RSS

Kicking Over Sacred Cows in the Church!

30 Jul

I’ve recently begun to question much of the church’s doctrine and position on dating, marriage, and relationships. As an African-American woman whose been church-ed for all my natural born childhood, and adult life I am quite familiar with the “don’t be unequally yoked,”, “the man is supposed to find you”, and “just focus on God, the husband will come” rhetoric. The problem with the “just wait on God” mantra which the church espouses so liberally is that it doesn’t match up with real life experiences of many women of color who like me have done nothing but focus on God and their career and still aren’t married. In her article How the Black Church Keeps Black Women Single Deborah Cooper claims that black churches play a key role in keeping black women single and alone, waiting for Mr. Right, all the while taking care of the churches’ business. (Follow this link for Deborah’s article: http://survivingdating.com/black-churches-how-black-churches-keep-african-american-women-single-and-alone)

It’s that old “if you take care of God’s house, he will  take care of your house” adage. And it’s not just traditional black churches which espouse such traditional notions about a single woman’s place in God’s house. Growing up in the Pentecostal faith tradition with mostly white congregations, I can attest to the fact that many of us are taught it is a man’s job to pursue us and our job is to wait–anything more smacks of and/or constitutes Jezebel or harlot like behavior in the eyes of the church. But what exactly are we waiting for? I hate to say it but I’ve come to the conclusion that Mr. Right is probably not in the church, at least not for educated and/or professional sisters of color. Of course, a lot of it has to do with the church and it’s perpetuation of traditional gender roles which does not jive well with the self-assured, independent “woman vibe” that a lot of women of color subscribe to. Gender equality is something that women of this generation demand. However, because the church maintains such rigid views on a man and a woman’s place in the marriage relationship, it causes ruptures and tears for many of us female egalitarian sisters of color sitting on the pews.

The other “elephant in the room”, is the “do not be unequally yoked” doctrine which presumes to tell us single gals that all we need to be concerned with is the spiritual state of our future spouse and as long as that is settled everything will be alright. I heard my Pastor say it this way “anyone whose not a born-again Christian, you can take them off the table”. Well, now that raises some interesting questions. If I can be unequally yoked with a man spiritually isn’t it possible that I can also be unequally yoked with a man naturally? In secular terminology we call it compatibility. Are you telling me  that all us church-ed sisters need to be concerned about in a potential mate is his spiritual status without regard to his emotional, mental, and  financial state? I submit that it is foolish to do so. My bible says that “a man who does not work should not eat”. (2 Thessalonians, 3;10, NKJV). I interpret this to mean that a man’s propensity or motivation to secure gainful employment is just as important a consideration as his relationship with God. Also, lets not forget about factors such as educational attainment, income level, economic stability, financial independence, socio-economic status, race, culture, shared interests, similar values, etc…which weigh heavily in one’s choice of a future spouse or partner. Would the church have us believe that none of these other things matter as long as we have Christ?

I find the “all we need is Christ” doctrine dangerous and think it does a major disservice to women of color and of faith since we have to negotiate most or all of these factors in our romantic relationships. This “all we need is Christ” doctrine also fails to acknowledge that such factors make us appear all the more or less attractive as possible marriage spouses. So, just because I might not regard race, cultural, or socio-economic differences as reasons not to date and/or marry someone in my church, does not mean someone else may not. And to illustrate my point, I’d like to share a story with you. During the spring of 2005 I was serving as a youth leader for my church youth group. It was my second year as a youth leader and I was absolutely loving it. One night after youth service when all the kids had been dismissed, we youth leaders were lounging in the café area having a lively discussion about relationships, dating, and marriage partners. A lot of people were talking about what they imagine their wedding day and/or partner might possibly be like. Suddenly, out of the blue, one of the white male youth leaders blurted out he would never marry a black or Italian woman b/c as he put it “I simply do not find them attractive”.

