Young black women dating older men

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.

In advising these mentors, Dace says “be honest about the mistakes you’ve made.

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.

When black men treat “younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Tim.

5:1-2) and also respect them, cherish them, and celebrate their unique attributes, it goes a long way toward building up their esteem and laying the groundwork for what a godly marriage looks like.

Along with the greater multi-racial church, we have the power to offer young black women what they need to root their identity in the knowledge of their belovedness in God’s sight, rather than in the fleeting appraisals of the current society and culture.

At a time when families as a whole, and black families in particular, are seriously unraveling, young black women are facing a maelstrom of conflicting messages about their bodies, identities, and especially their relationships.Upon hearing the news in front of a group, he promptly declared that he would “never” date her. “But part of me realized, that’s just the way it is.” She and her sister Destiny reported that they had never dated outside their race but did hang out with kids of different ethnicities.Although their comments address larger interracial dynamics, they also gesture toward the problem at hand: Relationships for young black women are fraught with challenges.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.(By contrast, my husband’s and my generation, the baby boomers, did tend to date and marry within our race.) While intermarriage is becoming more common, black women in America still face significant challenges in their relationships with black men, and the problem is doubly difficult for women in the church.According to David Morrow in , “a staggering 92 percent of African-American churches in America reported a gender gap.” According to Morrow’s sources, “75 to 90 percent of the adults in the typical African-American congregation are women.” That means black Christian women face a low probability of marrying black Christian men.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.On the one hand, the last decade has seen a resurgence of young black women taking pride in their natural attributes, from the natural-hair movement to the make-up free look of judge Alicia Keys.And yet the average black girl often struggles with self-esteem issues.

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