This blog post is a Twitter thread I wanted to make easier to share across social media platforms.
(1) What if the real measure of a married man’s maturity, piety, & character is not found in his refusal to be alone with a woman but in his ability to be alone with a woman- one he would even consider to be beautiful – and yet not lust after her but treat her w/ dignity & honor?
(2) What if the rules men establish to “guard themselves” from falling into temptation are actually rules to protect world from seeing what truly lurks in their heart, pollutes their character, & stunts their piety? What if the walls erected by men to protect them from temptation
(3) are actually erected to protect their public image & brand? What if the shock disciples had when seeing Jesus alone w/ the woman at the well was the disciples projecting the insecurity they had in their own piety & character onto Christ who dignified her via interaction?
(4) Maybe, to this day, Christian men still don’t get it. They still don’t understand what actually happened at that well. They don’t understand the spiritual, emotional, & psychological healing Jesus brought the woman thru his counter-cultural act of humanizing & dignifying her.
(5) The Samaritan woman lived in world where she was seen as mere property. Her life literally depended on being w/ a man b/c single women = lethally vulnerable. She needed a man to survive in society & society condemned her survival by labeling her pursuit to live “promiscuous”.
(6) Everyday she went thru town she knew she was scoffed at, gossiped about, and she kept moving; learning to be invisible to avoid condemnation. She comes to a well & Jesus knows her story. He speaks to her & suddenly she is seen. Jesus tells her story & she expects condemnation
(7) What does she get? She perceives Jesus to be a prophet & this prophet speaks to her not as one there to judge her but as one who is offering her access to God. He sees her, he humanizes her, he dignified her, and she now journeys throughout her town proclaiming such a man.
(8) So to answer my earlier Qs, it’s absolutely about protecting “image” and not piety. Jesus was not threatened nor did he lust after women. Whether he was alone w/ one at a well or if she was a prostitute weeping at his feet. He humanized & dignified women by truly seeing them.
(9) Over & over again Jesus makes religious men uncomfortable b/c of how he treated women. Women left his presence not feeling socially caged but freed. They entered feeling dehumanized & left w/ eyes towards a Heavenly Father. Christian men, what impact do you have on women?
(10) Jesus is so awesome. Listen. You can tell almost everything you need to know abt a man & his ministry based on how he relates to & engages women. There are so many religious men, even pastors, who demonstrate they’re nothing like Jesus by how they speak abt/to women on here.
As a Christian Soul Care provider who is also a black man, I do not often meet alone with women when I provide them with care. For accountability & for their comfort, I generally counsel women with another woman present. My female counselees have the right and power to choose a friend to join them in care, or I provide a third party female counselor (typically a woman I have partnered with and/or am training in soul care). This also serves me as a male counselor b/c the female counselor is able to offer insight and perspective I may miss due to my limited perspective as a man. With that said, I have talked to female counselees over the phone, have met in public places like Starbucks, etc. I am not saying that men, especially married men, cannot have boundaries. I am simply saying that a male posture that treats women as a threat is dehumanizing and often objectifying. Jesus did not model this kind of posture towards women, and it is not the posture his male followers should seek to emulate.