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Brown and Reformed
12-09-2010, 12:25 PM
Hi All, Noob here. I am loving this forum as I have found much encouragement here. I thought I would go ahead and post my prayer request in this forum as I am in the middle of deciding to leave my church.

Here's the short of it....

I was just doing some general reading on Holyculture.net and saw someone commenting on a post that a guy Xavier Pickett wrote on Facebook regarding the need for someone to do a study on why Reformed churches keep black women (and men) single and lonely, etc... Because of the culture and other issues that arise. That so many black women in these situations who have resigned themselves to lifelong singleness because of it.

The sad thing about his post is that for me and the black women in my church, this is entirely true.

I attend a Reformed Baptist church in the NoVa/DC area. I became a member in 2009 and have been there for over a year. At first, I was naÔve to think that because this was a Gospel-preaching church, and although predominately white, certainly I can also find a husband and family here, but my primary focus was learning about the Gospel. At the time, I could not find a suitable Gospel-centered church in my hometown and after a year, and some investigation, decided that I would move here to attend this church.

Well, those hopes have drastically changed and now I am thinking of leaving my church. I'm 33, single, seriously desiring to be married, serve my husband and family well, and live a good Christian life--just like the average white girl in my church. But time after time, I have experienced these men not even seeing me as a sister, but I am completely invisible. What's even more discouraging is that there are about 5 other beautiful sisters there, and they have never even been asked out. One of us having been a member for 7 years now and has never been asked out. The others, for shorter times, but same situation and same struggles.

The unfortunate thing is I have spoken with pastors and elders about this situation, particularly, why does it only seem that marriage and family at our church is only for white people. They have been very sympathetic, and have been focusing on teaching and putting the diversity message even more in the sermons and trying to think intently about how to go about confronting these issues. One of our friends got married this summer, she's Haitian, to an Asian guy. Well, it does help that she's beautiful and thin, and looks somewhat like a model. I have witnessed beauty being a shortcut to the altar--but moreover, I have witnessed white beauty more than ever, being such a shortcut.

When I think about it, I am just as qualified, smart, attentive, attractive, loving, godly, etc... If not more than these other women. Yet, as for me and my other sisters there, we don't even get considered. I had a pastor even admit that to me. That these men weren't even considering us. With ever engagement announcement, every wedding and every baby being born, I have grown bitter, upset, sometimes jealous, and also angry with God. It is interesting that how our hardness with others translates to having a hard heart with the Lord, but sometimes I see that happens because we see that other people represent Christ to us.

As we get older and less younger, our congregation gets younger and the marriages and families grow. It should also be noted that I am considered the "older" part of my congregation. So not only am I facing the fact that I'm not white, Iím also facing the fact that I'm not 24 either. Although, being black, most people think I'm 26 or 28.

I love the Gospel and at this point, need to stay in the area I live in for work, but am looking for more diverse Gospel-preaching churches in my area. I have met my wits end with this situation. I have stopped attending weddings, wedding showers, I have stopped praying, clapping and being joyful for those who are becoming wed and who are wedded. My heart is constantly fighting bitterness and rage about the inequalities I see. And I feel at this point, it's just best to remove myself from the situation.

I have asked the women and my pastors even this, and especially my other caucasian sisters: Are we to wait indefinitely for marriage to happen, or should we be more proactive in placing ourselves in an environment where that is more likely to happen. Never for the sake of the Gospel would I go to a church that doesn't preach the Gospel in search of marriage, but yet, my church doesn't have the lock on the Gospel, and therefore, that has to be a better option than this.

I do not believe that the Lord wants me to remain single, and I firmly believe that I do not have the "gift" of singleness. This extended season of singleness has been one of the most painful things I've ever experienced and sometimes, it's hard to see God in this situation. People in my church keep telling me that God is Sovereign and also that maybe God doesn't have marriage for me. What I keep asking them is, that I understand that God is Sovereign, but I also understand that man is sinful and will do what he wills. Why is it that God may not have marriage for me the explanation, where rather, people could honestly look at the inequality that is there and say you know, maybe God wants you married, but maybe this isn't the best place for you.

If I were young and white, then optimally, I should stay there, because that would be my culture, and obviously has the most opportunities for me to meet others and for marriage and family. I have said to others that, I just need to go and find that very same place for myself, that you have found here. Why is that wrong?

Please know that I understand and know that ultimately, we are to seek our sufficiency in Christ alone--and we have to do that whether married or single. I know that with the difficulties that come with marriage, sometimes it's an even greater battle. I do not fantasize about marriage being easy, or that even it will solve all of my problems, because it won't. I seek marriage because 1. I believe that I do not have the gift of singleness and desire very much to share my life with someone and live out a Biblical womanhood in my marriage, and 2. I believe that I can serve God best and honor Him with my life, and also live purely in a committed covenant relationship than outside of one.

I appreciate your prayers and any encouragement you may have to offer. Thank you so much for listening!

