When I first wrote the controversial article, “Brothers (in Christ) With No Game”, I thought it was a finished product. I thought it would never need revisiting because it was so damn well written and I had explored every possible conclusion with regards to the dynamics between male and female relations within the church. I was calling out all the Christian brothers who have ever stood in front of or been in the midst of women they liked and instead of acting like smooth operators, acted very clumsy, avoided eye contact, said something extremely abstract or extremely irrelevant (maybe something along the lines of “so God so loved the world huh?”) or blurted out an awkward chat up line which resulted in the women looking at them funny and walking away. I never thought my sentiments towards these awkward brothers would change. I never imagined that I would sympathise with their plight. I never thought I would place partial blame on us sisters or even the “Church” until I hosted my event. So I wrote a sequel. A damn good sequel ( I hope).
On Saturday 28th February 2015 (about a week ago, cue Bobby Shmurda – Hot ninjas) I had the pleasure of hosting my second talk (my first one was a pilot, very low key on the existence of male privilege, very informative, very apt discussion) and it was absolutely brilliant. I loved it all the more because the brothers in Christ in attendance were honest and I believe the sisters were receptive. So here goes…
First and foremost game is hard to conceptualise; everyone seems to know what it looks like, when a person has it in abundance or when a person is lacking but defining it is hugely difficult because as it turns out it means different things to different people. When asked “what is game?” there was an awkward silence about the room which I pinned down to the sensitivity of the subject but soon we had two “conflicting” definitions. One audience member defined it as the approach a man might take in trying to engage with a woman in order to find out what her interests are and another audience member defined it as purely an “introduction”, where a man might introduce himself to the woman before any pleasantries are exchanged. I had already defined game in my initial article as “a measure of smoothness with the opposite sex”, thus likening it to charm and/or confidence around women in the faith but I was simply intrigued as to what the people ascribed to game and whether we could reach some kind of consensus because that would help to determine whether Christian Brothers have “it “ or not. Whether a simple “introduction” or an attempt to find out about her interests we were all agreed that game is all in the approach, thus the question I now posed to them was why are Brothers in Christ in particular so awkward?
We’re not awkward the setting is?
Christian brothers are meeting sisters in church or at church events and are at a loss as to how to act within those spaces because there doesn’t seem to be any protocol on how to “mac” after a church service and even whether doing so is appropriate given the circumstances (I’m not saying you should any of those things but want to reassert the fact in the absence of protocol, there is confusion as to what is acceptable and what is not. Asking a woman out for a cup of coffee just doesn’t seem apt after praise and worship (lol) or after both her spirit and your spirit has been fed with the word of God. Imagine hearing a sermon on based on a chapter in revelations and then imagine a man saying, “ oh I really you’re your hair, could I have your number?” Exchanging pleasantries might work anywhere else but the church, especially whilst under the gaze of the congregation right? A lot of the audience members thought it strange that a man who came to Church to seek the face of God would now turn to “chat up” a woman, an indication that his motivations are not pure. However, my retort to the reasoning and other similar arguments is, the church should be a haven, the place where healthy relations between men and woman are formed, encouraged and endorsed thus the setting should not be viewed as a hindrance. However, the argument is, when brothers in Christ feel uncomfortable either as a result of the congregation’s gaze or their perceptions of how conversations within the church are to supposed to be, they become awkward as a result.
We aren’t awkward, sin is.
Christian brothers can’t seem to marry the concept of “game” with their walk with Christ. They have since been renewed, redeemed from their various “player” lifestyles , old things have passed away (cue 2nd corinthians 5:17) and so they are keen to change the way they react and respond to the opposite sex and understandably so. They are so keen on living a Christ like life that “game” is considered sinning. However, to sin is to err against God and for that reason I think it is dangerous to equate interactions with females (unless of course there is some adultery or fornication involved) as a sin. The act of speaking to a woman, finding out her interests, making her laugh, leaving a lasting memory in her mind, is not sinful and so I wonder where this guilt men feel stems from. I could attribute it to the church’s gaze that I mentioned in the previous paragraph and I probably wouldn’t be too far from the truth but it is interesting that some men feel as though they are sinning when speaking to a woman they have intentions for. Again, I think that the church has a role to play in changing these perceptions.
