In 1996, a story of more than 500 black males graduating from Morehouse College made the headlines in many newspapers, particularly in black neighborhoods. The promotion of promise and the possibility of the production of positive participation by young black males permeated metropolitan cities around the country.
That sense of excitement, energy and enthusiasm yet exists but has not been as highlighted as it was just months ago. What has dimmed our view of promise locally has been the killing of seven young black males by police.
Regardless of why they were killed, the fact remains that seven black males are no longer with us. But there are more than seven black males who have been killed. There are dozens, and even hundreds, that are killed yearly.
They are dead not only by the hands of law enforcement officers but also by a system of neglect and institutions of negative training.
While there may be some culpability on the part of law enforcement, it is also fair to say that time has produced a generation that is adequately described in Proverbs 30:11-14. The writer of this chapter says “there is a generation” that is disrespectful, that curses the father and does not bless the mother.
There is a generation that is disgraceful, that is pure in its own eyes and yet is not washed from its filthiness.
There is a generation that is deceived by its own pride: “Oh how lofty are their eyes!”
Then there is a generation that is destructive, whose “teeth are like swords, prepared to destroy the poor from the earth, and the needy from among people.”
But if members of this generation are trained up in the way they should be, as they mature they will not depart from their training. So says Proverbs 22:6. That training has to begin when that black young man is a child. I use the word “child” to explain how we can teach our children the way of the Lord.
The first letter in the word “child” is the letter “c” and the letter “c” stands for “Christ.” We must teach and train our young black boys in the ways of Jesus because John 14:6 says that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man can come to the Father but by Him.
We must teach and train our children that Jesus was born in poverty, to an unwed mother, in a problematic environment, surrounded by people who did not like Him. Yet, He performed many great miracles, died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. We must train and teach our children to put their trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation and for their daily needs.
The second letter in the word “child” is letter “h,” which stands for “holiness.” We must teach and train our children to be holy because I Peter 1:15-16 says, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” To teach our young men to be holy means to teach our children to be Christ-like in everything they do or say, respecting the elderly, authority and the rights of others.
The third letter in “child” is “i,” which means “instructions.” To teach and train our children about Jesus, and how to live holy, they must be taught and trained with biblical instruction. They must be trained, first, to read.
Education is a major key to success and most young men in trouble now cannot escape to live productive lives because they do not possess the minimal educational requirements for employment.
The fourth letter in the word “child” is “l,” which means “love.” We must love our children enough to train and teach them about Jesus. The scriptures say that if we do anything without love, we have done nothing.
Last, but not least, the last letter in the word “child” is “d,” and “d” stands for “discipline.” Discipline includes correction while they are maturing and striving for perfection. Proverbs 19:18 says, “Chasten your son while there is still hope, and don’t let your soul stop because of his crying.”
There is a real, rebellious and rotten nature in all boys, black and white, but proper raising and reproof will reverse the current societal trends and produce a more refined, and righteous, generation.