Class 79 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women

Welcome to Class 79 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, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN” (Letter Twenty-Four).

— First, Let’s Pray —

Allow me to begin with a quote from Lysa TerKeurst. She said: “Wise women tuck Godly wisdom into the words they speak and even more into the words they choose not to speak.”

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:

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In closing, I should mention the benefits of being a strong, toughminded woman, for they are numerous:

1. You can laugh at the devil because he can’t touch you.

2. You can laugh at dawggish men who mean you no good. No man will be able to tell his buddies that he had you, and that you ain’t about nothing.

3. You can get many wonderful things accomplished with your life before the age of twenty-four: things like getting your doctorate degree, starting a business, writing your first novel or non-fiction book, buying your first house, buying the car of your dreams, reading all of the classics, and the list could go on and on.

4. You can be a blessing to your parents instead of a burden.

5. You can save a whole lot of time and money.

6. You can travel around the world on missionary trips.

7. Along with your other degree, you can get a seminary degree to serve more effectively in your church.

8. You will never get hurt romantically by getting tied up with a man who God did not choose to be your husband in the first place. As you know, this can take up to three years, and sometimes even a lifetime to get over. What a colossal waste of valuable time.

9. You can avoid many aggravating day-to-day problems and troubles by being organized and having all your paperwork in order, including proof of insurance.

10. You can avoid the devastating consequences of lying. Sister, if people cannot trust you and your word, your life is doomed. The sad thing about it is that you won’t even know it because your employers and so-called friends won’t have the guts to check you on your lying. They will just silently take note of it, tell others about it, and never trust you again.

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6. Along with goals, do you have a plan to reach those goals as well as a plan for day-to-day life? As one popular quote states, “The dream is free but the hustle is sold separately.” Do you keep lists of what you have accomplished and of what you need to accomplish to move forward in life? Or do you wake up only to go through each precious day directionless and end each day empty-handed?
7. Do you seek out and heed godly advice and sound counsel from people who are older, more knowledgeable and more successful than you according to scriptural standards? Do you surround yourself with these types of people and actually listen to what they have to say or are you always the loudest in the room, your ears blocked to anyone outside of yourself? Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Above all, do you ask the Lord for wisdom or are you determined to do it your own way and make a mess of things?
8. Are you a liar? Have you complicated your life with drama and scandal due to deceit and manipulation or are you free from bondage in Christ living an upright life?
9. How is your mind and your mental state? Are you empty-headed, constantly feeding on social media gossip, trashy music, mystic self-help books and pointless tv shows? Or is your mind ever expanding, being filled with beneficial knowledge and other forms of positive content, bearing thoughts that are good and beautiful (Philippians 4:8)? How much of your mind is filled with meditations on scripture? Are you winning the battle of your mind by “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)?
10. Are you building up or tearing down your family and friends with your words and deeds? Denzel Washington said, “a wise woman knows the importance of speaking life into her man. If you love him: believe in him, encourage him and be his peace.” Even if you are not married, do those who spend the most time around you feel uplifted or low when they leave your presence?

Young ladies, time is precious. It is our most valuable commodity. You never know how much of it you have left and once it is gone it cannot be regained. Just like your mind, time is a powerful thing to waste. If you do not use it and fill it as you should, you will come to the end of your life full of regrets. Let me challenge you to adopt President Theodore Roosevelt’s approach to life: “Get action;” he stated, “do things; be sane [not silly-minded]; don’t fritter away your time; create; act; take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.”

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In the next class, we will continue our study, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN.”

—LET’S PRAY—

***

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.

Class 78 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women

Welcome to Class 78 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, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN” (Letter Twenty-Four).

— First, Let’s Pray —

Allow me to begin with a quote from Suze Orman. She said: “A wise woman recognizes when her life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it, she knows the meaning of true generosity, happiness is the reward for a life lived in harmony, with a courage and grace.”

