Boys to Men
I was watching “Iyanla, Fix My Life” last night. This was week four of a series about Jay Williams, a 44 year old man with 34 kids. I was heartbroken while I was listening to the men tell their truth. Men and women definitely view intimacy and sex very differently. One man described women as having a “hope factor”. This is described as the belief that men mean the things that they say in the “intimate” moments with women. Unfortunately, most of the time as soon as the intimacy is over, the promise is no longer valid. Many men and women are broken and the fact that nobody has really been honest in relationships just creates additional layers of brokenness. A person can’t love another if he or she has no self-love. Last night, the episode was very moving. It was discovered that many of the men’s inability to commit and be honest was birthed from an unhealed wound from their adolescent years. Jeff Johnson, youth advocate, former youth pastor of Empowerment Temple Church, and former National Director of the NAACP Youth and College Division spoke his truth on the show to give understanding from a man’s perspective. He mentioned a concept by Dr. Na’im Akbar that there are 3 phases of manhood, male-you have a penis, boy-everybody must serve you, man-you must build a legacy. As Jeff Johnson was peeling back the layers of his truth, he explained that indiscriminate sex prevents a man from rising to his greatest level of greatness. He also talked about the fact that a man can very easily disconnect from women in very intimate moments and a very real depiction of a deep level of emotional unavailability was displayed by a young man on the panel who had 28 kids by 17 women. One of the young men had a very real, tear jerking, heart wrenching conversation with his mother. As the mother was having a conversation with her son, she apologized to him for “using him as a container for her rage”. The young man admitted that he treated the women that he was with badly because his mother hurt him. There was not a dry eye in the studio, including Iyanla. Iyanla told the audience that it’s important that men don’t lie to women because when we are disappointed, we unintentionally take our anger out on their sons. As single mothers, we don’t realize that our children feel the damaging remnants of the pain and disappointment of our decisions. It’s not their fault. This was a very difficult show to watch because it causes everyone to take responsibility for the mess that we’ve all created. We damage our children through the unhealed wounds and unresolved issues from our past. When people are hurting, they do many things to numb the pain such as sex, drugs, gambling and partying. Most of the time these things are self-destructive and the end result is that we hurt those that we claim to love the most. After the show, Iyanla provided a phone number to dial in for a conference call because she understood that last night’s episode would open up a forum for many unanswered questions so she made herself available for assistance. One very important fact that Iyanla always talks about is the ability to heal requires us all to do the work.
James 2:14-26- “Faith without works is dead”