The TV show “60 Minutes” ran a segment that revealed some disturbing news. Park rangers at a South African wildlife preserve were concerned about the slaughter of 39 rare white rhinos. It turned out that the rhinos were killed not by poachers but rather by juvenile delinquents.
You see the story began a decade ago when the park could no longer sustain the increasing population of elephants. They decided to control the herds by killing many of the dominant males whose young were old enough to survive without them. As a result, many of the young elephants grew up fatherless and without the presence of male leadership.
As time went on, researchers observed that many of these young elephants began roaming together in packs and began to do things elephants do not normally do in nature. They threw sticks and water at the rhinos and acted like neighborhood bullies – knocking down trees, threatening the females, and basically raising the noise level and anxiety in the park. Without dominant males in the tribe, the young bulls became sexually active, producing excessive testosterone and exhibiting overly aggressive behavior. A few young males grew especially violent attacking non-aggressive rhinos and stepping or kneeling on them, crushing the life out of them.
To swell the destruction park rangers eventually had to kill the gang leaders leaving the young elephants disoriented and confused. Park rangers theorized that these young teenaged elephants were acting badly because they lacked a dominant male role model. They eventually devised a solution and brought in a large dominant male to lead them and to counteract the abnormal behavior. After a few years of the new male leadership, the young bulls returned to their natural role in the tribe. The killings stopped and the wildlife preserve was saved.
You see the same is true in our homes, as it was with the elephants in Africa. We take the fathers, out of the home whether by producing illegitimate children, divorce, or having fathers who are never home for their children, too busy, working too late, and never providing a presence nor an example in the home. We get disaster.
We need to come back to what the Bible teaches us about fatherhood. This begins with fathers getting involved with their families and following the teachings of the Lord.
- Eph 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
- Pro. 4:1-2, “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.”
If you are a father, following what the Bible teaches, and are involved with your children then may God bless you! We need you to keep doing what you are doing.
Mark T. Tonkery
Camden Avenue church of Christ