June is Black Music Month! To celebrate, each of our EmpowerMoments will be based on Black music for the entire month. This includes Black songwriters, producers or performers. Stay tuned as we use various genres of Black music to tell our stories and exemplify the beauty of God’s love! He can be found virtually anywhere if we earnestly look for Him and listen intently! Happy Black Music Month! Dance as if no one is watching!
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 KJV)
He was funny, had a little bit of change in his pocket, handsome and absolutely crazy about me. This is what made me stay, for four years. The year was 199something and I was a senior in high school. I met him at work. We laughed so much that I cried every time I spoke with him, and on top of that, he was interested in me. We became an item and started dating…seriously. I just knew this relationship was meant to be. I was close to his mom and dad and he was close to my mom and brother. We had very strong chemistry, and we could literally laugh and talk for hours. As our relationship progressed, I found myself compromising a lot of things like obedience to my mom. I never had a curfew, mainly because she trusted me and I didn’t go out too often. When I did, she knew where I was going, so we never did the curfew thing. Well, while dating him I took advantage of that. We would hang out all night long, with his friends of course, sometimes until the break of the new day. In my heart I knew I was wrong for disrespecting my mother, but we had so much fun that I sacrificed it. I compromised my growth in Christ. He was a believer, but not a believer that wanted to be active in the kingdom or grow. I knew at a young age that there was a calling over my life, but I allowed this fun relationship to keep me sitting on the fence; I was lukewarm. I graduated high school and went to college four hours away. I recall fights and arguments about him coming to visit me, of which he did twice out of four years with one being graduation, and usually resulting in me traveling back home to be with him. This went on for four long years…but I thought I knew what love was and I thought I loved him.
At one point I started to wonder if he really loved me. We were together for a long time, marriage was in my mind and when I would bring it up he would always assure me that I was the one. I made the mistake (I’m being sarcastic) of linking up with a gospel choir that led me to a church home in my college town. Between those two “families” my knowledge and power for the Lord grew, it sky rocketed. I kept wondering, why I was the one doing all the work. So what, I’m the one that moved away (which was always his response), if he loved me like he said he did, I wouldn’t have to beg for that. I started learning that love was an action, not a verbal proclamation. I learned that Christians date with the intent to marry…not to just “hook up.” The choir and my new church kept feeding me these copious amounts of knowledge and examples of how to “tap” in to God. The realizations started hitting me like thunder and the first realization was that if this guy was really “that into me”, I wouldn’t have to “wonder” if we were serious or not. If he really wanted to have me for eternity, he would have not encouraged me to compromise many of my beliefs and family standards, but I kept getting distracted by how cute we looked together, how funny he was, and how cool his car looked (how large and shiny his rims were) and so on. But I failed to realize that none of those things could sustain me.
Looking back at it, the signs that he was just not that into me were alarming!! They were LOUD, but I muffled them by my infatuation for him. See, I never ever forgot what God told me when I first spoke with this young man on the phone. He said in these exact words, “Don’t make him your boyfriend.” I ignored it, and because of that, God had to take me the long way to my destiny. The fact that he never visited me in college was not enough. The fact that he made jokes about my involvement with church did not deter me. The fact that he encouraged me to do things that compromised who I was and to disrespect my mother did not sway me. The fact that he was not interested in being committed to me through marriage was not enough to convince me that he was NOT it! Now don’t get me wrong, he is a great guy…for someone else, but not for me. I wanted it so bad that I missed the signals and started getting upset that our relationship wasn’t going anywhere. Later I realized, if he really was that in to me, “he would have put a ring on it!”
I had to stop fooling myself into believing that his smile and laughter, his loving family and the way that he literally adored me was enough to sustain the relationship that God had for me. Our relationship was one sided. I did all of the traveling and the compromising. I was so in to him that I compromised who I was in Christ.
It is amazing how You are able to orchestrate every event in our lives to satisfy one common goal, the goals and plans You have for us. It is my prayer that we as women, single and married, are able to see that which is not of You and come to realize the plans You have for us. Teach us, oh God, how to listen and hear You, to have discernment about spiritual matters and to not compromise our relationship with You over anyone! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to be EMPOWERED. This EmpowerMoment is not written to make you end your long term relationships but to remain aware if these relationships are causing you to compromise your relationship with God, then that isn’t a healthy relationship. Also, keep in mind, never place your man in a situation where he has no reason to buy the cow since the milk is free! You are God’s daughter, virtuous, loved and beautiful, and the man who realizes it will not make you compromise who you are.
I wish this song came out while I was dating, possibly I would have met my husband sooner. Listen to Beyonce’s “Put a Ring on It” and understand that this message is not all about men and dating, but also about being committed to what you do. Get off the fence and if you like it, put a ring on it! Validate what’s going on around you.
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Her passion is mentoring young women and marriage empowerment. She resides in Orange Beach, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are members of New Beginnings Christian Center in Foley, AL.