0-60 How fast? Meeting Your Driver Where He is Not Where You Think He Is
By now, you’re starting to get a handle on who your young dad is and what he’s like. You’ve probably even seen progress in a few areas and think things are starting to move in a positive direction. You may even have developed some plans you’d like to share with him about his potential future and are excited about them. One of two things are about to happen. He’s going to respond as you hoped and things will continue to progress as planned or he begins to procrastinate, not show as much interest in the lessons, and maybe even withdraw to some extent. Of course, there’s a lot of possibilities in between, but for the most part, at this point you begin to see them respond in one of these manners and many times it’s the second.
If this happens, it’s important not to become disillusioned, but instead to begin to consider what your young dad has been through up to this point. If you haven’t done it yet, take some time to get his story. If he’s willing to share, find out how he ended up in this situation, the family dynamics that led to it, and observe how it may have affected him. We don’t always realize how many of the advantages we had in life allowed us the level of success we’ve achieved. Supportive parents and a stable home environment allowed us to focus on school and our future. When that stability is threatened in any way, our focus becomes more on survival, providing for our family, and meeting everyday needs. Planning for the future takes a backseat to keeping our family together, keeping the lights on, making enough money to buy food, praying dad doesn’t come home drunk, or mom hasn’t left us alone to go get high.
When young men go through these type of trauma, it affects them in any number of ways. Many have a deep fear of failure or thinking achieving a lifelong career is for someone else, not them. To protect themselves, they begin to withdraw, fail on purpose, or just not show up altogether. It’s important to remember that this isn’t going to be easy and that they will need encouragement to overcome whatever hell they’ve been through. The more you believe in them the more they will believe in themselves. Having a stubborn persistence to see things through is vital at this point. If you haven’t experienced this yet with your young dad chances are you will to some extent. When that time comes, it’s important that you express your belief in them and how committed you are to help them through.
Mentoring young men who have been through these issues is never easy, presents challenges we didn’t expect and aren’t prepared for, and makes us think of quitting as soon as we can. To have these thoughts are natural. However, it’s at this point I hope you will remember the faithfulness of Jesus. If we look honestly at our own lives, He could have quit on us and been justified. We fall short on a daily basis. His example of being steadfast and faithful when we are most unlovable and vulnerable should be foremost in our minds. God has given you an opportunity to impact a young man’s life. If he doesn’t always seem to appreciate it, it may not because he’s a spoiled millennial, but a defense mechanism to protect himself from further failure and disappointment in his life. Be faithful as our Lord is faithful, see them as Jesus does, love them the best you can, and don’t give up. As the title of this lesson states, you need to meet them where they’re at, not where you think they should be. To do that consistently, you must see them as Jesus does and be faithful to the end.
Scripture for the week:
This saying is trustworthy: For if we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; 13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. - 2 Timothy 2:11-13