TD Jakes - "C" Your Way Clear
The first thing I wanna talk about is crossroads, and the loss of control. Now, when I start talkin' about crossroads, in the book when I'm dealin' with it, I call them, "Intersections". Intersections are places in life, well, let me explain this way. One Sunday, a lady brought a young son down to the altar, and I describe this in the book. She brought him down to the altar and said, "Do somethin' with him. He's drivin' me crazy. I don't understand what in the world is goin' on with this boy. He's just, he was wonderful. He was doin' so good. He was a precious child, just doin' everything I needed him to do, and all of a sudden, he's just actin' like he's lost his cotton-pickin' mind".
And she did what most Christians do when they have a problem. They spiritualize everything, and they start sayin' things like, "He's demon-possessed. Maybe you can cast a demon out of him". Because we spiritualize whatever we don't understand. But when you do that, you often alienate the person that you seek to help. Because why is it a situation when it's you, but it's a demon when it's him? You have a circumstance. We got a demon. Answer that for me. You alienate the audience. You create a dilemma. You create a crisis where there's not an environment that promotes healing and restoration because you spiritualize. What's the danger with spiritualizing? The Bible said, "In all thy getting get an understanding". And what we really want, all of us want from anybody and everybody, is somebody who understands us, somebody who understands, it's critical. It's important that you understand.
If you don't understand me... that's why the Bible said, "In all thy getting, get an understanding". It didn't say, "Get a car". It didn't say, "Get a house". It didn't say, "Get a Bentley". It didn't say, "Get a Rolls-Royce". It didn't say, "Get a condo". It said, "Get an understanding". You can keep a marriage without a car. You can keep it with a house. You can keep it without a vacation home. You cannot keep it without an understanding. You need an understanding. You can raise a child without private school. You can raise a child without Nike shoes. You can raise a child without custom glasses, but you cannot raise a child without an understanding. You have to have an understanding of the chemistry of the child in your house. "In all thy getting, get an understanding".
In order to get an understanding, you gotta do more thinkin' than you do talkin'. We are too fast to speak in our families. We speak things in a moment that it takes 20 years for somebody to get over. You can say somethin' when you're in a position of authority that can damage somebody for 20 years. Your mouth can be more damaging than anything that you ever did in your life to speak against things that you understand later. And sometimes, "I'm sorry," is not a good eraser. I'mma say that again. Sometimes, "I'm sorry," is not a good eraser. You said, "I'm sorry," once. You cussed me out five times. You said, "I'm sorry," in three minutes, "if I said anything". You know you said somethin' that offended me up in here.
And the problem with this young man here. She comes down to the altar and she's tellin' me he's got all of these issues, and the boy's lookin' at me like that... So, I looked at her, and I thought, "Gosh, she doesn't get it. She doesn't get it". He's about 12 or 13 years old, and he's just obstinate and rebellious and everything. But I'm lookin' at his mother. She doesn't get it. So I'm tryin' to jog her into understanding. I said, "Where's his father"? She said, "He gone too". And the boy's lookin' at me like, "As soon as I get some car keys, I'm gonna get out of here too. I'm leavin' as quickly as I can. I am going to leave and get out of here".
He loves her, but he's leaving her because it is possible for a man to leave a woman he loves, whether she is his mother or his wife or his sister or his auntie or big mama. He can love you and still leave you. He's leaving her because he can't deal with her. He's leaving her because he's in conflict. He's leaving her because he's in confusion. He's leaving her because he's dealing with issues that she doesn't seem to be able to relate to. He's leaving her because she's putting pressure on him to stay the way he was, when, in reality, nobody can stay the way they were when they come to a crossroads. Oh, this is good. What she doesn't realize, because she's at one stage in her life, maybe 30-something, and he's at another stage, maybe 12 or 13, she doesn't understand that she has stabled out at a time that he is still unstable. And so she's expecting him to be who he was to her, but his life has become more complicated.
Complications come in crossroads. When you come to a man, when he comes to a crossroad, comes to a dangerous place in his life. Whether he's a young man or an older man, there are several crossroads or intersections in his life, and if you're raising him, loving him, training him, mentoring him, or in any way connected with him, if you don't discern that that man, that boy, that coworker, that husband, that preacher is at an intersection, you can do a lot of bilateral damage because you don't understand what's goin' on in his life.
