Could predominantly African American churches, such as African Methodists, Pentecostal, and Baptist churches fundamental environments be impeding the development of Black relationships and marriages?
The question is worth examining.
Nearly ninety percent of African-Americans claim certain relationship with a God and 55 percent say they “interpret scripture literally,” according to the 2009 Pew Research Center study “A Religious Portrait of African-Americans.
According to the PEW study, African-American men are significantly more likely than women to be unaffiliated with any religion (16 percent vs. 9 percent). Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation.
Right there the opportunity to cultivate a heterosexual relationship declines. Some single women say there is a shortage of available men population wise. That can be argued. What can’t be argued is there is a shortage of men in African American churches.
So we have all these women and some of them are single and trying to go about dating within the confines of the “scripture”.
They want a man to which they are ‘equally yoked’. They want a man that will date inside the confines of the scripture. They’d probably have no problem finding such a man if more of those men were in church.
The church by its very nature discourages relationships with men and women that aren’t in the church. The church has unwittingly finds itself as the barrier blocking itself as the catalyst to harmonious and fulfilling relationships for its copious single female population.
That’s a strong charge hurled at the very institution that promotes marriage and shuns infidelity and fornication. How are you supposed to get to marriage without meeting someone and beginning and cultivating a relationship first?
Why aren’t there more men in church?
Some experts and activists have pointed to the social structure of the church as discouraging black men from attending.
To be sure, most strong willed successful men have a hard time following another man that that’s constantly soliciting funds and spewing what could be easily interpreted at times as criticism. Just because he has a bible and a pulpit is not going to win him the respect of most men.”
Then there is the alpha factor. The Pastor is the “alpha male” for many black women. We can pump the brakes and stop right there.
Most successful men are proud men and the last thing you’re going to get them to do is take a back seat to the minister when it comes to his woman. That alone will keep a lot of men away from the church. If his woman talking about the pastor this and the pastor that, and instituting everything the pastor says into her personal life, then most men are going figure maybe she should be with (or has been with) pastor.
Now the bright brains over at Yale have validated that 42% of African-American women are unmarried. 80% of all African Americans have some sort of religious convictions. Of that 80 percent it’s safe to surmise 60 percent of those are women that go to church. Well if all these women are in church and unmarried..Uh oh..Looks like the church just may be playing a role in the holy lonely. Albeit unwittingly. You certainly can’t argue that it is helping.
Let’s be real, the church is not going to promote any activity that’s going to result in a loss of members, i.e. financial contributors. If women are encouraged to meet men outside of the church, they may wind up leaving, and without any risk of going to hell.
The further I go into this topic I’m beginning to see, not only is the church playing a part in its female congregation being single, the females are playing a role in it too.
“Okay So The Men Aren’t Here Now What?”
If women know they’re not going to find a man in church, why do some of them keep looking there or limiting their dating prospects, by holding out until hopefully Mr. Right shows up there one Sunday? I get the equally yoked argument, but nowhere in any bible is it stated equally yoked can only be found in the churches. And for those of you that are holding out waiting for the Lord to send you a man, well, consider this. It is stated in the bible “He helps Those whom Helps themselves.”
Church going women are going to have to broader involve themselves in social opportunities that will populate their social and romantic life with prospects. And they have to know they can do that without sacrificing their devotion to whatever God they serve.
They can follow the pastor all they like, but at the end of the service he’s going home with his wife (or girlfriend) and you my dear are going where? Home until next Sunday. Broaden your exposure, market yourself in other venues. Good men are all around you. And who knows? If he’s not in the church you may be the incentive for him to get in the church.