In this article I will be sharing part one of a two part series of articles, sharing my journey not only of the struggle with manhood in our community, but how I overcame it through the Hebrew Faith. As well as a glimpse of fathers day where there may seem to be no father.
About a year ago I was playing with a beautiful young girl several years old and very sweet. Since I knew her mother, the little girl once told me how she really wishes she could see her dad, the mom had told her that her dad went far away, and might not come back. Now I know what happened, the dude disappeared when he had found out about the pregnancy, just dropped out of the picture. Yet it was the little girl’s honest regurgitation of what she was told, I mean what can you say? This Father’s Day, I know she wishes she could buy a gift for her dad, she sees and hears the same fathers day commercials that you and I are bombarded with every June.
Now all my life I never really knew when Father’s or Mother’s Day was, if it wasn’t for the media, school and people talking about it, there’s no way I would know the day. But I cared even less about Father’s Day. I mean why would I, I didn’t have my old man around, I don’t know what the sound of his voice is like, and if it wasn’t for the mirror I wouldn’t know what he looked like. So not caring about Father’s day was a good thing, almost as a defense mechanism, or else who knows how I would have felt around this time of year. My mom had 4 of us, 2 boys and 2 girls, with only the twins before me sharing the same father, but one of the twins (my brother) passed when I was 10 years old. My mom got married when I was in middle school here in America. And being the youngest, I was the only sibling left living with her by that time. I rarely hear people talk about it much, but as a young man, seeing your mom with another man is hard to deal with, even if you don’t know your dad. So u can imagine father’s day was not something I cared for. Luckily I didn’t hate my dad for it, I just hated the situation more than anything. I always vowed within myself that I would never have a child and not be there. As a teenager I felt a minor rebellion within me, there was a feeling deep inside that things were supposed to run way smoother, A feeling that would be later confirmed once I came to the Hebrew faith after graduating High School.
Many end up fathering children before they even figure out what a man is and what their responsibilities are, and children pay the price.
The journey to manhood isn’t easy in this society, and not having your dad or even a big brother around only adds insult to injury. At best you find people who just help where they can, the best way they know how, if you’re even blessed enough to have that. So by grace there were people who helped me stay afloat along the way, and I made it through high school without going too far astray as a young man (grace). There’s barely anyone to talk you through what you’re going through and give solid solutions. What it means to be a man is too cloudy in this society, especially a so called black man. The Homer Simpsons and dum sitcom dads seemed to spread a negative image of what a man was to me, just drinking beer and watching TV didn’t seem like the type of guy I am nor wanted to be, let’s not even start with black dramas and BET…you can fill in the blanks on that one. Even in non single parent homes, the women often seemed to be running things whether the man was there or not. And the few men I did admire seemed too distant to offer any advice. I can now look back and see most were just freestyling it anyways. Nothing really fortified the idea of men being important, although you feel it is and it should be, or at least I did, but many don’t. Women are praised everywhere you turn and are said to always know best, single mothers are praised and though I have met many single dads, they don’t get the same sympathy.
Before college, I used to think that my situation was weird, that growing up without a father around was strange, or something out of the ordinary. I then started going to college, and as I began to meet more and more people on a regular basis, especially at a Historically Black College & University (HBCU), it seemed that what I was going through was unfortunately growing more common, and these were black people from all around the country. I mean I grew up in South Africa during my early years, and having both a mother and father in the home was something of the norm, except for extreme situations where a parent dies or something. But in college I saw that it seemed ok with almost everyone.
I grew up as a christian, and went to church a lot, twice a week. I can even say I was a Jesus freak my later years of high school (W.W.J.D. Wristband), yet looking back that barely helped with manhood. In 2008 I graduated high school and I started reading and studying the scriptures. Nothing shook my spiritual foundation more than reading and studying the bible for myself. I questioned christianity, since the bible and the church seemed to conflict with one another. Yet I never lost faith in the Bible and always knew that there is a God. Honestly churches barely deal with the problems we go through in the black community. I thought it might help if I just look till I find the right church, so I literally caught a bus to a different church every Sunday after reading their mission statement. I’m actually writing this on a Sunday, when many went or thought of going to church today. My search led me to the faith of the Hebrew Israelites. And no not a camp, not on the street corners, and not dressed in robes and garbs or any of that.