I wanted to scream, "Woman, get a clue. This boy's not bad, he's confused". And he gets stuck there. And what happens to him at 13 because he's in that transitional stage where everything is centered around performance and reward, response, stimuli. He internally has fear, "Am I enough? Do I measure up enough"? He's stuck in the mirror all the time. How does he look? He's checkin' himself out, seein', how does he compete? How does he measure up? How can he get points? His testosterone is givin' him an issue. His parental influence is givin' him an issues. The church is givin' him an issue. And he's tryin' to balance himself through an intersection in life, and he's gonna go through it again in about 35 more years, 30, 35 more years, 30 years, 30, about 30 more years. He's gonna hit another intersection: mid-life crisis. He could be havin' a problem, and every problem he's havin' is not about you. Everything is not about you.
What he needs from you is point number two: he needs you to be a helpmeet. Write this down: Competing or completing strengths, competing or completing strengths. Here's the challenge. When God made the woman, he made the woman in the man. She was in him. The Bible said, "Male and female created he them and called his name Adam". So the woman wasn't just created when she was brought forth. She was created in him. All of her never came out of him, hence we have X and Y chromosomes. We're all tangled up, and we're different experiences, and everything. And you have, you know, that other side in you. I'm gonna ask about that when we get to heaven. Some folks have got too much over on either side, unstable environment. That's another class.
But the Bible says that the woman is to be a helpmeet to him. Okay, helpmeet, helpmeet is to complete. That means that you are supposed to have strengths in different places. So when you find out that you are strong in an area that he is not strong, be it your son, your husband, or the person at work, are you strong enough not to need to point that out? Or are you using your differences to add to competition rather than completion? "How in the world can you be runnin' around here talkin' about what a man you are and you don't even come home and balance this checkbook with your saved, sanctified, filled-with-the-Holy-Ghost self. If I don't handle these checks and this business, everything in here'd be shut down". And he oughtta turn to you and say, "And when are you gonna get your lazy, overweight self out there and cut that grass"?
I'm not sayin' he oughtta say that. I'm just bein' funny for a minute, y'all. What I'm really tryin' to say is that you have strengths in different places, and it might be the other way around. He might be the one writin' the checks and you might be the one cuttin' the grass. However it works for you, you have strengths in different places because it was God's design that when a man finds a woman who completes him rather than competes with him, she becomes a safe place for him to rest. Because what ultimately wears any brother down is always havin' to compete. You compete at work. You compete at church. You come home and now you got to compete in here. "Who make the most in here? I'm the one bringin' in all the money". Now we got to have a contest at home.
Completing each other rather than competing with each other is critical because anytime you complete somebody, whether it's in a management situation or a marriage situation, anytime a boss, who, incidentally, is in a position of power, walks over to somebody who is submitted to that position of power and he says, "I just wanna help you do your job. What do you need me to do that would help you to be more effective at your job? Because I'm here at your disposal, as a resource, whatever you need to help things be more functional for you. I'm here to make that happen". The moment the boss does that, he ceases to be antagonistic. It stops all kinds of problems. It creates a safe environment between the two of us, and everybody likes anybody who wants to make you look good.
Nobody in this room is attracted to anybody who's competing against you. So, how can you compete against your companion and then wonder why they're not attracted to bein' around you? Bein' around you is stressful. "I got off work, and now I gotta work at home". What you want, what a good person with power is, is strong enough to be good at what they do, but confident enough in who they are that they'll use their strengths to make you look good. Whenever they do that, they empower you, whether it's a boss or whether it's a companion. They empower you, and you gravitate to them. All of us, all of us are attracted to people that empower us.
Let me have my third point. Communication is more than confrontation. This is so important. Do not think that because you communicate, that because you're confrontational, that you have communication. Confrontin' me is not communicating with me. It is possible for you to confront me and still not have communication. And we are forever tellin' you, you need to communicate. We're tellin' the parents, "You need to communicate with your children. Find out what's goin' on with them". But we don't tell them how to communicate. We tell couples, "You need to communicate with each other". But we don't tell them how to communicate. So what we generally do is confront each other rather than communicate, and confrontation does not always lead up to communication. In fact, confrontation with men can shut down all hopes of communication.
So you came home with your five tapes on communication and you ran up to Roger and said, "You know what, Roger? I need to talk to you, and I need to talk to you about what you doin' and how you", and all you're doin' is shuttin' him down 'cause confrontation is not communication. There oughtta be some fellas runnin' up here with $10 in a popcorn ball for this. See, when you communicate, you must understand that we communicate very differently. I walked past John Ellis. If I wanna tell John that I think he's doin' a great job and I just appreciate him bein' here in the ministry and him servin' on his post, if I wanna tell him all of that right here, right now, I can do it and never part my lips. I can be preachin' and walk past him and go, and I guarantee you he knows what I said. Am I right? He knows exactly what I said, and I never opened my mouth.
