Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Woman, Her Mate & Her Pastor

In a culture where people want to be so independent, we fail to see that independence, if left unchecked, will breed selfishness. I posed a question to Pastor Shantae Charles to get a woman's viewpoint on this very topic. It grieves my heart when people become so independent that they desire to tear down another person's identity in order to make them feel better. 

Now, I didn't grow up in church during my childhood, and it wasn't until I left home when I started going. One thing I have seen is this pattern: the men are in leadership positions, and get this: the majority of the congregation is women (married and single). And in some churches, people in the pews are lusting after their pastor or someone in a leadership role. So, I don't know if this left a bad taste for women to feel that all men are unlearned when it comes to the Bible, or they sense that if he is a man after God's heart, I must prove myself and tear him down to prove who I am and that I know more than him. That's truthfully pride and ego, and it's also a sin. Understand, the devil is destroying the family and keeping the head away from the church. I didn't plan to say this, but if he can separate a man from a woman, both are in danger. This is why it's so important for men & women to cover each other, grow with each other, pray and intercede for each other, and ensure they both speak words of love and respect for each other. There is no room for stripping a man's identity to prove your independence, and there's no room for tearing a woman's confidence to prove your manhood.

Ok, that was not in the script, but praise God for that. Now let me get back to the message. What I'm about say may offend some women but it's not my intention. I have an utmost respect for you ladies and I believe God has empowered you with a power that is unstoppable. If used for His Glory, it's a sweet aroma. If not, it can wreck a home and the lives of yourself and your respective spouse.

I have seen cases where a man and a woman get married, and the woman will do everything she can to undermine her husband. She will start comparing her husband to her pastor, listening to her pastor more than her husband and in some cases, she will even place her pastor over the Bible. Now with that last part: we all have a tendency to put our pastor and church over the Bible. Now if this leader tickles the ear, there's a strong possibility she will start listening more to her leader over her husband. Comments such as "the pastor said," or "what do you know, you're not a leader." One of my brothers was in the military and he had orders to move to another state. His wife was so involved with the church and the teaching that she abandoned her husband (and marriage) to stay close to the church. This brother is a man of God and is truly a brother to me. 

Regardless of where the husband is in his life (but for the purpose of this blog, I'm referring to a man seeking the heart of God), it can crush his spirit and leave a feeling that he's not respected. He truly loves his wife, and his faith is truly secure, but his ability to speak into his spouse's life is hindered tremendously. 

Now that I got that out, let me invite Pastor Shantae Charles to my blogpost. It's great to get feedback from women and I have learned with my writings, a woman's touch enhances what I'm striving to convey (smile Shantae & Cynthia - those are my editors for the benefit of those new to my blog). Pastor Shantae, I have a question for you: do you find that some women will put a pastor, prophet, etc. over their spouses? Granted, the spouse makes mistakes, they're human, but is it dangerous to put a church leader over their spouse or put both over God?

Husbands are the direct spiritual covering for their wives. However, if he is unbelieving, Paul stated her prayers could cover the family.

Pastors oversee our spiritual life in general. They are not God.

A woman with no husband is first covered by God, her natural father, and her spiritual leader, not as husband, but Shepherd. This is where singles get in trouble. Your Pastor is not your husband (or wife). Ref: 1 Corinthians 7:13-14.

Thanks a bunch. And all I can say to that is Amen. You all be blessed today. 

The Mayne Man

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Suffering In Silence Causes Suicide

This was an unexpected post, but this is very important. If you are contemplating or even attempting suicide, I'm declaring a trigger warning if you proceed to read it, but more importantly, please seek help. I am going to say that numerous times in this post.

You know, it's important to have people who will have your back no matter what you're going through. Some of you are probably thinking, with the people in my circle, who needs enemies. You have to say or do something drastic just to be heard. Or when you reach out, no one is there (or if they do, they're doing you a favor), but you have to be there for them when they're hurting. It's been said life is hard, and only the strong survive. There's probably a question going through your mind: how do I get strong? You start by loving the person you were created to be. It doesn't happen overnight. It might be a process especially if rejection and abuse is all you've received for most of your life. Support is needed to help you through it (and not everybody in your circle may be cut out to be your support).