I felt stung and mortally offended. It was as if someone had literally stuck or stabbed me in the back with a knife. As a black woman of course his comment cut me deep but perhaps what was even more hurtful to me was that he had also offended a very good friend of mine who happened to be born and raised Italian and also a youth leader as well. My initial reaction was so quick. How can you say that? You don’t know who you will marry!  I had always been taught that we don’t regard the flesh as Christians and it doesn’t matter what package the person comes in as long as they are the right person God intended for you to be with its all good. In utter shock and disbelief I protested vehemently along with several other women of color youth leaders and my Italian friend but to no avail.  This youth leader proceeded to defend his racist statement to the ground. The intense anger I felt swelled. What if there had still been teens, especially black teen girls in the building who heard what he had said? How can he stand in front of a group of racially diverse teens every week and beckon them to enter into a deeply intimate and spiritual place in worship and harbor such racist feelings towards black and Italian women?

At the risk of not causing more strife among the youth staff I kept quiet about the incident but I’ve never forgotten it to this day. Sometimes, I wonder if the youth pastors deserved to know what kind of person they had serving on their staff but I digress. I share this story to show the flaws with the “Christ is all we need” doctrine when it comes to relationships. Obviously, racism exists in the church despite the doctrine and rhetoric about there being no “Jew or Greek” and sadly that extends to romantic relationships too. Perhaps, that explains why over the last nine years the last 11 weddings I’ve attended at my church have only been for young white couples in their early to mid 20’s. So as much the church would like us sisters to believe that white or rainbow man sitting on the pew next to us could be “the One”  there might be ghostly matters of race, culture, and ethnicity lurking in the back of his mind that need to be addressed publicly and honestly.

In the end we educated/professional women of color and of faith are juggling our Christianity with our race, class, and gender, which is quite a balancing act. To assume that shared faith in Christ trumps all these identity markers is foolish, unrealistic, and insulating in many ways. We need partners Christian or no Christian who are willing to negotiate these issues with us and unfortunately I have not met any men in church that can do this. So, despite your protests I’m not  “taking anyone of the table”. Sorry Pastor.

Advertisements
 
32 Comments

Posted by on July 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

32 responses to “Kicking Over Sacred Cows in the Church!

  1. Karyn Folan

    July 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Well said. This is an excellent post that, I think captures the essence of the problems Deborrah Cooper outlined in her now (in)famous essay.

    Spiritual compatibility is important. No one is minimizing that fact. But the “wait on God” attitude needs to be expanded a bit to include that old chestnut “Heaven helps those who help themselves!” God rewards our agency when its in directions that make us better servants. Black women in the church have to realize that if they take a step in a new direction, it opens up a whole new way for God to bless them.

    As I’ve said on my blog, I’m not particularly religious, but I have seen so many women blossom by being willing to step out on faith and try something new– whether it be with men, or travel, or moving to a new community, or trying a new career. Trust God… but ACT!

     
  2. harleyq2

    August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I always question any doctrine whether it is my church or any other religious organizations. The bottom line is for women and black women especially there is a limited number of men in the church. For the ones that are there and are remotely eligible, there is a fight for him with the other single church women. Because we are all a body of Christ does not mean that cultural, economical issues are eliminated.

    In terms of what the youth leader said: I understand your anger and personal offense and I would feel that way too; however, I also can acknowledge that people have physical preferences as well whether they are Christian or not. If he had said he is not attracted to fat women or redheads, it is just his preferences. Because he does not find a particular set of women attractive does not mean that some other man won’t be head over heals. On that note, he is an a**hole to not think that black women are not attractive.

    I think people also misinterpret “wait on God.” I personally do not believe it means that we should always sit still for a sign. But we should, as we are moving, ask God for guidance. So when we see something or someone that is a sign then take it back to God and say is this from you? This includes men in our churches and outside of our churches.

     
  3. boomer babe

    August 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I noticed that after age 23, a lot of christian men in churches are married, but, its best to be equally yoked. Men who are not in church, may not come even if you ARE CHRISTIAN. The men ARE out there, although, they may not be in churches. Theres other places Christian men go to, to meet christian, women. I am a Christian, and I didn’t meet my husband in church, but he IS a Christian, and we started going to church AFTER we were married.It’s still good to go to multiethnic churches to meet men.