I came to the Hebrew faith through meeting Elimelech Hebrew. Through Hebrew I began learning what a man was in a very practical sense, and learning how to apply the bible and it’s many principles to solve my problems and bring me peace. Hebrew taught me about love, humility, integrity, substance, keeping your word, being responsible and the list goes on. The most important part is that this was how he lived, not hypocrisy or just talk, I had the blessing to be able to live with him. So I had a physical, practical example to watch and brothers to lean on. It is very intimidating at first when you realize how far you are away from where you are supposed to be. I was pushed and challenged in ways I didn’t even know possible, both physically, mentally and spiritually.
I remember doing a study in college where I stumbled upon a report that I would never forget. The report urged how marriage is the number one tool to end childhood poverty in America. Just by having children in marriage, their likelihood of growing up in poverty decreases by 80%. The study also showed the effects of a man in the home. The absence of a man contributed to a dramatic increase in most of the problems we see in our community. From teen pregnancy, highschool dropouts, drug abuse, getting in trouble with the law, to mass incarceration rate among many more.
Over the years I would come to find that there’s countless studies, reports, articles, research and the like that cover that very topic. It’s actually nothing new at all. Data clearly shows that a man’s role is important, and his absence has dramatic consequences. So you can only imagine what some homes are going through this month as the nation shuts the book on Father’s Day. Now of course that’s just data, a man’s presence is not always helpful if that man doesn’t understand his God given duties and how to properly lead.
Through my long time in college I saw more women get pregnant than ever in my life. Almost all of them without marriage, and without the same father if more than one pregnancy. I’ve seen many guys get women pregnant and then dread fatherhood cause they were just having sex (Fornication) and aren’t ready to have a child. Im not even gonna touch abortions, but you already know.
“ Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV
Now, as Hebrews we don’t celebrate Father’s Day, it is not in the bible. The Holy Word of Elohim (Bible) is our blueprint for life, which includes what we should and should not celebrate. It is law to honor our father and mother everyday, not just one day of the year.
“Honour thy father and thy mother, as YHWH thy Elohim hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the YHWH thy Elohim giveth thee.” Deuteronomy 5:16 KJV
Before 1908 there was no fathers day. But we did have the scripture and although the problems we face may seem to grow more and more complex, the solution is actually simple. We are the ones who make things harder than they should be.
After being in the Hebrew faith, I am now seeing that most of these problems are just signs of a bigger problem, one that I believe is among the biggest of all. When it comes to fatherhood, we forget the most important one of all, our Heavenly Father Elohim (GOD). It seems as though with time the world is walking farther and farther away from Elohim. Yet in turning from Elohim and His word we set the table for all manner of evil to take place in our community. Centuries before the studies, reports and data mentioned above, the scriptures already foretold what would happen should we turn away. The structure and God head has already been set, and problems rise as a result of not following it. Men need to return to leading the houses and following the natural laws given to us.
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is the Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of the Messiah is Elohim.” 1 Corinthians 11:3 KJV
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”1 Timothy 5:8 KJV
This is confirmed every time I witness my brother Elimelech Hebrew, leading his house, and the peace his wife and children live in. It is quite a site to see the fruits of righteousness.
I will continue on the next article before I get even more long winded than I already have, but I will leave you with this:
I challenge you to read and study the bible yourselves. Study who the real Hebrews were, and even as you come across those who say they are Hebrews, watch closely whether or not they live up to what is written. Love is the greatest commandment, and you will always know if there is no love in them. Your spirit never lies, you will know without a shadow of a doubt when it is real. But you have to read to know what to look for. Even if you don’t have a father or brothers around, you have a Heavenly Father Elohim. Let us repent, and call on his name, His son Ad’am and the Holy Spirit Yahweh. Let us read, study, ask questions and seek out the answer in this age of information. He is our protector when we have none, and I’m not talking about fantasies, I know from experience. And once you know better, the punishment and chastisement is also real when dealing with the real creator, so humble yourselves. No pastor or deacon can talk for you on the day of judgment. And the churches don’t want to offend the people who pay their bills. There is a lot in that Holy book you would be shocked to find if you take the time to read it.