Beads of sweat formed on my lips and brow. My body quaked with pain as I tried to control the impending sounds of embarrassment. Oh, dear God! What did I eat? My stomach churned and gurgled. I arched my feet and pressed my toes hard against the bathroom tiles in hopes to minimize the pain. The baby flipped and kicked me in the lungs knocking the wind out of me. Oh, Lord! Help me not make a fool of myself. It’s not supposed to happen like this. My bowels shifted and dropped, and though I felt relief, I was mortified.
It was my wedding night.
Earlier in the day he had asked me if I could go away with him on a business trip. I knew my mother would refuse. Even though I was of age, I didn’t want to shame her anymore than I already had. I was great with child and fresh out of college. He and I wanted to marry, but my mother asked us to wait. One of us was willing, but the other wasn’t. We switched roles depending on the day.
So Mom gave in on the advice of a friend. “You never keep love apart,” she said. “If they love each other, let them marry” she said. Oh the woes of well-intentioned, uninformed advice! So off we ran to the courthouse to sign a marriage license. While there we found business cards for justices of the peace who could perform the ceremony and within two hours found a gentleman who was willing to oblige. We took our hasty selves down to the local mall, ordered a pair of wedding bands, purchased nice outfits, and drove back to my mother’s house to get dressed.
I found this lovely Chinese collar silk blouse and skirt set. I was never much of a fan of red, but the size 10 skirt fit nicely under my rounding belly. Chinese brides wore red, so why shouldn’t I? It was a sign. This was meant to be. He found a basic white sweater and black slacks, and off we went on a cold February afternoon to our 10-minute ceremony. I was certain he loved me. I was certain that the tear he cried would ensure me and my baby a secure future. I made my vows and meant every one. We paid and thanked the gentleman for his services and off we went on his business trip. Our first night together as Mr. and Mrs. in a small hotel… cheap dinner… no chance in heck at a honeymoon… was divine in every other sense. I didn’t mind what we didn’t have. I didn’t mind because our love was official. I had papers and a ring being made to prove it.
So after our consummation (if that even means anything considering we had so much practice beforehand), my guts began to stir. I. Was. Sick. And I sat on that toilet for a good part of the evening. I showered in shame and cheap hotel soap and climbed my bare, pregnant self into bed to sleep. Good wives don’t do that sort of thing.
The next morning his phone rang with a cheery chick voice on the other end. I ain’t like that heifer. I knew she wasn’t to be trusted. He shared the news and her high-pitched “oh-that’s-so-nice-congratulations” muffled past his ears to mine. It was phony. I knew because immediately after she cheered she began whispering again. I ascertained the following…
He hadn’t told his boys. He hadn’t even told his father.
I can’t believe that actually worked! I know the title is TERRIBLY questionable, but I’ll reduce myself to cheap ploys to get you read this because it’s relevant and true for ALL Christian singles. The decision to marry (and whom to marry) is the second-most life impacting decision a believer will ever make. Serving Christ, of course, is first. If you don’t know Jesus then get to know Him because marrying won’t matter if you’re going to spend eternity in hellfire anyway.
Before I jump into my points, I’d like to say that I DO want to be happily married, and I believe it will happen for me soon. I refuse to become preoccupied with I’m working overtime to maintain a Godly perspective on this thing so I don’t lose my everloving mind when my mister shows up. Everything written below is based in Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7.
Here’s why singles shouldn’t be so eager to marry.
I blame Disney for making us women think we’re was supposed to walk on rose petals and be lifted into the Heavens every day of our married lives. Good Christian men are being abused because women are demanding they comply with our girlish fantasies. Women are suffering because Christian men believe they’re rare and entitled to do as they please. If you find yourself with one of these types, RUN! They’re not prepared to serve in marriage, and you’ll do all the hard work. Just speaking from personal experience though… take it or leave it.
We spend a good portion of our adult lives seeking to validate ourselves through relationships HOPING to get married when we really should be focusing on eternal things. Colossians 3:2 says that we should keep our eyes on things above, and marriage ain’t up there. Furthermore who you choose to marry will get you closer to Heaven or keep you further away from it. You cannot join yourself to someone who does not honor Christ in their singleness and think your salvation will be easily maintained. So if you make the temporal decision to marry, make it with eternity in mind.
It’s not just because you want to have sex, or to have more money, or for him to take out the trash, or for her to cook your dinner. Marriage stems out of purpose and calling, not purpose and calling out of marriage. Some of us are still single because we think we need that ONE to start a business. The only ONE you need is the Lord. I will say this regarding the need for marriage… if you have a strong desire for sex and have difficulty controlling it, I– I mean, you– might need to get married. Don’t let your loins be your guide. BE CELIBATE! But every so often look up to the Heavens and remind the Lord that He gave you those desires, so He’s gonna have to help you out in the marriage department. If you can control those passions, there’s nothing wrong with marrying, but the better life for you will be to remain single. Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 7.
