I wonder why people often hold me to a greater level of responsibility, why they get disappointed in me when I don't live to certain expectations, while claiming they're, “Only human,” when they mess up? My mission in life is to destroy the myth that young people have nothing to say and nothing to contribute to the body of Christ. I'm a firm believer that we can learn from one another. The brevity and certainty of life has nothing to do with how many years I've lived, but have everything to do with how I lived with the years I've got.
The thing that really disturbs me is the fact the people won't
leave it alone. I know for a fact that people are discussing my
love life and wondering why I'm not dating. Sister So and So
would really compliment him and a good wife. You think he's...
Oh No! He couldn't be, not the reverend! You think? Rumor has it
that Choir Directors are usually. Shocking isn't it? But I get
all of that! Here's what I've dying to tell church folk: MY LOVE
LIFE JUST AIN'T YOUR BUSINESS!!!!!!!!! Let me talk about your
love life or something else terribly private to you. I mean, is
there nothing that you will not talk about? Everything else I
have talked about or preached about. My love life and my bedroom
is just off limits to you. (You will note the period at the end
of the sentence, for it also metaphorically means period!). I am
single. Never been married. Ain't trying to rush into it either.
I know that scares some of you to know that there is a minister
with no wife about town and all these single good lookin' young
ladies! But I also know how to protect myself. NO ONE can point
to, look back on, or drum up a scandal on me and young ladies
with shady behavior. Don't test me, I know my reputation.
So for those of you who don't know me real well, let me help you: I do not date within the congregation. The church is not a candy store to me. I do not look for different flavors, or new additions to the existing line. And if, in the event there is a young lady that catches my eye and peaks my interest, I have enough sense to speak with my Pastor about it. Because not only do I understand accountability, but he doesn't need things to get out of hand either for his own credibility. I'm not jacking my Pastor up either. So know now, I talk to the pastor first, that means before I approach the young lady.
It's too easy for dating to affect my ability to minister in my church or anywhere else when things get “high school”. I'm not in high school anymore, I graduated. There is not a time that you will find me alone with a young lady unless I'm on a date. That does not mean that I'm going to make phone calls for potential chaperones. I know how to treat a lady. How often I date, ain't your business! But I will tell you that it is not often. But that should not matter you, it's not you dating.
Please don't take this to be some angry rant.
It's not. I'm a preacher, I'm just confessing what most of us
won't. I'm not angry about this, but please, my love life?? Read
the Song of Solomon or catch a soap opera.
What soured me? I got hurt in a very public way, in a very public relationship that never existed. She thought one thing, I thought another. I thought I was clear. I wasn't. The result, embarrassment, hurt feelings, and the loss of a friend. We speak, but not like we used to. And that pains me. I'm not saying that I'm the good guy. I don't have to be the hero of the story. The reality is that once I knew there was a fondness, I should've acted more proactively to protect myself, to protect my ministry and to protect her. I didn't do that. I vowed that it would never happen again.
So that's my confession. I do date, but it ain't your business. I love you, but it ain't your business. I will pray for you, but it ain't your business. I want to see you blessed, but it ain't your business. You can ask, and I may or may not tell you, because now I know that you understand, it ain't your business.
Neil M. Brown
30 November 2003
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