Ms Cooper, I read your article about the Black church and I couldn’t agree with you more. The following is a true account of my experience with the church and a valuable lesson that I learned.
I met a woman whom when we met I informed her that I was not a church going man. I’d tried it before..it wasn’t for me… my path was different.
She had just come from a relationship of living with a man for 20 years when she wasn’t going to church that would not marry her, even though she had 3 children by him. She left him, because he wouldn’t go to church with her, because she wanted to “stop living in sin”, and because she wanted to get married once she joined a church.
She got heavily into church before she met me. Somehow we dated, were engaged, and got married. I never promised her that I would spend the rest of my life going to church with her, I honestly tried to go with her the best I could.
I tried but once again, I had way too many questions about religion no one would or could answer. I couldn’t fake..what I thought my path should be toward my path toward The Creator Of All Things, I had already told her that my path was different.
A mutual “best friend” posed this question to me over lunch: “Do you think that she really would’ve married you if you weren’t going to church with her?” I told this “alleged” mutual friend the following reply: “That’s a real messed up thing to ask me about my wife, but I’ll tell you what, there isn’t but one way to find out.”
I was already having issues of hypocrisy out of my newlywed wife, as in what she said was one thing, but her actions very often reflected the opposite. That’s why I stopped going to church with her. So I decided the inevitable would be better done sooner than later to stop trying to be someone I know that I am not. (Not a bad person..always did my best to be a righteous man..just not a religious one.)
I believe in “The Creator of All Things”, yes; but organized religion? No.
She had an absolute fit about me not going to church with her. Three months later she wrote me a letter and said she was leaving me. Now watch what that one decision revealed to me about “what” I was actually married to.
1) She was feeding the homeless, but absolutely hated cooking dinner at home for her family.
2) Was going to clean the Pastor’s house all the time, but had stopped helping to clean our home. (Pastor has a wife and enough money to hire a maid. I told him I had a problem with my wife going to clean his house and not our own and I’d appreciate it if he would ask her to leave when she would show up out there again. That Pastor never did that to my knowledge, knowing how I felt about it.)
3) She would go anywhere and do anything for the church, yet would hardly do anything at all that I would suggest.
4) She would be in church giving testimony telling the entire church how thankful she was that God had sent her a wonderful man of God that is now her husband (me), a man that does not fight with her, but resolves issues with a peace and love and understanding that humbles her even when she wants to argue with me. After church? She would get home get out of the car and not even speak to me.
5) She had claimed that she wanted a man to be her “head’, her “covering”, and she knew that “The Lord Jesus” would never allow her to mistreat me, because he would convict her of her actions. Yet, after we got married she never, ever (99.8% of the time) ever listened to anything, or any advice she would ask me for that I would suggest.
Those were just some of the issues I had concerns about, and why I stopped going. Now from this point? This very same “Christian Woman” did the following in response to me not going to church with her any longer:
1) Stopped paying her portions of the bills for three months until she moved out, never said a word to me at all for I trusted her to take care of that part of our household expenses. I had the bigger portions. So when she left 3 months after I stopped going to church with her all of my utilities were behind and about to get cut off, and she never said a word and hid all of the mail.
2) She took the stove, the microwave, a big freezer full of food, and threw all of the food away from a house we lived in with me and my 3 sons. She left me with no means to feed my family.
3) She literally took everything out of the house that she could, left my house looking like an empty warehouse.
4) Took our king sized bed left me sleeping on the floor, knowing that I am disabled and have a very bad back. She also took every gift she ever gave me she took as well.
5) Looked me in the face and lied to me as she stole money from me that I trusted to go to her account. She could have asked me for it, and I literally would have given it to her, there was no need to lie to my face and then steal it.
Two months after this we were still trying to work out our “differences” for I honestly thought that love, God would prevail so I chose to forgive her. She went off on me one day and said this to me:
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