Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are We Beyond "Black" Love?

I was recently asked a question: Does black love still exist? Have we gotten beyond needing to marry within our race or culture?

To be honest with you, until America really addresses the ingrained racial issues that are specific to the fabric of America, I would say we have not gotten beyond the rhetoric of black love and interracial dating and with good reason. Here are two:

1. The media has propogated a myth that all good men, especially Black Men, are taken. The ones that are not taken are gay, bi-sexual, deadbeats, or in jail. This is simply NOT TRUE (I know several of them who are intelligent, single, good-looking, financially solvent, and proudly heterosexual). But it is the image that has been promoted for so long in movies, magazines, and television, that it has become necessary to create campaigns around undoing this myth.

2. Even in Moral America (the Church), there are still some who believe God is against interracial marriage. So, on one hand you have a negative image portrayal of the black male, and on the other you are presented with a moral decision: is it a sin to marry outside my race? The answer is emphatically NO. Any good Bible scholar will tell you God is against inter-faith marrying not interracial. He warned Solomon, if he chose to marry women who served other gods, that they would turn his heart from serving the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, his forefathers. The emphasis was on the spiritual, not the racial identity, although in some cases the racial & spiritual identity was tied together. For example, a person can be a Jew by heritage and not be a follower of the Jewish faith.

Interacial marriage was illegal in 33 states in 1958. In fact, a couple was arrested in Richmond, VA for breaking the law (Loving vs. Virginia).

I see these two as barriers to our thinking in terms of love and relationships in general.

Consider these verses:

 Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

1 Kings 11: 1-8

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites; from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, "You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods." Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

Check out the results:

V. 9-13 God's Judgement comes

So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen."

We should cling to in love what will draw us towards God not away from God. Solomon joined himself a 1,000 times to other women. The sexual act was not just physical but spiritual. His heart was torn between 1,001 different desires. In order to please them all, he built idols to their gods to satisfy their own need to worship, which put his own faith in jepoardy.

Keith Reed  makes some excellent points when delving into media influence. He writes:

"If you follow the logic that says looking for a hetero, single black man to marry will yield a bunch of underachieving, noncommittal fools who might be on the ‘down low’, you might also believe that a search for single, available sistas will yield a crew of HIV candidates who are likely broke and might be involved in criminal activity.

Which is exactly why neither paradigm is a good one and why trying to examine the complexities of relationships in a community as diverse and nuanced as ours by looking at statistics alone is a fail. It is impossible for empirical data, especially presented and regurgitated without analysis, context, nuance, cultural understanding and compassion, to lend a real understanding of a subject so layered. And that, perhaps, is as it should be. After all, relationships and marriages happen between two people, not one woman and all of the available men in her city.

 If it’s one you’re seeking, the other 99.9 percent really don’t matter."

What can we learn here?
1. God wants us to be in union with Him first.
2. Our love life should not endanger our spiritual life with our first love (God).
3. Race is not the deciding factor- faith is.
4. We can't allow society to dictate our relationships if we are believers
5. We must measure our relationships, especially the one that will join us as one with another soul against the Word of God

Wherever Love Finds You, let it not tear you away from your first love, Jesus Christ.