On Your Relationship With Your Wife or Wife to Be (Letter 8)

black-marriage1Dear Y.B.M.:

May I encourage you to get married. Contrary to what many think, marriage can and should be a joy and a pleasure, not a pain and a burden. Do not judge marriage based on what you have seen of other people’s marriages—even your parents or grandparents. Marriage can and should be fun, and if you do it the right way, that is, God’s way, it will be fun. Before I mention to you some points on how to have a happy and prosperous marriage, let me share some things with you on why you ought to get married.

First, you ought to get married because in this life it is good to have someone special to help you and encourage you along the way. A good wife can be that special someone and thus can become your best friend. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”

Second, you ought to get married to avoid the sin of fornication, which is sex before marriage. Don’t let anyone fool you, whenever you sin, you hurt others indeed, but you hurt yourself more. Sin is a bad thing! “Sin blinds, sin grinds, sin binds”, and don’t you forget that. First Corinthians 6:18 tells us to: “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

Third, you ought to get married so that you can be a husband and guide to a young black sister. Notice I said “young black sister”. Now, I am not a racist by any stretch of the imagination. I have white people in my family. I love them just as much as I love my other family members. We also have white people who work with us in our ministry, and we all get along quite well.

Now, dear brother, you have a right to marry who ever you wish, but may I strongly encourage you to marry a good black woman for these reasons:

a. You will help your race
b. You will eliminate the added pressure that comes with being in a mixed marriage

Contrary to what others may be telling you, or what you may have heard others say, you can find a good black woman if you pray one in.

Fourth, you ought to marry to have children that you can raise up to serve the Lord in this present age.

Fifth, society in general, looks askance at a young man past the age of twenty-five who does not have a girlfriend or some woman on his arms, or who shows no signs of getting married, or no interest in marriage. People begin to wonder: Is he gay? Does he have homosexual tendencies?

With that said, here are six important things that you must do to ensure a happy marriage:

1. Pray, and under the Lord’s leading, take the time to choose a good woman to be your wife. A bad woman can and will make your life miserable.

2. Refuse the notion that marriage must become a drudgery.

3. Make the choice to love your wife. Your wife will not look her best all of the time; love her anyway. She may not feel her best all of the time; love her anyway. She may not say the best things all of the time; make the choice to love her anyway. Believe it or not, love is a choice, not a feeling.

4. Avoid bitterness. Do not allow yourself to live a life of bitterness. Bitterness and strife will only make you, your wife, and your children miserable, and your marriage will probably end in divorce because of it. We are told in Ephesians 4:26, 27 and 31: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” It’s quite all right to show some anger in order to let your wife know that you are serious about some things—just do not sin in the process.

5. Be the head of your family. Do not buy into the modern philosophy of making the woman the head, or giving her the same authority as the husband. Listen, friend, God wants you to be the head of your family. If you are a man at all, in your heart of hearts, you want to be the head of your family. Believe it or not, your wife, in her heart of hearts, wants you to be the head of the family, and even your children want you to be the head. So, be the leader of your family. Have confidence in the God who leads you and in yourself, and have confidence that the decisions you make under God’s leadership are right for your family and for others.

Dear brother, one of the biggest reasons why the African American community is in the shape that it is in today, is because women run the home and much of everything else. Don’t be a part of continuing this negative side of our heritage.

6. Seek God’s guidance each day. Pray this prayer daily: “Lord, lead me, guide me and direct me through this day in all I and my family do. Help me to make wise decisions.”

Your marriage can be a great blessing to you if you have the courage enough to follow God’s leadership and be the head of your household.

For strong black husbands,

Daniel

P.T.: (Power Thoughts)

When a man marries a woman, they become one—the trouble comes when they decide which one.

Hen-pecked husbands soon learn that he who hesitates is bossed.

Nothing makes a marriage rust like distrust.

Women Folk #2 (The Brother’s Keeper)

Letter Seven

black-marraige-dayDear Y.B.M.:

I trust that you have God’s joy.

