When ‘Men Act in the Interests of Others,’ Good Things Happen
Sure, 'raising awareness' and 'rehabilitating' are helpful — but husbands and fathers are key to the health of their families
Our broken male culture can be turned on its head. A “dangerous” and “good” revolution of men — committed followers of Christ who are willing to take the risk of confronting the evil around them — lies ahead, in my view.
This has rarely been more clear to me than when I spoke recently at a conference about sex trafficking and orphan care.
The first speaker was a nationally known expert in human trafficking. She told a moving story of her exposure to the child sex trade in Cambodia. The screen behind her flashed scenes from the very streets she walked that shook her soul — and launched her into a deeper involvement with the justice movement.
Her research was the second act. Profound and disturbing statistics about human trafficking locally, nationally, and globally had the audience by the throat. Her last plea to the audience was to not sit idly by but to get involved.
She outlined simple ways people could raise awareness, rescue victims, and rehabilitate those rescued.
The second speaker was the director of an international organization dedicated to helping churches understand and implement ministries for orphans. Like the first woman, she was excellent — articulate, passionate, and backed by research. The audience was captivated and so was I, especially when she said, “The orphan epidemic is a symptom of the HIV epidemic in Africa, where whole generations of parents are being wiped out and the children are made vulnerable and left to take care of themselves.”
Her solution was similar to the first presenter’s: Raise awareness, rescue the victims, rehabilitate them, and release them — healthier — back into the stream of life.
Then it was my turn. I started by saying how much I loved and admired the first two speakers. But then I said, “I have to respectfully disagree with their solutions.”
You could hear a pin drop.
Carefully I explained that we can raise awareness of these issues, and we can rescue and restore people, and also rehabilitate and reintegrate the victims into society.
“All of these,” I went on to say, “need to be done — but these are reactions, not solutions.”
I took a big deep breath and went on: “The 800-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to injustice worldwide is that you can directly trace its origin to the hearts, character and conduct of men. Truly solving most injustices in our world is like trying to address a massive oil well disaster in the open ocean. You can skim the surface of the oil spill all day long, feel good about your work, and point to all the oil you have scooped up. But until you cap that well below the surface, it is fantasy to think you have made real progress toward a solution.”
“We desperately need a church-driven social movement that helps men to get into a relationship with God, get healthy as men, get strong as believers …”
I then said, “Ninety-nine percent of the energy, investment and activism is spent on the reaction side to a broken male culture, with no attempts on anyone’s part to actually go after the man himself. That is why we desperately need a church-driven social movement that helps men to get into a relationship with God, get healthy as men, get strong as believers, and get going into their communities.”
“Do that and you take away demand … Do that in combination with the other efforts. Then we can begin to use the word ‘solution.'”
Something shocking happened that I’ve not experienced before. The entire auditorium started to applaud.
In that moment, their hearts suspended all their cynicism, gender bias, and investment in their own “solutions” to the one solution to injustice that makes perfect sense.
When a man’s character and conduct become healthy, it changes things. Most directly, the women and children connected to his life and choices suffer less and develop better.
Fewer literal and emotional orphans fall prey to cultural predators who exploit their loneliness, needs, and insecurities for evil purposes. When men act in the interests of others versus solely acting in the interest of themselves — everything around them improves.
Everybody gets that.
Kenny Luck, based in Los Angeles, is the CEO of Every Man Ministries and host of “The Every Man Show.” This excerpt is from his new book, “Dangerous Good: The Coming Revolution of Men Who Care” by Kenny Luck, copyright © 2018; it is used by permission of NavPress. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers Inc.