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Bishop Jakes, Grown Boys & The Women Who Love Them

I was scrolling through YouTube® and was intrigued by a video by ‘Gary with the Tea’ with Bishop Jakes, Kim Burrell, and John Gray on the caption. In it, he told of how the highly anointed and incomparable Senior Pastor of the Potters House (who just so happens to be my ePastor), Bishop T.D. Jakes, had come under fire for his recent teaching when he said the following:

“We are raising up women to be men!…[Women are]…applauded in the contemporary society by how tough, rough, nasty, mean, aggressive, hateful, possessive you are and you’re climbing the corporate ladder, but we’re losing our families…stop bragging about how much you don’t need me and wonder why I shy away.”

Mind you, I was watching online when he made the statement. And though I knew it was a heavy Word, I had no idea it had made it into the Twitter streets. As I recounted what he said, the spirit in which he said it was not intended to be offensive. And though I believe it was taken out of context, it got me to thinking about my own issues about what’s expected of me in this contemporary society.

As a legally blind, 50 something, cancer, domestic abuse and violent crime survivor who doesn’t drink, smoke, or cuss, I definitely don’t fit the mold of what, where, and who society says as a Black woman I’m “supposed” to be. So when I considered his statement, I did it from a standpoint of one who’s lost her father, uncle, both grandfathers, and hasn’t dated in over 19 years (that’s a different story) which means - in the absence of a man - life, as a woman of faith, has MADE me rough and tough. But I get and can altogether appreciate what Bishop is saying but at the same time, as a single woman of color, I understand why women are so upset.

In fact, just this month, I wrote a journal entry entitled, ‘Real Men vs. Let-ers’. In it, I was venting to God about how men will LET women do what they could do. Some will even have the audacity to offer to do what could have been done, after the fact. But for the most part, men LET us do what they could do for us. Notice I didn’t say what they SHOULD, I said COULD because they aren’t obligated to do anything for us…even though innately they were created to tend and to keep (Gen 2:15), but I digress. But again, they will LET us tend and and watch us keep something that they could have tended to before and/or for us. That’s because men have a built in ability to detect and are mad aware of their surroundings. That’s the protector in them. Yet they’ll LET women TELL THEM who’s coming and what needs to be done.

And though I am a man’s advocate at my core, what I think has happened is that...

Us, as mothers, didn’t teach our sons how to tend and to keep.

Our sons wait until Momma TELLS them what to do. All the while knowing it needs to be done before Momma says anything about it which is why fathers are so important in the home.

A man/father is not going to LET his son sit there and do nothing. A good father will not LET his son WAIT until he’s asked to do something. Why? Because that father knows that the son is a LET-ER. He knows his son knows and because he knows, he demands a level of get-to-it-ness that us mothers miss, ignore, or LET them get away with. All of which, as a mother, I take full responsibility for. Unfortunately, us LETTING our sons sit there and wait until we ASK them to do something has led them to become ADULT LET-ERS.

Our sons, who are now somebody’s man and/or husband, will LET their women/wife TELL them something has to be done; not realizing she shouldn’t have had to ask him in the first place. All the while, he’s upset because she’s treating him like a child/son. But why? Because he LET her.

The adult man waited, like he did as a boy, for a woman TO TELL him what to do, instead of taking the initiative to get it done. That’s why women think men are slow and don’t know anything. It’s not that they don’t know. They’re just programmed, by us mothers, to wait until they’re asked. And it’s not that they’re slow intellectually but they are slow in the sense that they know they can wait to do whatever needs to be done because that’s what Momma let them do. Again, Momma either asked him to do what he knew needed to be done or LET him do whatever needed to be done when he wanted to, which is what we see in our Black men today.

It’s not that our Black men are bad, lazy, or weak. They just don’t realize that the little LET-ER in them has led women to now have to be “tough, rough, nasty, mean, aggressive, hateful, and possessive.” Not saying those characteristics are godly, or even right. But sir, if a woman has to either do it first, by herself or alone, you can forget about any type of respect. Only because as women, we know that if it needs to be done and if you can’t, won’t, or don’t do it FOR and/or BEFORE us, then it’s a wrap. We got it and gone talk bad while we do it. Why? Because were like your Momma! Didn’t she talk bad to you when you half did or didn’t do something that you were supposed to do? Then why would you think that just because you are a man, our man at that, that we would treat you differently; especially when you sit there, like a grown boy, and LET us do what you could and/or should have done.

And don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating for men to be verbally abused and/or disrespected. Not. At. All. I understand that when you are asked, that as a woman, especially as a wife (of which I am not) that she needs to, “…open her mouth with wisdom, and [that]…her tongue…[should be kind]’ when she asks you. I get that. And if you are being asked disrespectfully, then how you handle it is between you and God. But please know there are levels to respect and if ever you find yourself with a woman who knows how to ask and you still LET her do what she asked, just remember that, (1) You LET it get to the point where she had to ask, and (2) She did what she felt you could, and (3) Because she did what you could, then, by default, that places her in your role. Not saying she is now head of the household, but the spirit of I-gotta-do-it will falleth upon her and may influence how she speaketh and treateth you.

Again, I’m in a precarious position but what I have decided as a single woman of color and future wife in contemporary society is that I am going to be both intentional with my respect for men in general AND that I am going to be more intentional with my femininity because life and let-ers can make you stronger, tougher and rougher than God intended us to be.

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