     
  4. boomer babe

    August 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Also,(sacred cows) I don’t know where you live, but lately i’ve been seeing many white men with dark skinned black women in churches, and outside. It is starting to be a trend to me because of, i believe Michelle Obama in the white house.It’s subconscious, even though you may not agree with her politics. Some ARE getting married: other than that, being EQUALLY YOKED is very important.Men are men and ALL HAVE EGOS.

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you for your comments. I’m hoping that my post stirred up conversations about the church’s doctrine on finding a husband and the issue of interracial dating for women of color. I’ve read Karyn’s book (cover to cover) and I too agree that going where the men are is the first step to broadening your pool of men available to you. Like you I have also noticed more interracial BW/WM couples where I live and have wondered what is the impetus for that. I do wonder if Michelle Obama being in the white house has an effect on how the country and men of other races, especially white men see Black women as potential relationship partners. Maybe they are starting to take notice in a way they have not before. Nevertheless, I think interracial relationships are still thorny issues because of the many identity markers that women of color have to negotiate in their relationships.

       
      • boomer babe

        August 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

        I think it does, because of the human subconscious mind; also I think Walt Disneys’ Cinderella had a BIG IMPACT because Brandy is a ‘dark chocolate’ type. Reeses even came out with a new dark chocolate bar. All that has to happen is that we stop actin’ like the stereotypical kneegrow woman. (loud, coarse, etc.) It was also the ‘right time’ for Obama: he came from the 50th state, and won 50 years later. (i don’t care for his policies though) but the IMAGE is there with MICHELLE. I also see dark women wearing sisterlocks, which when they grow, make our hair long.

         
  5. boomer babe

    August 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Also, Mrs. Folan’s book sheds some light on it. A person should go where the men are, and some may be born again Christians as well. Sailing, target shooting, and the like may be good for starters. Have them show you how to do certain things (most real men love being asked by ladies)

     
  6. Sandra77

    August 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I take a bit of issue with Harleyq2’s opinion that this youth leader’s statement that he finds black and italian women ugly is just a statement of personal preference. That would only make sense if all black women and all italian women looked alike – they obviously don’t. No more than do all white women look alike. There is much more than mere “preference” lurking underneath that youth pastor’s statement – that’s why his statement elicted the reaction it did. Colorist black males tell black females all the time that their penchant for light skinned black women and white women is just a “preference” – when both they and we know that it goes so much deeper than that.

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      Sandra–Thanks for sharing. I too found his statement to be more than just about his personal preferences. I do however understand Harley’s point and I think a lot of people claim the personal preference defense in regard to these situations. I’m glad this story and post has stirred up conversation around these issues and that you joined in the dialogue. Cheers!–Afua

       
  7. harleyq2

    August 3, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Racist or not, that is his preference. I have heard so many black women say they don’t find black men attractive etc and most of us who are okay with IRR don’t blink an eye to it but cheer that woman on. So I am applying that same logic here. We could call him racist against black or Italian so what are we as black women or an Italian woman suppose to do about that? Teach him racial etiquette? I guess the best thing is to report his statement as inappropriate and offensive especially for his position. Frankly, I would be relieved to know how he thinks and feels about a particular race. Know your enemy!
    FACT: Here is my bottom line whether his statement was about his preference or racism, he is not the man for any black or Italian woman. SUGGESTION: Don’t waste a moment sleep about such idiots. Go find a man that sees our beauty and is not ashamed to proclaim it as loud or louder than this guy who announced that he does not like a certain “kind” of woman.

     
    • boomer babe

      August 6, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      BLACK and Italian women have a reputation for being ‘loud’ that could be a factor. He may like ‘quiet’ women.

