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About A Boy: AKA The Case For Royal Rangers

            This month, I am going to do something I very, very rarely do.  I am going to discuss a particular tv show by name.  I usually refrain from doing this, because, as soon as I do, the show or movie does something or shows something inappropriate or wrong, and I am left feeling awful for endorsing something that was not good.

 

            However, I want to discuss a hit new tv show that has been on the air this spring.  It is called “About a Boy.”

 

            Now, I am going to preface this article by saying that I do not endorse this show AT ALL…As a matter of fact, I would discourage any believer from watching it.  It is extremely crude with too much sexual immorality in it.   I didn’t make it through the entire pilot myself, but the show shines a light on an area that we as God’s men need to focus our attention.

 

            In my opinion, the title of “About A Boy” should really be “A Case For Royal Rangers.”  For those unaware of Royal Rangers, it is a program in the Assembly of God similar to the Boy Scouts that teaches boys how to be  Christian men.  

 

            Here’s why I think the name should be changed:  

 

            “About a Boy” has 3 main characters:
 

            “The boy” Marcus, is a young boy who is being raised by his single-mom, Fiona.  They move next door to the third character, Will, a single, unemployed goof-off who wrote one hit Christmas song and lives off of the royalties.  The idea of the show is that Will takes Marcus under his wing and teaches him about life and manhood. 

 

            The problem is, that, although Will does teach Marcus fun stuff like the value of a good piece of meat hot off the grill or how to hit a baseball, when it comes to morality and character, Will teaches him all the wrong things.  He teaches him to objectify women, to be dishonest, to lie, to cheat, to be sexually deviant, and a host of other poor behaviours.

 

            The reason I am mentioning this show is because, while Will's solution to "the boy's" lack of a male influence is horrible, Hollywood has recognized a larger problem that the church is totally missing. 

 

            What is that problem?

 

            The problem is the lack of fathers in society is producing a generation of feminine boys who have no idea what it means to be a man.

 

            This generations longs for a male influence in their lives.   For instance, on the show, Marcus is raised to hate meat, sugar, sports, getting dirty, horseplay, etc.  His mom is raising her little guy as if he was a little girl.  The thing is, she, like the millions of moms out there doing the same, has no idea what she are doing is wrong.  They aren’t trying to mess their sons up or make them feminine; they just have never been men and don’t know how to raise a man.

 

            The show identifies a huge issue, however, their answer to the issue is creating another problem.  Why do I say this?  Because the Hollywood answer is to teach the boy their views of what a man is:

 

-a man is a sexual deviant

 

-a man is irresponsible

 

-a man degrades women

 

-a man spends all of his time and money on what is best for him

 

-a man doesn’t need to work hard, he needs to play hard

 

-a man needs to sleep with as many women as possible through any means necessary

 

            And the list goes on and on.  The saddest thing to me is the show has put its finger on an issue the church should have identified and addressed years ago.

 

            Yet churches don’t want to deal with single moms or their kids.

 

            Wives’ fear the single mom will steal her husband if he spends time with her son.

 

            Men don’t want to take their free time and invest in kids

 

            Men are made to feel guilty for spending time with someone else’s kids in addition to their own.

 

            People fear they are encouraging divorce if they work with single-parent kids.

 

            Meanwhile, we have a generation of boys who long for a man to step up and help them, to teach them what it means to be a man.  When the church men don’t fill the gap, the boys learn from unsaved men how to live ungodly lives.

 

            That’s why I love organizations like Royal Rangers.  It is why I said “About a Boy” should be called “A Case for Royal Rangers.”   The men who work with their churches Royal Rangers program may not realize it, but they are on the front lines of bringing revival to America.

 

            These men spend time investing in the boys.  They not only teach them about God, but they teach them about life and how a man should live and act.  They do it through example.  They let the boys into their lives, they form relationships with them, and the boy’s lives are never the same!

 

            I have heard so many stories from both Royal Rangers and their Leaders about how the men were more than troop leaders, they were friends.  I heard one Commander tell how one boy came to him later in life and said, “If it wasn’t for your influence on my life, I would be in jail right now.  Instead, I am serving God.”

 

            I heard another commander tell how a boy he helped as a Royal Ranger begged him years later to come to his wedding because he was such a father figure to him as a child.  Big deal, right? 

 

           Oh, did I mention the wedding was in Ireland?  And the Commander went!  Why?  Because he was committed to the boy!

 

            These are just 2 of millions of such stories.   However, Royal Rangers is just one way to effect the lives of today’s boys and youth.  You could volunteer to teach their JBQ (Junior Bible Quiz) team.  As you teach them God’s Word, also teach them how to be a man, how to treat the girls on the team with dignity and respect, how to hold doors for them.  I taught my JBQ’ers to always stand when a girl or lady came into the room.  You would think they would fight you, but they didn’t. They would beam with pride and look for my approval when they did it.   They'd even tease me if they stood up before I did.

 

            You could teach a Sunday school class.  Who says Sunday school teachers have to be women? 

 

            You could volunteer to be a youth worker at your church.  The teenage years are a critical time as teens decide the path they will take in life.  Who knows what affect you coud have on the lives of teen boys as they experience new things and go new places?

 

            You could do something as simple as buying an extra ticket or two when you go to a ball game and taking a young guy from church that doesn’t have a dad.  Such a simple act means so much.

 

            The possibilities are endless!  We need to step up to the plate and reach out to the generation of young boys without a dad in their lives.  The church is playing catch up to the rest of the world on this issue, it is time we get out in front and make a difference in the lives of today’s boys.  It is time our lives become “about a boy”, about influencing a new generation of young men to become Godly men.

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