42-17800399I was reading this article on my daily feed of blogs and I was so disheartened by the following statistics:

Forty-two percent of black women have never been married, compared to 21 percent of white women, according to national statistics.

Within the last two generations, marriage rates for African-Americans have dropped significantly. Between 1970 and 2001, the black marriage rate dropped by 34 percent, compared to 17 percent in the general population.

Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services and from the U.S. Census indicate that African-American women are the least likely group to get married in the United States. And if they wed an African-American man, those couples have the highest divorce rate in the United States.

PRETZELS!?!?!!!

(Sidebar – for those of you who don’t know…that’s an inside joke stemming from a comment made by my cousin when I turned 25 – it means ‘utter confusion and disgust/amazement that anyone would ever think pretzels  are good, because they, in fact, make your mouth dry.’ I know I know, you had to be there, lol)

I’m slightly depressed by these facts and figures – I mean really, is the difference between black women and their counterparts, that drastic? And if we DO happen to achieve the “impossible,” we’re more like to get a divorce??

By no means, do these facts have to become MY reality or any of ours..but sad to say, this is SOMEONE’s reality.  The article attempted to put a positive spin by adding “The first relationships where there’s an upsurge is in the relationships with God, and the relationship with God gets them ready to love somebody,” said Brother George W. Thigpen III of Deliverance Temple Church. “Down the line, that creates marriages and better marriages.”

If there’s any advice I can give to someone who thinks they should get married, are engaged, or in a serious relationship…actually really ANYONE from “single and ready to mingle” to the opposite end of the spectrum…the last quote is true. 

Without God, no matter how loving, sensitive, masculine, beautifully handsome and awesome my Mr. Right is…our relationship would UTTERLY CRUMBLE without God. 

Marriage is sooooo serious.  Do not get caught up in the hype of your friends getting married or planning the wedding or trying to keep up with the Joneses.  You’ll end up chasing a fairytale if you aren’t grounded in God.

The highest ranking female in my division (see the Memorial Service that Changed my life post) gave me some great words the other day in the hallway – she told me, “Erika, in your marriage, YOU make your vow to God and tell your fiance to make his vow to God.  I had a happy, loving, GOOD marriage and there were days I wanted to leave.  But I COULD NOT turn my back on God, I could never leave God, I could never break my promise to God”

I’ve never felt chill bumps down my spine like I did that day. 

I feel as though she told me, so I could tell someone else.  If you never take anything from me, remember this…put God first.  Allow your relationship with him to stand out from the rest so that your marriage (and everything else you put your hands to) will stand out from the rest :)42-17915609

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