       
      • smelodydiva

        August 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

        Boomer–Again, another example of how these stereotypes that Black and Italian women are “loud” work against us in romantic situations. Not all Black and Italian women are loud but as this perception is out there is someone can immediately write of these two groups of women because of the assumption that they all act a certain way. I tend to be a pretty quiet person except when I get fired up or passionate about something. Part of this might also be cultural differences–as where White people interpret passionate involved conversation as being loud and Black and Italian people interpret the passion as engagement and welcome it as a very good thing.

         
  8. Seraph

    August 4, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I really do agree with harleyq2. In fact, I’ll venture to say that there’s nothing wrong with what he said. It may not be politically correct, but it’s his right to hold that view (and for whatever reasons). As far as I know, he didn’t say that Black women were ugly, or demanding, etc. He just wasn’t attracted to them. Just as there are Black women in interracial relationships who say they are not attracted to Black men or even White men (which is also their right), they cannot turn around and say that someone ELSE isn’t supposed to do that.

    If we all want to say that it’s wrong for the youth leader to say that he’s not attracted to Black and Italian women (which is pretty odd) …then it has to hold true for everyone else.

    If I may ask, smelody, do you suppose the fact that he was White made you react the way you did?

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 4, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Seraph–I guess what really bothers me about the “preferences” language is that it is a mask for what I think is racism at its best. To state that he does not find “Black and Italian” women attractive, does it not follow that he is saying that all women from these groups are ugly. My personal feeling is that whenever someone says they’re not attracted to an entire a group of people, it is not just simply a preference–that is a bias that is being masqueraded as a personal choice. As far as him being white, I’m sure that had a lot to do with my reaction but rest assured if that had been a black man or another man of color making that statement, I would have been equally offended. The low status that Black women and other women of color hold is this society is clearly reflected in his ability to make such a balled faced statement in front of 3 Black female youth leaders. I know some folks might disagree but that is just my two cents!

       
      • Seraph

        August 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

        Well, I love your two cents. Posts like these really make you think.

        What you (and Sandra) say DOES make a lot of sense, smelody. Having a preference for or against women of a particular race is racist. The problem is, everyone already does it. Right?

        There are people who prefer those within their own racial groups and cultures… and there are even those who prefer anything BUT the people of their own racial groups. There are those who go as far as to advocate pursuing those outside of their own racial groups at the cost of defaming their racial counterparts (as far as I know, this is string in the Black community… which is sad).

        So, this youth leader is not the exception. The way he thinks is the way everyone in this country (US) thinks. Isn’t it?

         
  9. Sandra77

    August 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Harleyq2, I am not really so much concerned with this particular youth pastor’s statement so much as I am concerned that black women not fall for this “preference” argument okey doke. I think it’s important that we as black women learn to distinguish between what is truly a preference, and what is colorism masquerading as preference. I am also concerned about the negative PR message re black women that is so prevalent – we black women are so unprotected that this so-called Christian man who teaches Christian youth feels totally safe and “justified” to call all black women ugly in mixed race/ethnicity and mixed gender company! Yes, you’re right in stating that we need to choose our battles and find the most effective ways of fighting the negative PR. But it’s high time that people (and not just black men either) get served notice to stop messing with us. We deserve the best, and most certainly deserve better than this.

     
  10. Karen R.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I don’t believe the myth that Christ is all we need. We need one another. We are the hands, the arms, feet, eyes of Christ. If you have a need, I wouldn’t tell you I’ll pray about it, I would figure out how to tangibly help you meet that need. In that way we are expressions of God’s love, literally.

    In relation to what the youth leader said, I am reminded of the verse which says in effect “don’t answer a fool according to his folly.” His statement was rude and ignorant. If children had been present, I think it is acceptable to speak out against such foolishness, but without them in the room, don’t even waste your energy. People like him are not going to be convinced and arguing is not a good look. WHENEVER a person makes a statement that “I don’t find ___________ (whatever racial group) attractive,” I give them a major side-eye. How is it that ALL the members of a particular group are not attractive?! Pure ignorance.

