The Submissive Black Woman and Marriage
Black women are socialized to be submissive to men, and are thoroughly trained to do so with Biblical scriptures. How can passivity be justified when in reality, women are the source of the power fueling every Black church in the nation? Female members of the congregation support the church with monetary donations, organize fundraising and social events, cook, clean, and provide assistance to the males with the titles and true power. Though women lead committees and are very influential in their churches, few Black women are in a real position of power as the spiritual leader of their churches. How many Black women Ministers, Bishops or Preachers do you know?
Single Black women are instructed to seek a church-going man, a God-fearing man, a man that places love of the Lord first in his life. If a woman is looking for a husband, odds are poor that she will find such a man in a Black church. Further complicating matters, many single women are in church for women’s group, Bible study twice per week, some special committee meetings, singles ministry, fellowshipping through the community, and attending service all day on Sunday. When exactly is it that this single Black woman would have time for a man in her life? In reality she doesn’t, which is just what the men in her church want!
And should she by some stroke of luck actually find a man that she enjoys and request that he attend services with her, she will most likely hear a resounding “No!”
There are few men that are going to allow themselves to be dictated to by some other chump – that is what WOMEN do, not real men.
In most Black churches marriage is held up as the ideal state of existence; women that remain single are deemed to have some major flaw in attitude or ability. Thus, no single woman in the church wants to remain single because women are expected to marry and to bear children. For sistahs in the church, the pressure from family and fellow church members to marry can be so intense it may motivate her to make an fear-based decision to marry someone totally inappropriate. Such choices are made out of sheer desperation to avoid being single.
Finding the Black Man That You Seek… He Ain’t Up in Church
Single Black women trying to live a sanctified lifestyle won’t be caught dead in the places where men are likely to be found. These church women refuse to go to parties, sports bars or sporting events, or clubs where there is drinking, card playing, domino throwing, shit talking and cussing – you know, the things that most men who enjoy life like to do. Instead these single Black women sit at home alone, or get together with their friends and read the Bible, then pray that God will bring them a husband.
My suggestion is that you get off your knees, stop paying so much attention to what your Pastor says and open your eyes to the world around you. There are millions of really great guys out here that would love you to the depths of your soul and stand by you. There are many single men that will happily honor your spirit and desire to leave your mark on the world. However, he may not EVER set foot in a church or consider himself to be “religious,” and he certainly may not be Black.
Do those things make him a bad person, unworthy of your attention or love? I don’t think so.
A church itself is nothing but a building; what makes a church a place of spiritual growth is the people that come into the building. If you are a single Black woman attending a traditional Black church, you will be surrounded by sexually frustrated single women who feel guilty and confused about their physical desires and emotional hungers. You will be told that it is your responsibility to uplift the Black man and be a “helpmeet” to him. You will be told that your sexuality and sensuality must be contained or you lose value as a woman. You will also be told that it is your job to make Black men the men they need to be.
That is a lot of responsibility to place on Black women who are already carrying a huge load. I believe it is improper for church leaders to use the Bible to place that responsibility on women. I advocate that Black women refuse to accept the blame for the problems of the Black community, and refuse to shoulder responsibility for repairing the damage all alone.
Though your neighborhood Black church may hold sentimental value, there comes a time when one must reexamine habits and beliefs, choosing a new path when it becomes obvious that the old one is not bringing you the results you seek. If you’ve been participating in your church for 10, 12, 18 years looking for love and a husband to make your life complete, and you haven’t found him yet, it’s time to try something new. Though the intent of your church leaders may have been good, their approach is not working… you’re still single, still alone, still have no spouse and are still on your knees praying for love.
Stand up Sistah! There is a huge world out here full of men of many different religious and spiritual beliefs, races, cultures and ages. Traditional thinking about women, men and gender roles which place Black women in a small box is passé – this is 2010! Break free of the chains of mental control promoted by the Black church and look around! Broaden your horizons and explore other options for romance.
Black churches certainly have a vested interest in maintaining high numbers of single Black women as members of their congregations, but you don’t have to be a part of those statistics.
©June 14, 2010 Deborrah Cooper, dating expert/advice columnist on www.survivingdating.com. Neither the content of this article nor the material on this website may be reproduced or duplicated in whole or in part without the express written permission of the author and copyright holder. (Republished in its entirety June 9, 2012)
The exciting new book The Black Church – Where Women Pray and Men Prey contains dozens of real-life stories of sexual abuse by Pastors, Ministers, Bishops, and church members, along with astute observations about the games being run on women in Black churches across the nation.
Based on the shocking 2010 blog post The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely! author Deborrah Cooper continues an uncomfortable examination of Christian religion in the black community, non-biblical tenets of the prosperity gospel, and the games played by unscrupulous black preachers. It’s a page turner, but not everyone will have the stomach for it. Some women are afraid of what they might find when they pull back the curtain, and aren’t willing to question their blind faith in the men of their church. Neither are some able to understand that they must stop worshiping their pastors because these men are NOT God.
However, for those women brave enough to question their religious leaders, willing to take a look at what is going on at their churches, and strong enough to demand protection from predatory men for women and children within the walls of the House of God, this book is right on time. Learn more about the book’s contents by clicking book cover graphic on the left. To order your copy immediately, click the LuLu graphic on the right.