No Country for Weaves: A Pastor’s Right?

[I’m writing so quickly; here’s the short of it:]

Today, the site AmericanPreachers.com posted a story about a pastor in Waco, Texas who wants to ban weaves from his church. He notes that weaves “presents a false image of themselves and are associated with women who have low self-esteem.” Additionally, he says, “I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling. Yet, a 26 year old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO. I will not be quiet about this,” according to the site.

Sir.

Can I say a brief word about this?

Lissen.

If you’re banning weaves because you feel like women who wear them have low self esteem and need to accept their “natural selves” should men stop getting hair cuts, too?

I mean, if we’re going to take the focus on the “inward man” approach, men need to embrace their natural self and stop getting haircuts, no?

Furthermore, if you would just focus on PASTORING instead of trying to tell women what to staple to their scalp, then you wouldn’t have to be concerned about not having the financials necessary to care for those in your congregation who don’t have enough to live.

See, when a pastor is effective at doing his/her job, then the people freely give. The church then has the means to reach the people in and outside of the congregation and do the work of Christ.

Period.

Someone’s Remy weave ain’t hindering you from doing YOUR JOB.

And this is why folks don’t take Christians seriously. How divisive, busy, and distracting this is to the work the Body of Christ as to do.

Jesus wasn’t worrying about the headdresses women had on their heads, man.

He just taught solid principles about how to live this life and get to the next. That’s it.

What if I’m rocking a weave because I suffer from Alopecia or growing my hair out from chemotherapy?

Great way to make me feel welcomed to the body of Christ. (sarcasm)

Because when we offend people over stuff like this, it’s not the church or pastor that gets the bad rap. It’s Jesus.

It is difficult to separate between the works of man (read: people who are “working” in the name of Jesus) from the redemptive works of Jesus because for so many, those entities are one in the same.

So, if you offend me, pastor, for wearing my weave — I’m mad at more than just YOU, I’m mad at Jesus/the Christian faith.

And you will have to answer for that person leaving the faith or never coming to Jesus over a 22″ Remy.

You see how petty that is?

I don’t wanna have to answer for turning someone away from an opportunity to receive or live for Christ because I’m nitpicking the mundane. Nah.

But, I’m natural so I’m good with that pastuh. Hmph.

What do you think about this pastor’s demands? Is there any truth to his claims or is this another way to further divide the body of Christ? Post your thoughts below!

On the Chase,

Alisha L.

“He that Finds a Wife” Recap

Tonight I attended the “He that Finds a Wife” Relationship Symposium hosted by Praise 102.5 and Jack A. Daniels, the author of I Need a Wife: Where Are the Real Women? The panel consisted of men who were “marriage minded”, and, according to radio host KD Bowe, were “single, successful, ready to commit and emotionally stable.”

I took three pages of notes, jotting down the ideas and concepts expressed by the male panelists and audience members (which consisted of 100+ women and about 20 or so men) and here are the things I heard:

  • Most important thing in a relationship? Self awareness.
  • You don’t have to understand all men or women — just the one you’re with.
  • Men have a hard time making decisions. We live in a time where there’s such an influx of information and decisions, that it makes it harder to decide. This idea was compared to a study conducted where consumers had to choose one type of jelly in a store. The more choices there were, the consumer only bought one.  The fewer choices there were, the consumer not only chose faster, but bought more jars of jelly.
  • 1,000 men were interviewed for Daniels’ book and one of the number one things the men said they wanted was for a woman to “celebrate them and not tolerate them.” (at this point, women in the audience were saying, “WE DO TOO!”)
  • Build relationships one step at a time, don’t give everything up at once.
  • Men don’t like to approach women because when women are in big groups, it’s hard to have a conversation because of the pressure to impress the woman he’s interested in and her friends.
  • Women should smile more. It makes us more approachable.
  • Women should NOT approach men. Men want to hunt and catch.

Um. I think that was it. I’ll let y’all decipher through that on your own. >.<

Now, let me address some things:

The absence of men at this discussion was disheartening BECAUSE this initiative was created by, promoted by, and purposed to be a forum for men to share their views. As I mentioned on Facebook, the absence of men here was very indicative of their absence in other places, but that’s a conversation for another time.

In addition, when the men tried to share their perspectives, some women in the audience  groaned and moaned about their dislikes, and tit-for-tat “y’all do that too!” complaints. This is why our discussions on relationships go nowhere; someone is always trying to one-up their counterpart to prove a point. Let the men have their space to share their views. Listen.

Finally, and probably most importantly, this was a room of “believers”, an event hosted by a Christian radio station and there was not one iota about God’s purpose and design for dating — the only man who hit on this was J. White, the motivational speaker/tap dancer/author whose words were poignant, spirit filled, and reflective of what we really should have discussed at length: knowing who you are in God.

I addressed the idea of purpose and relationships on my blog already, so I wont go into that. But what believers need to know and remember is that you can’t expect to get God like results (“He who findeth a wife finds a good thing…”) with worldly standards and expectations (“let’s play reindeer games until someone just gives in and I settle for you…”). You’ll never get God results that way.

Yes, there should be natural application to our day-to-day experiences, but when you’re talking about finding the ONE for you, that’s a result of divine intervention. It’s not wrapped up in the games, the theories, or the in the pages of Essence or KING Magazine.

I wanted to hear something different. I wanted to really delve in to how believers were applying their knowledge to seek God about their own lives and the process they’re using to filter through who’s worth your time and who isn’t. We just threw the darts of accusation back and forth until time ran out.

