ARE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS KEEPING AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN SINGLE?
I turned fifty in October 2019, and I have never been married. Of course, it would be easy for me to blame that fact on the statistic that there are more African American women than African American men between the ages 25 and 54. And that doesn’t take into account of those men who are already married, incarcerated, gay, or prefer women of different races. Nevertheless, I know there is more to my singleness than that statistic. I am not one to blame my circumstances on something outside of myself. Therefore, I had to evaluate myself and my beliefs about marriage. Could it be that I am still single because I have held onto a few beliefs I learned in church too rigidly?
The scripture that is repeated often to single women in the church is Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Holding on to the belief that a man has to find us keeps us from approaching men, asking a man out and even subscribing to dating websites. In today’s society, that could lower our chances of getting married. A good friend of mine is constantly encouraging me to ask men out, but first, I have to change my belief that a man has to find me.
Another scripture that is popular in Singles’ Ministry discussions is 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Now, somewhere, this scripture has been interpreted to include more than unbelievers. I have heard teachers and speakers include being a Christian, church attendance, and even education. There are many eligible men who believe in God but are not Christians or attend church. Did you know that we are the most educated population in America? I read for every one hundred college-educated African American women there are forty college-educated African American men. I have B.S. in pharmacy, M.S. in counseling, and a Juris Doctorate, if I’m waiting for a man to match my number of degrees, I may never become an “MRS.”
My latest book, Undefiled, is an inspirational romance novella that deals with forgiveness, love, acceptance, and intimacy. Liz and Anthony are thrown together when his mother falls ill. Their attraction is instant, and love blooms quickly, but their happily-ever-after is threatened when Liz learns an uncomfortable truth about Anthony’s past the night before their wedding. Liz has to decide if she can get beyond the shocking reality of Anthony's past, or will she leave him standing at the altar.
Liz, like so many Christian women, finds a good man, but because his past isn’t perfect, she is are ready to walk away. Let’s remember that the Apostle Paul was once Saul, a persecutor of Christians, and Israel was once Jacob, the trickster. I am not suggesting that out of desperation to be married that we marry a bozo, but maybe we should stop waiting for a Boaz. There are plenty of good men in between those two extremes. I am ready to let go of some of my strict “religious” beliefs about marriage and dating because they have not served me and my desire to be married.
To purchase a copy of Undefiled go to www.tolsonbooks.com/shop. You can get an electronic copy of Undefiled on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
“A fast paced, easy read with lots of food for thought and thought provoking situations. A true Christian read that makes you examine your beliefs versus being judgemental.”
"Undefiled" is a great read! The pages turn quickly, with humor, thoughtfulness, an attention to detail, and relatable characters. Tolson's spirit shines through in her writing! I would highly recommend it- and especially for a Christian audience!
“Undefiled is an unadorned story of love in all its forms: romantic, sexual, familial, and spiritual…a welcome sojourn into the lives of everyday, ordinary people.”