I've known for a long time that men and women in the church don't know how to relate to one another in a healthy, calm way. But the recent jabber about Matt Chandler reminded me once again how terrified we are of each other. Matt Chandler's church is actually somewhat famous for how hard they work to have "Brotherly-Sisterly" relationships and yet, here we are. So after reading it all and then watching the apology video, I've been asking, "What is MY role in the healing here?" and I've come to this conclusion...
My role is to start being a bit braver to note IN THE MOMENT when stuff is odd between me and a brother. Not that he or I have become inappropriate, but that we're being awkward—like we're scared of each other. I want to notice and then consciously decide if I have real reason to be scared, or if I am acting out my bias (assuming that one of us is possibly going to become inappropriate).
If it's me I'm not trusting, I need to take action to become more trustworthy, namely check my lust or call attraction what it is, just that: attraction (not "out-of-control sexual urge").
If it's him I don't trust, why not? Has he legitimately given me the creeper vibe? Or am I putting on him a wrong assumption about men in general—that they're all out of control creeps? What I do next depends on that answer.
If the dude is a real creep, I'm right to stay back. But I have the sad feeling that sometimes it's been me who's put the creep label on, without even thinking about it. I can do better and I hope you will too.
Unsplash: Ivan Bandura