To Marry Or Not To Marry…

Could the unfortunate news of divorce between Prophetess Juanita Bynum and Bishop Thomas Weeks be more than just another divorce, but a real sign of the times???

I was chatting with a girlfriend about relationships and marriage, as she’s thinking about her future with her beau. When we arrived at the topic of marriage, she had some pretty strong thoughts, and eventually got around to saying, “Marriage, what’s the point?” I was a little stunned by her statement/question, since she is a certified woman of faith and worshipper. She challenged me that day to give a positive defense for marriage, in lieu of the fact that one of the fasting growing rate of divorces from any particular group of people is happening to people in church. If the Prophetess and Bishop, and other prominent couples struggle to keep their vow to one another, what chance do the rest of us have at making it work?

Statistically speaking it’s a 50% chance. That’s the short answer.

However, in lieu of those stats, I totally understand the challenge that many face with the question whether to marry or not to marry. My friend’s question “Marriage, what’s the point?” is shared even among people of faith, especially the younger generations.

So where do we go from here? Do we just toss the notion that God honors marriage? Do we give more weight to stats or scripture? Do we look down on those who have divorced or reach-out in compassion to help restore the individual(s)? Divorce in church raises a number of different questions, challenges and is cause for debate among different faiths about the moral conflict. But here’s what I think…

The average son playing football in high school has less than a 10% chance of making it to the NFL, but what father doesn’t encourage his son to give it 100% on the field? You go out there and you give it all you got!!

I too am a divorcee. BUT I still believe strongly in love and marriage. I’m still open and hopeful of remarrying one day. I believe that if we use those stats and the marriage results of others to dictate our future, then we’re not making sound, powerful and loving choices. We’re making fearful choices.

My point is simply this, don’t give up before you give your life and love a real opportunity. Marriage is work. I don’t care who you are, where, you live or what you do for a living, marriage is work. When I officiate wedding ceremonies, there is a clause in that speaks to not entering into marriage “unadvisedly and reverently.” That being said, I encourage couples to do their due diligence and take all the steps possible to help them make a sound marriage choice. Then you give it 100% out on the field, and you work like hell to make it last.

I do think the divorce of the spiritual power team Prophetess Bynum and Bishop Weeks is a sign of the times. It’s a sign we must work harder, pray more, love greatly and then ask God to HELP us out with the rest!

Najuma Smith is a preacher, world traveler, writer, and proud parent. She currently serves as the full-time Sr. Pastor of St. James AME Church in Los Angeles. Unapologetically saved and full of purpose, she enjoys sharing words of encouragement with anyone who will listen, bringing a fresh look at life in light of the Word of God. Her collection of motivations and observations are exclusive to Urban Thought Collective. Visit her at www.myspace.com/revjuju.

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