Disclaimer: This is post is directed at the N.C.C.G’s (Nice Christian Church Girls). I know there are people of different faiths and beliefs and if you can draw wisdom from what I am about to say feel free to do so. If not, just know I am not talking about you and it does not apply.
Having been in different aspects of ministry over the past 30 years, I can say that one of the worst forms of damage done to women (especially black Christian/Church women) is the “Wait on de LAWD” speech, especially when it comes to marriage. The reason why I am speaking up regarding this is because far too many women are listening to these Pastors, Elders, church mothers, etc. who are filling their heads with nonsense, their hearts with despair and their spirits with guilt over a very natural and normal desire, making them feel (if they allow it) that they are betraying GAWD and their Christian duty to go after such an endeavor and as a result they are wasting their youth tied to a pew hoping that if they prove to God they are “good enough” he will reward them with their huuuusband walking through the church door and asking for their hand in marriage and when after 5,10,15 years passes and it does not happen, disappointment sets and along with it, anger and bitterness.
Let me clarify that I am not trying to attack well meaning and sincere people who really believe that they are giving wise counsel to these women, but it is still damaging just the same because it is the wrong advice and these women need to STOP LISTENING to them. Why am I so adamant about this is because I for many years held prisoner to this line of thinking by agreeing with these dysfunctional and delusional people. I will share a little bit of my own story with the hope someone will heed and avoid the same trap.
I became a Christian after my parents divorce at the age of 12. I was heavily involved practicing my new found faith. Around the age of 14 is when the desire for marriage first entered my heart. I was told I was too young to think about such things by my mother and those in my church community. I quietly still dreamed of marriage and did not voice that desire for many years. When I reached my 20’s I spoke out again about wanting to get married. I was told by ministers, church mothers, etc that I need to stop worrying about getting married and I needed to focus on serving God. At that time I was also told that the return of Jesus was so soon that there would be no time to get married (This was the early 90’s) in the meanwhile 2 or 3 years later, I attended about 15 weddings in a period 18 months of friends from my Christian community then shortly thereafter the babies started coming. As I headed into my 30’s, still desiring marriage, these are the messages that Pastors, mentors, elders, told the singles like me:
1. Gawd knows your address
2. You need to be patient
3. Maybe you have the gift of singleness
4. You are so “special” that God is making you wait longer for your mate.
5. You need to wait on de LAWD and he will bring your mate to church.
6. Don’t go out there looking for a mate to do that means you lack “faith” in God
7. God made Abraham wait until he was a hundred before his son was born so what is your rush?
8. Why do you want to get married? (From the miserable married ones)
And on the list went. No matter what was said it was all the same, to keep me and other singles chained to the pew lonely and miserable afraid to move. I lived in fear many years that any proactive stance on my part was sure to cancel out what God wanted to do in my life so I was frozen. I began to get angry and bitter towards God. Did not all my years of “Christian service” mean anything to him? Did he not see what a good Christian church girl I was? I deserved to get married and he was holding me back in “service “ to his kingdom (or so I thought) I did not want his “gift” of singleness, I wanted to have babies, lots of sex, buy a house and go on play dates. I did not have the calling of a nun and I had not taken the vow of celibacy. I later realized it was not God doing this, I was agreeing with people who were presuming to speak for God about my life. By my late 30’s I no longer listened to these self appointed spiritual advisors and took myself out of dating exile and off the d*** pew.
Hear me, I am not advocating rebellion against God or his will for your life, what I am speaking against is this continued barrage of religious people who do not know smack about what his will is for individuals yet insist on imposing their views of how marriage and courtship should work. Are there some people who do have to divinely wait a little longer (like Abraham) for marriage, children and their purpose? OF course! BUT in comparison to the numerous people throughout the bible who married in the normal cycle of life he and the other few who had to wait an extended period of time were the exceptions not the rule, yet the people who preach the “Waitin” sermon use those few examples as the RULE to waste peoples time and youth in religious activity.
Present day in my early 40’s (With the kids from my friends marriages in the mid 90’s now entering Jr. High) I am still single but actively dating, vetting and seeking marriage. I still want to have children but I know the window is very narrow now so that is the one thing I have to trust God to make happen. Getting married however I know it will happen and I am doing everything in my power to position myself for matrimony. The big wedding, big cake, and the doves is no longer necessary, the right man and a Justice of the Peace in Las Vegas will do just fine. (and an Elvis impersonator serenading would be just ducky!). I will be married and no one is going to stop me. However there are still the disciples of the church of “wait” that still call my name from time to time, I ignore them.
I was assisting 90 year old “mother” from a church I used to attend with some errands recently and as I was driving her to her next appointment, out of the blue she says to me, “you need to stop worrying about getting married.” This woman who had known me since the age of 20 was still trying to discourage me from actively seeking marriage in my FORTIES!!!!! At that point I almost lost it and was ready to push the old lady out the car and into oncoming traffic. Instead I just sweetly smiled and kept my hands on the steering wheel because if they came off the wheel the second place they would be is around her neck. I no longer have the tolerance for people who interfere with other peoples happiness in the name of “Gawd”. I have a few choice names for those who do.
If you are wondering dear reader if I have turned to the “dark side”, the answer is no I have not. I am still an active Christian in ministry, but my service in the Christian community I have set boundaries on and am much happier. I spend my time encouraging other Christians to seek God’s will for their lives and hear his voice for themselves about marriage and their life purpose. In closing I admonish you to seek out God’s purpose for your life. STOP LISTENING to religious leaders and your religious peers about marriage if they are discouraging you from pursuing it like you have “sinned” against God for even thinking about it, they are mis-leading you!!! I don’t want you in your early 40’s finally figuring it out. Silence the voices (you are not Joan of Arc), get off the pew, and get on with living your life. If God truly wants you single, he will tell you himself. In the meantime, pick your wedding colors, your cake, and your dress, you got a wedding to get to, YOURS!!