their own actions in the sight of the LORD, yes...

Can the violence we see in our culture being thrust upon society, in large part, by men, be GREATLY reduced, yes it can...

This little girl didn't have to die in the arms of her mother, who had dreams and goals for her little gift from God, the way that she did. The two young men who killed Aliyah will pay for their crime, in this life and the next, apart from faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sin, and as a society, we long for justice. But what about their fathers? Are they around? Are they alive? Do they even know what their sons did???

In Revelation 21:5, Jesus said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And to that, I say, Amen.

As men, we must embrace our roles in society and do our duty to the LORD. He has commanded us to disciple our children, to love our wives, and to work hard. With a quick glance at culture, it doesn't take long to see how men have completely abandoned what they were created for, and wear their refusal to be a man as a badge of honor. LORD help us.

As you go through your day, keep Aliyah's family in your prayers, as well as the city of Chicago. I have family that live there, know men ministering there, and believe God can do amazing things there.

May every man do his duty...


**If you're able to help with the $8,000.00 funeral cost, please visit my wife's blog where she's collecting money to give to the family. This little girl was best friends with my friends young daughter in kindergarten, so this story is very disturbing on several fronts. If you can't help financially, please pray as you remember to. Thanks, and God Bless...