Welcome to Class 87 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society, working in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE Magazine bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men” and the national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Women.” My wife, Meriqua Whyte, and my eldest daughter, Daniella Whyte, co-authored “Letters to Young Black Women” with me. My daughter (who has two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion and a master’s degree in human services counseling—executive leadership and a second master’s degree in developmental psychology) and her mother, developed the Study Guide. We are using Letters to Young Black Women and its study guide to guide you through this course. This course is for all young women, but especially for young black women and young women of color who oftentimes face disadvantages that others do not. The goal of this class is to help you operate from a position of strength and power based upon the Word of God so you can be victorious in life. My prayer is that this class will empower you to win against your enemies: the devil, sorry men, and even yourself.
Today, we will begin our study, “HOW TO AVOID DOMESTIC VIOLENCE” (Letter Thirty).
— First, Let’s Pray —
Allow me to begin with a quote from June Hunt. She said: “God designed the marriage relationship to benefit one another. He intended married couples to love, honor, and cherish each other all the days of their lives, but life doesn’t always turn out that way. In some relationships, cruelty has replaced the sacred relationship defined by God. The Domestic Violence mini-book, Domestic Violence: Assault on a Woman’s Worth (part of the Hope for the Heart series), outlines a Christian approach to help you identify and stop physical and emotional abuse. Experts estimate that 1-in-3 women suffer from some form of violence from a husband, boyfriend, or relative. In too many homes around the world, the marriage bond has become bondage – shared lives have become shattered by abuse. Yet these secret assaults stay hidden from the outside world. Any form of abuse is a flagrant violation of the marriage vows, To have and to hold from this day forward, “to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part.” And although such abuse is too frequently behind closed doors, it is blatantly in the open before the eyes of the Lord. God has a heart for those who are victims of domestic violence. He wants you to know that he hears your cries; he thinks you are worthy of love without violence, and he holds you in the palm of his hand.”
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read a portion of the corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:
Dear Daughters & YBW:
I trust that you are doing well today. I hope that you are growing in the Lord and living a victorious life.
Today, I want to write to you about domestic violence and how you can avoid it. Men are definitely at fault in most cases of domestic violence. As we learned in elementary school, boys should not hit girls—a man should never hit a woman under any circumstances. But contrary to popular belief, women are oftentimes at fault by provoking the man. Some women provoke a negative response from their husbands inadvertently, because they do not know how to deal with a man, probably because they never had a father in the home to teach them or they never had a mother, older sister or older woman to teach them how to handle a man. However, some women intentionally provoke their husbands by pushing buttons that they know will cause a negative reaction.
Dear sister, never think that domestic violence is a normal way of life,and it should not occur in any relationship, especially in a Christian family relationship. Here are some things that you can do, as a young woman, to make sure that you do not end up in a relationship like this. I am going to deal with this issue from two standpoints: (1) Do not marry a man who is prone to violence in the first place, and (2) If God blesses you with a good man, here are some things you should do, and should not do, so as not to provoke him to negative behaviour. So, please listen carefully and take heed to the following:
DO NOT MARRY A MAN PRONE TO VIOLENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE
1. Do not marry a man who does not have a decent, loving relationship with his own mother. It has been said that the way a man treats and responds to his mother, is the way he will treat and respond to his wife. On the other hand, do not marry a man who is too close to his mother, because that can be another problem. He may become abusive because he’s a mama’s boy and he will try to defend his mother in many instances.
2. Do not marry a man who is a dawg. As I said before a dawg is heartless and oftentimes he does not even have the capacity to treat you the way that you should be treated. No matter what you do for a dawggish man it won’t be enough, and he will not care anything about you. He will use you for sex and for his own gratification and then leave you.
3. Do not marry a man who lets you have your way all of the time. If a man lets you have your way all of the time while you are dating, then once you get into that marriage, the man will try to be nice about the things that he really doesn’t like, but on the inside the anger and frustration builds. Then, he gets to a point where he explodes, and violence breaks out. Please understand that minor disagreements and differences of opinion are normal between a man and a woman. Don’t be surprised if you have disagreements and differences. That is healthy because it gives him and you a way to vent and share things that you don’t like.
4. Do not marry a man who does not have a life before you. In other words, if a man’s life starts the day he meets you or the day he marries you, then you are already on the fast track to trouble, because he is not living for something bigger than the two of you, and therefore, he doesn’t have a cause to live for to take up some of his time besides you. You may think you want to be the center of a man’s attention, but you really don’t want that. Deep down, you really want a man who has God at the center of his attention and who is going somewhere.
5. Do not marry a man with a violent criminal background. It is true that change is possible for many people after they have gotten into trouble. But, you might want to reconsider marrying a man who has a record of violent criminal activity. Marrying a man of excitement is one thing, but marrying a convicted ax murderer is another.
