On Christian Dating and the Black Woman. (Why do you have so little faith?)

pexels-photoI like to read other Christian blogs especially by young black women, because for one I feel like there is so few of us and also I like the different perspectives. But I just read one that made me upset! I will not link the blog, nor will I reference it because I don’t believe in publicly disparaging people. Nor do I find it necessary to engage people in a needless back and forth discussion on their forum. I simply live my life by living my truth. And so when I see something that I believe is misinformation, I address it on my blog or in my circle and I let it be.

So allow me to vent here:

To give some backstory, there is a very popular female preacher who teaches a lot on abstinence and purity and whose following is largely comprised of young, single black women who I believe look to her as a model for godly, single living, courtship and how to position yourself to get a husband. (Just my observation.) She uses her testimony as a guide and frequently gets attacked because she teaches a radical holiness doctrine (abstinence that includes no kissing, cuddling or ever being alone) that many do not want to hear. That is understandable, because the world does not readily accept condemnation of behaviors they are unwilling to let go of and so most times we will simply turn conviction into attack.

That said, in the post I just read the author was dissecting this preacher’s teachings to determine whether or not her ministry is biblical or a cult. [Insert eye-roll here.]  The blogger concluded that the preacher was taking advantage of the vulnerability of single black women by leading them to believe if they live like her (pure and holy) they can have her life (marriage, kids and all the materialistic things she posts on social media). But the blogger, deeming her ministry a cult, concluded they will not, because this preacher has an advantage over her followers due to her ethnicity, her beauty and her petite Eurocentric features.

To quote:

“Still, [name retracted] continues to preach to women that they too can achieve a marriage like hers if only they remain abstinent and know they’re worth it. A message that she pushes while ignoring the dating realities for women who are too brown, too fat, too old, or just plain too undesirable.”  [Insert angry, red faced emoji here.]

I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier reading a blog post. Mind you, I believe her conclusions are complete hogwash because the teachings of said preacher are biblical and true and regardless of how I feel about her methods (social media posts are extravagant and insensitive), I believe her message is sincere.

Another blogger also stated due to the realities of the black community, the barriers to marriage are more insurmountable for us because of the lack of stable and healthy black men, high incarceration rates and the intimidation men feel from strong successful single black women. This blogger believed the church was not addressing these realities. And, to some extent, I can accept this but as children of God we know reality and truth aren’t necessarily synonymous.

What broke my heart, however, was a sister who commented saying she often felt inferior following this preacher, knowing that she didn’t look like her or had what she had so she may not have her results.

What?!

Woman, where is your faith?

What Christ do you follow and what Bible do you read? Surely not the one whose God crumbles walls, fights for marginalized and oppressed people and gives them entire cities, opens blind eyes, heals diseases, resurrects the dead and need I go on? Surely not that God.

Mind you, I’m already skeptical of anyone who will publicly disparage another in the name of God. To me that already says something about their Christian maturity and character. But people like that – full of doubt and unbelief with eloquent words and a large platform can lead fragile and new believers astray.

You mean to tell me… the God you believe in who created the entire earth and raised Jesus from the dead, can’t help you find a good man – black or otherwise?

Seriously?

Am I saying there aren’t real issues in the black community that could limit our chances of finding a mate? No I am not. Am I saying high incarceration rates and high poverty levels and all these other issues in the black community aren’t real? No I am not. Am I saying there aren’t single black women who’ve tried everything in every playbook and still can’t seem to get their prayers answered? No I am not.

All of this is very real and to have faith in God is not to deny reality.

To have faith in God is to look reality in the face and say “I see what I am up against but I have a God that can supernaturally change these circumstances and level the playing field for ME.” Even if the circumstances do not change, he can create a pathway for ME.

You have to believe that. You have to know that. You’re either going to believe God –  that he is all powerful or he is not. (Gen.18:14) But that requires spiritual maturity that you can only get from an authentic, intimate relationship with God.

We really ought to turn the TV off, put the phones down and get in the face of God more often. Social media and TV are certainly skewing our perspectives because most of what we see are men flaunting a specific type of women on their pages or in their videos. So now we believe that that means that’s who we have to be to be loved and accepted by them.

Yet there are men all around us that like their women brown, dark, full figured, short, tall, older,  you name it there is someone for you. Don’t fall for this fear mongering.  It saddens me that there are women who believe this – that somehow you are disadvantaged because of the way God created you. That is insane! “I’m too short. My lips are too full. My waist is too thick. My hair is not straight enough or long enough.” Who says? Now if the Bible says you are fearfully and wonderfully made and skillfully woven (Psalm 139:4) then this perception you have of yourself must be a lie.

You have to know who you are. You have to know your identity and worth in Christ. You have to know who your Father is and what he is able to do for YOU. 

Let’s face it, the odds may be stacked against you by society’s standards but all that that means is that you’re perfectly set up for God to move in your life and reveal himself to you like never before. This is why we pray. We have Jesus, our advocate, who is able to level the pathways and make the crooked places straight. My Pastor always says, the playing field of human experience is not fair or level. But this is why we petition God, so he can make a way for us. If you trust him, he will do it. 

And if there is something you don’t like about yourself change it. But change it for you. Don’t change it because you think it will better your chances of finding a man. Change it because you believe it will only make you better for what God has for you. Change it because it will make you better for yourself. 

For  me it was my teeth so I got braces. For some of us it is our weight, for others it is not so much physical as emotional or spiritual, or maybe even an ambition you want to pursue.

Whatever it is, go after it but know it doesn’t give you worth or define you.  Your worth and identity is in Christ and Christ alone.We don’t trust in “horses and chariots,” aka skin color, body shape/size, “good hair” or credentials. We trust in God. We pray, we believe, we submit and obey and we watch him go to work on our behalf. You are either going to believe this is just “church talk” or “bible thumping”. Or you are going to believe it and make it work for you.

And so if you are struggling with feelings of doubt, inadequacy or inferiority go to the Father. Know what his Word says about you:

That you are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139)

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“The playing field of human experience is not level. That is why we pray: so God can supernaturally level it for us.”

That you are created in his image! (Gen 1:27)

That he knows the thoughts he thinks towards you, thoughts to prosper you not to harm you! (Jer. 29:11)

That you belong to God and greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world! (1 John 4:4)

Study his word about you and meditate on it because you will experience what you rehearse and you will have  what you believe.

If you believe it’s harder for you to find a husband because you are black, then that will be your experience.

If you believe that there are a shortage of good black men because they are in jail, homosexual or womanizing (I just read this in another Christian sister’s blog) then that will be your experience.

If you believe that it is easier for the pretty mixed girl with the petite Eurocentric features to get a husband because of her looks but it will be harder for you because you are darker skinned and full figured – then that will be your experience.

Your feelings of inadequacy and doubt are evidence of YOUR insecurity not God’s inability. God can do infinitely more than we can ask or think if we will just believe it. Know that the Father loves you perfectly and  you (black women or otherwise) are not more disadvantaged than anyone else. If anything, as children of God and followers of Christ, the scales of advantage tip in your favor because you have the supernatural power of Jesus Christ on your side. 

Your condition is not your barrier. Your barrier is your belief.

Selah.

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