When I went through my suicidal spell in 2011, I can't even begin to tell you how many people were willing to let me suffer in silence. If you are currently suffering in silence, I pray that you seek help. Sadly, there are people in this world (and they may be in your circle) who could care less if you live or die. And there are people with no conscious and will ridicule you to the point where you commit suicide to some capacity (it may not always be physical, but it could be mental suicide or emotional suicide). Adding on, there are people in this world who have no heart and their heart's desire is to point fingers at you (i.e., state that everything is your fault) to cause your suicide. 

Questions: do you feel like you're being punished in life and that your purpose here on earth is to suffer? I pray you won't feel that way as you read. Do you feel that you have to lie when people ask how are you? In fact, you know they want to see a Joel Osteen smile when the truth is, you're trying to find out how you are going to cope with the pain that's on your mind and your heart.

Now for many who are suffering in silence, it may seem like you will have to walk alone (because your circle is full of people instilling fear and judgment). Now there are some reading this telling those suffering that it's their perception and they need to change it. I challenge you to understand them so they feel like they're understood (even if you don't believe what they believe). I guarantee you, they are willing to listen if you are not pointing a finger and saying that everything from childhood till now is their fault. And to immediately say that they need to go to therapy without any emotion is going to alienate them (and cause them to feel they are worthless). 

If you are suffering in silence, you may feel like you are shut out from the world, and that you must go away. If this is you, I can imagine that you're crying right now and I feel your tears. I beg that you don't do it, no matter how much you want to.

Despite the people who want to see you fail in life, the people who want to take advantage of you, the people who want to add alcohol to your wounds, and sadly the people who want to see you dead; you have something to live for. You may not know right now, but I ask that you don't give up. It's hard when you have been rejected from heartless people and those who mean well (but can't communicate it well - to this group, don't stop loving the one who's hurting).

You may have made a mistake in life and you feel that you have to suffer in silence. If this is you, you don't have to suffer (but please be careful who you share that with). Finding the right person may be hard, and I would be less than a man if I didn't say that. As a result, you may feel forced to suffer in silence. 

Let me say this: God is listening and He knows where you are. When no human being wants to listen, He will. He knows that love is growing cold and that we lack long suffering (patience). He knows that we fail to bear each other's burdens and that we're selfish at times. He knows that you want to just crawl up into a ball and die even as you are reading this right now. 

If you are reading this and you know someone suffering in silence, please don't X them out of your life. They really do need you. In fact, you could not only save their life from suicide, but you can help them advance to the next level in their lives. That does not mean you say "Get over it!" Or "It's Gonna Get Better," and leave it at that. Don't accuse them and make them feel as if they are at fault. Build them up with words of healing and strength. For an exercise: look at Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you know someone who is shutting the world off because they are wounded, and feel like they are being judged (or they won't be heard), keep seeking them and pray for them. People are dying by the dozens daily because they are suffering in silence and they feel like they are to suffer alone. The reason why suffering in silence causes suicide is because they feel like their suffering alone. They don't want to die, they want to live. Cliches truthfully add more wounds to them. Their pain can go all the way back to childhood or it can be recent such as a breakup of a friendship/relationship. 

In closing: if you are suffering and need someone to listen, please call a therapist, or a good friend who won't judge you and add further inflictions to your wounds.


The Mayne Man

An Abused Woman Does Not Need A Spineless Man

This title was on my spirit as I was getting ready for work this morning and I believe that more women will read this than men (in all seriousness, men NEED to read this). 

A few disclaimers before I begin:
1. If I had to subtitle this blogpost, it would be An Abused Man Does Not Need A Prayerless Woman.
2. This blogpost is NOT intended to bash men; in fact, it's a plea for us men to wake up and understand the role we are to play as men (and husbands, though I'm not one as of yet).
3. If you are with someone who has abandoned you, I'm not saying you should just up and divorce him or her. Please seek God about it.
4. I want to extend a huge shoutout to the men who are covering their wives, praying over them if they have been abused, and are interceding for their healing. Sometimes you men are overlooked, so brother to brother, I stand with you. You are proving that there are men out there with spine.

