Pastor John Gray and Aventer Gray: The Burden of a Build-a-Man Project

| 11/24/2018 | Comments (0)

Pastor John Gray, made famous for his work as an associate pastor at Joel Olsteen’s Houston Lakewood megachurch, was recently making the rounds on television to promote his new book “Win From Within.” The interview (which caught fire in the black community) was hosted by TV ONE’s “The Sistah Circle” where Pastor Gray discussed his family history, his relationship with his mother, his journey to manhood, and how instrumental his wife was in guiding and supporting him in molding him into the man he is today.

Aventer and Pastor John Gray

Aventer Gray, John Gray

Though the three hosts of The Sistah’s Circle were AMENNING and TESTIFYING and WORDING to his comments, I gave him the serious side-eye. I listened to the entire interview (three times). Then, since I type 100 words per minute, I took it upon myself to transcribe the interview word for word to make sure I had a clear handle on what he said. I read the words several times in disbelief, then I made a video which expressed my thoughts which you can find below.

Pastor John Gray Describes His Struggle to Manhood

Since Pastor Gray was on the show to promote his book, the hosts referenced specific passages and asked him for clarification. What follows is one of the first questions, and his response:

QUESTION:What was the decision to write this book (Win from Within), about the inside of a person… winning from the inside?

ANSWER: Because the external trappings of success have given us rose colored glasses to what we think will give us peace. But if money could give you peace and if cars and houses could give you peace, then wealthy people wouldn’t commit suicide. And people who are on TV wouldn’t be taking anti-depressants. Because fame and money and things do not give you peace.

So when I looked at my own life, this idea of win from within and finding yourself by facing yourself… the truth is that as big as I am, I’m a marathon runner. I might not run in the natural, but I been running in the spirit my whole life. I’ve been running from the things I’m afraid of; I’ve been running from the things that have been stalking me in my fears and in my nightmares…areas of insecurity. Areas where I don’t feel adequate as a husband…as a father… as a leader. And I was tired of living running away from the things that I was scared of. And I had to face it. And it didn’t start in a pulpit, I had to face it at home.

Like, I got this woman that loves me, but she married a broken man and she didn’t know HOW broken, because I didn’t know how broken.

Cause when you’re single and you can lie to yourself, it’s easy to love what you see. But then when you live in community with another person, all of the masks begin to crumble. Now my wife is left with a picture of a shadow of a man that she thought she knew, and now I’m dealing with the unintended consequences of not healing properly from sexual abuse, or not having the proper information on how to foster intimacy, or what it means to be a Christian, and a black man, and the child of a single parent and not know what it means to build your house.

So now I’m trying to be a husband and a father and a leader…and I didn’t see any of those up close. SO how can you be what you’ve never seen? I’m running blind, scared out of my mind, and crying most nights…and I’m tired.

So I said I wonder how many other people have been faking it? Many of us are weary. Weary. And I said I don’t know how long I’m gon live but whatver it is, I’m gon turn around and fight this thing.

So, win from within is about identifying the areas in your life that need healing, so that you can be what you need to be for you FIRST, then for everybody else. “

Why Did Aventer Gray “Rebirth” Pastor John Gray?

Then we come to the section that everyone was talking about online – where he thanked his wife for “covering” him, and enduring the pain of caring for him for the past eight years. I tell you, I have never been as disgusted as I was at hearing these words from the lips of a grown ass man who has manipulated and gamed his way into a position of leadership and salvation for hundreds of thousands of Believers of God and Jesus Christ.

QUESTION: There’s a quote that really sat with me but I wanted to ask you about it. It says “the men in my family were not anything to emulate. So in terms of how I would need to define myself, being a mama’s boy was the only chance I had of breaking that cycle. If I was going to become like the men in my family, then addiction and bad decisions and all types of other vices would’ve been my life. It’s very clearly in my bloodline and it’s in my DNA.”

So… what I want to know is has being a mama’s boy affected you beyond with your mom and in your marriage? What can we do…what can men do to break these cycles that are generational?

ANSWER: First of all, breaking generational cycles, I just want to say this: there are demons you inherit and there are demons you invite. I can see decisions I’ve made, I fight against the nature of who I am. My mother somehow was able to break that mold. But of course, when you’re close to your mama, and you don’t know how to do all the things everybody else is doing:  “What are you a sissy? You gay? What are you, a punk?” So I got bullied and talked about and all of that. But she was my only chance … my MOPastor John Gray, Aventer Gray, Sistah's CircleTHER was my only chance at manhood. My MOTHER was instrumental in guiding me to make wise decisions.

