Black Relationships : Marriage--Rising To The Pro Ranks!

Mike Ramey

Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2002

Now, you didn’t think that your favorite syndicated columnist would let 2002 end without a little commentary on ‘The Bachelor’ and its rise to power on the TV airwaves.

Yes, brothers, this is what we in the journalism game call the ‘year ender’. That last ode to the old year, and a tip off as to what may be coming in the year ahead.

Frankly, the premise of that show is rather noble, and traditional when you get to the bottom line. A man has a desire to get married. He has more than a few women to select from to be his mate. He begins the weeding process, taking the time to get to know those women whom cross his path. Of course, the sisters ALL want to be number one on his hit parade, and they do what they can to become a Mrs. However, when the smoke clears, and he makes a decision as to who his wife will be, he picks THE one, puts a ring on her finger, and the two ride off into the sunset of wedded bliss.

Brothers, let me say up front. SHE does not do the asking, when it comes to marriage. WE are supposed to do the asking. Marriage is the ultimate act of accepting responsibility. It is also the maximum indicator of a man’s ability to make a decision. If you PICK right, the marriage will BE right.

However, to all the newlyweds--or soon-to-be newlyweds--in the house, let me hasten to add that marriage is NOT the end, but the beginning. As the two become one, HE discovers that he must continue to love and understand his wife, and SHE discovers that she must love and submit to her husband.

That is, IF the two truly want to be ONE, as God intended.


If I may use a sports analogy, everyone gets excited when a hot amateur athlete gets ready to go pro. Up to that point, the athlete is still ‘in training’, preparing for that day when they can reap financial compensation for years of preparation. Scouts swarm about. The press and the media are hoping for comments from coaches, trainers, and the like. When that athlete announces that he is going pro, and is going to sign with one team, all the other teams back off, and respect the decision that the athlete has made.

The same can be said for marriage. It is a formal march into out of the amateur ranks of dating and courtship, and into the professional ranks adulthood. One MAN and one WOMAN for life IS the standard, the ultimate, and the objective. Anything else, no matter what society may say, your friends may say, or what the two of you may feel is NOT a real, legitimate, or professional approach to the marriage relationship.


Brothers, stay with me, because now we start to climb the mountain.

When an amateur athlete announces their intention to become a professional, they are making a formal commitment to ‘rise above’ one standard of performance, and embrace the duties, responsibilities, and rules of a higher level of performance. Good or bad. Giving their all whether hurt, injured, or not. In victory or defeat. The athlete is taking a stand that will mark them above the other amateurs in their vocation.

Marriage is the same way. For, when our ‘Bachelor’ friend gets married, HE is saying, in a public fashion, that HE is ready to embrace the duties, responsibilities, and commitment to being married. He puts away his little black book and weekends on the golf course. When the woman he has chosen accepts being his wife, she is also coming out of the amateur ranks. She puts away running the clubs and endless hours on the phone with girlfriends. SHE is ready to embrace the duties, responsibilities, and commitment to being married.

Which also means pre-marital counseling to ensure a happy marriage.

The two no longer are amateurs in the relationship arena. They become one.


As any ‘pro’ knows, once the commitment is made, the real work begins, not ends!

More time is spent ‘learning’ the game. Following the advice of coaches, trainers, and other pros on the team. More time is spent learning the playbook. More time is spent on the field of battle in preparation for their chosen vocation. In short, for every one NBA player, or one CEO over a major corporation, there are at least one million amateurs who, for one reason or another, didn’t make the professional grade.

One reason can be tagged selfishness.

One reason can be tagged laziness.

One reason can be tagged fear.

Marriage is the mark of two people who want to be adults.

They no longer want to be considered amateurs in life.

Say what you may, but dating and courtship are the amateur ranks. That means living together; that means having children out of wedlock; that means being engaged for years, and years, and years is not the mark of a person who is serious about marriage. It is the mark of one who is NOT ready for the ‘big decision’.

Can I get an AMEN from the bleachers?


There are two requirements in the bedrock of marriage. Two marks of those ready to move from the amateur ranks to the professional ranks.

The requirements are submission and love.

For the wife, she must submit to, line up under the authority, and respect her OWN husband. If she has made the commitment to being a Christian woman, then she must submit to, line up under the authority, and respect her OWN husband as unto the Lord.

This is the professional requirement for a wife.