    The “wait on the Lord” mantra is false doctrine for women unless they plan to marry the UPS man.lol I believe single women should put themselves in the context of where they can be approached by desirable, quality, eligible single men. This could be at a salsa class, a fundraiser for a political party or charity, a Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build, etc. I totally disagree with the belief that women should hide in order to be “found.” Get out there!!! God is not going to send a man to your door and to suggest otherwise is misleading and dangerous.

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      Karen–Thank you so much for your comments. I totally agree that the “wait on God” mantra is equivalent to telling women to hide in order to be found. There is this notion in the church that as single women we are to wait for God to uncover us and then our mate will take notice of us and voila. I find so many problems with that doctrine b/c it puts women in a waiting position which is not one of agency in my opinion. For women of color in particular, I think “waiting to be uncovered” is even more damning. We already have to negotiate race, class, etc… which in some cases counts against us as potential mates on top of which we are covered by God, we
      might as well be hidden under a rock. I’m really coming around to the notion that we single sisters need to get out there and meet men in all the places we can find.

       
  11. Lesane76

    August 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I agree that there are many concerns in the church when it comes to relationships. However, people do have their own opinion. If that young leader did not want to marry an African American or Italian, that’s his choice. Yes it hurts, but that’s what he desires. And of course, the truth hurt sometimes. You may have grown close to him and never thought that he would think that way. Even though he felt that way, it didn’t stop his fellowship with you. I have had an experience myself with a Minister. We grew very close and hung out a lot. I am a single parent of a male child. Despite how much the Minister and I hung out, he expressed that he did not want to be with a woman who had an already made family. Yes, it hurt! Because I felt he was wasting my time. But most of all, I let him waste my time. So even though it hurt, it was the truth and his right to feel that way. I felt that he was wrong for what occurred and how he felt, until I was in a similar situation. A Pastor became interested in me. He was a funny, well mannered, and a respectful-loving guy, who took well care of his responsibilities. However, he had been divorced and had a total of 8 children. We actually considered being in a relationship, but I couldn’t get past the 8 children: two prior to marriage and 6 after. I did not want a man with that much responsibility. So, one guy didn’t want me with one and I didn’t want another with 8. Both are choices we made and have to live with. So, things in life aren’t fair and don’t feel good at times, but that’s life.

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      Lesane-Thank you for your comments. I certainly don’t begrudge anyone to like who they like and I definitely can not change his opinion about Black or Italian women. I do however, have issue when someone, anyone claims that people of a certain race, class, etc… are all like this. To me that is a clear indication of racism, masquerading as “preference talk” and I have a real problem with that. In your case I understand not wanting to take on a man with 8 children and responsibility but I’m not sure how that equates with this particular youth minister not wanting to take on a Black or Italian woman. I see nothing but pure discrimination in his statement. As for growing close to him, he was someone I had come to respect for what he had taught us about working with teens and music ministry and I was appalled that he would hold such an opinion. I’m glad I know how he truly felt but as Christians who are taught not to regard difference (ie: race) it was hurtful to know someone you go to church with holds such racially charged beliefs.

       
  12. Lesane76

    August 7, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for your follow up response. My example was only a comparison of how people make choices or have their own desires regardless how others may feel about it. I did not see where the Youth Minister was being racist I just thought he only shared he didn’t find the two races attractive, which again, is his opinion. I myself may not find ALL races attractive, but it does not change that I will continue to communicate with them, work with them, attend church services with them—it’s still strictly my own opinion. I think a lot of times it bothers us as African Americans because we are so open to getting to know anyone, regardless of race, etc. On the other hand, I have even heard African American men not want to date African American women, does that mean they are racist, it’s just their choice. And they may have had bad experiences. So we all have our likes, dislikes, etc. We women take things to the extreme and wear our emotions on our sleeves. It’s his opinion…you should still love him regardless. He may change his views one day. For example, own my previous story, that same Minister that did not want me with one child has recently started dating a woman with four children and an ex-husband. That was a shocker to me, especially since he was a man who would not do either. So give that Youth Minister time. Once he continues to be around you guys and see how loving you are, how caring regardless of his views it may change his thinking! Because when he made his comment and you all responded the way you did, he probably felt that your reactions was all the more reason why he didn’t want to be with the two races. It’s love that may change his mind!!!

