Either I hit the nail on the head with my assertion, am way off base or no one really cares about what's going on in our Urban community.
I think understanding this fear of failure at being the environmentally defined man is key for us as Christians to understand as we trek through the ideas of Urban fear, and urban living. If you look at the core of many urban issues: poverty, drugs, sex, gangs, violence, welfare, abortions and so on the root is a failing system of manhood. Many would disagree with me, but I feel as though the weight of urban issues goes on the shoulders of urban men (as well as Suburban men) not being the true defined man, but settling for a less than system of masculinity that appears to be "stronger" but has ended up fracturing society. These men desperately desire to be considered a man, but they reach fast and strong at the environmentally defined man.
Urban women have been the glue that has kept it all from crumbling completely, but as society changes and women in urban societies feel more empowered, they may just stop trying to pick up the pieces because they just don't want to have to do it any more...because they were not designed to be that person.
In order to stem the tide of the issues that cause fear, we must attack the root, which in my heart of hearts is a failing definition of manhood many of our urban societies adhere to. Reading through the book of Nehemiah nearly a year ago I heard God say to my heart: "In order to rebuild this city (Pittsburgh), the men must be rebuilt first", I press into that as often as I remember it, asking God what that means, what that may look like but have not received anything else but that word.
This is not a sexist blog by any means, it's a plea to appeal to the hearts of many to see the rising wave of failing manhood around us. I always try to speak into the urban youth I bump into about manhood, sharing with them that the environmentally defined manhood is weak, superficial and short-lasting, but God's definition of manhood is deep, rich and has everlasting ramifications.
Here is this weeks conclusion on Urban Fear, much of it is based on a failing definition of manhood, which in turn creates men that are broken, torn, violent, greedy, sexually promiscuous, and walking through life fighting for purpose and meaning. This type of man hurts the women in his life, causes fear for the children and eventually breaks neighborhoods down into dangerous, unwatched and violent hubs of life.
Boys and girls that grow up in this environment seek to emulate what they've seen because their is some cultural glorification in the defined man and so the girls seek to find that man and the boys seek to be that man and the cycle continues.
This may seem overwhelming and to be sure it is. However, there are things we can do to help model and live out something different. What are your thoughts on redeeming the men of this city?
*After much consideration, I will now rename this thread Urban Life*