Over the years I have heard some women--even Christian women--say that they ‘can’t’ submit to their husbands. It’s been said on talk shows, spouted in newspaper articles, and written about in books. But I find it interesting that some of these same women will kill themselves for their college degree, obey bosses they don’t like for a paycheck, go to clubs with their friends, and migrate home every year when their families call. If a woman can submit to, line up under and respect friends, strangers, and acquaintances, and NOT do the same for a husband, then she should remain single, and stop crying about: “I can’t find a good man!”

Marriage is reserved for those women who want to rise above being amateurs.

Brothers, we are next on the examining table.

There is a requirement for the husband also.

He is to love ONLY his wife unconditionally, above everything--and everyone else. If a man has made the commitment to being a Christian man, then he is to love ONLY his wife unconditionally, above everything--and everyone else, as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it.

Over the years I have heard some men--even Christian men--say that they ‘can’t’ love their wives. They love sports. They love their little black book. They love the good life. They love their mothers. They love their careers. They love pleasure, and spend weekends at the club. Brothers, if a man can love everything--and everyone else, and not love their wife, then they should remain single, and stop crying about: “I can’t find a good woman.”

Marriage is reserved for those men who want to rise above being amateurs.

Yes, the old year is soon going to be gone. But the New Year is going to force some men and women to make a hard decision, as ‘The Bachelor’ has already left a mark on our social consciousness, as well as the TV ratings. Either go through life as a relationship amateur, or step up to the professional ranks and get married--IF you BOTH are ready for it, BOTH are going the same direction, and BOTH accept the requirements.

And have a truly Happy New Year!

MIKE RAMEY is the author of THE MANHOOD LINE. A monthly, syndicated column written for men, from a biblical, business, and common sense perspective. To correspond, drop email to ©2003 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications (2).


Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2001
under the sun

Firstly I found the topic and what you had to say interesting...

Correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that the requirements for marriage are as follows..

the woman...must..
submit (to her husband )
Is that to mean sexually or on every level?
line up under the authority (of her husband )
Is that to mean she is to obey his every wish and command?
respect her own ( husband )
Speaks for itself...

the man...must
love his wife unconditionally
This also speaks for itself...

To my way of thinking this sounds like an unfair balance of requirements for a happy longlasting marriage..

I think in this day and age a woman is entitled to expect the same from her husband as he expects from her...

Marriage is supposed to be a partnership...


Mike Ramey

Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2002
That's Why Marriage Is Not For Everyone!

Kitana, glad you buzzed in on this one...

Those are the reqirements for marriage, as set down in Ephesians Chapter 5, KJV for Christian married couples. And, the Bible has a LOT more to say on the matter in various places. In fact, one of the more interesting things about marriage as outlined in the scriptures is that if the husband doesn't treat his wife right HIS PRAYERS WILL BE HINDERED! Meaning, until he takes care of treating his wife right, God won't listen to the husband, until he makes it right with her.

Some brothers think that they can treat their wives any old way they want, and God will honor them. Nope, it don't work that way!

On the other hand, like I mentioned in the piece, she has to submit to him, as she is submitting unto the Lord. Meaning that she has to follow his leadership in the home. Now, if she don't want to; and especially if she don't want to be with him in a sexual fashion, then she need not marry...because, once married, the wife's body belongs to the husband, and the husband's body belongs to the wife. This is also in the scriptures.

Like I said, Its in the book. I'm just the paperboy. And, when you rest on the authority of Scripture, IT WORKS!

Mike Ramey


Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2001
under the sun

Not to be argumentative, but I take it you believe that these requirements are what is needed to make a good marriage and to make it work...

I, on the other hand do not believe, and therefore do not consider myself a good christian woman if I have to adhere by these rules to be a good wife...

I do not submit to my husband and he does not have any authority over my mind, my soul, or my body....I do respect him and I do love him, but I also work beside him, not for him, I gave life to his children, I take care of his home and our business, but I do this out of care and love, not because it's my duty...

to my of thinking, entering a marriage with so many conditions put down, would be negative to the union from the onset...loving unconditionally, means loving without conditions, yet all of these conditions are required by the male...a contradiction perhaps or hypocritical?..either way it's certainly not my idea of a great pre-nuptial agreement between two people who are supposed to spend the rest of their lives together..

just my thoughts....


