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Youth Horizons / Fatherlessness  / A Letter from Earnest

A Letter from Earnest

You may have noticed that you’ve been receiving the newsletter on a monthly basis. We’ve made it smaller, and a wonderful group of ladies from Calvary Baptist Church in Valley Center have been doing the bulk mailing for us to try to help us cut expenses on our newsletter.

I thought I would ask you if you have questions concerning at-risk children. If you have specific questions and will submit them to us, we will try to address them from a Biblical
perspective. It may be helpful to some of you as you as parents or grandparents. I am constantly amazed at the issues that children are confronted with in this day and age.

For many years as I watched as parents made their children their priority. They put tremendous energy into raising their kids. Today, however, many well-intending parents feel their children are more of a drain than an asset. Some even think that the public schools and social services should help them raise their children. Well, they are wrong, and current trends prove they are wrong. Children need their parents to invest in them. They need basic necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter and safety, but children also need to be parented. Providing the basic necessities without structure, discipline and love ultimately leaves a child bankrupt.

When many people bring their children to us they ask us to help fix their child. I find myself frequently thinking that the child would be fixed if the parent was fixed. It is sad but true. A lot of what is wrong with our children has to do with what we are
failing to do as parents. Please pray for our children and also pray that we will be better parents who seek Christ first.

With gratitude,


  • Brad Brunner

    Reply March 14, 2014 11:29 am


    Then to your point, are there future plans to involve the parent in the “fix”? Clearly you are concerned about the parent child relationship as many of us are. However the parents need to want to change. Assuming you have reached out to the parents, how would you describe their responses?

    Brad Brunner

    • Earnest Alexander

      Reply March 14, 2014 3:55 pm

      Brad, I don’t think it will come as any surprise to you that the majority of the parents we try to contact concerning the children we serve genuinely love and care for their kids. However, when I challenge the parents to get professional counseling and parenting classes, by far, most of them will immediately assure me that they are not the problem. They don’t need help – changing personally. They just want us to help their children.

      But, Brad, some years ago a boy returned home from our residential program. Within a month, he was back in the streets selling drugs. I heard about it and went to pick up him and take him to lunch. I asked him what had gone wrong. Without hesitating the 16 year old kid said to me “well, you fixed me but you didn’t fix the people you sent me home to.” There is no hope for wholeness in the family when only one party is willing to admit that he or she is broken. All parties involved need insight on their dysfunctional issues and be willing to humble themselves and seek out help. That is the long response to a simple question. Most parents, dealing with troubled children seem to be oblivious to the part they have played in the life of their dysfunctional child. In closing, I hope these blunt comments do not offend. If the American family is going to be on the path to health and wholeness, we must each take responsibility in the failing of our families.

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