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He came to work, handed them to me and said, “I have these free tickets. Then in February 1986, on Valentine’s Day, Scott unexpectedly stopped by my house.
He said he ordered roses for me and wanted to see if they had arrived.
But the core of their advice was: keep your legs closed. Apparently, there are really sisters out here telling grown-ass women not to kiss their dudes until the wedding. Let me tell y’all how blessed I feel that Jesus delivered me out of that madness before it took root.
I am so glad that my testimony at 35 is not that I ain’t been on a date and been touched since I was 25. We get to ask as Candice Benbow asked, “what if we saw Black women’s singleness as an affront to the Cross?
I am a licensed mental health counselor and recovery coach for Skills Unlimited Inc. Our two sons play basketball and we spend weekends cheering them on at games.
Scott has a number of interests, including sports, photography, history, politics and cooking.
So I’m just going to share with you four reasons why I have come after much prayer, careful consideration, Bible study, and other-than-the-Bible book reading, to reject purity culture for grown-ass Black women. That verse simply means that men should recognize the value in finding a great partnership. Instead though, we are fed an ever more sophisticated diet of reasons why we are supposed to keep our sexuality on lock. Consequently, I’m 35, but I’m not miserable, desperate, or lonely, despite my singleness.
“he who findeth a wife findeth a good thing.” How long, beloveds, are y’all going to let this one verse be the basis of your terrible theology of marriage and dating? Extrapolating that men are the only ones who can do the finding is a total stretch. If your church is anything like the one I went to in Atlanta, they tell you to take more and more classes so you can dig deeper and come further in line with God’s will. The quality of my life has not ever risen or fallen based on how far apart or close together my knees are.
With all the wonderful chocolatey Blackness of that city, heterosexual Black women buy into the idea that their beautiful man, beautiful house, dope career, and future children are waiting on them there.And like most deep South Black girls, I dealt with my dating problems in church, praying about what I needed to fix and change, and what the Lord was working in me to change to prepare me for this perfect man (that never came and who I am no longer looking for.) The other thing about Atlanta if you are straight and Black and Christian back then was the mega church culture.There are all kinds of fancy, sophisticated churches in Atlanta, and I was an active and tithing member of one.Look, we are all afraid of rejection, but the love life I have today has everything to do with my willingness to approach brothers I liked and ask them on a date. Ask Ruth whether Boaz found her or whether she found him and tricked him into thinking he found her. God just had these blessings in hock, waiting on you to get on board with these rules,” who wouldn’t do it? But really as you learn more and more about doctrine, you are becoming indoctrinated. But purists know that the only way grown women close their legs indefinitely is if they close their mouths and their minds, too.
Stop using the Bible as a reason to do nothing but sit around and wait on a love life to show up at your door. Stop letting this bad theology of purity rob you of the agency to follow your bliss and be intentional about building the kind of romantic life you want. You are told that your questions matter, when really the goal is to steer you deliberately toward a singular answer. And in the process, Black women become more sophisticated in their theology of self-denial (the flesh is deceitful, you see) but far less wise and knowledgeable about how live out a liberatory spirituality. The fear is that if women open their minds to think and open their mouths to speak, naturally, they might conclude that in the right circumstances opening one’s legs would be just fine, too. Scott always struck up a conversation with me, asking me about what was going on in my life or wanting to know my opinion on something.