For years, research has shown us “segregated churches breed segregated lives.”
Part of me wants to reply, Oh, you don’t say? What an obvious conclusion. If we segregate ourselves in our most intimate scenarios like church, we likely do the same in our friendships and dating relationships. These surveys, which reveal how frequent churchgoers are less likely to date someone outside their race, weigh a little more heavily on those of us who find themselves in the minority, or even the lone person of our race, at church.
A black woman attending predominantly white church must find her security in the Lord. This, of course, is no different from anyone at any church. But I do think there is a unique struggle for a young, single, black woman. We have unhelpful comments from people like Taye Diggs “jokingly” perpetuating the stereotype that black women are harsh and hard to deal with. Or then there’s the wrongheaded idea that black women are less physically attractive than other women. We battle with finding our identity in the Christ rather than the texture of our hair.
Black women must fight to ignore the lies of the world and seek the truth in God’s Word about who we really are: his beloved daughters made beautiful through Jesus. Those who choose to attend a predominantly white church add another challenge for themselves, in essence choosing to remain single for some time. They have a unique struggle, that’s often difficult and embarrassing to express.
When I was single, I mainly felt comfortable in my identity. I never felt ugly among my girl friends. I never aimed to fit into skinny jeans. These hips won’t allow such a thing; God made me with feminine curves. But I did wonder if I would get married, and if I did marry, if his family would accept me. I wasn’t sure. But I chose to stay in my predominantly white church because I was being fed the Word and that was most important to me.
Today I am married, and I did indeed marry a white man. We have experienced a rich marriage, and our cultural differences have not proven to be hindrances. We enjoy our own preferences for different food and music, but ultimately know that in Christ we are much more the same than different. Our marriage “works” because we have sought to understand what the Lord says about our personhood and identity. What I found interesting about the research on segregated churches breeding segregated lives is they determined that those who pray and read the Bible more often were more likely to date outside their race. Fascinating… but I’m not surprised.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today