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By Donna Marbury

Ladies say it all the time: “once a cheater, always a cheater” and “all men are dogs.” A lot of men are branded as no good, low-down, cheating dogs from high school and are never delivered from their player ways. I think it is sad to see a man in his 20s and 30s juggling women and leaving a trail of broken hearts in the process. Even in the church, men are guilty of dating multiple women and being known as the “church player.” When women exhibit these promiscuous behaviors, it is automatically deemed a self esteem issue. Do you think men suffer through the same issues as women?

Women like to believe that men are inherently evil, and are preying innocent and sweet women to damage their hearts and minds. But I think men are falling to peer pressure and media stereotypes more than women! I just visited a middle school the other day, and the boys fell into two categories: the wannabe thugs with tattoos (yes! middle schoolers with ink!), dreds like Lil’ Wayne and all black everything like Jay-Z suggests, or they are pretty boys aiming at the developing bodies of the young girls. There was not one individual among the packs, though I noticed the girls were cliqued up, at least they had their own styles and identities.

Have we been ignoring the self esteem issues of Black men? I’m sure those same little boys who are scared to be themselves in middle school, turn into the jailed or bed hopping boys as they come into adulthood. Think about it: many men are pressured to lose their virginity as early as possible. I know men who had sex when they were 13, 12 and 11 years old! After I hear that, I tell them, “if you were a girl, that would be considered molestation.” Do these early sexual experiences for men effect their self esteem and self worth later in life?

With so much media hype about the single and successful Black woman and the lack of available “good” Black men around, I think we also must discuss why men are choosing not to settle down. There is a society of men that are being trained up to be players from youth, where it is from lack of fathers in the home, lack of education or the glorifying of multiple sexual partners in our media. Whatever it is, Black men have a lack right now. And what they need is more than a good woman to straighten them out.

I would suggest to ladies that if  you are approached by a man who you know is a player, that you ask him to pray with you. Don’t cast him off as a loser, just because you don’t see him as a potential mate. As a Christian, you are supposed to be a light and make it clear that you will not indulge in his player ways, but you will pray for him and suggest that he find some saved men to learn manhood from. Ask him if his lifestyle makes him happy, or makes him feel trapped. Invite him to church. You don’t have to sit with him, it’s not a date. Share with him scriptures in the Bible that pertain to men and their issues. I have been surprised to read so many Proverbs (Proverbs 6:20-35, Proverbs 7:1-27) that deal with cheating men and the way manipulative women attack them. Yes, the book of God says that men should feel attacked by us!

Psalms 1 also gives a clear description of what a good man is. Instead of having a list of all these silly things that you need in a man, tell a man that this is what you are looking for:

Blessed is the man

who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

or stand in the way of sinners

or sit in the seat of mockers.But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.

Psalms 1:1-3

Women have the power to do more for a man than just become his wife. We have the power to save our men from an unhappy life and an eternity in Hell. Men need women who are strong, sophisticated and also saved to tell them that they can have a mature relationship with a woman who loves the Lord first. Instead of being his lover, his wifey or his side chick, maybe God put you in the lives of certain men to be a living epistle. Ladies, if we don’t pray for our men and show them how God can change their lives for the better, who will?