Church #WAKEUP Start Preaching to the MEN!
The first chapter of my book talks about how I was almost sexually assaulted by a minister I was dating. He was gifted, attractive, and charismatic but as a ‘man of God’ he did not allow the power at work in believers to change his fleshly wicked heart. (2nd Timothy 3: 4 ..traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power Turn away from such as these! 6They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women who are weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions,…!) He wanted his desires fulfilled in any way possible completely disregarding my needs. He tried to convince me, even manipulating scripture at times, to have sex with him although I was a virgin.
I understand why he was like this. His past was tumultuous. (I discerned his there were skeletons in his closet from childhood, this was later confirmed in conversation) What he experienced in his youth tainted his perception on love. His other issue was the call on his life was so great it left him feeling weighted and burdened. He often felt alone although surrounded by many. He need companionship, emotional support, and healing but self-medicated his emotional short comings with sex. He wanted sex by any means necessary like an addict. Is this an excuse for his behavior? No! It does show me the frailty of men and why church should spend as much time working on men as they do women. We both need work.
I have a close friend who told me joining a men's group at church changed his life. He found a safe place to share, learn, and grow. So many men need this but don't know where to go so they live life broken and then break down others. Hurt people, hurt people. Church get to assisting the healing of these men!
Let’s talk about the root of this conversation. The fall of man in Genesis was not just a consequence of Eve eating the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3) It occurred because THE MAN, Adam did not guard over her and keep the command God had given Him. As the first human and groundskeeper of the garden, before Eve was even created God gave the specific commandment to Adam. Adam told her this command later after she was formed from his rib and God probably told her as well, because they walked in the garden together. Adam didn't follow through with the directive. Eves mistake was a direct result of Adams shortcoming. She wanted to be like God desiring what most women want love, and validation. Tricked by the serpent she bit of the fruit and told Adam to bite as well. Instead of saying no, he followed along although it was the rule given to him initially not to break! Now God knew this would happen-He planned the salvation story through Jesus from the beginning, but the point I am making today is many issues faced in relationships are much like that of the garden scenario. It begins with the man not stepping up. Many of the issues in the church… divorce rates, high percentage of single women, sexism, misogyny, ect. begins with men.
Listen, I know how women can be we are not perfect either. I know we have a power unlike any force in the world that can be used for good or evil. I just can’t let the fellas get away with saying, “they don’t make em like they used to” and “women settle for anything these days, they don’t make us work” when men should be holding themselves to higher standards as well. LEVEL UP MEN. We don’t mind keeping our standards if you rise to the occasion. You are kings, warriors, leaders, valor’s and your tarnishing your throne by accepting society’s subpar standards of what being a man should be.
Now, thankfully, I got away from the “bad boy minister “ in my life but I have many friends who didn’t get away from theirs. They trusted a leader who took advantage of their innocence and because they were taught to protect their leaders never said anything. I have other associates who did speak up but it was brushed under the rug. We’ve all kept our faith because our understanding of God was deeper than the mistakes of malicious men. Yet, these situations changed us. I personally became mistrusting of men in power especially in church. I had to rewire my brain to the fact that there are many good, solid, godly men out there. I know a few; my dad, my best friend’s dads, a few uncles and ministry big brothers I have are awesome men of God. Yet, there are so many who struggle with issues that need to be addressed. It is not just ladies who need to learn to keep their legs closed, how to raise kids, or how to be a good wife. Those are good lessons but we also need to be taught we have a destiny outside of being with a man and that sometimes the issue is simply is not US! We are beat over the head with advice on these subjects many Sundays, but what about the men? I've been in church 26 years of my life I can count on one hand how many times men's issues have been addressed in regards to relationships. Men need to learn their manhood is not defined by sex. They need to learn being a gentleman is still in style and that love is work but its worth it. Family provides safety, validation, and focus. God tells men in scripture finding a wife, finds a good thing because a woman can help a man focus to believe he can conquer the world if she is behind him. Anyway, I am not here to tell a man how to be a man. I just want us to refocus as the body of Christ. We have misinterpreted the word of God teaching doctrine that puts women in an emotional bondage to cater to men until it kills them, while many men are free to go about their day to day with no constraint or regard. Lets work on these men, build them up to be who God has called them to be -humble fearless lovers, who love their wives like Christ loves the church he sacrificed his life for. At the end of the day we need each other. Its not about figuring out who is to blame but that each gender take responsibility for his and her part in where we are as a society. Lets mature the conversation and make family a thing again. People are still getting married out here! Lets learn how to stay married, how to build community and most of all love each other like God desires. He loves family and happy healthy relationships. so should we. Lets get to work!