     
  13. Miri

    August 22, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Unless the Bible & the religion of Christianity are “Black Things”.. the “Black” church..whichever one of them it is, is NOT the problem. The “Black” church didn’t just invent the writings of Paul..they were actually given to those who would profess Christianity by white Gentiles.. the Romans. It was the Roman men that Constantine commissioned to choose which books would be included in the canon that decided to include the writings of Saul or Paul, the self proclaimed apostle who never knew “Jesus” anyway.

    If you went to a “White” church, they’d be reading the same scriptures to you. As well, there are plenty of Black females in so called “Black” churches who are married to men who don’t go to church- as a great deal of Black males do not go. I have not been to church in over a year.. but realize this.. many black females are single because we live in a system of racism (white supremacy) which to this day degrades and devalues us.. not just in America but globally. We are the most unpartnered women in the WORLD. No matter where you go, where there are Black males ( boys or adults), there are laws, policies and white males & females dedicated to decreasing their power/ opportunities & life spans. They are targeted more- so than any other group on the planet- globally..followed by us.

    So the religion of Christianity, shaped and spoon fed to us (Black people in America) puts an element of mental restrictions on us about who can or cannot partner with, when the system in place reduces our options as far as even the quantity of males go. It is bigger than the “church” sister, It is a GLOBAL system that operates in all areas of people activity.

    And don’t be surprised if a white male says something racist. It may be off-putting, but if you expect it.. it doesn’t hurt so much. I couldn’t care less if one didn’t want to marry me, As I have no particular interest in white males.

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Miri–Thank you for your comments. I too agree with you that black females are single because of the widespread racism in our society. As an active member of my church community, however I do think the church places mental restrictions on who it is acceptable for women to date and/or marry. When you combine the church doctrine with the racism and white supremacy that black and/or other women of color experience on a daily basis, it is no wonder we are the most un-partnered women in the world. As far as white males go I have no such preference about not dating and/or marrying them. I merely shared the story about the white male youth leader to illustrate that racism is indeed alive and well in the church which makes dating opportunities treacherous for many faith going women of color.

       
  14. Miri

    August 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Oh, and these days if you wait for a man to approach you.. as much as most of us feel more comfortable with that… you may end up sitting on a bench like the illustration of the woman who turned into a skeleton on a park bench.. the caption says.. “Waiting for the perfect man”

    Men are conditioned a little differently these days..sometimes you have to go where they are, be friendly and initiate.. then let hm think that he “found you”.

     
  15. Lucy

    August 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I would like to say although having black women single may suit some churches the reason given for women waiting on God are still bible oriented, this is not a church thing it’s in the bible the few women who approached men in the bible are describe as easy, prositutes and as u said jezebels. I have thought about this too and am stil considering whether online dating is for me. The question as the world is changing should word change. As you said for black women who are educated e.t.c and what more than just a ‘man’ it can be a challenge and the pickings may seems small so i can appreciate the dilemma but is it right to change the word to suit our present needs? Still considering…

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      Lucy–Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I totally hear what you are saying about the challenge we as a black women face in finding a partner and in trying to align ourselves with the churches doctrine on dating, marriage, and relationships. I think I find myself between a rock and a hard place concerning these matters. While I don’t ever want to take anything away from scripture I do wonder if there is a more nuanced way to approach these issues given some of the struggle women of color have in this area.