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:

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Here’s how you can avoid being a silly-minded woman, and be a strongminded, virtuous woman instead:

First, be a woman of prayer. Pray about every little thing. The woman who prays allows God to direct her life. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6). Praying throughout the day will help you to be sober-minded and vigilant at all times. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).

Second, read and meditate on God’s Word. Allow God’s Word to speak to your heart and mind, and to guide you throughout the day. Also, let the Word of God remind you of your duties as a Christian.

Third, go through each day with a purpose. Each day you need to know what God wants you to do. Make sure that everything you do is centered around the purpose that God has for you in your life. Even taking time for a little rest and relaxation is a part of God’s purpose for your life.

Fourth, you must think for yourself. If the Holy Spirit and your conscience tells you that something is wrong, then it is wrong. Don’t be swayed by every wind of doctrine that enters the world. Don’t allow yourself to be blown away by every man who comes your way, and make sure that all of your decisions are based on the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the eternal Word of God.

Fifth, stay busy. Keep moving. Once you finish one task or goal, have another one ready to do. You know the old saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” Just because it is an old saying does not mean it is not true. Wherever you go, always have something with you on which to work. If you don’t want every Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to talk with you throughout the day, you must be a woman who looks like she is on the go, like she is on a mission, like she has things to do, people to see, and places to go. The strong-minded woman — the virtuous woman — is industrious. Notice what the Bible says about the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:13: “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

Sixth, be a woman who cares for other people, and who tries to meet the needs of suffering humanity. Having a caring heart for other people will keep you busy all by itself. The Bible says of the virtuous woman: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20).

Seventh, keep your mind occupied with positive things. The Bible says in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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As difficult as it may be to face the truth, stop and ask yourself the following questions to help in your analysis determining whether you are a woman whose life is characterized by silliness and foolishness or by God’s wisdom and His word:

Do you know your purpose in life? If so, are you walking in it? Have you been in communion with God long enough for Him to reveal at least an inkling of His purpose for your life to you?
Do you know what your passion is and what your interests are – that one thing or several things that you enjoy to the fullest in life? How are you maximizing your passion and interests?
Do you know what your gifts are? If so, are you being a good steward of the gifts God has given you by using them to the best of your ability to be a blessing to others or are you squandering them trying to be something you’re not or being nothing at all?
Do you have clarity in your life? Do you know your “why”? Do you have goals, and if so, are you pursuing them and achieving them or are putting them off and just dreaming but never realizing?
Are you organized or disorganized? Is your house and car a mess causing you to waste time by having to look for important things when issues arise? Are you constantly blindsided by avoidable problems, rendering your life a mess?

——————–

In the next class, we will continue our study, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN.”

—LET’S PRAY—

***

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.

Class 77 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women

Welcome to Class 77 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, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN” (Letter Twenty-Four).

— First, Let’s Pray —

Allow me to begin with a quote from Jim Rohn. He said: “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”

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:

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5. She is disorganized. She does not keep her house clean, she can never find important papers, she doesn’t have proof of insurance, and her car is a mess. Therefore, she wastes time looking for things.

6. She does not have a plan for the next day. Therefore, she is always shocked and surprised at things that happen to her. She is reactive instead of proactive. She does not make things happen; things constantly happen to her.

7. She does not live by lists. She does not realize the value of written lists, and that people who accomplish things in life operate from them. Therefore, her life is circular instead of straight forward.

8. She is rebellious and stubborn, and does not listen to sound counsel. The Bible says, “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing” (Proverbs 9:13). The consequence is she ends up ruining her life and wasting other people’s time.

9. She is a liar. She tries to lie her way out of the messes she gets herself in, thus putting herself in more bondage, not realizing that only the truth can set her free.

10. She does not keep her mind occupied with positive and good things. For example, she feeds on foolish novels and television shows, and when she has to wait in a doctor’s office, or wait for some other kind of appointment, she would rather look around at other people than read a book, thus wasting valuable time.

