Love in the Sanctuary: Why I’ll Never Join the Singles Ministry

Photo Credit: J.T. Lowery

Photo Credit: J.T. Lowery

By Chevonne Harris–

So Valentines Day has come and gone. Although a dreaded day for some singles, I’ve developed quite a knack for not joining the “woe is me” party during the national love fest. But in a rare moment of weakness over the weekend, I had a moment.

Like many of you, I trekked to the theater to support the hilarious romcom “About Last Night” starring Kevin Hart and Regina Hall. While I’m always game for 90 minutes of Michael Ealy (Side Note: Am I the only one who was slightly turned off by his cheekbones), the actor’s chemistry with one another reminded me of just how hypnotically delightful love can be and why we all deserve to be “Drunk in Love” every one in a while.

Typically I can shake these bouts of single-itis with Golden Oreos and “The Walking Dead” marathons, but couple that with a V-Day dinner for one of macaroni and fries, and an in-progress article on the dating woes of Christian singles, and I was officially feeling some type of way.

In doing some digging on the extent many Christians go through to find love, it got me thinking about my own dating experiences and past attempts to find a guy who loved me just as much as he loved the Lord.

Before I begin, let me start off by saying while my love life is far from Sainthood by today’s standards, I’m also no Nola Darling. If I had to rate what’s left of my dating life I’d say I’m a PG, (PG-13 if the guy is right), on the holiness scale.  Combine that with a 60-hour work-week, friends, family and life, and you’ve got quite the dating dilemma. And there you have it, the perfect backdrop to begin my dip into the Singles Ministry.

It all started with an email I received inviting me to a Friday night ice cream social hosted by a church I occasionally visited. With the subject line, “Come Network with Christian Singles in God’s Kingdom” I was immediately intrigued. Sweets, men and mingling all in the name of Jesus; why not. Besides, if I’m a Christian, naturally God has placed my soul mate under the same sanctified roof as me, right?

So, I donned my best day to night outfit, a modest 3-inch heel, a red lip and began my journey. As I pulled into the parking lot I was immediately underwhelmed. This was a church boasting nearly 1,000 members but only 30 or so cars were in the parking lot. Still being hopeful, I chalked it up as yet another instance of my punctuality working against me and pressed my way.

I entered the room which, to say the least, was a CNN special in the making. While I know there are a decent number of us single, black women floating around, I had no idea I’d be starring the stat square in the face. To my left, right and every which way were throngs of black women milling aimlessly about as they waited anxiously for Brother So-and-So to approach.

The guys, well they were pretty uneventful. The conversation was forced, the game was weak and the flirting was just plain weird. And despite all this and every warning signal in my body, for some strange reason I felt obligated to leave with at least one new number or else God would not be pleased. Needless to say, a few icebreakers and glasses of sherbet punch later, I had called it quits.

No shade to the lucky few who’ve found love in the sanctuary, but if this is really how black Christians meet, I’m cool. It sounds good in theory; Christian guy meets Christian girl in safe, untainted Christian room and the trumpets sound. But looks can be deceiving.

Call me crazy but I have a problem with my place of worship moonlighting as my place of hookup. Given the deep-rooted tradition of chauvinism and suppressed feminism perpetuating many black churches, I’d hate to have to explain to my next beau why bedazzled, supersized fascinator church hats and white tights just aren’t my thing.

Male egos and COGIC culture aside, I don’t want church folk in my business, especially when it comes to who I date. Though I’m sure she’s a nice lady, why does the head of the Usher Board need to be concerned about whether or not I go home to an empty house? Just saying.

Of course there is little room in my life for a man who lacks faith, but did God really intend for me to find my soul mate amongst 40-year-old women and wannabe players all in the confines of the church multipurpose room? Do what works for you, but when it comes to finding organized love in the house of the Lord, I think I’ll pass.

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