Rikki
12-09-2010, 12:43 PM
I am 39 years old. I just got married THIS year. I go to a predominately black church. In the 20 + years I attended there, I may have been asked out ONCE. I did not meet my husband in church. I'm still at my church, and my husband has joined me there.

I said all of that to say, you may be in the right church. I don't know....but to leave because you haven't been asked out by those men or met your mate there may not be wise. I would seriously pray on this, and allow the Lord to lead you. If it is God's will for you to be married, you WILL be. I thought I would NEVER get married, but once I was TRULY satisfied with the LORD and whatever state He had me in, it seemed like my husband miraculously appeared. * and I REALLY hate saying that, because it so sounds like a cliche, but that's how it happened for me*

I'll keep you in my prayers. I know how this feels. REALLY I DO.

Brown and Reformed
12-09-2010, 01:04 PM
Thank you, Rikki. I will consider your advice. Please also know that since I gave the short of it, it's not the only reason I am considering leaving, but one of the major reasons. True lack of diversity in thought, culture and a lot of other things are also affecting my decision. Especially the lack of ministry towards women. My church focuses on raising up pastors. Unfortunately, many of the women are feeling neglected because of such a hardcore focus on the men. As I said, and I dont want to bring up all of the issues here, there are many other reasons as well.

I do know that no matter what church I attend, I am not guaranteed anything and certainly not guaranteed to meet a husband. But from what I can see at my church, and from the patterns and things happening there, well... it's just seems it's obvious that I won't there, if that makes sense. Also, I hope to meet my husband anywhere, as long as he is a Christian and understands solid doctrine. But even if I were married or met someone there, because of the other reasons, I would not stay. I would still desire to seek another church.

Also, I have asked many women who have struggled with singleness, especially those who had a long season of singleness, did God bring their husbands only when they were truly satisfied in Him? Honestly, a majority of the time the answer is no. Not that I'm not saying that God didn't do that in your particular circumstance, but I've witnessed the fact that God has brought husbands/wives into the lives of believers in all types of circumstances, and even when that person wasn't truly "satisfied" in the Lord. I dont think those are specifically the conditions under which God then grants us a spouse. But I do believe that the Lord desires that we are truly satisfied and find sufficiency alone in him no matter where we are in life. And even when we are in that place, it doesn't mean that we won't still have those desires--for a job, a home, a wife/husband, children, an education. Whatever it may be.

And my last question in response to what you said would also be, for example, if I were attending a church where the average age was 50 and there were no single men in my congregation. If I wanted to be pursued, most likely by the men at my church, but also remain open to those outside of it, I certainly could seek other social situations. But would it be a good decision for me to remain there? Especially if there is available other Gospel-preaching churches in my area where there are younger single men in those congregations? Just a thought. Because if I wanted to pursue a PhD, I'd have to apply to get it. I coudln't just tell God, I want this and desire it and pray for it and expect it when I haven't even applied. The same for a job. The same for anything. So therefore, why is it that we separate marriage from that type of reasoning. Does marriage hold a special type of reasoning and situation in which God separates it from the other normal ways he blesses us?

Can God only do all of those other things (give me a job, a home, solid church, food, clothing, etc) and require that I do my part to position myself for it, but he doesn't with marriage?

Again, I will put much thought into what you have shared.

Rikki
12-09-2010, 01:07 PM
Thanks for expounding on your reasons. I'll keep praying for you. :)

Brown and Reformed
12-09-2010, 01:23 PM
Thanks so much... I really REALLY appreciate it! And I know for real that you KNOW how I feel ;)

CripforChrist
12-09-2010, 03:48 PM
I'm 21 years old, i know, im a good bit younger than you, but...I feel the same thing about marriage, I dont think im cut out for singleness, and I do desire a wife to keep me accountable, and to love, as Christ loved the Church.

another personal reason that I am so worried a bout it as of recent, is because I recently (like, just over a week ago) had to amputate both of my feet, due to medical issues, and So i am wrestling with....self worth, my attractiveness,...can I find a woman to look past this?

I dont mean to hi jack your thread,...and the only reason I brought it all up is to, first and foremost tell you that, atleast on the loneliness part of it, you're not alone....and also to just tell you to press on....it will happen for you.

thankfull
12-09-2010, 04:15 PM
I just want to say I understand! I'm glad you had the guts to go to the pastors & others to express how you feel. I go to a church in the DC area as well, solid, but lacks in the eligible man dept. Although we are majority black & small, it doesn't matter! There is definitey a shortage of marriage minded brothers & some who think they got it like that so they'll hold out for their arm candy. :/

Myself & some others sisters are in the same boat as you & your church sisters. One thing I can recommend to you is to pray. All of you get together & pray & see what God does. Right now that's where I am. God can do miracles & maybe He wants us to do this so He can answer.

As far as you leaving your church, I don't know what to say. If this has been on your heart for a while, I would by faith visit some other churches & continue to pray for God's leading.

Also, check out marrywell.org for some articles that are relevant to what you just wrote about.