Why does an abused woman not need a spineless man? First and foremost, women hurt easily than men do. The last thing they need is a weak man who will not be the support she needs. Ever since I released by 2012 novel DDBS, I have met a lot of people from all different walks of life. I have ran into a few scenarios that have left me concerned. One is where the woman has suffered childhood trauma and her husband is leaving her to suffer alone. I speak in many different outlets, and when a woman shares her abuse, I'll ask if she's married, where is her husband? I ask because he needs to be involved. Before I dive further as to why he needs to be involved, let's look at a familiar passage. 2 Samuel 13 is used a lot to address Tamar & her being rape, the sin of Amnon and the type of people (Jonadab) you don't need in your life (as he was an accomplice to Tamar being raped). I want to approach this passage from another perspective. 

Let's look at verses 1-22: Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man.
And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.'" So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. And when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand." Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare food for him." So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where he was lying down. And she took dough and kneaded it and made cakes in his sight and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send out everyone from me." So everyone went out from him. Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." She answered him, "No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you." But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Get up! Go!" But she said to him, "No, my brother, for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me." But he would not listen to her. He called the young man who served him and said, "Put this woman out of my presence and bolt the door after her." Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves, for thus were the virgin daughters of the king dressed. So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went. And her brother Absalom said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart." So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom's house. When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar.

Notice that King David was angry, but he couldn't do anything. Why? Two chapters back, he slept with Uriah's wife and had him killed when she informed David that she was pregnant. It was at that point where David was spineless because he could not even cover (protect) his own daughter. Absalom had to step in the role of what David was supposed to do. And it was to cover Tamar. That was David's responsibility to cover Tamar because she wasn't married and not Absalom's. But praise God Absalom covered her. And that's what Christ does when His children are hurting. 

So what am I saying? Husbands, if your wife is fighting for her healing, trying to get her life back after it was stolen due to trauma (sexual, physical abuse), it's imperative that you don't render yourself spineless. She is counting on you to cover her and be her support. 

Men, if you are single, you can cover a woman who's hurt as a friend. Be mindful of her emotions and yours (it's easy to be led on and of course - in some cases, one thing can lead to another). And the tragedy is that there is a broken friendship that could have been avoided. But praise God for restoration in Him. For He wants His children to be on one accord.

Let me get back on track. It saddens me when a man knows that his wife is cutting her leg to numb the pain and he's off in a different room as if she doesn't exist. Husbands, 1 Peter 3:7 says to dwell with your wives according to knowledge. Couples as they are courting need to lay their cards on the table. If a woman is in counseling, the rightful thing for a husband to do is support her, pray for understanding, and if you can attend with her, please do. That would make her feel special. To know that someone is willing to fight for her when people who have hurt her will seek to discredit her. 

A spineless man cleaves to his wife, but he doesn't leave his family. That can have great repercussions, because families (especially if their house isn't in order), can sow negative seeds in him and they fester in the marriage (such as, leave her, you don't need to deal with her trauma from her past). A husband with a spine knows that Christ covers His bride, and he would do the same for his bride. 

Now, there may be times when a woman is healed (or waiting for the manifestation of her healing - for whatever she's been through), a husband must stay in prayer in the event a trigger may arise in her (or God shows her something from her past that needs to be addressed), so he can be there when she needs him. The same holds true in reverse when a man has been hurt. She needs to be in prayer for him (and he desires to be whole). There may be cases where either spouse don't want help, advice: stay in your closet and intercede. Wait for God's instructions and not your friends. 

A little off subject, but I must say this: some of you husbands have a good woman. You know it, your wife knows it and God knows it. If your wife is going through and you are living your life like you're single, ignoring the things she needs, God is going to deal with you because you are technically abandoning her and the relationship (some of you might disagree with me on that, and that's fine). If she's cutting, her family is disowning her because she's speaking out of what happened to her, and you're emotionally absent or physically absent from her (or perhaps you're escaping into the arms of another woman), don't think you are getting away with it and you are emptying the emotional bank account the moment you neglect her when she needs you most. Yes, she's the weaker vessel, but at the same time, it does not give us men the right to treat her any kind of way. That is showing the world how spineless we are as men. I've said this for about 20 years and I believe it to this day: most of the problems some women have stem from our behavior and how we treat them. No one (inside or outside the church) are holding them accountable. Let me lighten up for a minute and say this: I understand that there are men who fear commitment and that's fine. Just don't drag another person into a relationship and you don't understand what a commitment entails. You will damage your life and hers. In a nutshell: commitment is sacrifice. You are giving up your life for something or someone you love. When you give it up, it requires all of you. No holding back. Before committing to a relationship, understand the cost (Luke 14:28).

