Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Measure of a Man

With all of the news abuzz about Christopher Brown and Rihanna, I have felt moved to comment via blog on the subject. I found it to be quite refreshing that so many people had something to say about them in our last Meet & Greet Radio show this past Saturday; we had many people moved to come forward with their own stories of abuse, both given and received. For many, it was perhaps cleansing to do so but we all came to the consensus that physical violence is something that simply should not take place in any kind of relationship.

I heard this morning on the Steve Harvey Morning Show about a woman getting beat down and another woman believing that she "had it coming." We all remember the beatdowns in The Color Purple, and Rolanda DelaMartinez has posted a timely blog today about abuse and its signs and ramifications.

But, let's look at it from a man's standpoint and hopefully, this will ring true for all of us.

To my eternal shame, I hit my first wife. After it happened, I couldn't believe that I did it...I felt an emotion that was beyond was complete and utter shame. How dare I? Who did I think I was? Until I got Saved, that and other instances from my first marriage, haunted me to no end. This woman did not deserve to be treated like this...and I certainly did not deserve a woman like her, who had witnessed it in her own family's life. She certainly did not need to relive this horror with me.

And, that's what this all is: a horror! How many times have you seen a "horror" movie on TV and can tell exactly WHAT is going to happen to whom? How many times have you shouted at the screen or began to recoil at what you know was going to happen?

How many of us can view the lives of our friends and family and see what is going on and know what will come next only to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the horror about to unfold? Why did it have to take OJ Simpson's murder of his wife to bring domestic abuse to the forefront of our sensibilities; or this beating that Rihanna experienced -- NO MATTER WHAT WAS THE REASON FOR IT -- to now move the discussion from polite whispers to full-throated denunciations out here in the blogosphere?

"What matters is to turn one's predicament into a human achievement."

—Victor Frankl

When faced with the alternative of visiting violence upon another human, male or female, when one's emotions are unleashed...raw...naked...and unfettered, we need to pause, however briefly, to see if we can turn Frankl's quote into reality.

Will it make you a "man" to beat a woman, mentally or physically? Will it make you a "man" to dominate that woman and morph her into an unrecognizable form of her former self? Did you see her this way when you first met her? or, does your own twisted sense of superiority require you to view a woman as someone that must be subjugated to your will?

My blog from the other day, which was a repeat of a Yahoo 360 blog, explores what impatience can do and how it can manifest itself. How many times have you seen young black men believe that the way to be is like Tony in Scarface? How many noble solutions are achieved at the end of a gun, or the end of your fist?

When you as a man violate your holy love your wife as Christ loved the become the "god" of that woman instead of her steward, you have forfeited your right to be viewed as noble or worthy of her. I was once told by a former lover, "I just want you to love me as I love you."

If you REALLY love someone, and you appreciate the mutuality of caring for each other and supporting and nurturing and bonding with them, you won't need to worry about violence in your house, or your pride being abused to the point that you feel you MUST strike back!

Men...find a way to love her...find a way to appreciate her...find a way to be as one person--or just leave. Do you really need this in your life? Does she?

Sadly, or fortunately, Brown and Rihanna are purported to be seeking reconciliation. Oprah has publicly said that "if he hit you once, he will hit you again."

Perhaps...but, I believe that if these two, as anyone else may, will seek the higher authority on just what it means TO love someone, and who has shown through His sacrifice HOW to love someone, anything is possible.

The measure of man to me is not dominance or subjugation; it is found in HOW he loves his life and family and all of those contained within it to protect and to serve it and them.

Men, look into that stained glass mirror and find the way...before you do something that someone will blog about.