In this letter, I want to shift gears a little and add some good points to a letter I wrote to you in Letters to Young Black Men. It is the letter that I entitled “Women Folk!” Now, to my surprise, mothers, fathers, and men loved this letter, but many young wives and young women did not care for it that much. However, they handled it better than I expected. Well, this letter will be just as controversial, but at the same time just as helpful. The responses will probably be the same across the board. With that said, here are some more things that you need to know regarding women folk.

What should you expect from a good woman based upon the Word of God?

1. She should be a help to you and not a hindrance. If she is tearing down everything that you are building up, she is not worth having. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Proverbs 14:1 says, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”

2. She ought to be trustworthy. If you can’t trust your woman, she is not worth having. Proverbs 31:11 says, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”

3. She should be industrious and a good keeper at home. A lazy woman will not be of any benefit to you. Proverbs 31:13 says, “She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands” Proverbs 31:27 says, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

4. She ought to be eager to satisfy you sexually. First Corinthians 7:5 says, “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also her husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinence.” Young brother, you should not have to beg, plead, and jump through hoops in order to have sex with your wife. She should do this enthusiastically.

5. She should voluntarily submit her will to yours without smirking, blowing, or rolling her eyes. Ephesians 5:22-23 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body.”

6. If you have to hit her, you don’t need her! I repeat: if you have to hit her, you don’t need her! If you have to hit her, you don’t need her!

7. If she cannot boil water before you marry her then do not marry her. She should know how to cook.

8. She should love you. Titus 2:4 says, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.”

9. She should respect you. Ephesians 5:33 says, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

10. She should carry herself in a Godly manner. Titus 2:5 says, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husband, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

After preaching in a church in Germany, and while eating dinner with the pastor and his wife at their home after the service, here’s what this dear pastor’s wife told me at the dinner table:

She said, ‘Daniel, let me tell you something about women—it is the nature of women to want the control and reigns of the relationship. Now she will not know what to do with the reigns of the relationship, but she wants them. Deep down in her heart of hearts, she wants you to take the lead, but she will never let you know that. If she gets the reigns of the relationship she will not give them up without a fierce fight. You must be a man and take the reigns from the get go and keep them, and you will have less trouble in your marriage.
If any of the ten things mentioned above are not happening, she is violating the Word of God and making you and your children miserable.’

By the way, contrary to popular thought in the black community, if you, the head of the household aren’t happy, nobody should be happy. Whether you want to be or not, you are the king of your castle—reclaim your throne. In case you are worried, your dear woman will never be happy in this life until she is making you happy and comfortable. God wired women to get their pleasure from pleasing their husbands and caring for their children. If you have a woman who does not understand that, you don’t need her.

Below are some other truths that may or may not be backed by Scriptures, but all truth is God’s truth and I think I have the Spirit of God in me:

A. Just as you are sizing her up to see if she is going to be a good wife for you, she is sizing you up to see if you are going to be man enough to handle her. If she detects that you are not man enough to handle her, then you won’t be the one she marries.

B. I want to say again: love her, have a great time with her, talk with her, have fun with her, but keep the reigns of the relationship firmly in your hands.

C. Olin Wiley said, “It takes a real man to be married to a black woman.”

D. The biggest mistake my dad ever made was letting my mother run the show. Son, don’t make the mistake of letting your wife run the show. You set the pace.

E. Many men, today, are hen-pecked, controlled, and dominated by their wives.

F. It is the strangest thing—your woman wants you to lead. She may kick, buck and fight against your leadership, but she wants you to lead.

G. There is not a good woman on God’s green earth who does not, deep down, want you: to keep her in check, to hold her accountable, to be jealous over her, and to protect her from messing up her life.

H. You might err sometimes, brother, but you will be better off being firm in your leadership of your wife than lax. Women have a tendency to feel insecure when the man is lax and not paying attention.

I. Women want love and affection from a real man.

J. Deep down, a good woman does not want a carbon copy of herself.

K. Yes, your woman would like for you to seek her advice on some things, but believe it or not, deep down she wants to know that when the chips are down she is with a man who can think and operate independently of her.