6. Do not marry a man who hates everybody in your family, and who does not want you to have any contact with your family members. If you marry a man who is like this, he is setting you up so that you won’t have anyone to go to when he does something violent to you. Make sure that your family is okay with him and he is okay with your family before you marry him.
7. Do not marry a man who is aggressive with you before marriage. If he is violent toward you before you get married, he will definitely be that way once you are married and more so.
If you want to avoid this thing called domestic violence, please take heed to the aforementioned points and not marry that kind of man in the first place. The above statements only represent some of the signs that he will be that way. There are other signs. Before you get married, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit http://www.ndvh.org for more warning signs.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO ONCE YOU ARE MARRIED TO KEEP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FROM EVER HAPPENING
YBW, let me remind you that the young black men of today are not your grandfather or even your father. The young black men of today are simply not going to put up with any disrespect from their woman. It is true that a man should never hit a woman under any circumstances, period. However, some women can bring this type of harmful activity upon themselves by not applying the Word of God, wisdom, and common sense to the marital relationship. Below are some common sense things that you can do to avoid having anything close to domestic violence happening in your home, assuming that you married a God-fearing, decent man in the first place:
1. Do not lie to your husband about anything, past, present, or future. There is no sense in lying to the person that you are married to, or to anyone else for that matter, but especially to your own husband. Lying will destroy the foundation of your marriage faster than anything. So, be honest about everything.
2. Dear sister, if you have a problem with wandering eyes and you just can’t control yourself when a handsome man gets within eye-shot, then you might need to get some spiritual healing in that area before you get married. One thing you do not want to do in front of your husband or husband to be is look at other men. That is disrespectful to him and the Bible tells us that “jealousy is the rage of a man”. And please don’t do this passive-aggressive nonsense of being vindictive and trying to get back at your husband by making him jealous because you had a disagreement or something. Many women have gone to a premature grave for doing silly things like that. You shouldn’t do this at all, but if you just have to look at another man, have enough sense to do it when your husband is not around. I know this may sound petty to you, but the name of the game is don’t do anything to disrespect your husband.
3. May I encourage you not to disrespect your husband in front of your family or in front of your girlfriends, and definitely don’t disrespect him in front of his buddies. Depending on his makeup, he might be able to take a little bit of your mouthing off and showing out at home with just you and the children there, but he is not going to take your embarrassing him in front of other people. And for common sense’s sake, don’t go around telling your family and friends all of your business that goes on in your house because this is another point that may get his ire up and may cause him to go off on you.
4. This may sound like a no-brainer to you, but do not commit adultery in any way, shape, form or fashion. If you are ever tempted to commit adultery, run—don’t walk—away from it. This is a sure cause for domestic violence. Society has it backwards, but when you get married, you are to be married until “death do you part.” This means that no one or nothing should come between the two of you. Again, let me repeat, you may be married to the strong, silent type, but “jealousy is still the rage of a man”.
5. There are other ways that women show disrespect to their husbands that seem small to them, but are very irritating to men. Here are the big five: (1) talking back to him when he’s trying to tell you something; (2) talking back while he is trying to tell you something (we all know women can think and talk faster than men); (3) rolling the eyes; (4) smirking; (5) cursing and calling your husband names. You don’t have to respond to everything that he does or says. Be a woman who respects and loves her husband despite his faults or failures, and be Christ-like in your response. The Bible, in fact, tells you in 1 Peter 3:4: “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” This is not about being a doormat. This is about being smart.
6. Please understand that the way God has wired you as a woman is that your satisfaction comes from satisfying your husband and your family. God did not give him to you just for him to please you. You are to please him as well. Make sure you do your part. The older women will tell you that it really doesn’t take much to please a man. If you don’t know how to please a man, you better ask somebody. But as a man, I can assure you that it doesn’t take much. If you have been married to your husband for just a little while, God will give you the ability and the instincts to know what your husband wants and needs. Don’t let the devil tempt you into thinking that you don’t know what your husband wants and needs. Do not fight these instincts, and do not act as though you don’t know what your husband wants and needs. You know! Don’t sit in your house and not meet your husband’s needs, and think that he is going to be all you need for him to be. Honey, this is a two-way street. Yes, God expects that man to be “all that” to you, but God also expects you to be “all that” to him.
7. Understand that men are very serious about their food. Food is not just a necessity to a man, it is an event. It is something that he looks forward to. So, don’t make an issue out of his food. Don’t burn his food. Make sure his food is prepared on time, whether you do the cooking or not. Make sure it is done in a sanitary fashion, meaning, for example, that you wash your hands before you touch his food. Most men are very funny about how people prepare their food. Dear sister, you can probably eat a little something and keep on moving, but a man cherishes a good meal and takes it seriously. You can avoid a lot of trouble in your marriage by making sure this area is taken care of.
