Home > Christianity and the Culture > AIDS: The Lack of Fathers

AIDS: The Lack of Fathers

Growing up, there was a father-sized hole in my heart that didn’t leave until I was much older.  Full of anger and trapped in a society without fatherly instruction and needing desperately for somebody to teach me how to be a man.  I turned to the sources that I knew — the older guys in my neighborhood and the superstar rappers on TV.  From them, I got the instruction that I needed to run women and sleep with women.  In some weird way, we defined our manliness by the number of women you slept with, real or imagined. It was always about how many girls you could get, always.

Nobody came along side me and said, “Son, being a man is about leading and taking responsibility for a family and a community.”  It wasn’t until college that I realized that how I defined manhood was actually just being male.  There was no strong, principled man that ever came along and said I was wrong.

So I think it is with many of our black men.  They are lost in a state of hopelessness concerning the future and a lack of positive male leadership.  This causes him to wander and find male affirmation in violence or misogyny.  For black women, the lack of fatherhood causes a sense of desperation and a constant longing for male attention.  The number of black children born to unwed mothers has almost tripled since the mid-1960s to almost 70 percent of births.
On the subject of fathers, T.D. Jakes says,

“It’s detrimental to boys because a father kind of gives you some sort of preview of where you’re going,” adding, “but for girls it is dangerous, because they are enamored with male attention to the degree that they’ll do anything to get the love of a man that they should have gotten at home.”

In turn causes both males and females to seek love and affirmation in sexual relationships.  Males looking for their manhood to be affirmed in the number of sexual partners they have.  And females looking to be affirmed and validated by a man by any means necessary even if it means having his child.  The cycle continues–neither finding permanence.   This ultimately leads us down the road of multiple sex partners, increasing the likelihood of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and the continued breakdown of the family.

If we are going to be able to break the cycle of HIV in black communities, fatherly love must be introduced back into the lives of black children, young and old.  When fatherless people, connect with their Father, their Daddy, who loves them fiercely and who fights for their very soul, they no longer run after their own destruction, but they seek peace, comfort, and direction in His arms.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Romans 8:15-16

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  1. August 4, 2008 at 10:10 pm

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