Non-verbal communication is huge with men, huge. It is not that he's not talking. It's that he's talking another language. We communicate as much as you do. We just go about it differently. Just for the purpose of this illustration, Marco, I'm just illustratin' this. Marco beat and kick in your nose or somethin', kill all your future. This his wife, but I'm just borrowin' her for the moment. Now, we're in a relationship. Sister Delboski is multilingual. Okay, I'm gonna talk to her in English. She's gonna answer in Spanish or French or somethin', and I want you to see somethin'.
TD Jakes: I think we need to talk.
TD Jakes: Whenever I need you, you're never there for me.
TD Jakes: If you didn't stay at that church all the time, you and I could get together.
TD Jakes: Oh, what's up with you? I don't know what you talkin' about, woman. What's up with you and these kids? And you're always takin' care of the kids. You got a husband.
TD Jakes: I don't know what in the world she said. Whatever it is, she's passionate about it. She's excited about it. She's sincere about it. But it doesn't sink in with me because she's speaking another language. That's what goes on in your relationship. The woman is speaking one language, the man is speaking another, and it creates a problem. Now, here's the issue with Sister Delboski. We're in a dilemma because I don't know nothin' she said, but she is bilingual. She knows what I said. But she's bilingual because she's taken classes to learn English and I think Spanish is her major language, isn't it? And she also understands French. But there are no classes because for what I'm tryin' to teach you, it's not about speakin' Spanish. It's not about speakin' French or English. I wanna know, to the women in here, do you speak man? Because if you don't speak man, you could be losing communication with your son or your husband because we're talking different languages. And by the way, fellas, it would help you to learn how to speak a little women up here too.
Number 4, 8 o'clock, I told ya I would get you there, I'm here. Calming the crisis through knowledge. Calming the crisis through knowledge. The crisis will never be calmed through competition, coercion, manipulation, only through knowledge. "Well, how do I get this kinda knowledge that helps me through crisis"? You get it by coming to God and saying to God, "You know what? I've received a touch, but I'm not there yet. I'm not seein' things clearly. I'm not seeing things clearly as I go through the crisis because I am seeing things through the lens of what I went through before". And so anytime I see things through the lens of what I went through before, I get a distorted perception. If I take his glasses off right now and I smear 'em all over my sweaty face and put 'em back on, he'll be able to see, but it won't be good. You know why? Because he's seein' it through the smudge of what I put on him.
And most of us are seeing life and parenting and children and business and finances and all relationships through the smudge. But what God wants to emanate out of the heart of a man is an honest, open relationship with him, where the man is able to come into the presence of God without his woman actin' like the Holy Spirit, where he can come into the presence of God and say the truth. "You know what? I'm better, but I'm not straight yet. I'm not straight. And look, you know I'm not straight. I see things, but it's blurry". And it opens up an opportunity for men that if we could get men there without women gettin' in it, it would be amazing. If men could have a revival moment without ridin' home with somebody who's just talkin', "I hope you heard that part that he was talkin' about 'cause that sure was you. That sure was you".
See, by the time you get through preachin' the parts of my message that you want him to get, you ruin my whole message 'cause you're so stuck in your own dysfunction. If you would allow the Holy Spirit to touch him without you tryin' to push in your point and allow the Holy Spirit to create a safe place where he can go and get in the presence of God and say, "Lord, I don't know what happened. I was seein' it this way, but now I'm seein' it that way, and I'm goin' through a crisis right now". And I just wanna know, is it possible for a man to get a second touch?
If a man could get in the presence of God and open up his heart and say, "Lord, I need a second touch. I'm saved, but I'm goin' through some stuff right now". "I'm saved, I love ya, but I've been playin' around with some pornography". "I'm saved, I love the Lord, but I've been lookin' at this secretary with a brand-new set of eyes". "I'm saved, I love the Lord, but I've been stressin' out and I've been about to flip out". "I'm saved and I love the Lord, but I've been playin' some games on the down low, and I need some"...
If people would leave a man alone with God... every man that God ever touched in a mighty way was left alone with him. And Jacob was left alone with God, and there wrestled a man with him to the breaking of day. And Abraham was called to God alone. And Moses on the backside of the desert, left alone with God, saw a burning bush, and God said, "Moses, Moses". And Adam was hiding behind fig leaves when God said, not to Eve, he said to Adam, "Adam, where art thou"? Eve didn't open her mouth. She shut up, and Adam said, "I was naked. I heard thy voice. I was afraid. I hid myself. I was naked. I heard your voice. I was afraid. I hid myself".
And so I'm gonna ask you somethin' this morning, and I think it's a very important question, and it's a very difficult question. Do you, as a man, have the courage to come out from under your fig leaves and say, "You know what? I can se better than I used to, but I see men walking as trees. Touch me again".