The tragedy of the conversations that take place in the courthouse between mother, son and attorney is the absence of the father. All too often, the missing piece of the puzzle is the most important piece for that particular time.
When asked, the young man will usually tell a story of rejection or some other details of the failure of the father. The failure of the father to stand in his rightful place as the one to call his son into manhood is tragic in the life of a young man. It is just as tragic in the life of young women, just in a slightly different dynamic.
The tragedy of the young man’s experience is that there has not been affirmation of his ability to step into manhood. The boy is robbed of the confidence that comes from knowing he is approved of even when he stumbles and falls. Without that confidence, there is impaired ability to dream the dreams which are part of his DNA and step into them with passion and conviction.
The result is fear and uncertainty. The insecurity with never being affirmed shows up in many different dysfunctional ways.
Sometimes that young man is defeated and lacking confidence. Sometimes he is overly prideful and arrogant as a mechanism to respond to the gap of what is missing. Sometimes he is just flat hurting so bad that he will medicate with whatever he can use to numb the pain. The choices born of any of these particular possibilities or other options for destruction begin to pile one upon the other and the end result is not pretty.
Affirmation of manhood was intended as the father’s role. The father is equipped to recognize the man that is being born from the boy. The father is equipped to stand shoulder to shoulder and live the adventure until the torch is passed and accepted. The father is equipped to release the man to father others as a healthy, mature adult man.
The father doesn’t have to be perfect or exceptionally good. He has to be present and invested. The measure that the father will invest in the child is like seed to grow and produce fruit in the child’s eventual adulthood. With no seed, there is a barren field seeking the identity of what it was ever meant to be.