Welcome to Class 90 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society, working in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE Magazine bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men” and the national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Women.” My wife, Meriqua Whyte, and my eldest daughter, Daniella Whyte, co-authored “Letters to Young Black Women” with me. My daughter (who has two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and religion and a master’s degree in human services counseling—executive leadership and a second master’s degree in developmental psychology) and her mother, developed the Study Guide. We are using Letters to Young Black Women and its study guide to guide you through this course. This course is for all young women, but especially for young black women and young women of color who oftentimes face disadvantages that others do not. The goal of this class is to help you operate from a position of strength and power based upon the Word of God so you can be victorious in life. My prayer is that this class will empower you to win against your enemies: the devil, sorry men, and even yourself.
Today, we will continue our study, “HOW TO WIN AT RELATIONSHIPS (AND NEVER GET HURT)” (Letter Thirty-Two).
— First, Let’s Pray —
Allow me to begin with a quote from Henri Bergson. He said: “Think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.”
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read a portion of the corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:
Dear Daughters and YBW:
I trust that God is speaking to your heart through these letters. Today, I am writing to you about how to win at relationships and never get hurt. It never ceases to amaze me how many young ladies walk around with broken hearts and broken lives. I really believe that this does not have to be the case. I believe young ladies don’t have to walk around with their heads down, full of shame and guilt, depressed, bitter and full of negative attitudes toward every black man they see. I believe young women can be happy, cheerful, and victorious if they would simply apply the following in regard to relationships:
1. Don’t have many relationships in the first place. You don’t need to have fifteen boyfriends before you get married. Rachel in the Bible only had one, and she married him.
2. Never give a man your eyes; never give a man your heart; never give a man your body before you are married. I like the title of Big Boom’s new book, which is: If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs. You see, young ladies, it is very simple: if you don’t give a man anything, he has nothing over you, and you won’t get hurt. Now, he may be hurt that you didn’t let him have his way, but you can walk away with a smile on your face, a pep in your step, and a song on your lips.
3. Pray and meditate on the Bible. As I have said elsewhere in this book, “If you do the right thing, you will always be in the right place at the right time.” I like the umbrella illustration that Bill Gothard uses regarding the protection of God. If you obey the Word of God, you are under God’s umbrella of protection. If you don’t obey the Word of God, it’s going to rain on you.
4. Keep a strong relationship with your parents and siblings if you can. These relationships alone will keep you so busy that you will not have time to get into a relationship that is going to hurt you. The same thing goes for your church family. Find a good, Bible-believing, Christ-honoring church, and be faithful to its services and special meetings. It will be a great source of strength and protection for you in these last days.
5. Let the Lord be your constant “Partner.” Jesus Christ promises you that He “will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5b). Keep a strong fellowship with the Lord, and you will be so filled with Him that you will never have a hunger so deep that you would get into a bad relationship that could cause you hurt and pain.
Yours for Never Getting Hurt,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
“It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.” —Marcel Proust
“On the sands of life sorrow treads heavily, and leaves a print time cannot wash away.”
“Never let the hand you hold, hold you down.” —Author Unknown
BIBLE GEM: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” —Hebrews 13:4
TALK TO GOD: Holy Father, Give me wisdom and understanding in the relationships that I choose. Help me to always keep a great, fruitful, loving relationship with You, and to never forget that You are my constant Partner. Protect me from getting hurt and from falling into meaningless relationships. In Jesus’ magnificent name. Amen.
BOOK: Falling in Love with Jesus: Abandoning Yourself to the Greatest Romance of Your Life, by Dee Brestin & Kathy Troccoli
CHECK IT OUT: http://www.deebrestin.com
Fixate on your relationship with God above all others. Make Him your best friend by staying in constant communion with Him and you will never be alone. This is the #1 piece of advice that, if heeded, will prevent you from engaging in harmful relationships—romantic or otherwise. It is advice that cannot be stressed enough. Understand that no one cares for you like the Lord—not father or mother, sister or brother, or a good boyfriend or husband. No matter how much they love you within their human capacity, they can step out of your life at any moment through death. Now, as the Eurythmics sang in their 1983 hit song Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This): “Everybody’s looking for something; Some of them want to use you; Some of them want to get used by you; Some of them want to abuse you; Some of them want to be abused.” Daughters, your life is too precious and sacred to amass unnecessary heartbreak by selling yourself short by giving away your heart to somebody who only wants to use your body and perhaps even abuse your mental. Life is simply too short to limp through under the weight of losing relationships. With the Lord as your life “Partner”, you can live above the influence of this world full of users and abusers. For further encouragement, here are some quotes from Pastor Michael Todd’s book, Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex:
“[I]t’s important to see how our relationship with God should come first and above all other relationships. It’s the relationship, our ultimate relationship, and all blessings flow out of that relationship. In fact, one of those blessings is that He enables us to do our other relationships at their highest possible level. When we put God first, He’ll bless the rest.”
“If you wouldn’t marry the person, don’t go out with him.”
“[D]on’t go looking for others to give you what only God can—your purpose. Look only to God for that. And trust Him to bring people into your life who can push you ahead and whom you can push ahead in His plans.”
“Challenge [yourself] to take some time to really think about your individuality and your special calling in life as you’re praying and thinking about what you’re going to aim for in your relationships. … The truth is, having a goal without aim is senseless, but having a goal without God is pointless.”
“These are a few rules for the road so you don’t get in an accident on the journey. Set a curfew. Every date needs an ending time. Decide that one of you is always going to go home at midnight or whatever other time you agree on. What’s a no go for touch? Maybe it’s hugs that last longer than thirty seconds. Or French kissing. Or whatever. Know the triggers that could take you all the way to sex. What else would help? Maybe you’ll agree not to watch movies with sex scenes in them. Or not to send each other notes or texts that are too suggestive. A lot of couples agree to never chill in a horizontal position (lying down on a couch or bed), only in a vertical position.”
“‘Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people’ (verse 15). Your dating relationships should be able to shine. And that will make it easier for the whole rest of your relational life to shine too.”
“If you find a God-loving spouse who’s a good match for you, he can help you win the race of life God has put in front of you, and you can help him win his. But if the person you’re dating is consistently weighing you down or holding you back now, he’ll still be holding you back if you get married. Be patient and have grace, but if things don’t change, you’ve got to go—better to call it off sooner than later.”
In the next class, we will begin our study, “How Not to Become a Victim.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then, especially in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.