My Family Fantastic

Creating Experiences That Help Relationships Thrive

Can a Black Family Live Happily Every After?

Black FamilyA few years ago, I had almost given up hope on black marriages and the idea of a black family. I witnessed two of my cousins go through tragic divorces.

And the only happy couples I knew were my parents and my best friend’s parents. But, they were both in their late fifties.

Two things happened that changed my perspective.

First, I moved to Washington, D.C. and lived with the Ables family (I shared a bit about them a few weeks ago). Second, I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my Ghanaian friend and learned about the strength of African families.

The Ables Family

The Ables Family

Living with the Ables gave me a front row seat to a thriving, loving, family. Bill, the husband, would call his wife on the way home from work to ask if she needed anything from the store. Linda, a former eye doctor that gave up her career to be a full-time mom, would coordinate her outings with friends around Bill’s schedule.

But, it wasn’t that they were trying to control each other.

It was that they genuinely loved one another, loved their boys, and did their best to support each other. Bill and Linda will celebrate 18 years of marriage in November.

And I think the keys to their success are: prayer and putting each other first. Since we’re celebrating Father’s Day this month, I asked Bill to share what he loves about being a dad and he said:

“The best part about being a dad for me is seeing how God has uniquely designed each one of my children, with their own distinct personalities. Yet, in each one, I can always find some characteristic or trait that reminds me of myself.

I have 4 boys ranging from 10 to 26 and I love the male bonding time when we throw the football, play basketball, box, wrestle, or just simply cuddle up together on the couch to watch a game.  I love it when they surprise me by repeating or applying something that I’ve told or taught them in the past but wasn’t sure if they got the lesson.  I love nurturing and seeing their gifts develop.”

Doesn’t that just warm your heart?

The second event that changed my perspective was celebrating New Year’s Eve at an African church. My Ghanaian-American friend invited me to her church and a New Year’s breakfast.

And after the service, I found myself surrounded by 4 or 5 young married couples that looked just like me. They were talking about African courting traditions, marrying traditions, and traditions for new babies in their community. There was no drama, and everyone was just sitting there talking and laughing.

I soaked up every minute of that early morning. Because I was surrounded by young, married, black families, and just being around them gave me hope in my future.

Seven years later, I’m reaping the benefits being around people like the Ables. And I’m now surrounded by thriving black families at my church.

So, my answer is yes. Yes, black marriages and families can live happily ever after. So don’t give up hope.

Black love still thrives. The Ables family and many other young families are proof…sometimes you just have to look for them.

Love, Simone

 

 

9 Comments

  1. It’s so easy to give into the hype portrayed on television, in the media and even in our own backyards and start to think that happily ever after is an illusion. Not just for Black people, but for anybody. Like you, we have have to make a conscious decision to focus on the positive and surround ourselves with examples of imperfect couples committed to loving and sharing life with each other. Thanks for the the reminder Simone!
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    • Simone

      June 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Oh my goodness…the influence of media is such a HUGE part of it for everyone. Have you seen some of the new shows for the ABC Family line-up?! I really wish they’d just drop the family part of their name and go with something like ABC Foolishness. Or something along that line.

      You are right, we have to be intentional about surrounding ourselves with examples. It’s one of the reasons I love my churches so much. There I’m surrounded with couples that are committed to each other, despite their imperfections. At my new church, the pastor and his wife pray and hold hands together during the benediction…and it just means the world to me.

  2. This is a really lovely post. Speaking of media, I grew up wanting to be a part of or start a family like the Huxtables or the Winslows. You just don’t see that as much as anymore? Why?

    • Simone

      June 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Lidy! Omigoodness, the Winslows and the Huxtables were my favorite favorite TV families. And to my knowledge, they were really popular shows…I’m not sure why they ever ended. Maybe it has something to do with the rise of reality TV…which saddens me.

      Whenever, I get my meeting with Shonda Rhimes or Oprah I’m going to ask them ‘can we bring back wholesomeness?’

  3. Very encouraging! The struggle I have is being the first generation to wait on God’s best. There arent any examples around me except a few older couples who cant relate to my current challenges. I get encouraged from others’ stories online. Tx for sharing!!

    • Simone

      June 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      I’m so glad it encouraged you, Nicole!

      It is soooo hard to have faith, when there aren’t any examples around. And I think that’s a part of our enemy’s plan, to make us think its not EVEN possible and to make our hearts weak. You are standing so strong, though. And, people -including me!- are being blessed my your steadfastness.

      I’m sure you know this verse, but I want to share it again. Jesus says in John 10:10 that “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. And, that’s what we see happening with families. But the Lord is raising up people that are fighting to see the restoration of families and I am THRILLED you’ve found encouragement online.

      Love you, Sis.

      • thanks so much! i will remember that verse!

      • Hi I am a young man who loves God and I have a family. My wife and I got to know each other in church. We were and are still in Anglican Church but different parishes. I love my wife so much. However we rushed into intercourse and had our first born. Since then the reality of the world and Gods word hit me hard in the heart and if there is one thing I have always desired is to make it right with God. I have always told my wife all that and she confessed being in it with me in it. All along we started doing the right procedures. We visited her people and did the right thing ( paid dowry and asked them to bless our marriage) . Since then we have been working towards solemnizing the marriage. Early this year God enabled us to do so. I am however surprised that my wife is opting out of the marriage. I am not sure what to do. i feel like running away from myself. that I cannot do. I mean , I cannot even get the strength to pray. she is so different now after all these 12 years knowing one another. We have a 5 yr old daughter and a 1 1/2 yr old son. why is this happening to us ?why at this time?

        • Simone

          July 1, 2015 at 4:13 am

          Dear Benji that is such a hard question and one that I often wrestle with when facing different struggles. I don’t know the answer to “why is this happening” or “why at this time/” I do know this,though, in John 10:10 Jesus says that “The thief cometh, but to steal, kill, and destroy but I came that you may have life and it more abundantly.” And that’s what our enemy is trying to do with families and marriages all over the globe…destroy them.

          I would encourage you to pray and fast for your wife and children. Sometimes the mountains in our live we are facing can only be handled through prayer and fasting…Jesus talks about that in Matthew 17. From your comment, it seems that you want to do everything in your power to reconcile your family. Continue to be strong and courageous. I’m praying for you and your family my, Brother. May God bless you all and thank you SO much for visiting the blog.

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