But at least you get sanctified sex, right? Dr. Tony Evans says this: “Marriage is slavery with sex. Singleness is celibacy with freedom.” If your selfish behind thinks you can marry for some sex but don’t think you’ll have to die to self a few times before you even get to the bed… HMPH. Thinking that marriage will make your life better is a trap. If you choose a God-fearing person it MIGHT make your life better, but never put your faith in people. Trust God. Even the strongest Christian will disappoint you sometimes. We’re human!
I swear I’m not making this up. Satan has an agenda against Christian marriages, and he will come after yours. That’s not a reason to not get married, but we must understand that troubles come with the benefits. If you don’t believe me, call up one of your married friends. Don’t ask them outright what marriage is like. Just listen to them talk. It will spill. If your friends are anything like mine, it’ll gush out, make your skin crawl, and you’ll run home to your empty bed and embrace your pillows like the blessings they really are. Might I also add that serving the Lord is about a thousand times easier than serving a person? Selah.
I hope that you have a more BIBLICAL perspective on this matter of (in)significance. Bottom line, folks… Marriage is incredibly important if it’s in God’s plan for you but amounts to a hill of beans if it isn’t. As long as you seek Him first, you will fulfill your purpose and you will be satisfied in your soul.
To sum up, being single in Christ has benefits over being married in Christ. Don’t spend your singleness thinking about, worrying about, talking about, tweeting about marriage. Someone interested might be watching and be scared away by your compulsion. I’d also like to add that folks who put you down because you’re single only do so because they seek validation through romantic relationships. Let one little thing go wrong in their world, and they’ll crumble like silly putty left in the hot summer sun. Marriage is not a step up spiritually. It’s a lateral move assuming you were walking with the Lord beforehand. In most cases, people fall behind spiritually when they get married because they were not rooted in Christ beforehand. Don’t let folks and their foolishness make you feel that you’re less than what God called you to be.
Welp. There’s nothing left to see here. I swept up all the mess I made with that title. As always, questions and comments are welcomed in the space below.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,
If you don’t know by now… seize this blog post!
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul said “When I became a man, I put away childish things.” Instead of preaching to you what is or isn’t childish, allow me to walk you through the process of dating a 30-something woman…
If you have to borrow from daddy, mommy, sissy, or Bruh Bruh, then you don’t need to take anybody anywhere. Have a seat in front of USAJobs.com and find yourself one, work a couple months, and then pursue.
This last minute willy nilly just won’t do. If she agrees, then ask her what she enjoys doing and eating. I’m not talking super specifics, but get some general information so you don’t take a veggie to the Brazilian steakhouse. No texting or emailing on this one, fellas. You might even want to write it down what she says.
Have you ever been in one of those “Where-do-you-want-to-eat-I-don’t-know-where-do-you-want-to-eat” conversations? Avoid the potential friction, and plan ahead. That means days BEFORE you even meet her, choose where you will eat and what you will do. If time permits, pick up a LivingSocial or Group On deal. Their couples activities are unique and have outstanding value. Unless you’re super shy, steer clear of the movies for a first date. The object is to get to know each other, and you can’t really do that in the dark… well, not in the Godly sense! Choosing a place to eat and one other activity, even if it’s just walking through a park, is appropriate.
You could be Ted Bundy for all we know. To allay those fears give her a call and share some basic details . My daddy used to say “Always let someone know where you’re going, and be discreet.” If you play the wait and see game with some women, they might get up and go. Another point here… telling a woman a few details in advance will help her to prepare AND get her a little excited. She’ll be bragging to her girlfriends before you even go out. Cool points for you, Boo.
DO Y’ALL EVEN KNOW WHAT WE GO THROUGH TO PREPARE FOR A DATE? Do you know how many hours we walk around with that wrap on our heads? Do you know we should be writing reports, but are taking beauty naps instead?! Do you know how many applications of powder pink lip gloss it takes to get the look juuuust right? How DARE you not compliment her appearance. I’m not saying you should gush, but come ooooon. You look niiiice. Your hair is pretty. I’m glad to see you. I’m looking forward to this evening. Pick any two of those. And pick up a flower too. If she feels a little icy at the beginning of the date, a genuine compliment will help your cause.
If she offers to leave the tip or pay for dessert, do whatever seems right to you, but the bulk of the financial burden is on you. No woman wants to marry a man that can’t afford to date her. Harsh, but oh so real… Hopefully you planned to eat a place you can afford. If not, welp… lesson learned, buddy.
I’m not a fan of telling life stories or asking a million questions, but choose three things to share about yourself and three things you want to know about her. Don’t checklist them, but have them in the back of your mind and slide them joints right into the regular conversation. Refrain from the following… Why are you still single? Do you think you’ll ever get married? Do you make your kids’ dad pay child support? And don’t you dare talk about yourself the whole evening.
