She Doesn’t Have To Go To Church With Me
For the past couple of weeks, I have been getting a lot of questions from readers about where I stand on the role religion plays in relationships. Some folks ask me if I think people from two different faiths can make it work, others ask me if I’m a believer in the idea that a couple who prays together, stays together; even the importance of being equally yolked has popped up in my Formspring. All of these questions are good ones, for which I don’t have a straightforward answer.
The way I see it, the way I always have seen relationships, is akin to the separation of church and state. And I guess, that is an answer in and of itself, so I can’t say my stance is entirely indifferent. As a matter of fact, I suppose much like non-believing is a belief, my doesn’t-matter philosophy is a point of view to which I subscribe on the whole religion/relationships issue.
As the title of this post points out, when it comes to something like going to church on Sundays, my woman can join me, or she doesn’t have to at all. If she wants to sleep in, I’ll keep it quiet while I get ready. If she wants to get some brunch with her girls, while I go get some good word, fine too. Sometimes, I even enjoy a Wednesday service. Again, if my woman has other plans, she’s more than welcome to stick to those plans, especially if those plans were something like cooking dinner. I would never tell my woman, “Don’t cook dinner for me, come to church with me instead.”
The thing is, church is important to me. I think the reason I can’t see myself putting any pressure on a woman I’m dating to go to church with me is because it’s something I feel is deeply personal and something we should do for ourselves. I genuinely enjoy going to church most times. It feeds my soul, and allows me to focus on this blessed life I live. As I have said before, church is my spiritual and mental gym, it’s where I go to get my heart and mind right after both have been taken through the ringer six days out of the week.
It should be said, I always extend an invite for a woman to attend church with me on Sundays, but it’s always optional and never a loaded invite. I don’t care if she chooses not to go with me, but I think some women care that I don’t care if they don’t attend, or maybe not care, but they’re definitely surprised.
One time, a woman wanted to come over to my place after partying until 4 a.m. on Saturday night. I was already home, asleep. When she called and asked if she could come over, I said it’s fine with me but I plan on going to 9 o’clock service, which was five hours from the time she was calling. She didn’t pay the time much mind, said she would come over anyway, and so 20 minutes later, she was my door in her club clothes. We did what she came over to do and fell asleep. A couple of hours later, my alarm went off, and I began to get ready for church as I planned. Was I tired? Absolutely. The bed was definitely warmer than whatever temperature was outside of my window, and of course the woman who was in my bed was tempting to just lay next to. But I wasn’t about to miss church, not to just sleep in.
I let my guest sleep as I threw on my suit and ate a bowl of cereal. Then when it was ready to go I woke her up. Half-sleep, she turned her head, looked me up and down, and said, “You’re seriously going to church?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I told you that last night.”
She then plopped her face back on the pillow the way we all do when we realize it’s time to get up and moaned something like, “I can’t believe you.” With attitude, she put on her clothes, and looked at me like I was about to praise Satan. “Don’t look at me like that,” I said. “I told you I was going to church.’ Now of course, I suppose I could have let her sleep in and stay in my place unattended for two hours, but I didn’t feel right about that, and I don’t even think she was upset because of that. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even suggest I could have let her sleep in, for which I was appreciative.
The two of us hopped in a cab, and I told the driver to make two stops. Awkwardly enough, the street my church was on, came before the street my company’s apartment was on, so I had to get out first. On the short drive to the block of my church (I thought it was weird to ask to be dropped off in front of the church), my friend said to me, “so you really are into church huh?”
“I mean, I am active about going,” I said. “But I’m not a Monday through Friday church goer, if that’s what you mean.”
“Oh okay,” she said. Then she chuckled.
“What?” I asked.
“Nothing, i just really can’t believe this is happening,” she said. “You got your church clothes on, and I’m in my walk of shame clothes.”
“No shame,” I said. “And no walk either, we’re in a cab.”
She game the death stare when I said that.
“Hey, it’s all good,” I said. “We’re cool. If you ever want to go to church with me, you can. I’m always down for friends going to church with me.”
The cab pulled up at the block where I was getting out, and I gave him cab fare to cover both my ride and hers. I leaned over to kiss her goodbye and said we would talk later. We stayed in touch for a long while after that day, matter of fact, I would say we’re still friends. even though never took me up on my invitation. But honestly, she never had to. I still go to church by myself, and I think I might prefer it that way.
The Process: What’s this I’m seeing? Muscles? Workout is working.
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