11. If she somehow gets married, instead of building her family and household up, she tears it down with her bad attitude, lying, rebelliousness, etc. The Bible refers to this when it says: “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1). Sisters, I can go further, but time and space would fail me.

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Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “silly” as “1. Weak in intellect; foolish; witless; destitute of ordinary strength of mind; simple; as a silly man; a silly child; 2. Proceeding from want of understanding or common judgment; characterized by weakness of folly; unwise; as silly thoughts; silly actions; a silly scheme; writings stupid or silly; 3. Weak; helpless.” While “silly” is an appropriate term used to describe young children or the playful actions of puppies, it is not fitting for an adult to be described as or seen as such by others—foolishly aimless and easy to take advantage of. Based on the definition provided and the characteristics shared in the chapter text, take some time to honestly examine yourself along with your life choices and see whether or not you are a silly-minded woman.

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In the next class, we will continue our study, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN.”

—LET’S PRAY—

***

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.

Class 76 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women

Welcome to Class 76 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 begin our study, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN” (Letter Twenty-Four).

— First, Let’s Pray —

Allow me to begin with a quote from Maya Angelou. She said: “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

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:

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Dear Daughters & YBW:

Notice what Paul says in II Timothy 3:6: “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.”

I know that I am going to make some folks angry by suggesting that there are some silly-minded women in the world. The fact of the matter, however, is that there are silly-minded women in this world, and my purpose in writing this letter to you is to encourage you not to be one of them.

Now, what do I mean when I use the term “silly-minded” women? I know that it is painful to talk about, but if you’ll be honest, you’ll probably admit to knowing some silly-minded women. A silly minded woman is a woman who is not known to be a thinker. She is a woman who is considered easy. Like Eve, she is easily deceived by the devil. She is easily tricked by cunning men. She is a woman who is not guided by absolutes, moral principles, or facts; rather, she is guided by her emotions and feelings only. Therefore, periodically, throughout her life, she gets herself into terrible messes with God, with men, with people on her job, and even with her children. She is a woman who is not characterized by prayer, thoughtfulness, positive action, soberness, and vigilance. She doesn’t keep her guard up in life. Therefore, she is constantly bombarded by people and things that keep her from fulfilling God’s purpose for her life. Obviously, the powerful verse found in I Peter 5:8 is not on her mind: “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Here are some further characteristics of a silly-minded woman:

1. She does not know her purpose in life. Therefore, she meanders through life not accomplishing anything worthwhile.

2. She does not know her passion in life. I am forever amazed at women, who even at the age of thirty-five, don’t know what their interests are, and don’t know what they like to do. They end up wasting half of their lives.

3. She does not know what her gifts are. At some point, it should dawn on you the gifts and talents of which God has endowed you. For example, if God has given you the ability to sing, then at some point you should realize that this is your gift to the world, and you should begin to use it to be a blessing to others. On the other hand, if your gift is not singing, at some point, you should realize that as well and stop irritating people. A woman who does not know her gift ends up wasting the talent with which God has blessed her.

4. She does not have clear direction in her life. In other words, her life is not going forward in a straight line. She has no goals, and if she does, she allows herself to get off track. For example, she may say, “I’m going back to college to finish my degree.” Then while she is in college, moving forward with her life, she’ll meet Tyrone, and before you know it, she’s pregnant and her life is off track again.

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As promised in our previous class, I will finish sharing with you today the marriage testimony of Ashley Graham from her memoir titled A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like. She continues:

So how did I finally know he was the one worth putting myself out there for? I brought Justin home to Nebraska. Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn’t grow up around many black people. The sum total of what I learned about African American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Underground Railroad. This was more than my mom knew; she didn’t even see a black person in real life until she was 18 years old.

I never told Justin any of this, and I never told my grandparents that the man I was bringing home was black. I naively hoped everyone would be color-blind—which is not what happened. When my grandparents met Justin, my grandmother was cordial but cold. She greeted him and immediately walked away. When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn’t even acknowledge him. Instead my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, “Tell that guy I said goodbye.”

