I watched as my then 19-year-old son’s countenance began to change. He wasn’t as outgoing or confident as he usually was. Because we are so close, I noticed in our talks he’d ask, “Why don’t y’all women speak? I mean, I’m just speaking!” I asked myself why I didn’t. So I told him, “It’s the way a man speaks. If he’s speaking like he’s flirting, then I don’t respond. But if he’s sincere, I’ll speak.”
I watched as the days went by that he seemed weary and somewhat depressed. I prayed and asked God what I could do. He began to reveal to me how I had contributed to the problem. What? ME!?! What’d I do?
He revealed to me each time a man smiled at me and I looked away, complimented me and I didn’t respond, or spoken to me and I refused to acknowledge his presence – that I had just sown a seed of rejection into that man and was reaping the harvest of it in my son. He showed me it’s not my place to demand that a man speak to me in a certain way. That’s PRIDE. Proverbs 6:16, 17 says, ‘These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him; a PROUD look..’ As a child of God, Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:47, ‘… if you greet the brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?’
So for about a year-and-a-half, I had to greet the brothers; even when they hadn’t met my standard of speaking. I’m not advocating and obligating you to respond to every cat call, whistle, horn, question, or greeting. (That’s another issue) But for me, I had to start by just looking in their direction when they spoke. Then I’d gradually wave or grin. One day I’d nod, which eventually led to me speaking. Until finally, I am now able to hold a brief, and I do mean brief conversation. That’s major because I haven’t dated since 2002. (That’s another series – be on the look out!)
Sisters in Christ, I encourage you to start where you are. Smile, nod, wave, friend him on Facebook, speak but acknowledge that man in some way if and only if you have a peace about it. Mothers, speak for your sons; and homegirls - no, he may not be your next husband but he’s someone’s son.
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