Be a gentleman from beginning to end. Walk her to her car or the door of her home. Thank her for the evening FACE-TO-FACE… not via text after she’s out of your presence. If a hug is appropriate, then share one. If you’ve known each other for months and you want a smackeroo, then kiss her hand, and gauge from there.
Few sidebars… Don’t skip this info here!
Well, fellas… the rest is up to you. Feel free to let me know if I struck a nerve. I’m certain my inbox will be flooded with “I don’t agree with that part” to which I will reply “Well do you, Boo Boo.” You have been sufficiently warned.
With love, sincerity, and hope for better dating experiences for me and my girlfriends,
Women know that at least three times a year a phenomenon occurs in which random old friends, text buddies, and former flames show up and demand a little attention… and sometimes two or three will come within a few days’ time. Here in the South we call it “coming out of the woodwork.” Basically folks try to re-enter our lives through subtle means… a “Thinking of You” or TOY text, FB poke, or a trepidacious “Hi” via social media. Should we respond to this seemingly harmless greeting, the ball-and-chain, headache inducing conversations will pick up where they left off oh so many months and years ago. So smart women everywhere have employed the most powerful strategy for deflecting these games… by IGNORING!
I thought I was smart… I can even be a little braggy about my brainpower, but today, I’ll dismount my high horse. Yesterday I responded to one of those dumb “TOY” texts. I even had this person’s number saved in my phone, but I had clearly forgotten that he existed. He has one of those common names, so I thought I saved a good friend’s name in the wrong number by mistake. After ten minutes of going back and forth thinking I was talking to one person, it eventually hit me that I was talking to Mr. Nasty Man who was a musician and in the seminary and quite possibly one of the most perverted individuals that had ever crossed my path. I. Was. Appalled.
The conversation went a little something like this. I’ve removed the personal details. (And I’m not worried about him seeing this. He’s only interested in my drawls, and since my blog address ain’t on those, we’re all good here.)
Me: What’s up with you? 6:09 PM
Him: Lots. Too much to text 6:15 PM
Me: But you don’t like to talk. 6:15 PM
Him: I don’t? 6:16 PM
Him: You must not know who you are talking to. 6:17 PM
Me: Wait. I know who you are now. 6:17 PM
Him: Wow 6:17 PM
Me: (location name) 6:17 PM
Him: Lol 6:17 PM
Me: Horny man 6:17 PM
Him: Not cool 6:18 PM
Me: Well. It’s been a while. 6:18 PM
Him: Now an ordained minister. 6:22 PM
Me: What made you think of me? It’s been months. 6:28 PM
Him: Think of you often…. Just didn’t reach out. 6:29 PM
Me: Gotcha. 6:31 PM
Me: You living right? 6:32 PM
Me: Lololol. 6:42 PM
You see what I did there? NO?! Let’s dougie on down to lesson lane.
I sent three clear messages in this short conversation…
I believe God allows these things to happen to show us how much we’ve grown… or haven’t. I could’ve been mealy-mouthed and given him the entrance he wanted with fanfare and balloons, but I value purity and righteousness faaarrrr more than a textual romance. Y’all don’t hear me though.
And now that he’s crawled back into the woodwork from whence he came, I shall change his name in my phone to “DNR”… Do Not Respond. God bless him but somewhere over there far from me.
Ghandi said it best…
With a little tough love, sincerity, and lots of hope for a foolishness-free future,
I can be one of theeeee most distrusting people walking this planet. I question everyone’s motives all the time and can villain-ize an ironing board if need be. I blame my parents for this debilitating characteristic. They didn’t hug me enough as a child. (See?)
Can’t recall what brought this post on, but I’m well aware that I’m not the only person with trust issues. And to be totally honest, I’m really not THAT distrusting. But I do know that there is a reasonable amount of security and comfort in keeping people at a distance. Who wants to open their hearts repeatedly only to be deceived and betrayed again and again? Why not collect dust on a shelf where no one can reach you? Why not hide your gorgeous self behind a bunch of jungle plants? You’re safe there. And so am I.
For certain seasons, a cocoon is fine. God does His best work when we are at our lowest, but now that Spring is coming I really don’t care to be bound up, blocked out, or broken down anymore. I mean… Aren’t you TIRED of the same old conversations with the same old people? Wouldn’t you like a fresh perspective? And new opportunities? Isn’t the air in there getting stale?
Here’s how all of us, admittedly distrusting or not, can learn to trust (and love) again.
Spring is upon us, and I’m ready to enjoy some warm weather outside of my old brick fortress of shame and disappointment. And you, my dear reader, there is somebody waiting for you to enter his or her life. Someone needs a friend, a colleague, a prayer partner, a lover. Someone needs you, and certain things in their lives won’t happen until you arrive.
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,