Friday, September 17, 2010

"Does the Black Church Keep Black Women Single?"

At first onset, I was laughing my butt off when I first read this. I couldn't believe that something like this would even be fathomed. I have always heard as a kid, " The best place to find a spouse is right here in the church." They didn't say it had to be your own church but in the church nonetheless. You hear pastors all the time telling women to look in the church for their husband. there is an insistence on it which I believe comes from a good place with in these pastors to iterate that to women.

But according to relationship advice columnist Deborrah Cooper, it is this devout style of belief and attachment to the black church that is keeping black women like Davis -- single and lonely. Cooper said, "Black women are interpreting the scriptures too literally. They want a man to which they are 'equally yoked' -- a man that goes to church five times a week and every Sunday just like they do." "If they meet a black man that is not in church, they are automatically eliminated as a potential suitor. This is just limiting their dating pool."

Let me share My Thoughts to this paragraph. I'm probably going to sound biased in this matter and that's ok with me. I am a Christian and won't apologize for this or bite my tongue. First off this lady is generalizing pretty badly. There are a lot of women who go to church a lot but not every woman is on the board of deacons or directors at church, especially with the more emergence of mega-churches. I think equally yoked is more alon the lines of your faith. My uncle works a shift of 3PM-11Pm Monday thru Saturday. My aunt is able to go to church more often than he did during the week. My uncle is still a deacon of the church because he is a true follower of Christ. My uncle works in every capacity he can for our church and is always professing his faith in Christ unashamedly. My aunt is a devout Christian too. She is very faithful to God and a true warrior for God. This is what it means to be equally yoked. Both of them share the same beliefs, live to serve God, and submit to his will while going in the same direction. This is what it means to be equally yoked. Church attendance does not prove anyone to be a Christian. If a woman meets a man who is not going in the same direction as her in regards to a faith that can create unwarranted problems. I think it would be better to date a limited pool rather than date someone you would never be happy with long-term.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University and advocate for African-American issues, responded to Cooper's article online. Though he applauded Cooper's courage to voice her opinion , he agreed -- and disagreed -- with her.
"I don't think the church keeps black women single," Watkins says. "But I do agree that some black churches teach women that they must only date a man that goes to church regularly."
Watkins, who is African-American and whose father is a Southern Baptist minister, described his interactions with southern women who are devout churchgoers. "I am a male and I know that I will treat a woman well, but I have been rejected many times because I don't thump a bible with me everywhere that I go."

My Thoughts to this is those churches are misguided. Yes I said it. I believe there are people who use more a slave mentality to the Bible rather than actually taking the time to understand the knowledge being shared. I was talking to a Frat brother of mine and we were discussing Exodus 14:14. " The Lord will fight for you. Be Still" I have beard pastors improperly preach about this. They say, " Be still and don't do anything. God will take care of it for you. You need to be still" Stop trying to fix the problem. God will fix it for you. That bill you can't pay, God will pay it for you. He already has." Idiots. Some preachers don't go into the depth needed in that verse. It more or less is telling people to exert patience in God that he will take care of it for you. God will send messages your way to enable you to handle the problem. God may set some extra hours for you at your job to work. That could be your solution. He will make a way for you if you're patient and believe in Him. Money won't fall out the sky, not to say it couldn't if God ordains it. But you get my point.

One of biggest reasons black women are single, Cooper says, is because of a lack of black men in the church. According to the PEW study, "African-American men are significantly more likely than women to be unaffiliated with any religion (16 percent vs. 9 percent). Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation."
Watkins believes the social structure of the church keeps black men from attending. "Those appealing, high-testosterone guys have a hard time getting into the 'Follow the leader, give me your money, and listen to what I have to say' attitude."
"Many of us have a difficult time submitting to the pastor who is just another man."

My Thoughts on this is.....they may have a point. I have to admit that there is a serious declination of black men in the church this day and age. There are too many sporadic comings and goings on men in the church. They prioritize other things in the place of their salvation. You have a lot of fathers who will go to church on the "big" days like Easter, Christmas, and New Years Day. I admit, I usually don't like to give money in the Pastor's envelope. I think, "There are over 500 people in here with 4 different services and this man still needs a separate envelope." I'm not saying this is always the best way to think about it but this is just how I feel. It is tough for some men to totally submit to the teachings of another man. Think about the stereotype of fathers who never want to pull over to ask for directions despite the insistence of the wives to pull over. What man wants to be told by another man, you aren't capable of getting your family from point A to point B. Another man will be the reason why my family makes it there.
Mark K. Forston, son of a black preacher in Forest Park, Georgia, says some black women "put their pastor on this pedestal and have a large amount of faith in him because he is a living source of salvation."

My Thoughts on this matter...I agree again!!! I'm going to keep this part short. There are TOO MANY WOMEN WHO GLORIFY THEIR PASTORS/PREACHERS/REVERENDS LIKE THEY WERE BORN OF GOD INSTEAD OF CHRIST!!!

Rev. Renita J. Weems says Cooper fails to examine deeper threads. "What the black church does and what religion does is helps you create core values for your life and allows you to see what you appreciate in others.
"The reason why black women who go to black churches are not married is because they are looking for certain values in a man," Weems says. "It is not the church that keeps them single, but the simple fact that good values are lacking in some of our men."

My Thoughts...I agree with her. She sums it up well in my opinion. I don't have to beat a dead horse on this one.
Overall, I can agree with certain things from Cooper and I have to disagree with her on some points. I can see what the big uproar was about when this story broke. But I will say this, some women need to think about some of her points..thank you for taking a look into My Thoughts...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Negotiated Infidelity: Problem Solver or Problem Starter?

This is a real question folks. I came across this story about a month ago and it intrigued me.

