Building godly dating relationships
Karen Dace, vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Indiana University–Purdue University in Indianapolis, grew up in Chicago in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.As a single woman, she realized early on the importance of female role models when she overheard a girlfriend’s daughter telling her mother that she wanted to be like “Miss Karen” when she grew up, because “Miss Karen” owned a home, had a nice car, a fur coat, “and didn’t no man give it to her.” “Older women are supposed to teach the younger women,” Dace says.Commenting on an article about a black male celebrity with a white partner, social worker Dawnlena Deans-Malone observed, “What I dislike (passionately) is this subliminal message being sent to black girls by men in the entertainment business (actors, athletes, musicians) that black girls are not good enough to marry.” I recently interviewed four young, African American women, all pastor’s kids between the ages of 15 and 19: Deja and Destiny Perkins and Moriah Bryd and her stepsister Naylah Williams.All four described their relationships with their white peers as “civil” but also told me they feel an uneasy sense of not quite fitting into their predominantly white schools.
And don’t let [young women] think [their] value is tied up with who they are in a relationship with.” The church, of course, is the most powerful space for this kind of mentoring, modeling, and discipleship.
Research on online dating indicates that black females get much less interest than women of other races.
They also have to contend with stereotypes of the angry, loud, or “ratchet” black female.
When I was a young Christian, I had several older women take me under their wings.
As a single hoping for marriage, I spent countless dinners, Bible studies and phone conversations with older Christian women who counseled me on patience, encouraged me in my waiting, and shared testimonies of God’s faithfulness to them and their families.