Marcia Dixon MBE has just published her debut book, Black, Christian and Single. She shares the inspiration behind its publication and the impact she hopes it will have on the Church
For as long as I can remember — over many decades — the large number of single women in Britain’s Black Pentecostal churches has been a major talking point, mainly because they’ve found it difficult to find partners who share their faith.
Throughout my career as a writer and journalist, I have covered this issue many times – partly because I am currently single myself — but also because, over the years, I have received numerous correspondence from Christian women sharing the challenges they’ve experienced finding a like-minded partner. They have also spoken about dealing with their sexual desires and asked for advice on coping with the emotional pain and disappointment that can accompany singleness, especially when an individual is desirous of marriage and children.
To be fair, the issue of singleness is a talking point throughout the Black diaspora in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. And it’s a topic that impacts women of all ages.In fact, whenever single women get together, all the above — and more — are likely to be subjects for discussion. This has been true for me whenever I broach the topic on my social media platforms, especially Facebook. I put up posts about a wide range of issues, but my posts about relationships, marriage, singleness and finding a partner tend to generate the greatest interest, comment and engagement.
Of course, there are singles who just love their life and welcome the opportunity to serve God without the responsibilities of a spouse and children, but there are those who find the single life wearisome, depressing and unending. So… after years of being encouraged to write my own book I decided to produce one exploring this topical subject. Black, Christian and Single is the result.
I thought the best way to broach this topic was to ask believers of all ages — millennials, middle-aged and mature — who are either single themselves; minister to singles; or pastor singles, to write essays on various facets of the single experience. I would venture to say this book is the first of its kind to collate the writings of Black Christians here in the UK on the issue.
Black, Christian and Single touches on various aspects of singleness that are common to all singles, such as dealing with sexual temptation; online dating; being divorced and single in the Church; as well as provide insights on running a singles’ ministry. It also looks at some of the reasons for the large proportion of singles, and one pastor has shared how he dealt with the issue of ‘enforced singleness’ in his congregation.
There are numerous individuals in our churches who provide a listening ear and a comforting shoulder for people — mainly women — to cry on whenever they feel overwhelmed or depressed by their single status. There are also individuals, who, fed up with following the church mantra to “Wait on God” for a spouse, leave the church to find the love and have the family they desire.
The writers touch on some of these scenarios, as well as highlight how, in spite of the disappointment of not achieving a long-held dream to get married, Christians can remain faithful in serving God and sharing a gospel message.
Dr Carol Tomlin has written the foreword for the book, and contributors are A A Jones, Andrea Best, Andrina Davis, Cherlene Wilson, Ganel Simms, Joan St Louis, Jeuanita Swaby, Joy Adams, Ola Nubi, Pastor Dave Daniels, Roney Henderson, Shermara Fletcher, Shenelle Markland, Theresa Beckles and Zina Arinze. All are Christians and are involved in church.
Black, Christian and Single has several aims. One is to start a comprehensive, large-scale conversation on an issue that is heartfelt by many and also explore potential solutions. Also, as a by-product of that discussion, it’s my hope the Church will revisit how Christian men and women relate to each other; the importance of unity between the genders; the key role of marriage in building resilient, prosperous communities; and how the Church can effectively reach men with the Gospel.
More than anything, however, I want Black, Christian and Single to increase understanding about the life and experience of single Christians; give hope and healing to singles discouraged by their status; and serve as a reminder that life is always worth living whatever one’s marital status – especially when God is one’s focus.
Black, Christian and Single is £12.99 and will be available for purchase on Amazon