The very first time I heard this song, the beauty of it brought me to tears. It seemed Sade Adu had managed to perfectly verbalize exactly how I feel about my husband, Mykel Mitchell. Throughout the 14 wonderful years that we have been married, we have endured our share of suffering and reveled in our share of triumphs. My, how quickly the time has flown. We have had so much fun. Even in the difficult times, everyday was an adventure. One thing has never changed. I am on Mykel Mitchell’s team! I have always wanted that man, my man to win. To that end, once I learned what God intended my role to be in marriage, I have sought to live it out daily – especially when times were rough. I see so clearly now that Mykel Mitchell is more of who God created him to be, because I have endeavored to be a wife that makes God proud. That’s not bragging, that’s a fact. As I have learned to do married life God’s way, my husband has been free to develop into the husband, father, servant, mogul God has always meant for him to be. Our family has benefited immensely – me in particular. As a wife submitted to the man of God that my heavenly Father has placed over me, I experience the peace, joy, and purpose that God promises. He is God’s demonstration of grace and mercy in my life. I genuinely appreciate my black man.
I did not always feel this way. There was a time, namely in college, when by default, I did not even date black men. It wasn’t because I was not interested. It just so happened that the ones I found attractive didn’t feel the same way about me, while the ones who approached me were trouble. As it happened, the White guys on my campus were bolder and were more willing to pursue me. I have never understood it. So I had figured, based on my early college experience, that I would probably end up marrying a White man some day and have some little mixed babies. I did not give it much thought, mainly because I did not see much difference between dating an African-American or a Caucasian.
Then I befriended an older woman, who was divorced with two children. She was very pro-black in her approach to life, and she challenged my views on everything from my faith in Christ, to my dating experiences, to my choice in clothing. She constantly expressed her disappointment in my willingness to date outside of my race. She told me that I was a good black woman with many talents and gifts, and that somewhere out there existed a black man, who would cherish me for all that I had to offer. “Those White boys can’t appreciate you,” she would mutter. As an early 20-something, I half-listened to her probably half the time. “Yeah, yeah – okay. Are you ready to go yet?” was usually my response. But she kept talking. And I kept half-listening.
Then one day it happened. I experienced a cultural disconnect with my very White, privileged boyfriend from an affluent suburb in Michigan. A blatantly racist incident happened on campus, while he was traveling abroad. When we spoke about it over the phone, I expressed my outrage and disappointment. To my utter shock, he could not understand why I was upset. I don’t mean that he refused to understand. It was beyond his grasp to understand. To make matters worse, he went on to accuse the African-American community on my campus of overreacting and making the situation worse. After an agonizingly long conversation, after which we reached no comfortable resolution, a light bulb went on over my head. True, it was only 5 watts, but illumination is illumination. There before me was the difference between dating a White guy and a black man. A black man would have understood. On a most basic level, my White guy, who was a great guy, didn’t or couldn’t comprehend what it meant to be me in America. I knew that he, nor any like him, ever would – not really. That disconnect for me was a deal-breaker. I promised myself then that I’d date no more white guys. I’d go on to break that promise at least twice more in my lifetime before it took. But took it did.
Understand that I do not oppose interracial dating or interracial marriage. In fact, as a proponent of raciaI reconciliation, I believe that what man failed to accomplish race to race, God has accomplished face to face or person to person. Blacks and non-blacks coming together harmoniously is a truly good thing. Furthermore, I am convinced that whomever God has chosen is best. What I gained through my experience was an understanding of myself. I was not called to minister in the area of racial reconciliation through marriage. I learned that if Sheeri Mitchell was ever going to marry (and at that time in my life, it was a big “if”) I knew that I would need to marry a black, Christian man. I knew that whomever he was, he needed to be exceptional, because I could not tolerate being married to someone I did not both love and admire. So I began to pray. Then a funny thing happened. Black men began coming out of the wood work, from all walks of life. From doctors and attorneys to grocery store clerks, it seemed I escaped the attention of none. I dated a few. But as my focus became narrower and narrower, the substance of whom I desired – or rather, whom the Lord desired for me, came into focus. And without yet knowing his identity, I began to ask God for Mykel Mitchell. The rest is history.
Why do I share this with you? Like everything else I write, the purpose of this article is to encourage you. Black Brothers, please understand that many black women feel exactly as I do. No matter how the media portrays you, we know that you are wonderful, kingly, men, who deserve to be honored everyday, and appreciated for the unique individuals that you were created to be – even if your behavior is lacking at the moment. We know our society does not fully appreciate you. But in general we black women do. And in particular, the woman God has hand-picked for you does as well.
If you are one of those black men, who loves black women, but has given up on us, I implore you, please persevere. Remember, it is your job to pursue. “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22) If God has given you a woman (whatever race she is) who shares the emotions expressed by Sade in the video above, hold on to her and cherish her. If you are still searching, continue your search. She is out there. She just may not know it. Many of your sisters have been abused to the point of bitterness. We will require tender-loving care. Some of us have been brain-washed by feminism. We require patience. Some of us have been victims of the “sexual revolution.” We will have to learn to respect ourselves again – and you may have to teach us, by among other things, refusing to sleep with us outside of marriage. Some of us have been worn down by the burdens of this life. God may use you to refresh us. But know this, we are worth the investment, and well worth the wait. I do not stand alone in this sentiment: Black Brothers, we, your Black Sisters, not only love and appreciate you, but we need you as well. Enjoy the video and have a great day.