Sunday, July 10, 2011

A MAN'S NAIVETY IN MINISTRY - Learning What Not To Do!

Being innocent or simply "SIMPLE" to the thoughts and ways of the world is a challenge to many. Someone, many years ago said to me, "you are so simple." I am now not so sure if that statement was an affirmation of something good and positive or a recognition of a naive approach to many things.

Over the last few years we have come to know the way of Christ and power of His resurrection. We have come to know the intimacy of Christ in prayer, the power of the blood in administration of healing and the strengh and courage of the Spirit through walking with Him.

But I must say, I am and probably will remain naive to many things that we have never embraced, experienced nor has anyone ever shared with us until last night. My wife and I were having a conversation and she began to share the perspective of a woman's psyche that I had never heard before.

I believe to be innocent to some things is important but this one element of ministers and their relationship with the opposite sex is paramount.

Being single was a determined position that I took for many years, I decided that I would not let a natural relationship come between God and I and also for some theological questions about marriage and remarriage that the Lord had not yet answered.

I had dated very little in my early life, found one woman, married that one woman and never had intimate interaction with females other than my wife. When we parted it was a choice then to remain celibate and purposed to fulfill God's call.

So I remained naive to many things, I didn't know the tell tale messages of "interest."

I was oblivious to the signals of attempts at relationships (sometimes I believe I would see it but quickly dismiss it as my imagination).

Clearly, living in "my world" was so, absolutely different that many - not even me - realized the emotions and connections that were being formed between different ones with whom I interacted. It was just last night, Saturday, July 10, 2011 that it hit me like a ton of bricks as my wife shared the wisdom of female relationships, expectations and actions.

Maybe there are books written on the subject, I have never come across one, and maybe if I did I would not have really been interested in reading it. But this is a significant handicap in knowledge to men who serve in ministry and walk in naivety toward the opposite sex.

What does a hug mean?
What does your interest in a woman's children mean?
What does a smile, a touch, a phone call mean?
What does receiving a gift, or a meal mean?
What does being kind and benevolent mean?

It is, I believe an incredibly complex web of thoughts, passion and action that make up the psyche of women and I had no idea of its implications. In retrospect I must say that there were unusual (I now consider them so) behaviour exhibited by women around me over the years, but I most of the time attributed it to God's love and compasison, zeal and everything good. Then on the other hand, I loved my people, I loved everyone and tried to equally display my affection on all because of our heart towards those that God has made a part of our lives.

I believe we should have classes in Seminary and Colleges to share this knowledge. I now see how men and women both have innocently gotten involved in relationships without seeing what was coming. Where one or the other come to a place of expecting something that the other has not considered - all beacause of our naievety.

But where does Christian maturity come in? Where does God's impartation of His Spirit and then the attendant fruit come to bear on our psyche? Is it ever possible to live in the earth and be totally objective and understanding of the male / female psyche in relationships? This is a topic that challenges me because i have never given any real thought to it, Lord help us understand. ..

A bit more later ...

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