I had never seen my loving, hardworking, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist. I was in shock.

After they left I took Justin on a ride to get out of the house. I’ll never forget what he said as we drove around town: “Racism is never surprising but always disappointing.”

Justin made me understand that someone like my grandma only saw black men depicted on television in situations involving guns, rape, and violence—situations that perpetuate racist stereotypes against black people in general and black men in particular. She had probably never looked a black man in the face, let alone had a conversation with him, and now one was in her daughter’s home, dating her granddaughter.

As if his understanding wasn’t generous enough, Justin called my grandmother on her sixtieth wedding anniversary. He’s not a texter or an emailer; he’s a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you ­person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him. Afterward Grandma called my mom and said, “You’ll never guess who called me.” And from then on out, she loved him. Loved him.

I’m so grateful that happened, and it never would have if ­Justin hadn’t put his hand out there. He always puts love before pride, which is what he did with me. When I was playing games, he called me out on it. When we began dating, he did it with intention, always asking the difficult questions: “What do you bring to this relationship?” and “What role do you see yourself in beyond girlfriend or wife?” I wasn’t always sure how to answer. I didn’t like my mom and dad’s marriage, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. But thanks to Justin’s constant communication, I envisioned a marriage that was more than just two people loving each other. And now we have that marriage: a partnership dedicated to building something bigger than ourselves.

At the time of this writing, Mrs. Graham and her husband Justin Ervin have been married for ten years and recently welcomed their first child. Let her testimony encourage you not to settle in your quest for a mate, if marriage is a desire God has placed in your heart. Let it inspire you to pray for a godly man to be your life partner, a man who will not lead you astray from the Lord’s way. With all of the dating apps and hook-up opportunities available in our world today, it is easy to pursue a guy you feel is your “type” but who only shows shallow, superficial interest in you by focusing on what you can do for him sexually. Instead of wondering if a potential mate is your “type”, the question at the forefront of your mind should be: ‘Is he “God’s type” of man? Is he a man after God’s own heart, seeking to please Him in every area of his life?’ For if he is, then your marriage together will be a blessed and enduring union and in the words of Ashley Graham ‘a partnership dedicated to building something bigger than yourselves’. This is what you truly want in marriage. If your date is not a godly man, then it is best for you to avoid marriage altogether. Understand that you do not need a man to make you whole. Even in your singlehood, with Christ as Lord of your life and ultimate Lover of your soul, you are whole. Do not make the mistake of marrying a man who will eventually tear you down and slaughter your sense of self-worth and purposefulness just for the sake of being with a man. Do not be silly-minded. Beware of the dawgs!

——————–

In the next class, we will continue our study, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN.”

—LET’S PRAY—

***

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.

Class 75 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women

Welcome to Class 75 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, “BEWARE OF THE DAWGS II (Who Let the Dawgs Out?)”.

— First, Let’s Pray —

Allow me to begin with a quote from T.D. Jakes. He said: “If you choose to get married, you should get married for the right reasons. Don’t give in to a desperate spirit that forces you to put up with someone less than what you would want. You could become stuck with someone immature and bear three little boys. Then you would have four little boys. That is no way to live. You need someone who has some shoulders and backbone. You need to marry someone who will hold you, help you, strengthen you, build you up, and be with you when the storms of life are raging. If you want a cute man, buy a photograph. If you want some help, marry a godly man.”

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:

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Irish Setter Dawg: Be very careful with the Irish Setter dawg because he is another lazy dawg — only he will run right for a little while giving you the appearance that he’s looking for a job, but then he will sit down on you, and you will be taking care of him. (Never take care of a man.) This is the dawg who likes to sit in your house all day with the remote control watching television while you are at work. Don’t let the Irish Setter sit down on you.

