In our ministry, we are currently embarking upon one of our most seemingly futile attempts to date. About two weeks ago, I began an abstinence initiative with two separate groups of young men. One group is comprised of fifteen to eighteen year olds. The other consists of nineteen to twenty-two year olds. I assure you that the absurdity and even the humor of this initiative are not lost on me. Even so, with each group, I find myself gravitating back to this one subject. Most of my guys are already sexually experienced. Some of them have already born the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases. Two of them are already raising sons of their own. Why then do we spend so much time and energy on what is, by all appearances, a lost cause?
I have three reasons. First, I believe they can change. Each time these young men engage in illicit sex, they are making a conscious choice. As long as they have breath, they have Gods’ grace working in their favor. As long as they have Gods’ grace, they can choose correctly. Secondly, I believe they must change. Restoring sex to its proper place in the black community is not an option. For too long, these young men have used a certain part of their anatomy as a wrecking ball to destroy the surrounding community. Poverty and brokenness will continue to be the birthright of this community if healing does not take place. And third, it is my responsibility to tell them the truth whether they listen to me or not. I am humbled that God has given me access to this pivotal group of young men. I love them, and I am a firm believer in their potential for leadership. As long as I have their ear, I will do my best to point them in the direction of life.
It won’t be easy. There is a momentum of infidelity working against these gentlemen. It is a momentum that has been gaining strength over the course of successive generations. Yet new possibilities are seldom realized before they are first imagined. Can you muster the faith to imagine with me a movement of young black men committed to sexual wholeness? Can you imagine a revolution of fidelity where you least suspect it?