ESSENCE.com's Black and Married With Kids bloggers, Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, present a letter from one of their readers who ask how our relationship to our church has affected our relationship to our spouses.
Every now and then when we have a hot topic on our main blog we'll bring it here to ESSENCE.com. This piece, written by BMWK contributor Harriet Hairston received a lot of comments on our site. Check it out. Please allow me to caveat this article with the following disclaimer: this is not an attack on churches. It is a real discussion about how some individuals view church, and thus cause what God created as beautiful to turn into a monstrosity. I love the Lord and His people. This article is not designed to discourage anyone from attending and serving in church. That said: Sometimes I wonder if church is all it's cracked up to be. Don't get me wrong: I was raised in the church. Both my husband and I are in love with Jesus Christ, and our marriage is centered around Him. Yet there was a skewed balance for a time that almost tore our marriage apart. The "church" was the other woman that disrupted my time with my husband. It was the sugar daddy that fed into my need for attention and affection. We were both heavily involved in ministry, from music to teaching; small groups to street ministry...we did it all. But home was a mess! We could barely stand one another's company because of the twisted mindset we had towards ministry:
- We felt like above our tithe, most of our money was supposed to go to the needs of the church.
- If we had a date or family time planned out, and a last minute, poorly planned church project came up, we would drop everything to attend so as to be thought of as "faithful."
- We were more devoted to our relationships with our pastors and leaders than we were to growth in our relationship with one another.