Mike Ramey

Well-Known Member
Jul 26, 2002
Here It Is...

Kitana: Here are several passages on the matter as contained in Scirpture. I Corinthians, Chapter 7; I Timothy 3:16 and II Timothy 3:16 and 17; and I Peter, Chapter 3.

I know that you are not being argumentative. There are some folks who are Christians who have NOT been taught the fullness of the Scriptures. Husbands, as well as wives. But the matter of control of their respective bodies is on BOTH the husband and the wife:

I Corinthians 7:4--"The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife." (KJV--The Authorized Version).

In other words, the only excuses for the husband and wife not to satisfy each other sexually, on a regular basis, are pregnancy, illness, sickness, menstrual matters, and fasting and prayer. IF they don't the devil will tempt them for their 'incontinency' (best described as inconsistency).

Now, here is another curve--for those who are married to unbelieving spouses--as is also covered in I Corinthians 7. The advice from scripture is--if you are a believer, then you are supposed to marry a believer. If one chooses to ignore this (and some folk do) then they are really in an uphill fight because they are going to have to (if they are saved and their spouse is not) are going to have to pull 'double duty' in order to win that unbelieving husband, or wife over to the side of Christ.

And, sad to say, some folks have lost this battle by divorce because it is hard to describe spiritual things to a spouse who is NOT a Christian. It is hard to have to 'explain' over and over and over again why someone has to go to church, has to pray, and has to fast and pray upon occassion. It wears out your brain cells over a period of time.

Like I said, Kitana...marriage is NOT for everyone. If you are in it, and one claims to be a Christian, then you have to go by the Bible, whether a person likes it or not. To call ones self a Christian and to disobey or be ignorant of the Word of God is like calling ones self a millionare with 35 cents in your are in the ballpark, but are not in the true game. There are reqirements on a Christian husband, and reqirements on a Christian wife. I didn't make the rules...God did. It's HIS Word and its ALL good and ALL true. If Christian husbands and wives SAT down and looked both together and individually at ALL of the reqirements BEFORE they got married, and WHILE their marriage grows, a lot of mess would be cut off before it starts.

Seek HIM through his word.

Keep on studying.

One other thing...the matter of the husband and wife 'owning' each other cuts down on BOTH having adulterous relationships outside of their marriage. If the husband and wife actually think about how much they are valued and treasured by the other, it does wonders to keep the 'loving' at home.

Another name for this is 'exclusivity'.

YOU are your husbands 'exclusive' lover, as his wife, and your husband is YOUR 'exclusive' lover, as your husband. Halle Berry should not be the first in a husband's thoughts...the wife should be there! Denzel, Luther, Teddy should not be the first in the wife's thoughts...her husband should be in first place. And, it's a DAILY thing to keep one's thoughts on their husband/wife in a world gone crazy.

The wife is the exclusive 'supplier' for the husband, and the husband is the exclusive 'supplier' for the wife. One woman I know said it best, as she told another younger woman who was getting married: "Wear him out early, and often, so NO OTHER WOMAN can get inbetween his ears!" And, it was an older, Christian woman who has been married who said this!

USA Today did a story several years ago, and they updated that story earlier this year: CHRISTIAN married couples, per week, have MORE SEX than ALL OTHER married couples. Now, if non-biblical sources continue to wonder about God's Word and why Christian couples are having MORE SEX and BETTER SEX, then why do CHRISTIANS have a problem with God's Word?

Hate to bring a street proverb up in here, but, from a man's point of view, its needed: "If YOU won't take care of business at home...someone else WILL do it for you!" Two Ray Parker Jr. Songs are also appropriate...."A Woman Need Love" and "The People Next Door". BOTH songs deal with one spouse who has 'cut off' the other in the bedroom, and the mind (and circumstances) set up some dire situations.

And, like one pastor said: "You don't have to look very far to find someone to cheat with!"

IF Christians agree that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, as it maintains also in I Corinthians...then how can Christians disagree about the husband/wife ownership thing? One can't 'shout' about the parts they agree with only...they have to AMEN the parts that they still need to learn!

Got to study the playbook everyday...and be in a church where it is taught and preached...every week.

No, Kitana--I don't sense that you want to start an arguement. But since I just delievered it...and God wrote need to take it up with Him. HE is management; I am labor.

Mike Ramey
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