The Manhood Line by Mike Ramey

MEMO: OPERATION BAND OF GOLDBY MIKE RAMEYThis month, we’re off on the ride of reality, brothers: The subject of marriage!For the life of me, I can not understand why churches, schools, government, and even the criminal justice system refuse to stress marriage FIRST and sex SECOND between a man and a woman!The ‘I see it, I want it, I’ll take it’ mentality of the age continues to spawn new lows for the sake of sexual thrills. Even those who have fought for ‘same sex marriages’ are amazed at how quickly homosexuals and lesbians are lining up for their ‘right to divorce’ so they can quickly move on to their next illicit relationship.A REGULAR QUESTION FROM SOME OF THE YOUNG:Teens have a way of piercing the veil of truth with their own honesty. Every once in a while, I’ll get ‘that’ question from a male or female teen:“Mr. Ramey…are YOU married?”I’ll hold up my left hand and point to a rather large band of gold.I’ll also answer in the affirmative.Some of them seem both shocked, and glad. At least--in their travels--they have met someone who values marriage to a wonderful woman. Sure, this may be the second time around. But this time, I got it right! As Ray Charles said in the commercials: “I found the RIGHT one, Baby! Uh-Huh!”DROP TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE? INCREASE OF SEXUAL MISERY:With all of the electronic ‘ink’ that has been wasted on the ‘rise’ of gang crime, the ‘rise’ of youth unemployment, and the ‘rise’ of the dropout rate, one DOES NOT have to look too far to find a culprit: The deliberate dropping of traditional marriage and raising stable families from the landscape. MEN marry; THUGGS sag…and lag!Check it: starlets are allowed to have ‘baby bumps’, multiple shack-pals and weekends with the thrill of their choice. Recording artists make songs about how ‘tough’ and ‘street’ they are--then rush to court because their ‘live in’ has gotten into a fight with them (Rihanna and Chris). Newspapers, magazines, TV shows and radio documentaries are dedicated to million-dollar weddings and billion-dollar divorce settlements. On top of all this, the ‘public’ church is more concerned about social issues rather than biblical truth…in a day when truth is an endangered species.Brothers, marriage is NOT what you see represented in the MSM. Only by careful research of your OWN spirit, determination and drive will you know that you are ready for that commitment. REAL men value three things: The right to selection, the right to propose and the right to commit.Do NOT fall for the ‘feminist lies’ that men don’t want to commit to women and it’s OK for women to ask men to marry them. Do NOT fall for ridiculous MSM TV shows that show women ‘acting ugly’ on their wedding day, and it is acceptable! Do NOT fall for the mythical "Shortage of Black men" lie that has been bouncing around since I was on the school yard playground. Those who do NOT control their image can not afford to fall for the 'created' image of the MSM! If I may be honest--and we usually are in THIS column on Men’s issues--there are MORE women running FROM marriage proposals these days than ever before.As I wrap up this month’s column, I’ll bring you my ‘short list’ of points that you can freely use in order to determine IF she is the right one to marry. Be warned, brothers. If you are NOT prepared spiritually, economically, educationally, and don’t have a strong work ethic, do NOT even THINK about getting married. Commitment lasts more than cute!THE REVISED ‘RAMEY GREAT EIGHT’:1. DOES GOD HAVE HER? Real simple question. Sound New Testament principle, based upon Proverbs 31. If you are a Christian and she is NOT, you can NOT tie the KNOT! Marry outside of the Christian faith at your own RISK!2. HOW DOES SHE TREAT DAD? Plenty of sisters have fathers with whom they regularly see and interact. Observe how she treats Dad, and other males in her family. Any hidden anger? Is she still a tomboy at heart? Do NOT ‘overlook’ this!3. WILL SHE TAKE YOUR NAME? Would NOT want to be bothered with a sister who would not take my name. No ‘hyphens’ allowed. Any brother who ‘lets’ his future wife ‘decide’ whether or not she will take his last name is heading for a war that even the Taliban couldn’t win!4. WILL SHE FOLLOW YOUR LEAD? Another sound question. Pre-marital counseling is needed to bring this issue up and out on the table. Men lead; women follow in marriage. Anything with two heads is a FREAK! When men do NOT lead, the family is a mess. You are the five-star general, brothers; she is the four-star general once you marry. Communicators and protectors ALWAYS last longer than dictators in a home.5. CAN YOUR WOMAN COOK? In these tough times, a wife that can make preserves, do meals from scratch either in an oven or with the power off and knows how to turn hamburger into gourmet food is a godsend! Especially in a recession.6. CAN YOUR WOMAN SHOP? How she treats her money will show you how she will treat your money when it becomes ‘our’ money. And…there is nothing wrong with separate bank accounts, especially in second marriages. Second marriages CAN work IF you learn the lessons that caused the first one to go up in smoke.7. DOES SHE ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU? More and more women get talked into dumber and dumber things by their female (and male) friends. Can she save her 'sweat' for the job, and save her lips ONLY for you? Don’t be fooled: Pornography has become a problem among women, too! Not JUST the physical pictures, but emotional pornography from publications such as Essence, Ebony, Jet, and...yes...even BET and Radio One.8. DOES SHE KNOW HOW TO DRESS? A wife knows that she needs to be ‘covered up’! Fashionable but not flirtatious to anyone but Y-O-U! She is to dress for her husband; not to win approval from her ‘sistahfriends’ or family members.Marriage is for a MAN and a WOMAN. NOT for ‘baby daddies’ and ‘baby mammas--with drama!’ Brothers, quit that thugg life! Grow up, shape up, step up and M-A-R-R-Y! Want a better woman, brothers? BE a prepared and upright man!RAMEY is the Pastor of The Forward Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the author of THE MANHOOD LINE. This syndicated column appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, buzz an email to him at © 2010 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.
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Rev. M. G. “Mike” Ramey (Retired) served as the Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist & Media Consultant of “The Gang Line”. He had been interviewed in the U. S. and abroad on radio, television, and Internet about the dangers of Modern Street Gangs since 2007. His writings on Modern Street Gangs abound in print and online. Previously, he served as an award-winning broadcast journalist, producer, and TV/Radio talk show host. He has also served as a staff writer, section editor, and syndicated columnist. Ramey has won—or helped to win—some two dozen journalism awards and citations. He also holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986). Ramey is also married, an Ordained Minister (Retired) and a KJV Bible Teacher.

Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist with Certifications in Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010), and Gangs & Cults Ministry (2017). He also has endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues and Transnational Gangs. He also carries Specialist Ratings in Cult/Occult Crime, and Transnational Human Trafficking. Ramey has also served with several International anti-gang ministries, including of Washington state (2004-2009), Thug Exposed Ministries of California (2010 to 2015) and Bishop Outreach Ministries of Florida (2010 to 2015).

In 2011 “The Gang Line” offered training and certification coursework for those interested in becoming certified Modern Street Gang Specialists: Training approaches the anti-gang ministry field through the combined use of spiritual (biblical principles/discipleship) and criminal (gang members and gang crime). From 2015-2017, Ramey served as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Criminal Justice at Harrison College, Indianapolis, Indiana, with a specialty of Organized Crime & Gangs. From 2017-2019, Ramey served as a Bible Teacher to at-risk detained juvenile offenders at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center with his own Bible-based Curriculum centering upon Biblical Life Skills taught from the Book of Proverbs.

Rev. Ramey’s skill set includes having been a veteran substitute teacher (Secondary Education), a college instructor for two Bible colleges in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based) with the Marion County Juvenile Court, and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs with the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed, and taught the course “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies—UM-190” at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (2009 & 2010). In 2013, Ramey served as a post-production Consultant for Chick Publications’ national anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It was translated into Spanish in 2014.

Ramey has written extensively on the topic of Modern Street Gangs with two Internet columns: “The Gang Line” and “The Gang Line Blogger” which abound in cyberspace. In a post-pandemic society, the motto of The Gang Line still rings true: “Spiritual Solutions for Spiritual Problems!”

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