A while ago I overheard a conversation between three young women looking at something on their phones when one of them said “look at my future baby daddy, he is fine”. I continued through my day but I thought about how different things have become and how we as women have lowered our standards to accept less than what God has planned for us.
I remember when I was growing up most women didn’t aspire to just have a “baby daddy”. They aspired to have a husband to help them raise their children and I do understand that even in a marriage it doesn’t guarantee that the husband will be much help, but the point is they wanted to be married. They desired to have someone there to lean on when things got difficult. So where did we go wrong? Where did we lose our way so that some young girls feel that being a baby mama is the best that they can do? It hurts my heart to think that over the years we’ve given the impression that marriage is no longer something to be desired. Or that we, as liberated women, don’t need a man except for one thing and even that thing they don’t always do well. It grieves me because that’s how I used to think.
I craved companionship but depending on a man for anything wasn’t in my agenda. And I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. In junior high there were two guys who intentionally waited for me to come out of class so they could walk me to my next class…I saw them, said hello and kept on walking. It didn’t even dawn on me that they were trying to be nice and chivalrous. When I got older one of the guys I used to date picked me up to go walking around the lake and the entire time I kept complaining about how he didn’t do this or he didn’t do that and at one point he asked me why I couldn’t just enjoy the walk. I think back to how many other times I’ve come across as unapproachable or ungrateful because of my “strong black woman” attitude. That attitude that says “I don’t really need you” or “I can do bad all by myself” or “I need to take control of the situation to protect myself”.
And so I am apologizing. I am apologizing to the men in my life who have tried to be there for me in the past but I wouldn’t let them. I am apologizing to the women in my life that I’ve steered into thinking that men are disposable. I am apologizing to God for taking lightly the convent of marriage and for having skewed thinking when it comes to the relationships between men and women.
Over the last few years God has softened my heart to see that men and women are both strong but we are strong in different ways and those differences are to be celebrated and for that I am truly grateful. I’m starting to understand that being vulnerable and open to accept help doesn’t make me weak it makes me strong. After I saw War Room a few summers ago I started re-assessing my priorities in terms of a mate. I realize that a man who is leading his family while being led by God and who is desiring to please God is more beautiful than trying to hold onto a false sense of strength that I was never supposed to hold onto.
Neither should we play the damsel in distress or try to be someone that we’re not. If we start off any relationship under false pretenses eventually the real you is going to come out and that will only create unnecessary conflict. Being strong in God will allow you the ease to be vulnerable with others. This is something I’m learning and I’m finding my life so much more fuller because of it.