We aren’t awkward, the sisters are.
Sometimes brothers in Christ aren’t awkward ( or perhaps they still are) but the sisters do nothing to appease the situation. For example, I use this platform (along with my twitter) many a times to speak on my love for beards and my preference for chocolate men with beards (think Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut) because that is just what I prefer and I used to be so staunch in my thinking. Nothing would stop me from having a chocolate brother with a beard until one day I saw how small my pool was becoming. A Christian brother (emphasis on Christian) , with skin as dark as chocolate, arms as strong and hard as cement, a beard as thick as wool , with Tinie Tempah’s style was becoming hard (although not impossible ) to come by and I soon saw how selective I was becoming. I wanted a complete checklist and not a man. A lot of women haven’t had that epiphany and still obsess over their lists and the truth is you can’t love your list. You can’t build a home with your list. Your list will never be able to fulfil your every desire. So what usually happens is, when a Christian brother who probably isn’t awkward approaches them and doesn’t fulfil the “all-important” checklist, he is automatically perceived as awkward, when in reality he isn’t. Whilst the list isn’t bad, it is important for sisters to not be defined by it and this was the message I was keen to stress at the talk. Many sisters agreed, however others did raise the important point that if men can approach women that fulfil their physical desires, why can’t women filter men that don’t fulfil theirs?
We’re not awkward, the title is.
The “brother in Christ” title has been condemned for being too rigid and carrying a negative stigma. Concerns on the night ranged from the tendency of sisters in Christ to use the title to relegate the most “unsatisfactory” candidates to the side to the title being too stuffy, leaving little room for flexibility or “game”. Both concerns are reasonable, however, the problem isn’t the title, the problem is the nature of human beings. The title “brother in Christ” is simply an identifier and not part of any filtration process but we have used it and continue to do so in a way that I doubt was envisioned.
We’re not awkward. We just don’t know our value.
This particular subtitle is misleading for the reason that like every other subtitle it implies that the body of the paragraph will say something to dampen the view that brothers in Christ are awkward but it doesn’t . I couldn’t simply override my initial article with another stating how “normal” some brothers in Christ come across because that would be false. The truth is there are some brothers who are frightfully awkward because like a wise gentlemen in the audience pointed out, “they don’t have anything to bring to the table, or at least they don’t understand what they bring to the table”. I think this was one of the most profound things said by a guy on the night (there were many others also) but this one struck me almost immediately. Perhaps there is a correlation between not having anything “to give” a woman, spiritually, mentally, physically, intellectually, aesthetically and sexually that plays on the psyche of a man and causes him to act awkward. It does make sense. A brother who is confident that he would be an asset to a woman’s life would demonstrate such confidence in his interactions with women.
I was probably too harsh on Christian Brothers in my initial article because truthfully, they are laden with the burden of finding a good thing (cue Proverbs 18:22). It must not be easy putting yourself out there, not knowing what expectations you will be coming up against but that doesn’t mean you should lack some “spice”. However, I have come to realise that there are various factors that need considering when assessing whether a brother is actually awkward because the way he comes across can be influenced by a particular setting, the particular girl, his perception of game, how advanced he is in life and the type of church he attends because I do believe the church has a role to play in grooming men who can lead and a confident man is the best kind of leader.
I’ll end by saying, every good movie deserves a sequel, Friday, Next Friday, The Matrix, The Matrix reloaded, Rush Hour, Rush hour 2, Fast and Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious , X Men, X- Men 2, The Lion King, The Lion King 2: Simba’s pride, they all came on the heels of stories that were unfinished and deserved to be completed. I hope my sequel, superseded my original.
Love Cris x
p.s most if not all the brothers that came are eligible bachelors, inbox me if you would like their details.
p.s.s thank you to all that came. Look out for my next one.