“You must survive the Unforgiving Moment.”
Dr. Harry Edwards
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I’ve been greatly impacted by the work of Dr. Harry Edwards. I heard him deliver the line above during an interview, and cut straight to my heart and has been a mental card that I give to every young person that I give advice to, including my own children of course.
Dads, can you think of that Unforgiving Moment in your life? That moment where you did not get a second chance to not make that mistake again? That moment when you knew at the time it happened, this would change the rest of your life.
The Unforgiving Moment I’m talking about is one that you created. A moment where your judgement or decision-making (or lack thereof) changed your life’s trajectory. It’s those moments taught in Proverbs 2:
6For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
8guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
9Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
10for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
12delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
13who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
14who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
16So you will be delivered from the forbiddena woman,
from the adulteressb with her smooth words,
17who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
18for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;c
19none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.
Notice verse 12-19. Solomon hits two areas that trip us men up, especially when we are younger, more than any other: violence and sex. Those who know Solomon’s story and have wisdom, know that men don’t “age-out” of sexual temptation. But we often do age-out of our violence stage. Sadly, many young men, especially Black males, die “too soon”, suffer lasting bodily harm or forever have a felony due to violence.
My kids know that mine was having a child out-of-wedlock. Decisions I made before that, opened the door to that Unforgiving Moment. But remember, this is about SURVIVING! I can tell the story today because I have survived my own mess. The wisdom and understanding gained from that experience is why this blog exists, why I talk to kids, why I have homeschooled, and why I urge all men to raise their children regardless of how difficult the circumstances.
So today, I encourage you to have a talk with your young man/men about the Unforgiving Moment in your life. Let down some of the perfect-parent facade that we often hold up to create a high standard for our kids. Discuss what you did wrong, why it wasn’t worth it, how it could have been avoided, and the impact it has had on your life to this day.