8. If you have children, take care of your children. Do your part in raising, teaching, loving, and caring for them as their mother. There are some things that your husband will do with the children that you will not and cannot do. But he will appreciate it if you fulfill your part as their mother. Now let me emphasize something here, nothing will get a father and/or husband more upset than if he sees his children being neglected and/mistreated by their own mother. Not being a loving, caring, and doting mother over his children will get you in a lot of trouble real fast.
9. If you are a Christian young lady, God has commanded you to submit to your husband and God has also commanded you to obey your husband. Ephesians 5:22 states: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Titus 2:5 states: “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Now, if you want to be obedient to God, go ahead and have this kind of attitude and spirit and do this, and you can avoid a whole lot of pain and heartache in your marriage and in your family. I told my wife before we got married that we were going to do this thing called marriage “God’s way or no way,” and what I meant by that is: God is holding me accountable, and I am holding her accountable to doing it His way. And when we do it God’s way, we have peace and tranquility in our homes. When we cease to do itGod’s way, we bring problems and trouble in our homes, and sad to say, even domestic violence.
10. Finally, dear sister, take care of business in the bedroom cheerfully and willingly, and “by any means necessary.” Enough said!
Daughters and YBW, if you claim to be a Christian, act like a Christian, and go ahead and stop trying to do marriage your way, and do it God’s way and save yourself a whole lot of heartache and trouble. I hope that you will take the above suggestions in the loving spirit in which they were written.
Daughters and YBW, domestic violence is a choice. Many people choose to have drama like this in their marriages, because of simply wanting to do things their way and not God’s way. No, a man should never hit a woman, but a woman should never provoke a situation that would cause a man to hit her or to abuse her in the first place. Contrary to society, this is a two-way street. But you can avoid domestic violence and the pain that comes with it, if you just do the things listed above, in your marriage. I assure you that your marriage and family will be a happy one if you do these things.
As a final note, dear sister, if you are doing God’s will and you are doing your part, but you are still in a relationship that is violent, then I strongly encourage you to run to safety as fast as you can—to a battered women’s shelter or some other organization like that, where the batterer can’t get to you. Again, here is the number to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233.
May God Bless You and Keep You,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
“I really don’t think…you are in a bargaining position with God. He is the Master. He is the Commanding Officer. It is not for you to have input. It is simply for you to accept the orders as the orders are given.” —Elisabeth Elliot
“Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure, unity the road to personality.” —C.S. Lewis
BIBLE GEM: “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” —III John 1:11
TALK TO GOD: Holy Father, I pray that You would protect me from getting into a marriage that is characterized by violence and whenI get married to a good, God-fearing man, help me to love my husband and be the wife and mother You would have me to be. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
BOOK: He Loves Me Not, but I Love Myself, by Tamika Johnson-Hall
Women Who Perpetrate Relationship Violence: Moving Beyond Political Correctness, by Michelle Carney & Fred Buttell
CHECK IT OUT: http://www.ccada.org
It is nothing new to say that “Domestic violence is WRONG.” However, in a world where statistics show so many women still suffer from domestic violence in silence and shame, it seems this statement can hardly be stressed enough. Clearly, some men are prone to violence and manipulation. This is why God commands husbands to love their wives, just as He commands wives to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). Despite what you may have witnessed growing up and/or experienced, don’t allow your mind to normalize domestic violence and trauma. You do not deserve to be used and abused. You are precious in the sight of God and if a man does not see you in the same way and treat you as such at all times then he does not deserve you and you do not need to be with him, and vice versa. Having a man’s love is not worth having if it comes with a side of physical violence and emotional, psychological and spiritual scarring. Never confuse violence with love and don’t let other people in Christian circles convince you that being abused, violated and treated like some sort of slave is part of your duty of submission as a godly wife. A husband does not have the right or liberty to mistreat and trample upon his wife just because he is the God-ordained “head” of the home and his wife has the divine order to submit to his headship or leadership. Sinful human nature will always try to twist God’s plan for things in one way or another when, in this case, abuse and violence have no part in God’s design for marriage and family and relationships in general. Is a man beating his wife or girlfriend and giving her a black eye an accurate depiction of Christ loving the church and giving (sacrificing) himself for it (Ephesians 5:25)? Is a man berating his wife or girlfriend, demeaning her and isolating her a picture of the abundant life Christ came to give (John 10:10)? Certainly not. So, before you embark on a new relationship with a potential mate or before you continue in the relationship you may be currently involved in, look for the warning signs of domestic abuse and flee before the vicious cycle can even begin to form.
In the next class, we will begin our study, “How to Think Like a Man, Yet Be All Woman.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then, especially in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.