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. This column is not for the faint of heart, and you may be surprised by its content, and how the matters are handled.
I’ll warn you up front, ALL 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 answers 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 you 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.
To get back on point, when you lost your job, you had to have help to find another one. You went to an Employment Counselor, or someone who had the knowledge, wisdom or skills in order to help get you ready to hit the employment trail once again. 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 several new employers--in order to interview for that new job, win it, and start it.
Now, the proper role of the counselor or therapist in my view, is to identify the problem, provide one with a sounding board AND 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 ONE 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 these soon-to-be-mentioned areas. Keep in mind that these areas are the same areas that many women have faced, have had books dedicated to, talk shows aired, and articles generated about.
Men have not been afforded this luxury.
That is--until now!
Ready? Brothers, here are just a few of those past problem areas for M-E-N. If you are a WOMAN reading this, and are going to make light of this, please remember what I stated earlier--there are MORE THAN ENOUGH talk shows, books, and dedicated to your traumas. MEN have been--for the most part--neglected.
Here we go:
*Rape--Contrary to the ‘feminized’ view, plus--documented by experts in the field, a man can be a rape victim. Hello? 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. Hello--again?
*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. Think this can’t happen? I’ve seen more than a few cases where young boys have been ‘preyed’ upon by older female relatives and older female family ‘friends’.
We are also seeing some women in positions of authority at work going to the homes of family members and having sexual relations with younger male relatives.
*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 student scenario is just as real, can do just as much damage, and can have the same end result.
*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 to 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 men. If YOU are a victim of domestic violence, brother, call the COPS.
*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 back. 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 victims of these same crimes. Press reporting of male victims is usually relegated to the back pages of the newspaper…if at all. Across the country, more and more girls are fighting IN schools, or forming their own street gangs looking for boys to either possess, enslave, or coerce into sexual activity.
WHY THE TITLE OF THIS COLUMN?:
Brothers, the reason why I am bringing these issues to the table 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?
Why do many of us have problems with pornography?
Why won’t many of us commit to a great woman who has been waiting?
Why are many young men--even in the Church--trapped in homosexuality?
The Bible says, we have not dealt with the ‘root of bitterness’. We have not dealt with an issue in our past, successfully! It has served to become the ‘trigger’ of our present bad deeds. I’m not excusing 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 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. Again--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 cheap seats!
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. It also had him doing more and more self-destructive things to prove his manhood to himself.
Let me put a flag in here. Don’t think that this is merely a ‘blip’ on the social radar. In the spring of 2004, some girls AND women in Baltimore ‘boot stomped’ a 13 year old GIRL into a COMA because of her getting a kiss from a boy that was supposedly ‘going with’ one of the participants. Don’t try to lecture me about how women and girls can’t be the initiators of violence. Does the name ‘Jezebel’ bring any thoughts to mind?
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 those 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 is done day by day, until the pain of the offense goes away.
There are more of us who need this help, than we would like would 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.
RAMEY, a syndicated columnist and book reviewer, lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. THE RAMEY COMMENTARIES appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications International.
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