A small note on men who have been abused: Women, I plead with you not to automatically assume that because he's been abused he's living an alternative lifestyle. I'm proof that I'm heterosexual and just waiting to place the glass slipper for the Cinderella God has for me (smile). I get this question a lot when I speak at different venues. We men don't need judgments from women, but we do need women who will pray for us, stand in the gap for us, and most importantly, respect us. Now there are some men who won't share their story with their spouse. Let me say that will set you up for failure. When a trigger occurs in you, she will not know how to respond (whether she's praying for you or not). I beg you men to let your spouse know if you've been abused and what triggers you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. She will appreciate that and support you.

In summary: communication between a husband and wife is critical. If there is no communication, there is a breach in the relationship. A genuine relationship should have no breaches. And that will happen when husbands & wives understand their roles. 


The Mayne Man

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Should Women Knuckle Down To The Devil? (Domestic Violence Awareness)

This was just dropped on my spirit. I don't know if this blog post is going to restore marriages for women, but I believe this will save women's lives and set them free. Sometimes we harp on women for leaving their husbands when they are emotionally abusing, physically abusing to the point of death. I'm not just talking him throwing his fist at her, but also throwing hot oil at her, biting her ear off, and maiming her. I don't care if he is in the church or not, she should NOT have to knuckle down to the devil like that. For any person (saved or unsaved) to tell a woman she should stay in the relationship because God hates divorce, you are telling her to bow down to the devil because YOU want to see a Miracle. God would never tell anyone to submit to the devil. Men like that should be held accountable - a crime was committed. 

To tell a woman she should separate and pray is fine, but she needs to protect her life. God would never tell a woman to knuckle down to the devil with her life (and especially when her man is spitting on her, degrading her position as a wife, etc).

Yes. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, but not at the hands of the devil. Now many people are not going to agree with me with this part (especially those who are adamant about God hating divorce). You see, if I were to hit a woman, you know, I know, God knows & the devil knows that you (and those close to you) would see to it that I'm behind bars. And to allow abuse like this to go on in the church, is a stench in the nostrils of God. The bridegroom doesn't hurt the bride, so how dare we give men in the church a pass to hit women and turn around and tell women to submit and pray for your relationship. She should pray, yes; but truth is, he stepped out of God's will and into the devil's hands (and truthfully, she's free). Now think about this: what makes you think the man is going to want a woman to leave a relationship when he has that much power? He (being used by the devil) will use the control that the woman (and those who are adamant about God hating divorce) to further torture a woman. Why? Because we are not tuned to the truth about what God wants in a marriage relationship and we want things to fit our little box. Truth be told: there's a strong chance that with the advice you're giving others, you wouldn't even do. 

So, what am I saying? Don't put yourself in situations where your life is in danger due to a violent spouse, don't allow a faith community to allow you to stay in a relationship where they condemn you for speaking out, and they advocate spousal beating and torture. Faith communities need to hold people accountable and stop focusing on miracles, signs & wonders without unity and one accord with God's Word. 

Women: can I make this small disclaimer? You might be a praying woman, and will not take any garbage from the devil; if you continually submit yourself to any type of abuse as mentioned above, you are actually submitting yourself to the devil to the point where your life is threatening. God wants you to be whole and for you to live in the fullness of Him.

As a bonus: to the right of this blog, check out the video Pieces of Me skit (based on my novel addressing domestic violence). If you can't view it there, just click on this link:

I pray that this will set you free if you are tired if knuckling down to the devil in the realm of relationships. Yes, it does take two to tangle in the relationship; acknowledge the wrong you've caused, and now it's time for you to be free to be loved by someone who is truly committed to God's Word. But more importantly, you should be free to love God for who He is. He's a healer, protector, provider, and a Savior who would never hurt you if You are in Him.


The Mayne Man