L. Sometimes good sex can solve some problems that talking cannot.

Dealing with the Women Folk well,

Daniel

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Proverbs 12:4 says, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

Someone once said, “Behind every great man, there’s a great little woman who helps make him that way, his helpmeet.”

Proverbs 5:3-4 says, “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.”

Someone said, “The husband is really the boss when it comes to the natural family, and God’s Word clearly says that women should obey their husbands.”

Allow me to share this poem with you:

A wife is someone cherished in a very special way,
Who puts the joy in living with her sweetness day by day.
A wife is someone close enough to really understand,
To inspire and to encourage and to lend a helping hand.
A wife is one who makes a home a happy place for all.
Who shows her special thoughtfulness in ways both big and small.
A wife is someone wonderful who always has a smile,
Who keeps her husband happy and makes his life worthwhile.

Respect for God (The Man in the Mirror #11)

Today, I want to talk to you about the matter of Respect — particularly respect for God.

Aretha Franklin once sang a popular song titled “Respect.” The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield was famous for saying, “I can’t get no respect.” Perhaps you have been told to have self-respect. I am sure there are people you have respect for and people whom you would like to have respect from. However, the only way you will have a proper understanding of respect is if you have a healthy respect for God. That is what we will discuss today and in our next few broadcasts.

The Bible uses the term “fear” to describe respect for God. Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” This fear does not mean being afraid of God. Rather, it means having a healthy respect and reverence for God because of His holiness.

Fear of God, or respect for God, is closely tied to obedience. If we have the proper respect for God, we will obey Him in our everyday lives. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Just as God hates sin, respect for God will lead you to hate sin and the consequences that come from sinning. And that respect will keep you out of a whole lot of trouble along the road of life.

Fear of God, or respect for God, is also tied to the gaining of wisdom and knowledge. People have a tendency to become proud from the knowledge or education that they gain. Even though each of us will only learn about a tiny fraction of all that there is to learn about the universe, we will be tempted to become puffed up with the little knowledge that we have. Having knowledge without a proper respect for God (who knows all things) is foolish. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Realize that no matter how much you study, you will never come close to knowing all that there is to know. However, since God is omniscient (all-knowing), He demands and deserves our respect.

Finally, today, notice that fear of God, or respect for God, is the foundation of self-respect and respect for others. Why? Because you and every other person in the world is made in the image of God. You and every other person in the world carries God-given potential, dreams, and destiny. Never look down on yourself or on anyone else. Never belittle your gifts and talents or the gifts and talents of others.

When you have respect for God, you can have the proper respect for yourself and others.

We will take more on this matter of respect in our next episode.

Oh! The Joys I’ve Had (The Brother’s Keeper)

Letter 6

Dear Y.B.M.:

“Happiness depends on the happenings, but having joy does not depend on the circumstances. Joy comes from God and you better get some.”

I pray that you are not in any trouble.

I apologize for staying on trouble so long, but sometimes trouble comes double.

In my previous letters, I shared some of my mistakes, failures, and troubles in hopes that you will not make those same mistakes and failures, and, thus, avoid those same troubles. Now, I want to share with you how God delivered me from fleeting happiness and gave me permanent joy. Then, I want to share with you the three greatest joys of my life.

Up until December 19, 1979, at the age of nineteen, my happiness was dependent on what was happening. You know what I am talking about. When I was a little boy, if the sun was shining and the sky was blue, I was happy; but if the clouds covered the sun and the day was overcast, I was sad. When I was playing football, I was happy; when I was made to go to choir rehearsal, I was sad. When I could stay at home and watch the Dallas Cowboys play, I was happy; when I had to go to church, I was sad. As I grew a little older, when I was drinking and partying, I was happy; the next day, I was sad. That was how I lived my life up until December 19, 1979, because on that memorable day I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.

