Some years ago, several young male elephants at the Pilanesberg Game Park in South Africa began attacking the park’s herd of endangered white rhinos. Seemingly unprovoked, the elephants threw debris at the rhinos and chased them all over the park. They eventually wore the rhinos out and trampled a tenth of the herd to death.
Though they couldn’t figure out what had brought on the attacks, the park decided that they had no choice but to put the elephants down. Five had been killed when they decided to try another approach.
Twelve years before, the elephants had been transported from Kruger National Park because of overcrowding there. Female elephants and their babies had been moved, but no adult males had come with them. The park managers realized that what had been lacking was the authority and leadership of the adult bull elephants.
After transporting some adult males to Pilanesberg, order was quickly restored. Attacks on the rhinos stopped, and the adolescent male elephants fell into the natural hierarchy under the adults. The younger elephants even began following the older males and modeling their behaviors.
I met with a case worker yesterday who ministers to pregnant mothers and mothers with infant children in an Asian country where I work. She told me that only 10% of the mothers who sought care at the church had husbands who were engaged in the family. The other 90% had abandoned their wives either physically or emotionally or were actively abusing them in some way.
What will happen to those children without positive male role models to follow? Where will the boys learn how to be men? And what kind of men will they learn to be? Will they be able to control their power and their passions? I don’t think so.
God bless single mothers! They are suffering saints, but they aren’t enough. Boys are different, and moms sometimes don’t know what to do with those differences. God created boys wild, and their wildness makes them warriors and heroes, but it also has to be controlled. They must harness the wild beast inside them so that its power is focused in the right direction.
This isn’t just a problem where I work. Our boys the world over need men in their lives. They need to see a man they can respect control the wild beast inside him so that he can provide for a family, commit himself to one woman, make difficult, self-sacrificing decisions. Without positive male role models, adolescent boys become self-serving, destructive forces hurting those around them.
The enemy knows that he can destroy entire families by incapacitating, distracting or separating the men. Look around you, and I bet you can identify at least ten families where the wife and mother is doing all the heavy lifting. This evidence in itself should be enough to prove that Satan has husbands and fathers in his sights.
Pray for a father and husband today. If he is in the home trying to serve the family, I promise you that he is under attack from the enemy. He may never share his struggles with you, but he does have struggles. And you don’t want to find out after he’s already left the herd.