The wife that I chose is better than the man that I am. I married a woman two sizes too big. I have to grow into Aventer. She’s a coat. I still can’t fit her…she’s bigger than me. And she’s had to cover me while I grow up. I gotta grow into jher. She’s a covering not a lid. If a man marries a lid, she’ll stop your dream. But if you marry a covering, she’ll push you to your destiny.

Let me tell you something, my wife has endured more pain birthing me than both of our children. She has sacrificed these last 8 years, covering the painful areas of my manhood, and covering the areas that could have exposed me. She deserves anything I can give her. Understand what I’m saying? I’m gonna live the rest of my life to honor her! Because she gave me what I couldn’t give myself, which is a chance to heal while still seeing the God in me.”

Women Should NEVER Bet on a Man’s “Potential”

Luckily for Aventer Gray, it seems her dream may eventually pay off. By the time Pastor John Gray reaches his full maturity and complete understanding of manhood, she will be 15-20 years into the marriage, sacrificing the entire time. Of course, he is making a lot of money, and for some women that fills in the blanks of character and purpose quite nicely. I understand that Pastor John Gray is not only taking care of his family, but taking care of his wife’s parents as well.

However, can I as a relationship columnist cosign on a woman banking on “potential?” Not at all.

There are millions of black women being a “ride or die” or “hold him down” or “lift him up” type of woman right now. Those women, now or sometime in the near future, risk experiencing the disappointment, exhaustion and pain which comes when the man you believe in never reaches the potential you hope he will. These black women want to become a magician and think their love and caring will be enough to manifest a miracle. Yet in the vast majority of cases, they are destined for heartbreak and too often, financial devastation and depression to boot.

Pastor John Gray Cannot be Rebirthed by His WifeJohn Gray Aventer Gray

As my grandpa used to say “you can’t create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!”

Black males who have no idea of what it means to be a man, to be responsible, to be accountable, to be of service to loved ones and their community, to lead, to bear the burden, to be the decision maker, to sacrifice for others… they are clueless. Instead, they demand to be fed first (even before seniors and children), and taken care of by the very women they are commanded by God to protect. These men are sow’s ears and will forever remain so.

Flatly, with all due respect to his position amongst my Christian sistahs, Pastor John Gray is full of shit.

His wife Aventer Gray is a deluded mammy mule. In no way is she capable of changing him to be anything…he has to decide that and do the work to make that happen all by himself.

And from my perspective, anyone who listens to Pastor John Gray, an admittedly confused and broken man, who depends upon this lost male for spiritual guidance, is seriously in need of a reality check. Such individuals also would appear to have less confidence and belief in themselves, and lower self esteem than Pastor John Gray has in himself.

Pastor John Gray, Manhood, Black Women and Christianity

Sadly, with black women being the most religious demographic in America, the principles of Christian submission and the belief that a woman was made from Adam’s rib and designed to be “a helpmeet” to her man (aka a second class citizen), is popular in the black community. Black women are forever sacrificing themselves, their dreams, their money, their time, and their lives to build up, lift up and encourage black males to become men.

What was so shocking to me was how readily Pastor John Gray admitted that his own marriage followed that trite and disturbing pattern, as he acknowledged the hard work and sacrifice that his wife endured for eight years and counting, to bring him along.

Young Black Women Socialized to be Mules and Mammy’s for Black Men

No group of women in this world except African American women, are expected to coddle and baby grown men. Men of other cultures believe it is their duty as MEN to take care of and protect their women and children. Black women have been socialized to think it is their duty as WOMEN to take care of and protect their men.

I strongly suggest you ladies give some serious thought to why black men who act as infants are being pushed on you.  What does having little boys in grown men’s bodies do for you, your children, and the black community as a whole.

As we move forward into 2019, why should the most educated demographic in the United States with the most promise need to weigh themselves down carrying the weight of a collective of men who see their lovers as mothers?

What benefit is it to black women to carry the weight of underperforming, emotionally stunted and damaged black males (who do not meet the standard of MEN) on their backs?

Your comments under this thread or under either of the videos linked below are welcome.

We had drama with YouTube, so the video was recorded in two parts.



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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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