Now, remember that I told you earlier how I used to hate preachers and churches. Well, on that night, a young man by the name of Michael Lewis came to my dorm room on Kessler Air Force Base around 8:00 p.m., and showed me from the Bible how to truly be saved from hell. Even though I had been in church all of my life, this was the first time anyone took the time to show me from the Bible how to be saved. I accepted Jesus Christ that night and God completely filled my life with joy — “a joy the world can’t take away.” I am telling you the truth. That joy has never left me since I accepted Christ as my Saviour. Every day has been and is a sunshiny day, as far as I am concerned. It is truly a “joy unspeakable.” The Lord will do the same thing for you as well. There is nothing like having God’s joy. It will beat happiness every time.

Since that time, God has added joy to joy. My three greatest joys in life are:
1. Knowing the Lord as Saviour, and my relationship with Him through prayer and through His eternal Word.

2. My family. There is no other place on God’s green earth where I would rather be than home with my family. I really mean that.

3. My third greatest joy in life is doing something that matters beyond my life span. Jesus gave me a purpose to live for, and that purpose is to serve Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and body. By the grace of God, by the time I was thirty-three, I had traveled around the world preaching the Gospel. I had also written several books and edited a Christian magazine.

It is my prayer that you will be a man who has the same joy in your life as I have in mine.

With “joy unspeakable”,

Daniel

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

C.S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

Charles Robinson said, “The reward of being ‘faithful over a few things’ is just the same as being ‘faithful over many things’; for the emphasis falls upon the same word. It is the ‘faithful’ who will enter ‘into the joy of their Lord.'”

J.I. Packer said, “We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal.”

George Bernard Shaw said, “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.”

Henry Nouwen said, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Richard Wagner said, “Joy is not in things; it is in us.”

 

 

Advice for Young People Who Have Grown Up Without Fathers, Part 4 (The Man in the Mirror #10)

Today, I want to conclude our series of advice for young people who have grown up without fathers. Already, we have discussed nine things that you should do.:

1. Get to know God as your Heavenly Father.
2. Read the Bible consistently.
3. Talk to God about anything and everything through prayer.
4. Choose not to become bitter toward your father.
5. Choose to love, appreciate, and thank God for the parent or parent figure you do have.
6. Ask God to give you godly, older mentors and friends.
7. Do not let the absence of a father in your life become a crutch or excuse for not reaching your potential.
8. Commit to having an others-focused view of life.
9. Learn the principles of life from successful men in history.

Now, here are my three final words of advice for young people things that you ought to do if you are in such a situation.

1. Make the decision to be mature. In other words, grow up. If you have younger siblings whom you have had to help take care of throughout your life due to the absence of your father, you may be forced to grow up faster than you would otherwise, but that is fine. However, did you know that many adults have the mentality of teenagers or children? They interact with and react to the world in a childish manner. For example, if something happens that they don’t like, instead of accepting it and dealing with it, they complain about it or retreat from the world and refuse to deal with it.

You don’t want to live life that way. Perhaps someone has told you before to “act your age.” That is good advice. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Do not be afraid to put away childish things and childish ways of interacting with the world. You may feel insecure or you may lack confidence because of the hole left in your life due to your father’s absence. But, remember, your Heavenly Father is there to fill that hole. You do not have to shirk your responsibilities or shy away from difficulties. With God’s help, you can handle the punches life throws your way.

2. May I encourage you to live a structured life. Perhaps you have heard your peers use the phrase, “I’m bored.” Perhaps you have even used that phrase at times. What you are really saying is that your life (or a particular day) has no structure, no goal, no purpose. You have nothing to aim for, and therefore, there are no steps laid out before you which you should take.

If you live a structured life, you will never have time to be bored. What is a structured life? A structured life is one that is defined by goals and purpose. If you have a purpose to live for and goals to reach, then everything you do should move you toward reaching those goals and fulfilling that purpose. Start by structuring your days. Buy yourself a daily planner or download one of the numerous organizational apps that are available. Make a list of things you will do each day and follow that list. Put down even the simplest things such as praying and reading your Bible in the morning, exercising, eating a good breakfast, etc. Keep your schedule full. Even write down what you are going to do for fun and when. One of the benefits of living a structured life is that it will cut down on the temptation to do evil or to get involved with the wrong crowd. If you are single-mindedly focused on your goals in life, you will not have time for foolishness. As someone once said, “The world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.”

