Brothers, I am not a therapist, nor do I play one
on television. In fact, I'd like to thank those whom I know who have the
'gift' of counseling. Not everyone can do what you can do. However, we
are going into territory that few—if any--want to deal with—as it impacts
the male sex. So, this column is not for the faint of heart, and you may
be surprised by its content, and how the matter is handled.
I'll warn you up front, it will be handled from
a biblical perspective. In fact, I dare say that this column may be the
first step in the liberation of many of my brothers who have been searching
for freedom--for years—and may finally have found the answer to why they
do, what they do. My brothers, the answer for the present, lay in the
waters of your past.
COUNSELING AND UNEMPLOYMENT:
To begin, let me say that I do believe in counseling and therapy. However,
I don't believe in ETERNAL counseling and therapy. There comes
a time when you have to leave the counselor's office, or the therapists'
couch and face Real Life 101 again, with your head held high, and your
armor intact. You may walk with a limp, but keep on walking. We need
out here! Let's look at the last time you lost a job. Brothers, it hurts
to be 'pink slipped' or 'fired' by anyone. It hurts more for a man, because
we have been ordained by God to be 'providers' for our loved ones. We
are the ones who are supposed to rise--and work.
That's OUR job. So, to get back to what I
was saying, when you lost your job, you had to have help to find another
one. However, when you went on your interviews, the 'coach' that helped
you, was not with you. YOU had to talk with that new employer, or, perhaps
several new employers, in order to interview for that new job, win it,
and start it.
The proper role of the counselor or therapist, in
my view, is to identify the problem, provide one with a sounding board,
plus a means to get you through the problem--not to keep you trapped in
the problem. Unfortunately, there are those counselors, or therapists
who wish to enrich themselves by keeping you 'hooked' on their help. In
my view, one who has the 'gift' of counseling SHOULD be working
to get a person to learn how to face the problem and stand on their own.
Not to keep them enslaved, or dependent upon them.
MATTERS OF THE HEART AND PAST:
Brothers, I dare say that there are some of us who have been victims in
our youth of any one of several areas. Keep in mind that these areas are
the same areas that many women have faced, have had books dedicated to,
talk shows aired about, and articles generated about. However, men have
not been afforded this luxury, nor--if I may be so bold--do some, modern
women care if we have faced these issues. Ready? Here they are:
*Rape--Contrary to the 'feminized' view, and documented by experts
in the field, a man can be a rape victim. Rape is, by definition, a stronger
person, or a person operating from a position of strength or trust, forcing
their sexual desires upon an unwilling person.
*Incest--Again, contrary to the 'feminized' view, and documented
by experts in the field, an older female member of a family can take
sexual advantage of younger male family members.
*Molestation--Again, contrary to the 'feminized' view, and documented
by experts in the field, boys can have their 'sexual innocence' ripped
from them by predatory women in positions of authority. The best example
I can think of involve recent cases where female school teachers have
been 'caught' having sex with male students. Yes, we have heard of the
'male teacher/female student' scenario. But, the female teacher/male
scenario is just as real, and can do just as much damage.
*Domestic Violence--This is one that is just starting to get talked
about. Where women are beating up on the men in their lives, be they
husbands, fathers, or boyfriends. Law enforcement agencies in more than
a few jurisdictions
are now adopting a 'gender blind' attitude. Whoever throws the first
punch, or object, goes to jail. And, brothers, there are more women going
jail and being charged with this crime. Each year, there are an estimated
1.5 million women AND 875,000 men who are victims of this crime of violence.
Let me also add, there are no shelters in the United States to help battered
*General Violence--Where a boy is terrorized, intimidated, or beaten
up by a group of boys, or group of girls, and has no way of fighting
While women have a variety of outlets to discuss their sufferings in
public, the same public does not want to hear about men who have been
of these same crimes. Press reporting of male victims is usually relegated
to the back pages of the newspaper.
WHY THE TITLE OF THIS COLUMN?:
Brothers, the reason why I am bringing these issues to the table in this
column is that many of us don't know why we act the way we do in the present.
Why do many of us 'drink, drug, and chase'too much in the present? The
Bible says, we have not dealt with the 'root of bitterness'. We have not
dealt with an issue in our past, successfully, and it has served to become
the 'trigger' of our present bad deeds. I'm not excusing some of our present
bad behavior, but I am doing something you don't hear mentioned when it
comes to men in this present day.
Offering an explanation.
The reason behind the title of this month's column
is simple. Something has happened to a brother in our past, and only he
knows what it is. And, whenever the topic comes up for discussion, it
is one he shuns, due to the fact that even in our present society, men
are never thought of as having been victimized or hurt. In other words--to
some of you sisters who may be reading this column the man in your life
right now, who may not be as 'open' as you would like, may have been victimized
as a little boy, and have not dealt with these issues well into manhood, BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD LISTEN TO HIS CRY, OR HIS PROBLEM!
The boy who was molested by an older female relative
as a child, can grow up to be a molester, or an abuser of others himself--OR--can
seek to abuse himself with alcohol, drugs, or criminal behavior. Again,
going back to the Bible, that root of bitterness can lay there for years,
and spring up in uncharted ways. Seeking drugs. Seeking sex outside of
marriage. Constant outbursts of temper. Self-destructive, or 'death wish'
types of behavior. Am I making sense? Then, let's hear an AMEN from the
THE WAY OUT:
A good friend of mine, one of my mentors, died a few years ago. He told
me his story one night, over a cup of coffee and the span of several hours.
Yes, he was a biker, and a top member of one of the leading motorcycle
gangs in the WORLD. But, he eventually became a Christian, and--one by
one the negatives began to fall away. However, he was still abusive. He
would bat his wife around like he was 'shooting hoops' out on the playground.
He sought out an older man, his mentor who led him to Christ, and wanted
to know why he was still abusive. The reason lay dormant in his past,
but was manifesting in the present. It turned out that, as a little boy,
about age six, my mentor was molested by a female relative, who was never
prosecuted, or jailed. That time bomb led him on a twenty-plus year binge
in violence, drugs, alcohol, and abuse. My mentor's mentor gave him the
Scriptures, told him to forgive and release--the person who had wronged
him in the power of Christ. Also, he was to ask forgiveness from the persons
he had wronged, including his wife. He found the way out--through
Christ. IN ONE NIGHT, my mentor found the way out, thanks to a brother
who was willing to listen, and offer real counsel. From that day, to his
dying day, my mentor never lifted his hand in anger to anyone--especially
his wife. He told her what had happened, and their marriage was not only
restored, it was made better!
Brothers, some of you reading this need to find
a mentor; a trusted, older man who is willing to help you work through
your past. Yes, you may walk with a limp in the present, but then, you
can help others in need. But, in addition to this, you have to trust that
God will take care of the one(s) who abused you, hurt you, robbed you
of your virginity, and left you to die by the roadside. YOU must
choose to forgive them, and release them of their crimes against you
in the past, in order for you to walk on in the present. Forgiveness
day by day, until the pain of the offense goes away. There are more of
us who need this help, than we would like to admit. One does not have
to have a degree to be a good counselor. Only a willing ear, and a heart
geared towards freedom. Count me, among those, who are willing to listen
to your cry.