In the few years since I began blogging, I’ve jumped off of several bandwagons, and I hope to share some of those moving forward. There’s one issue however, and I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed, that I cannot step away from. It’s the subject of marriage and our duties as Christian wives.
I’m not a fan of movies that start at the end and go backwards, but since I have beat this drum so aggressively for so long, it occurred to me that my message might be better received if I provide some perspective.
On a blog largely read by fellow believers, the plain, unvarnished Biblical Truth should be enough, so know that this is not an attempt to use my personal experience to sway opinion. On the contrary, I believe that what I have witnessed proves that the Bible’s commands concerning marriage and family, minus nuance and tweaking for cultural relevance, are enough to revolutionize Christian marriages. And when we the Body are a living example of this truth, we can powerfully impact the souls we encounter every day- at work, school, the grocery store, etc. Oh yes, and at church.
I grew up in a small, predominantly black neighborhood in a family where tragedy had struck, leaving me and my siblings motherless. My father (along with my stepmother several years later) worked very hard to keep us on the straight and narrow, with mixed success. We were among a few two-parent families on our block, but single parent homes were quite commonplace and while I knew it wasn’t ideal, the kids I went to school with were very much like me and my siblings and it all seemed good to me.
As we went through high school, however, the contrasts became starker as kids from the neighborhood started dating, going and coming as they pleased, and girls started becoming pregnant. My dad grew increasingly strict, second only to one other family in our neighborhood where the father was a pastor and the girls were on a shorter leash than my stepsister and I. That’s saying something because we were on a very.short.leash. The kids laughed at us and they said of my dad that “deac” (my dad was and still is a church deacon), was crazy. Back then I was mortified but now I agree that dad was crazy like a fox, because neither me or my stepsister had a child when we left home. I was just shy of 21 years old when I moved out and 18 months later I married Secret Agent Man. But I digress. We’re not done with the late 80′s yet.
Many of the young friends I grew up with were becoming single mothers with no jobs and no husbands. In order to provide for themselves and their children, they turned to the safety net of welfare. A safety net which, ironically at the time, rewarded each subsequent pregnancy with more benefits and punished those couples who dared to try to make a go of it and get married. (This is not a post debating welfare- please stay focused)
The scourge of the crack epidemic hit during those years as well, and I vividly remember the mothers of some of my classmates being strung out as grandparents stepped in to help raise their grandchildren. I also remember many of the young men in the neighborhood taking the opportunity to make spending money and buy themselves a car by “slinging rocks”, or selling crack cocaine.
AIDS came calling about that time, too, and by the early 90′s I’d been to the funerals of two young men who succumbed to the disease and had heard about the deaths of at least two young women I knew whose lives were cut short by the disease.
Here’s the thing. I’m hoping I don’t a have selective memory, but I’ve thought long and hard about this post and I can’t think of any two-parent family I was acquainted with during those years that dealt with a teen pregnancy. My own family is the only one I can recall that dealt with legal troubles stemming from criminal activity and the seeds of that trouble were sown while we were still a single-parent family.
That isn’t to say that we didn’t have other kinds of trouble in our family, because we did like all families. Besides I know that having both a mom and a dad is no insurance policy against trouble.
Hopefully I’ll continue this Monday.Y’all have a blessed weekend…