Pointer Dawg: This dawg likes to point at others. This dawg has a critical spirit. He loves to point at everybody else’s faults but his own. Watch this dawg, because he starts out well, and he seems as though he is helpful, but really he is out to break you down, and make you think that you are crazy, like he is some psychiatrist or something.

Daughters and YBW, there are many other dawgs out there, so watch carefully. I do not have the time or space to tell you about each of them specifically. I wish I did. However, if it walks like a dawg, if it smells like a dawg, and if it looks like a dawg, IT IS A DAWG. RUN!

Beware of the Dawgs!
Papa

P.T. (Power-Thoughts):

“God loves His girls.” —T.D. Jakes

BIBLE GEM: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” —Philippians 3:2

TALK TO GOD: Holy Father God, I pray that You would help me to watch out for men who don’t mean me any good. Protect me and give me wisdom and discernment in this area of my life. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

BOOK: Promises from God for Single Women, by T.D. Jakes

CHECK IT OUT: http://www.sbcoc.org (Pastor James Meeks has a sermon that deals with some other dawgs of which you need to be aware. Order the tape or CD from the aforementioned website.)

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As we conclude this chapter in our study, I want to share with you the testimony of a woman you might know. Her name is Ashley Graham and she is a popular fashion model and body positivity activist. In her memoir titled A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, Graham shares about meeting the godly man who became her husband. She writes:

Four months into our knowing each other, my now husband, Justin, said, “I really like you, and I really want to be your boyfriend. Will you be my girlfriend?” I said yes. But the truth is, I wasn’t sure. One reason: Our first kiss was terrible. (To this day Justin says I’m the worst kisser he ever met and that he had to teach me how to kiss.) But the real reason was more complicated and had to do with the cumulative effect of bad relationships I’d had over the years. Let me give you the backstory.

I started dating at 16. My first boyfriend and I were together for three months, until he said, “I have to break up with you because you won’t have sex with me. And I’m afraid you’re going to be as fat as my mom.” Thus started a pattern of going out with anyone who thought I was hot; I lost my virginity to a guy I barely knew because he gave me compliments like, “Ashley, you look really pretty today,” or, “I like when you wear your hair like that.” (The next day he ignored me in school.) When I left Nebraska to start my modeling career in New York City, my dates followed a similar pattern: A guy took me out, then we had sex, then I wouldn’t hear from him again.

Eventually I joined a church. I didn’t go there to find a boyfriend; I truly wasn’t looking for anyone other than the person I wanted to be. One Sunday my volunteer position was to stand in the elevator welcoming people, passing out candy and pushing the button to the eighth floor. When two tall men walked in, I didn’t bat an eye. One nudged the other and said, “If you don’t talk to her, I will.” His friend left the elevator, but he stayed on.

I shrugged. This guy wasn’t my type. With his short hair, ill-­fitting, baggy Old Navy jeans, white Hanes T-shirt, and Converse sneakers, he exuded a major nerd factor. But there was something sweet about Justin, and I was at church, so I had to be polite. He rode up and down with me a few times, and he seemed to be looking into my soul when we talked. He was smart and funny and had traveled the world. So I agreed to go out for coffee.

The day arrived, and we had a great time—until the check came. I went to the bathroom, and when I returned the check was still resting on the table with his half on top. “Here you go,” he said, handing me the bill. I paid my share of the $5.25 and thought, This is the last date. For a month Justin called, texted, and emailed, but I stuck to my guns. Finally he persuaded me to go out for falafel. “Let me explain,” he said. “I’m going to pay for dinner tonight. And I’m going to pay for the next dinner after that. When you told me you were a model, I assumed you were one of those beautiful women who uses guys for a fancy dinner. I don’t play that game. I do well for myself, and I’ve been burned because of it. I don’t want to go out with anyone who only has me around so I can pay for stuff.”

