DayBreaks for 6/30/16 – Role Models Needed
Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:
The TV show 60 Minutes ran a segment that tells us something important about fatherlessness.
The park rangers at a South African wildlife preserve were concerned about the slaughter of 39 rare white rhinos in their park. It turned out that the rhinos were killed not by poachers but rather by juvenile delinquents—teen elephants.
The story began a decade ago when the park could no longer sustain the increasing population of elephants. They decided to kill many of the adult elephants whose young were old enough to survive without them. And so, the young elephants grew up fatherless.
As time went on, many of these young elephants roamed together in gangs and began to do things elephants normally don’t do. They threw sticks and water at rhinos and acted like neighborhood bullies. Without dominant males, the young bulls became sexually active, producing excessive testosterone and exhibiting aggressive behavior. A few young males grew especially violent, knocking down rhinos and stepping or kneeling on them, crushing the life out of them. Mafuto, the gang leader, eventually had to be killed.
The park rangers theorized that these young teen-aged elephants were acting badly because they lacked role models. The solution was to bring in a large male to lead them and to counteract their bully behaviors. Soon the new male established dominance and put the young bulls in their places. The killing stopped. The young males were mentored—and saved. – Ken Sowers, Mentor, Ohio; 60 Minutes (1-20-99).
Isn’t it strange how we can see “failures’ in animal parenting and yet miss them in human parenting? Park rangers could see that the lack of a good role model contributed heavily to the delinquency of this group of rogue elephants. And yet, parents scratch their heads when their child is picked up by the police for shop lifting, for drinking and driving, for taking drugs – and yet many of those same parents “teach” that stealing isn’t all that bad – they bring things home from the office, they rob God of their tithes and offerings, they drink and drive and even may sit around and smoke grass or shoot drugs when their kids are around. And yet, they can’t make the connection between their children’s behavior and the role model that they are failing to set.
We are all being watched. Especially Christians. If people know you’re a believer, they’re watching to see if you and I live up to the tenets of our faith. What kind of role model are we being?
PRAYER: Lord, we want to be good representatives for you. Help us to have the courage to live up to the truth of Your Word, to emulate the lifestyle of Jesus Christ so that we can be a blessing to others and help lead them into paths of righteousness. Especially, help those who are parents with young ones to take seriously their God-given responsibilities to model putting You FIRST in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.