…And to Obey Him

This weekend I had the opportunity to finally watch the animated movie Up.  It was the tale of a man who marries his childhood sweetheart.  When his wife dies, he devotes the remainder of his life to fulfill her childhood dreams.  It was a beautiful depiction of lifelong devotion and commitment to love and a person. But how do you really know this is the person whom you are meant to share the rest of your life?
I begin to think about a conversation some friends and I had at a friend’s wedding some months ago. The conversation was centered around the more traditional vows that were exchanged during the ceremony. “..Do you take him be your lawful, wedded husband for as long as you both shall live, to love him, cherish him, honour him, comfort him, respect him, and to obey him according to God’s Law?” It had been years, at least ten, since I had heard the “and to obey him” included in the vows.  We, as women, have gotten away from those terms and detest the notion of being obedient and submissive to a man.
However, what if that was the tool for determining the man a woman should marry- one she would obey? Obedience over the years has gained a bad rep for no apparent reason.  Children used to obey their parents.  Employees used to obey their boss. Wives used to obey their husbands.  Then, when obedience was prominent, our communities were certainly better…
Obedience first requires respect which I can only imagine is useful, if not vital, in a marriage.  I would say, the next ingredient in obedience is trust.  Trust is often only associated with fidelity.  However, the greater need may be for a woman to trust her husband to make the best decisions for his family.  This trust in him is that he will put his needs and wants behind those of his family.  For me, this would be a solid indicator of husband material because I don’t think there are too many men that can match my brilliance.  You see, women often catch the details most men miss and add the compassion some men lack.  I am often forced to add a woman’s touch to ensure success of any project.  So a man that not only sees the big picture but pays attention to the details with delicacy and care distinguishes himself from the pack.  Such a man deserves those eternal and traditional vows of obedience.  He would in turn take the vow to be the devoted and committed husband of the movie Up.

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A Delicacy of Trust

Trust: a : assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b : one in which confidence is placed

Black women do not trust black men.  Maybe that’s not fair, maybe women do not trust men.  I do not know who is the blame – the women or the men.  Granted men do cheat and lie, but women at some point seem to enable and perpetuate the lying and the cheating.  Black women are enablers…but I will save that for another day.

girl, get outta his phone

In Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too, I was in tears laughing at the character Angela’s role.  Despite your feelings toward the overall movie, I believe most black men and women could relate to the arguments over the codes to cell phones.  All of my girlfriends at some point have checked their boyfriend’s phone, email, facebook, etc. as a means to find out what their man is really doing.   It can become a full time job and consumption of time and energy.
Then one day it hit me, why be with someone you don’t trust.  It was such a novel idea; I don’t know why it took so long for me to get it.   I remember the day, January 6, 2007, when I decided I would never check a phone, email, chat logs ever again.  I have been hacking-free since that day.  I have been FREE of drama since that day too.  I have been FREE of negative energy and emotional drainage that comes with being the CIA of your man.  I have been FREE of my own hypocrisy.  I have been freed!
I made the decision then, if I have to check behind him and break & enter into accounts, he is not for me.  If I don’t trust him, then he is not the man for me.  It instantly eliminated so many from the pack and set a clear standard of what is acceptable.   It was a reality check for not only men but for my own wrong behavior.  The thought doesn’t even cross my mind anymore.  It is no longer an option for gathering information.  I go directly to the source if I have an issue.  I ask him and listen to his response.  I invite you to try it.
Ms “stop going through his stuff, girl, you tripping” Tryst

Code of Silence

“soooo….you good?” he confidently beckoned still trying to find his breath.
“mmm, wonderful,” she replied.
He grinned, mentally patting himself on the back, as he moved toward kitchen. “Where do you keep your glasses, babe?”
“In the second cabinet from the left…on the top,” she answered.  The sound of fumbling cabinet doors brought her back to reality but still too exhausted to move just yet.  The snap back to reality stirred several questions to mind. Will he stay the night or give an “I got to go” excuse?   They have been dating for several months now and after much convincing, she decided to take the leap….again. She had been talking to her girls about the likelihood that was indeed about to go down- that she was ready.  And they had all but said he would leave immediately afterwards. However, she decided to go with her gut.  And just as she was about to question her decision, he interrupted her thoughts.
“Here you go, fruit punch,” he said.
“Thank you,” she replied trying to remain cool.  As he leaned over to kiss her, she demanded her cheeks not to turn red. Or to ask what she really wanted to know.  Would he stay and what this now meant in their relationship. But she knew it was too soon, so she would just have to play it cool.
The stirring in the bathroom initiates the feeling of defeat.  Instinctively, she mentally prepares for his departure soon. To her surprise, he returned to the bedroom wearing nothing more than what he had before.  Her mind was asking a million questions but she said nothing. Simply waited. Silently.
“Hey, I don’t want to seem rude, but,” her heart stopped as he spoke, rage already building up. This is why she wanted to wait, until she knew…knew for sure.  The emotional roller coaster was too much to handle. “…But would you mind if I watch Sports Center to catch the highlights from the game I missed earlier today. Just want to see if my team won, then I promise I will turn it off and come to bed,” he pleaded. She smiled and breathed relief. Then breathed possibility.
An hour after he had returned to bed, she found herself still awake taking in the moment. She had promised herself to just enjoy it and give it time before taking inventory. Her internal debates eventually lured her to sleep.
Violent turns and mumbled screams abruptly interrupted the stillness of the night.
“What’s wrong?” she exclaimed in panic.
He opened his eyes trying to find his bearings. “Oh nothing. I’m fine. Sorry.”
But she knew exactly what it was, he had just had the same dream every black man she had been with before had had. She named it The Black Man’s Nightmare- the one thing they had managed to come together and secure in a code of silence.  She had always wondered what brought on the violent sleep. And while she didn’t know the cause, she had mastered the cure. She reached out to him and pulled him close, kissed his face gently. The light strokes in the direction of his fade comforted him back to sleep holding her tightly.
With time and trust, all of her questions were answered without asking any questions. For him, the nightmares stopped, and well, that told him all he needed to know about her.

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