There’s one verse, Luke 2:52, that covers Jesus’ years between his boyhood and manhood; same with John the Baptist, Luke 1:80.
Shall we move on to the next topic? Not yet.
I see raw passion in young men. I see it on Friday nights on a football field. I see it on a Tuesday night at our time of worship in the high school ministry. I see it in the form of words on social media.
And unfortunately I see it in headlines where young men do great damage and harm to others.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the wake of the acts of chaotic and random violence that’s littered our social landscape these past few years. Yes, there may be an issue with mental illness present in many of these situations. I claim no expertise in the area of mental health (make your jokes… go ahead), but it’s easy to see these random acts are mostly perpetrated by young men.
Most of my view of male youth in general (in and out of the church) goes something like this:
If there’s not much the Bible has to say about the period of time that a male transitions from boy to man, perhaps that transition shouldn’t be a long one.
But our culture disagrees. Consider with this fact: A major marketing demographic for young men in America is from age 18 to age 34.
This means the buying habits of a 34-year-old man are very similar to the habits of an 18-year-old man. To me, that’s a little scary. That’s a long period of time to go through life essentially as an adolescent, not giving much thought to the real world. The idea of “I’ll get serious about things that matter when I’m older” usually turns into ideal that never actualizes in one’s life.
In the Bible, many people were used by God to do great things in their youth: David, Joseph, Daniel, and most of Jesus’ disciples. My point is two-fold.
- Young people are able to accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God.
- Overseers, parents and mentors must challenge youthful males and put them in position to challenge themselves.
If we are to build the kingdom of God, it stands to reason that Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and Proverbs 22:6 aren’t just sayings that you hope your children remember, but an active, frustrating and grueling process that is so worth the struggle.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.