       
  16. BlackEssence

    August 25, 2010 at 5:56 am

    You know…you all brought up a lot of great points. And it does cause some spiritual warfare for a lot of young black women. In fact, I did a video about this very thing and my suffering with being single and battling it with God and being angry with him about it. You can watch it here and post your thoughts in the comments section of the video:

    “If This Is How It’s Going To Be”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygfc5rZPY7Y

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      Black Essence–Thank you for sharing your thoughts and video. I often feel the “frustration” and anger at God over the non-mate situation. It’s hard to explain to others who are either married or in a relationship. Like you I have also heard all the cliches, platitudes, and mantras about being patient and waiting and I still feel that deep disappointment that you express. Often, it feels like God has me in holding pattern and I’m circling the drain with no answers coming to my mind or heart. You are speaking the words that I feel in my heart as I look around and see people getting married who have not focused on the school, career, and building myself as I have and yet they seem to be speeding ahead in the family, marriage, and children area whereas I am not and I can not figure out why. Sometimes, we just have to sit with the anger until we can come to a place where it can be resolved. It’s a rock and a hard place that I don’t know the answer to. Still waiting…..

       
  17. trish

    August 30, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I thought I was the only woman wrestling with anger at God for being single lol. It’s refreshing to hear such candor. Could it be possible that we as black women need to be a little more proactive about meeting suitable men? Women of other races tend to marry often and early regardless of station and I don’t think God has some special need for black women to wait longer or remain single than other races of women. We’re single because we choose to narrow instead of widen our dating pools and we’re in a special circumstance because we have to deal with issues of colorism within our own racial group. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that the solution is that black women continue to pray and combine the prayer with action (more so than others) i.e. online dating, going out to events where men with middle class values hang out, deal with our weight issues (I’m looking at myself lol) and our demeanor and try to be as feminine as possible. Yes I know that more is required of black women than others but that’s the reality of our situation. Pray but Pray as you go. Mind you I have only reached such a conclusion fairly recently. It helps that we have such wonderful BWE blogs that flesh out the issue and offer practical solutions.
    As for that guy what would have happened if his statement was met with silence and a change of subject. He would have felt embarrassed and he would feel a slight sense of dejection as he realized his opinion of non-attractive women wasn’t important to the women present.

     
    • smelodydiva

      August 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      Trish–Thank you so much for your comments. Since, I’ve begun blogging I have found many black women who feel the same frustration I do about the no mate situation. I too have come to the place of seeing it as a both/and situation. Pray but go as you are praying. I agree that we have to meet, date, and get to know other men possibly outside our race if we hope to expand our options. I think its time for us to diverst ourselves of doctrines or mindsets that limit our relational opportunities. –Afua

       
  18. Betty Chambers

    September 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Hello Smelodydiva,

    I am not a church going woman. I’m not even sure if I consider myself religious. However, I believe in a God. I’ve read the Bible, and around 10 or 12 I concluded it was a very anti-woman book. It has good advice in certain circumstances, but in today’s world I don’t know if it’s helpful in solving modern day problems.

    That pastor was racist, rude, and knew that he could disrespect black women. I don’t consider his “honesty” refreshing. He, like a lot of bigots, enjoy getting their kicks in when it comes to us. I think I’m surprised you’re still attending the church. I wouldn’t want any of my tithes to pay his salary, if the church works in that fashion. I’d spend less time there and devote myself to other things. But that’s me.

    I can see you are open to men whether they are Christian or not. I think that improves your chances of finding a mate. Good luck.

     
    • smelodydiva

      September 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm

      Betty–Thank your for your comments. I struggle with “anti-woman” or maybe I should call it “anti-feminist” leanings of some of the sermons that are preached. I think the gross misinterpreation of doctrine has led to women being diminished in the church. Personally, I am trying to find a middle ground between what the church teachings and my personal beliefs. As for the youth pastor, I only shared that story to illustrate the contradictions between the gospel that gets preached vs. that which gets lived. I agree wholeheartedly with you that his comment could not be characterized as anything other than racism. I merely wanted to point out the “there is no Greek or Jew” doctrine does not extend to how people think about dating and/or marriage partners. Until “veiled racism” is dealt with in the church the “no Gree or Jew” doctrine will hold no currency for faith-believing women of color who want to get married.–Afua

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: