…But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
I will stand by that.
Lately, many black women in the United States have had their Facebook, Twitter, and email pages full of hyperlinks to articles in the mainstream media discussing how recent statistics have shown that increasing numbers of black women are unmarried and are unable to find black men at the altar. The New York Times has been the latest installment in the “poor-lonely-black-woman” series. Check Essence.com for a play-by-play timeline concerning the recent spate of media pieces about black women’s relationships, or lack thereof. Lately, black women have been feeling attacked, maligned as unwanted, undesirable romantic partners for men of many races. Add to that the recent musings of expert intellectual juggernaut rapper Slim Thug, and it is easy to feel like both the mainstream media and the hip hop culture, with their forces combined, are in cahoots to dis-empower black women.
I also think it is a little unfair for so many articles to be painting black women in a negative light for not getting married on one hand, when white society seems to have disregarded marriage as a thing of the past on the other. Yea, you, Newsweek.
I guess I could join the chorus of bloggers, Tweeters and other people deconstructing all of these messages coming through the media. Many of them are useful and there are definitely notions about black women that need to be critiqued and challenged. However, I have chosen not to participate in a muscle flexing session in demonstrating my profiency in wielding impressive sounding academic theories of feminism, post modernism, post-modern feminism, racism, and beauty ideals. But I want to do something different.
I want to encourage black women.
I don’t care about what the New York Times, Steve Harvey, the Pew Research Center, or SnapintoASlimThugOhYeah some rapper says. Instead I encourage you to be concerned with what God has to say about your life. The God that made you, and knows you since before you were knit in your mother’s womb. Steve Harvey does not answer my prayers at night. Slim Thugga did not die for me on the Cross!
One can’t control what the media says about black women. All I know is that I can control the choices I make when it comes to relationships. Let me be clear. I am a proponent of a healthy marriage as a foundational basis for a stable home. Divorce is not in God’s will. Premarital sex and adultery are harmful to our souls and can destroy lives and ruin the capacity for healthy relationships. Children out of wedlock are not in God’s will.
Ladies, we do have it in our power to effect change by making smart life choices and relationships choices. Be content in whatever season of your life God has brougth you to be in. If you are single, take the time to focus on work, school and other activities that edify you as a person. As for the racial component, I am personally set in the “Neither Jew, nor Greek” camp, meaning in God’s eyes, what matters is the content of the person’s soul, not the color of their skin.
Don’t let the things that you read in the media seep into your spirit. At the end of my life, when I stand before God and have to account for my life, I cant say, “Well, God, I didn’t carry out your will because 50% of the people around me were doing the same thing”, or “God, maybe I wouldn’t have had so many children by different fathers if you had made some better men…” No. My children are not going to care about what the rest of society was up to when I was making life choices. All they are going to remember is that I made the right decisions at the right time to ensure that a positive legacy is left after I am long gone.
Be insipred by Proverbs 31, and keep doing your thing as a woman who takes care of her business and shows compassion for others. If you have not done so, I encourage you to look at the book of Ruth and read how Ruth, a foreign girl who has lost her husband, is forced to work in the fields to prevent her family from starving. She catches the eye of Boaz, the owner of the fields. How? Not by worrying about finding a husband. Not by running through every guy on the block. She caught the eye of her future husband because she had a reputation for taking care of her business and taking care of her family and herself first.
So take care of yourselves, and make the right decisions when it comes to picking potential partners, and overall, don’t look to a man to complete you. The media does not necessarily have your best interest at heart. But God does!