The other day I was so excited by the notes I got from a few people who read my blog. It was the first time I felt that folks had actually connected with something that I think, is a serious issue, in the black community; the lack of support for "good" black men. The dedication I wrote was my way of saying, I know that there are good black men out here but, when will we be able to work together and grow as a strong unit? Yet, just as I was beginning to feel the snaps and hand claps of followers, I received an email from a friend in New Jersey referencing an article from Christianity Today. When I read it, I was at a loss for words. The article was entitled, "Oh Brothers, Where Art Thou." The author was sharing her views on the difficulty of finding available(Christian men) in a world filled with erotica and sexual exploitation. Finding a good man was not just limited to the general population but even more challenging in the Christian community. While this may not come as a surprise to some this story, could not have come, at a better time. Oh the irony! And here I was professing all of my love for black men who are in many ways hard to find. Of course that would be based on who and what you're looking for but nonetheless a truth for many of us. As I continued to read, I found her insights to be quite interesting. It wasn't just our culture that was experiencing a shortage of men, there were others. Like the 40+ something-year-old Russian woman who had never been married or the 2 Bulgarian women she also spoke to. In a nutshell, this is a global issue. And while I am not passing judgement either way this reality is a reality. Solid, committed relationships are just not that easy to come by. And while there are countless churches that offer singles ministries and small groups, the lack of men who actually participate is another story. Now I'm sure that for some of my male readers this is a touchy subject. Yet, I chose to challenge one or two of them with helping to create a solution. Why should we (women) bear the responsibility of supporting these avenues alone. Don't they want the same things that we want? And if this is the case then why aren't they showing up? Is it the pressure to be married when you're not while going to church that keeps men away as mentioned in her story or perhaps because some "just ain't living right," or could it be something else? Finally, I got an answer and while it may not have been the answer I was exactly looking for, it was an answer nonetheless. I'll share his words:
Hillary, while I understand the article and think it is valid, I choose to focus my attention in a different manner. My way of dealing with that dilemma is investing the largest portion of my single time to work on me especially as it relates to building my relationship with God, my personal character, and my profession in a healthy context. As I get myself together, other people will follow and one of those people will eventually be my wife. All of my friends want what I want, but they're not going to stop what they're doing until they see somebody who has actually done it and who can clearly articulate that path. People have to apply themselves differently in order for things to change. It's not a reality that's inherent to men alone. It's inherent to women as well. People are messed up in general and women aren't excluded from that demographic.
The thoughts of my friend are undeniably true, how can we expect to have anything different if we haven't decided to be different. Perhaps in dew season this difference will come for all of us. Let's pray that it will be so.