We did have a chance to mix and mingle (but you could image how that went with a 15-1 women to men ratio)  and I met some really cool people. I also met a young lady who is coming to visit my church this Friday. I think I sealed the deal when I sang impromptu style in the middle of the hallway at Paschal’s. Ha!

I’d like to hear from you guys — as a Christian, how does dating work for you? Do you find yourself stuck in the rut of doing things the world’s way or do you try to really seek God about who you date and what kinds of interactions you have with men/women? Do you think we over think the dating process?

On the Chase,

Alisha L.

Bey + Jay vs. Keisha + RayRay

Last night, Twitter was all the buzz over Beyonce’s silent announcement that she was with child (yay!) Before you knew it, three Twitter accounts, all claiming to be the fetus of Bey-Z began tweeting out quirky little comments that kept The Twitter a buzz late into the night.

Back in the real world, however, Tweets and Facebook status began ringing of an old familiar battle cry amongst men and women.

Here’s a taste: Continue reading

Fear Factor, Follow After.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to talk to a good guy friend of mine about how often he sees women asking God for a “God-fearing man.”

We’re all guilty of that, I know a “God-fearing man (GFM) is on my list of wants in a future husband. My friend, let’s call him Richie, said that women should be on the lookout for a “God following man.”

Of course, I wanted to know the difference. Here’s what he said:  Continue reading

Wait. Work. Repeat.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Familiar directions we see on the back of shampoo and Woolite® bottles. They give us directives that if the first time you’ve washed isn’t enough to get the result you want, you rinse off, and start again. The end result, regardless of the number of times you’ve had to wash, rinse, and repeat is exactly what you want: squeaky clean hair or a really good smelling silk shirt.

When it comes to life and the desires of our heart, we have to have the same tenacity but instead we should wait, work, repeat.

Wait…

We are to wait on God. There are things that He wants us to do, to accomplish, prior to receiving what it is that we want. Many times we believe that a delay in receiving what we want equates to denial when in actuality it is simply God giving us enough time to prepare ourselves to receive what it is that we desire. God is not your random Joe-blow type of dude; if He gives you something it won’t be exactly what you want—it will be more than you could have ever asked for. If you were only prepared to receive a “job that pays the bills” and he was planning to give you a “job that paid the bills, mama’s bills, enough to save away for a rainy day, and feed your shoe habit” then your virtual “space” isn’t ready or big enough to receive what He wants to give you.

Waiting requires two things to occur: a passive and active response. We are passive in nature because we have the innate belief that whatever we are waiting on will occur. (That is what we’ve been taught that faith is) We are active in nature because… oh, you didn’t know you had to be active while waiting? See, there’s that “missing piece”….

Work…

James 2:20 “…faith without works is dead.”

In every instance where God did something miraculous on the behalf of someone else, it was because they did something while waiting. Whether that was praying (Paul), offering up a child sacrifice (Abraham), searching for a new apartment with no job, creating lesson plans when there was no promise of a teaching contract, actively engaging a husband in “pro-creation” when the doctors said the uterus was too damaged to conceive, are all examples of puttin’ that work in while waiting for God. Faith, as we know it, is some kind of mystical force that seems to work if we think hard enough.

**FlAsHbAcK!**
Remember as a kid when your friends would say, “if you stare at someone long enough, and think really hard about them and say their name in your head, they will eventually turn around and look at you!” Remember that? I do…

That’s what we believe that faith is. We don’t have to do anything but think about it, quote bible verses about it, and just twiddle our thumbs and wait for God to make a move.

Epic Fail!

This thing takes work. It takes you putting action to what you say you believe even when you don’t have a concrete plan or nothing is seemingly going your way. What you do, if anything at all, is a direct reflection of where your faith is! It doesn’t matter how many scriptures you know, if you don’t put that Word into action, then your faith, in essence, is dead.

The chair you’re sitting in right now. Look at it. Touch it. Real, isn’t it? When you came to sit down at the computer, you didn’t look at the chair and say, “oh my, I really want to take a seat, but I don’t know if I should. Maybe I’ll sit next to it, pray that God will give me the chair to sit in, and see what happens.”

Epic Fail!

You look it, know that you need/want to take a seat and you do it. Period. That’s the work. The FAITH comes in when you sit and realize that it’s supporting your weight without buckling. J (I pray the prayer of faith every time I take a seat in my chair, please believe that! Ha!)

Repeat…

Humans are creatures of habit and we can and will repeat the same things over and over with no complaint. It is when we repeat those things that we have purposely said or done for the benefit of ourselves or others and they (or us) are not getting what it is we intended for.

We grow weary as we “wait” and “work” because we hate repeating ourselves. When you’re talking to Big Mama with the bad telephone connection, no matter how much you love her, you loathe having to repeat yourself so many times because she can’t hear you! We do not want to repeat anything we’ve said or done with purpose because it simply annoys the heck out of us. Unfortunately, God could care less whether or not we become annoyed with His purpose, because even while we “wait” and “work”, we are to be “learning” and “growing”.

Sometimes we may be called to repeat a moment in our life, but…

…Don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Galatians 6:9, NLT

The moral of the story today is:

Wait. Work. Repeat.

Say it with me: Wait. Work. Repeat.

Blast it on your Facebook! Wait. Work. Repeat.

Let it spread like wildfire! Wait. Work. Repeat.

Wait. Work. Repeat. Are you ready?

Go!