3. Determine to be a good father or parent to your children. Just because your father abandoned you, that does not give you an excuse for abandoning your children if you are blessed to have children in the future. If anything, your experiences should make you even more determined to be a good father or parent to your children. Do not repeat the mistakes of your parents; you are not bound by their failures. Learn from them, but determine never to repeat them.

If you are a young man who grew up without a father, you may feel inadequate because you did not see what a Godly father looked like throughout your young life. Do not let that hinder you. Look to God and His Word as your first example of what a father should be like. Godly men such as Tony Dungy, Tony Evans, James Dobson, and others have also written books on how to be the father your children need in this day and time. Get those books and read them. With God’s help, you can be one of the faithful, loving, strong fathers that this world so desperately needs.

These are just some of the things you can do as a young person to get on the right track even if you have not had the benefit of a father in your life. I hope that you will take heed to these things so that you can live a happy, successful, blessed, and productive life for God’s glory.

Oh! The Troubles I’ve Seen #3 (Letter 5)

The Brother’s Keeper #30

Dear Y.B.M.:

“One trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out like fun.”

I trust that you are doing well. I hope that you have decided not to make any of the life-altering mistakes that I have made and thus avoid the troubles that I have experienced.

I am sure I surprised and nearly broke my mother’s heart many times as a teenager, but there were two instances in particular, when I am sure I broke her heart. I have already told you about one situation and that was when a young woman and I made the awful mistake of aborting our baby. What I didn’t tell you was that, for some strange reason, my mother went into my little gray safe that I kept under my bed in my bedroom, and she found the receipt from the doctor’s office. She was livid. She was speechless. She was so hurt she could not even bring herself to punish me for what I had done. I knew then that I had hurt her deeply.

Another time that I really hurt my mother (and this relates to the point of running with the wrong crowd and not thinking for myself), was when my boys and I took my mother’s car to go steal some beer, run some women, and party. Well, everything would have been fine if I had not run the car into the front of the store building in an attempt to get away from the store manager and the police. I guess I was so nervous I put the car into drive instead of reverse when we were trying to make our get-away. I crashed into one of the pillars in the front of the building nearly bringing down one side of the canopy. Although we escaped and went on with our partying, in the back of my mind, I was figuring out how I was going to explain to my mother the huge dent in her new Granada. (Back then, the Granada was the black man’s Mercedes.)

Well, the gang and I came up with a plan: we would get a rubber hammer and beat the dent out while she was at work at the telephone company in New Bern, N.C. The fellows and I got together, decided to skip school that day, and we went to my mother’s job with the rubber hammer, where we started beating the dent out of the Granada. It was around 10:00 a.m., and it just so happened to be my mother’s break-time. She was passing by the only window in the building when she saw us beating on her new Granada. I believe my mother was more hurt than angry. But she was enough of both to kill me if she could have gotten away with murder. My mother actually came to my bedroom that night and told me if I didn’t straighten up I was going to a reformatory school. Her tone of voice left no doubt in my mind that she was very serious. I didn’t know what a reformatory school was, but I knew I didn’t want to go there.

This was just another instance when I should have avoided trying to be cool and running with the gang, but instead should have followed my own mind.

The lesson for you, young black man, is this:

1. Think for yourself and lead others in the right way. Never be a follower, and never condone or be an accomplice to wrongdoing. Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”

2. Don’t think that running with the wrong crowd is cool. Remember Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seemeth right to a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

3. Honour your parents so much so that you won’t do negative things that would cause them shame, embarrassment, heartache, and loss. Proverbs 1:8 says, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”

While you are young, understand that it is cool to stay in school and learn; it is cool to run with positive people who are learning and growing; and it is cool to think for yourself.

Yours for Avoiding Further Trouble,

Daniel

P.T.: (Power Thoughts)

Someone once said, “Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”