Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were
your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger
women as sisters,
with absolute purity.
(1 Timothy 5:1-2)
On Mother's Day, I attended the worship service at the Roxbury
Presbyterian Church, led by The Reverend H. Eugene Hamilton. At the close of
the service, Pastor Hamilton
asked me to charge the congregation to treat all mothers as though they were
Mary, the mother of Jesus the Christ. Being obedient, I made the charge during
the prayer of benediction. As I left the church, I had to ask myself, do I treat
all mothers as though they were the woman that gave birth to the last Adam? For
that matter, do I treat all women as though they were my mother or my younger
As men of God we are called to a higher standard of living. We are instructed to obey the commandments and teachings of Jesus and the great prophets of the Bible. At the same time, we find ourselves living in a society that challenges us where we are strong, but more often where we are weak. One of the greatest challenges of every man is that of sexual purity displayed in our actions and thoughts toward one of God's greatest gifts to man: woman.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man (Adam) said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man." (Genesis 2:22-23)
There is not a man who has not faced the challenges of sexual purity. Fortunately, our Lord has given the strength to endure when these temptations are presented before us in our moments of distress, contemplation, and the beauty of an attractive sister-friend. The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Rome, "I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness." (Romans 6:19)
The lessons taught by Paul a few decades after the resurrection of Christ
Jesus are still relevant to this generation's man. Society is filled with images
stimulants of impropriety. When I was in college many of the men on campus would
look forward to the first day of spring because we knew our sister-friends would
shed the winter coats for the brilliant sun and summer dresses. We knew a few
of our sister-friends would boldly display an array of enticing wardrobes, or
lack thereof, for us to view with utter amazement.
I thought these images would change once I left college, but even today as one ventures out for lunch at a downtown restaurant the spring and seductive dress code has emerged in an older generation of women to whom the sacred text states men should view as a mother or sister in absolute purity.
Steve Arterburn wrote in his book Every Mans Battle, "You're in a tough position. You live in a world awash with sensual images available twenty-four hours a day in a variety of mediums: print, television, videos, the Internet--even phones. But God offers you freedom from the slavery of sin through the cross of Christ, and He created your eyes and mind with an ability to be trained and controlled. We simply have to stand up and walk by His power in the right path. Men need a battle plan, a detailed plan for becoming a man of sexual integrity."
This battle plan begins with recognizing who we are in Christ Jesus as spiritual men and sons of the Most High God (El Elyon). When we are not disciplined in our walk as Christian Believers we easily stumble and eventually fall to the wiles of the evil one. At our weakest God remains the strongest. "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation, but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." (Romans 8:12-14)
Because we are sons of God we share in His strength. After realizing whom we are in Christ Jesus our next step is to fortify our position as men of God by developing a devotional, prayer, and study regimen encased with the discipline strengthened in fasting, prayer, and fellowship with other men who are striving to stand and walk like sons of God.
We are at war! Our families, sister-friends, communities, and nations need brothers to recognize our roles as men of God who have received the Spirit of sonship. "The Spirit (of God) himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory." (Romans 8:16-17)
We are often asked what are our career goals...our financial goals...our goals in life. What is your objective? As for me, I want to share in the brilliance and radiance of God's glory "on earth as it is in heaven."
It is time! It is time for true brothers, true men of God, those who have received the Spirit of sonship, to tackle one of the enemy's greatest weapons of mass destruction. That is, not disrespecting and mistreating all women and neglecting the instruction to treat them as though they were our mothers or our younger sisters.
Fred Stoeker, coauthor of Every Mans Battle wrote, "We need real men around here--men of honor and decency, men with their hands where they belong and their eyes and minds focused on Christ." Brothers, the world is waiting for us to become Warrior Saints. Our nation needs men with integrity to become leaders led by Christ Jesus. Our families are in anguish as they wait for daddies to become fathers. Our Churches require our input beyond the pulpit, usher, and deacon board. Our sister-friends want to look at us and see not only a reflection of them like Eve did when she saw Adam, but they desire to see a man that reflects the glory of God as though he has been walking alongside our Lord and Savior Jesus. We need to become sons and heirs to the throne of Jehovah M'kaddish (The Lord Who Sanctifies).
The question is not for me to ask you, but for each of us to question ourselves:Are we willing to die spiritually to the weakness of sin to become empowered with new and eternal spiritual life in Christ Jesus our Lord? (Romans 6:23)
barrett-osahar berry is a preacher, political pundit, and poet currently living in Boston. He is president & CEO of The Light Group Ministries International, TheWarriorSaints.org and associate minister at Greater Love Tabernacle Church in Boston. He has served as president of the Emerging Leadership Institute and has chaired Black Youth Vote and the National Black Student Government Association. He co-created and served as the first editor of BlackPressUSA.com. He has studied political science, Africana studies, and theology at Morris Brown College and Harvard University. You can reach him at www.TheWarriorSaints.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2004
Opinions expressed are those of the author and are used on BlackandChristian.com by permission.