Welcome to Class 84 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young men. I am Daniel Whyte III, chairman of the National Association to Save Young Black Men in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men”. We are using that book as the text and its study guide to guide you through the course. The study guide was developed with the help of Jamie McCallum (M.Div, Truett Theological Seminary), Charles Garrett (M.Div, Southwestern Theological Seminary), and now my youngest son Danyel Ezekiel Whyte who is in his third year of college. This course is for all young men, but especially for young black men and young men of color who oftentimes have a “difficult journey” in this great country called America. I call this class “the Ramp” to the Highway of Success because my goal is to get you on “the Ramp”. As a man, you ought to be able to make it from there. Out of respect for you as a young man, my job is to get you on the ramp and point you in the right direction, not to tell you all the details once you get onto the highway of success. With God, you can do great things.
— Let’s Pray —
This lesson is titled “On Your Relationship With Your Mother.”
Ephesians 6:2-3 says, “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” —
Throughout Black American history, the mother has played a critical leadership role in most black homes. There are many reasons for that and I don’t have time or space to get into those reasons now. Suffice it to say, our dear black mothers have had to take on that strong leadership role. It was thrust upon them. Thank God somebody did take that role, otherwise Black America would be in worse shape than what it is in now. Let me throw in, however, that it is a new day now, and it is time for black men to rise up, to take responsibility, and to take their God-given role as the head of their households. It is time, also, for our women to let them. Be that as it may, what kind of relationship ought you to have with your mother? What are your responsibilities and obligations to her? No matter your family situation, here are some things God commands you to do and that you ought to do out of love:
1. Respect your mother. It does not matter your family situation; it does not matter what your mother has done or what she has not done; it does not matter whether she was a good mother or the mother from hell—your responsibility is to respect her.You have to lay aside any negative emotions, forgive failures of the past, and show her respect. There is absolutely no excuse for a man to disrespect his mother. One of the greatest lessons that you can learn in life is the principle of authority. When you fully understand the principle of authority, you will know that it doesn’t matter what type of person the one in authority is; if they are in a God-given position of authority over you—in this case your parents—you had better respect them. I do not care if your mother is the biggest drunkard or whore in town, you had better respect her because she is still your mother, and if she is from the old school, she’ll remind you of that fact. Here are some quick ways that you can show respect to your mother:
A. I am from the old school. I believe ‘Yes, Ma’am’ and ‘No, Ma’am’ are in order when addressing her.
B. Don’t talk back! No matter how old you get, son, don’t you ever talk back to your mother! You may be right in what you are saying, but don’t talk back. When Momma is talking to you—trying to tell you something, don’t talk back because black mothers still have the legal right to “knock your teeth out of your mouth.” And please don’t rare back as if you are going to hit her because you are sure in for a “butt-whipping” then. I know of grown football players who can still get their “butt” whipped by their mother. Don’t mess with Momma.
C. Never call your mother by her first name. For old school mothers that’s a sure backhand across your mouth without one word being said by her. Then she will give you the eyes—the look that says, ‘I dare you to say that again.’ Or, ‘You had better think twice before you say anything else stupid.’ D. If you think your mother’s lifestyle is out of order, just keep your mouth shut, leave her alone, and pray for her. It is not your place to correct your mother. If your mother is wrong about something in her life, she already knows what it is. She doesn’t need a child, whose diapers she has changed, to tell her she is wrong. Don’t get all upset.
D. If you think your mother’s lifestyle is out of order, just keep your mouth shut, leave her alone, and pray for her. It is not your place to correct your mother. If your mother is wrong about something in her life, she already knows what it is. She doesn’t need a child, whose diapers she has changed, to tell her she is wrong. Don’t get all upset. Leave her alone and trust God to fix whatever is wrong in her life. Besides, once a person is past forty years of age, only God can help them anyway.
In closing, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people I grew up around said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.