Holly Hill says that if a woman takes the time to truly examine her relationship and considers Mother Nature's unerring spell on men's libidos, she might realize that letting her boyfriend or spouse know she's OK with him having sex elsewhere is a logical way to prevent him from doing it in secret.

"I think that cheating men are normal," says Hill. "Monogamous men are heroes. Monogamy does have a place in relationships, but not on the long-term. Men are hard-wired to betray women on the long-term."

The author also goes on to say, "It is more powerful for a woman to negotiate infidelity than to wonder why her spouse is coming home late."

I was taken abreast by this topic. I can see both sides of the argument. Problem solver because there are no secrets. One thing we hate in relationships is secrets. A lot of people in relationships feel there should be an unexplained, nonnegotiable openness. One thing you hear in cheating relationships is, "He made me look like a fool." Well you can eliminate this problem by knowing your husband is having relations with another woman. So there is a peace of mind??? Another thing to attribute to this negotiated infidelity is that it can keep the arguments and tension out of your marriage/relationship. Think about it. Let me throw you a scenario. If you have seen the movie Why Did I Get Married, Terry is in a relationship where his wife is pursuing a big career as an attorney and not spending little to any time with him. Terry is upset about the intimacy being gone in the relationship. She is frustrated at his beckoning for her time. Hypothetically, if she let him have a mate on the side, this could have lowered his expectations on her for some of these things. He wouldn't be complaining about sex or someone to spend time with from time to time. Another thing is that you can come back to the relationship when the time of you not having time is over. The wife won't be busy forever. Those are just some examples. I could go on but let me stop there.

Well, on to the problem starter. Negotiated infidelity can work, yes it can, if both parties are on board. If both parties aren't totally on board with the idea, it can create problems down the line. If the wife is kind of shaky about it, you can run into some arguments. If a wife, who agreed to the negotiated infidelity, wants her husband's time but he is with the other woman that can create a lot of problems. She can go off on him for not paying her the attention that he may have wanted from her. Going to my point earlier of the spouse being too busy, she won't be busy forever. She will want some her time too. Another thing that can cause problems too is if the man gets very attached/dependent on the other woman instead of his wife. What if he was inviting the other woman out to places with him instead of his wife? What if it became more than just about sex? Think about when the wife frees up her schedule and wants to cut off the negotiated infidelity. Can you really go back to monogamous relationship? I doubt it.

Thank you for taking a look into My Thoughts...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It takes a village to raise a child. Where is the village?

I know we have heard the old saying it takes a village to raise a child. I have to ask the question, where is the village? What happened to those who used to be responsible for raising the children? Are they even fit now to raise the child? This is a true question. Right now I am in between jobs due to my division closing two months ago. So I am out and about more and more. I am paying attention at all fronts to what's going on in the community. I observe interactions between parents and their children. I observe the way the community has such indifference and it alarms me. I went to an Open House at my cousin's school; there were so many parents who were not present!! There were about 75 parents there in a school well over 300. The Open House was announced three weeks in advance and was on a Saturday on top of it, early Saturday. We cry for change. We cry that our kids get a fair shot in life. We cry that politicians and educators do more for the community for these kids. But why should someone else invest more in the kids when we aren't investing at all? I worked in education. I've seen kids in second grade reading worse than a kindergartner. I tend to wonder, who wasn't reading at home with this child. Where were the parents? Where is the support for this child to succeed? Why are you allowing them to be behind before they can compete? Then we expect everyone else to bring our child up to speed. The school is failing them. No, no. You failed them first when you didn't invest in their potential. What happened to the use of the church and friends to help out? In my culture, any adult has the right to let you know when you are at fault. They feel it's their responsibility to you to set you in the right direction. In this culture, you say something to a child, you aren't supposed to. I see why there is indifference. I don't accept it though. I never will. I will be just as hard on any kid because I want to see them be better than I ever will be. There are more resources afforded to this generation than what I had available. The community needs to rally behind each other and push them in the direction of success. If it's affecting our growth, say something!! If it's affecting the advancement of the community, say something!!! Do something!! We protect all the wrong stereotypes, persons, and misguided values. Let's protect what's good in the community. I could go on and on but I'm going to ease back. I just hope the village gets it together...thank you for taking a look into My Thoughts...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be...

"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be" by John Wooden. I can't take credit for this quote. I was listening to the recent events of of the rapper T.I.. In a "routine" traffic stop, they puled over T.I. and and Tiny. There was an aroma of marijuana in the car. The police searched the car and found a controlled substance. My first thought' " Didn't this fool get an MTV special Road to Redemption?" Then all I could think was I am extremely disappointed in this guy. You are looked at by a lot of people and for you to rob your fans again because of another decision to change you couldn't uphold.
It is sad how many T.I.'s we run into in our lives. It is sad that sometimes, we are the T.I.'s of the world. I hope that people really take the time to understand when it's time to change, it's time to change. You are setting yourself up to fail repeatedly doing things the exact same way that landed you in a predicament. You are setting yourself up to feel things about yourself and others when you refuse to change from your current state. If your way has been wrong for so long, what makes you feel it will be right this time. I pray for T.I. and Tiny. I hope both of them get their lives in order. T.I. needs to understand he is above nothing in this world. We are all susceptible to the same failures and fate despite our bank account, our status, and our pride. Every time you choose to never change, you choose to fail. It's OK to fail. Failure spurns growth and change. Being content with your failure is another story. I wonder if T.I. is content with his shortcomings. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse. As publicized as celebrity, athlete, political, etc. failures are publicized, you know where you don't want to be in life. I believe failure is a part of life, growth, and success. Failure is to be learned from, not bound by....thank you for taking a look into My Thoughts...