Having just returned from visiting our partner projects and communities in Honduras & Mexico, there are many similarities between impoverished communities around the world, but one in particular stands out to me… the lack of Real Men. Real Men fill their God-given role to be husbands, fathers, spiritual leaders and guardians of the family. Real Men marry women rather than use or abuse them. Real Men are loving fathers to children, not mere sperm donors. Real Men teach their families about morality in word and deed and Real Men protect their family, even if it puts their own lives at risk.
My pastor frequently says, children spell love “T-I-M-E” and the problem is that Real Men simply aren’t present in far too many communities. At Fashion & Compassion, we focus on empowering women largely because it is proven that women are more likely to invest their earnings back into their children and families than men are. In many communities, including non-poor communities, men have become mere sperm donors to the birth process while impoverished women, many having grown up without a relationship with their own father, give themselves to men in the hopes of finding and receiving love. And unfortunately, sex in our world today often does not equate to love in any way, shape or form.
Of course there are some Real Men out there; in fact, I am blessed to have married one. My husband, Eric, is an amazing man who is an incredible husband, father, spiritual leader and guardian of our family. Eric was raised by a committed dad who, despite a divorce from his mom, paved the way for joint custody in the 1970’s, so that he could be an involved dad. And while I am far from the perfect wife, I am truly grateful God provided him for me every single day. My hope and prayer is that God will raise up more Real Men like Eric, in every community.
I often hear well-meaning women say “we don’t need men” or “we can do it without men.” The reality is our families and communities do not operate as God intended without men, Real Men. Women need Real Men, not men looking for a woman to merely meet their physical urges. There are Real Men that are taking on leadership positions in ministry and communities desperate for male leaders and role models; but families and communities are literally falling apart because Real Men are few and far between.
There are no quick and easy answers to this global crisis but it is impossible for me to discuss such an important issue without ideas of what we all can do to help. Here are a few simple suggestions:
• Encourage the Real Men you know to mentor young boys and girls in their own communities through the local school system or other local ministries/organizations serving children and youth. The difference a positive mentor can make in the life of a child can’t be overstated.
• Teach boys what it means to be a Real Man - point out the Real Men in their lives and do everything you can to expose children to positive male role-models.
• Teach girls that they deserve to be loved and respected for who they are as a person, not for their body. Encourage them not to give their bodies away and help them understand that sex is not equivalent to love.
• Encourage the men in your life to challenge other men to fulfill their God-given roles as husband, fathers, spiritual leaders and guardians.
• Pray that God will raise up Real Men in every community to lead the charge and change the status quo for men.
Despite witnessing the impact of the lack of Real Men in the communities I visited in Mexico and Honduras, I was encouraged by the work being done to build Real Men by our partner projects:
• In Mexico, men employed to operate the large equipment are committed to supporting their families with the income they earn. They are learning how to manage their money and making wiser choices in their lives.
• In Honduras, young boys are being mentored and instructed in leather-working and carpentry by Real Men from the community. One of the boys walks 3 hours to and from the project each day and his motivation is not simply to learn a trade, but more importantly, to be amongst a community of other boys learning to become Real Men from Real Men.
As always, there is HOPE because God uses His children to make differences, both small and large, in the lives of others. It is a privilege to partner with organizations transforming the lives of boys, women and men in Mexico and Honduras.
Please join us as we support them through the sales of their beautiful and high-quality leather items and bronze jewelry. Shop our Community Collection here.