I was walking through the various security checkpoints in a local prison where I was due to speak to a group of inmates. The scene was what I expected to see: guards, bars, weapons, and fences. But what struck me most on this particular day was the fact that each man confined behind these walls, at one point in his history, had been under the care of a man whose job it had been to lead.
Yet most of them had not only lacked a man to protect and guide them but had also suffered under the negative impact of men. In fact, roughly 70 percent of all prisoners come from fatherless homes. Approximately 80 percent of all rapists come from fatherless homes.
“Are these statistics surprising? Why or why not?
Outside the prisons the numbers are just as alarming. Fatherless homes produce 71 percent of all high-school dropouts and 63 percent of all teen suicides.2 But a man doesn’t have to physically leave to create a void in the home.
How might a father be physically present and yet still create a void in his home?
What might be some of the effects on the children?”
“In suburbia many fathers are missing in action through divorce, neglect, overindulging children in an effort to replace real parenting, putting their careers first, or loving the golf course more than their kids. Virtually every adult social pathology has been linked to either fatherless homes or homes with an absent, abusive, and neglectful man.
If those statistics fail to move you, let me see if I can punch you in the wallet. On average, taxpayers spend more than $8 billion annually on high-school dropouts for public-assistance programs like food stamps. High-school dropouts also earn an average of $260,000 less in their lifetimes than graduates, reducing our nation’s earned taxable income by more than $300 billion annually. Teen pregnancies cost American taxpayers an average of $10 billion annually in public assistance, lost revenue, and health-care costs. Our prison population has increased 708 percent since 1972 to the highest per capita rate in the world. We now spend 1 of every 15 federal dollars on prisons. Are you starting to get it? Men—real kingdom men—are on the sides of milk cartons. They’re missing, and we’re all paying the price.
“Are you starting to get it? Men—real kingdom men—are on the sides of milk cartons. They’re missing, and we’re all paying the price.
Read Ezekiel 22:30.
I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.
What was God looking for?”
“Kingdom men have been slowly disappearing for a long, long time. In the Book of Ezekiel we read that God released His judgment on a culture that was devoid of strong male leadership. Because no one would stand up and obey, He allowed the people of Judah to go their own way and choose their own idols. No man stood up before the people to lead them in the ways of God, and eventually God brought destruction to the nation.
If the almighty, omniscient God can’t find a man to stand in the gap for an entire nation, then real men must be hard to come by. Oh, I’m sure there were plenty of males around. But kingdom men? Not so many of those. What about now?
If God made a thorough search for kingdom men around our nation and world today, would He still come up empty? In what ways would God want men to stand in the gap today?”
“Pray today that your heart will be open to conforming to God’s definition of a kingdom man as you continue in this study. Express your desire to be the man He has made you to be.”
Kingdom Man (Member Book)
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