And just like that, I had my first experience of what it meant to communicate with a man. It was profound; all I wanted to do was keep talking to Justin. The consistency and openness was so new it felt weird. I told him this all the time: “You’re weird.”

My romance with Justin was innocent and sweet. He cooked for me. We went rollerblading and biking; we did karaoke, went to the movies, took an improv class together. Because we weren’t sleeping together—for Justin, abstinence was a firm commitment to his faith—we never tempted ourselves by going over to each other’s apartments late at night. But we’d go to late movies or take walks through the city together. We had a spot on 14th Street and Seventh Avenue where we loved to sit and chat.

Yet despite how wonderful everything was, I still kept part of myself in reserve. While Justin offered so much of himself through our conversations, I answered his probing questions with this: “If I know you in six months, I’ll tell you.”

So how did I finally know he was the one worth putting myself out there for? I brought Justin home to Nebraska. Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn’t grow up around many black people. The sum total of what I learned about African American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Underground Railroad. This was more than my mom knew; she didn’t even see a black person in real life until she was 18 years old.

I never told Justin any of this, and I never told my grandparents that the man I was bringing home was black. I naively hoped everyone would be color-blind—which is not what happened. When my grandparents met Justin, my grandmother was cordial but cold. She greeted him and immediately walked away. When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn’t even acknowledge him. Instead my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, “Tell that guy I said goodbye.”

I had never seen my loving, hardworking, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist. I was in shock.

After they left I took Justin on a ride to get out of the house. I’ll never forget what he said as we drove around town: “Racism is never surprising but always disappointing.”

Justin made me understand that someone like my grandma only saw black men depicted on television in situations involving guns, rape, and violence—situations that perpetuate racist stereotypes against black people in general and black men in particular. She had probably never looked a black man in the face, let alone had a conversation with him, and now one was in her daughter’s home, dating her granddaughter.

As if his understanding wasn’t generous enough, Justin called my grandmother on her sixtieth wedding anniversary. He’s not a texter or an emailer; he’s a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you ­person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him. Afterward Grandma called my mom and said, “You’ll never guess who called me.” And from then on out, she loved him. Loved him.

I’m so grateful that happened, and it never would have if ­Justin hadn’t put his hand out there. He always puts love before pride, which is what he did with me. When I was playing games, he called me out on it. When we began dating, he did it with intention, always asking the difficult questions: “What do you bring to this relationship?” and “What role do you see yourself in beyond girlfriend or wife?” I wasn’t always sure how to answer. I didn’t like my mom and dad’s marriage, but I couldn’t put my finger on why. But thanks to Justin’s constant communication, I envisioned a marriage that was more than just two people loving each other. And now we have that marriage: a partnership dedicated to building something bigger than ourselves.

At the time of this writing, Ashley Graham and her husband Justin Ervin have been married for ten years and recently welcomed their first child. Let her testimony encourage you not to settle in your quest for a mate, if marriage is a desire God has placed in your heart. Let it inspire you to pray for a godly man to be your life partner. With all of the dating apps and hook-up opportunities available in our world today, it is easy to pursue a guy you feel is “my type” but who only shows shallow, superficial interest in you and what you can do for him. Instead of wondering if a potential mate is your “type”, the question at the forefront of your mind should be: ‘Is he “God’s type” of man? Is he a man after God’s own heart?’ For if he is, then your marriage together will be a blessed and enduring union and in the words of Ashley Graham ‘a partnership dedicated to building something bigger than yourselves’. This is what you truly want in your marriage. If he is not a godly man, then it is best for you to avoid marriage altogether. Understand that you do not need a man to make you whole. Even in your singlehood, with Christ as Lord of your life and Lover of your soul, you are whole. Do not make the mistake of marrying a man who will eventually tear you down and slaughter your sense of self-worth just for the sake of being with a man. Beware of the dawgs!

——————–

In the next class, we will begin our study, “ON NOT BEING A SILLY-MINDED WOMAN.”

—LET’S PRAY—

***

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.