GIVE: Partnering with Spirit — Black Love: A Three Cord Strand is not Easily Broken

GIVE! … By the Spirit™ with Dr. Pennie Murray

Black Love: A Three Cord Strand is not Easily Broken

© 2010 Dr. Pennie Murray


On her CD Spoke Inward, RhapsodE asked the question, “What is Black Love like?” I long for what I know about the passion of black love past. As a child, growing up in the Black community I remember all the examples of public displays of affection (PDA).

Black men and women holding hands as they walked along the street; couples cuddled next to each other on the porch swings as they watched the children playing, or young men and women hugged up at the lockers in the halls at high school. I remember the love notes I received and the ones I wrote. And yes, I’ve had my share of “hickeys” on my neck. I also remember while blacks didn’t have much in material or financial resources, love was never a resource we were short of. Love was not easily broken—it sustained us as Black Americans. We worked to get love right and we revered and honored it. But sadly, over the years, we’ve become so apprehensive, skeptical and frustrated with love that as Black Americans, we’ve lost our “true north”.

As we’ve tried to disconnect from the challenges of our everyday lives, black men and women have become more disconnected from each other. Instead of complementary partners, each with our own contributing abilities, we’ve become freelancer out to secure our own prize—without personal attachment or loyalty. As a result, we’re in a vicious cycle where women are afraid that men no long want to partner with us, so we’ve become even more self-sufficient. Men, seeing that women don’t need them as much, feel less enthusiastic about a relationship or committed to their families. Somehow the love that sustained the black community has been replaced with a belief that the “power of two” is passé, damned, or rationally unsound. And we’ve decided that it’s better to face life by ourselves than to partner with another. In the Christian Bible there is an admonition, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer—and three are even better, for a triple-braided cord (you, them and Spirit) is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

No doubt, blacks are faced with many challenges in today’s society. But maybe in order to overcome these challenges, we need to save our relationships by learning to re-partner with our love lives. More importantly, we need to re-partner with the third strand that ensures love’s strength—our God Spirit. We have the absolute power to choose whether or not we widen our gap with love or give ourselves permission to restore love.

Love is not an expense, a disease, or a condition to be avoided, but “strength” to be desired. There are two things I’ve come to understand about partnering with the spirit of love. First, it insists on our willingness to be vulnerable to its power and wisdom. And second, it always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.

In this month of Love and Black History, I strongly believe that black men and women need to individually and collectively recalibrate our mindsets to first become better individuals, secondly, healthier intimate partners and finally, most importantly, recognize none of this can be done without a solid relationship with our God Spirit. As I said in the first week of this month, we will never achieve closeness with another to the level God intended if we don’t also strive for closeness with Him. Only A Three Cord Strand is not Easily Broken—that’s what black love is like.  Share your thoughts and comments—I’d love to get your perspectives.


2 Responses

  1. Katleen—girl you’re on to something with your statement, “Black American women and men wearing cornrow and the symbolizism of the 3-cord strand on our ‘crown’”. Now that’s has strong implications, especial since hair often signifies perfection and strength.

  2. Love it!!! Pennie, your post made me think about so many things. The “Power of 3″/The Trinity…when we are partnered properly we are a fortress that can withstand any attack. Also we are able to accomplish so much more when we are working together and in alignment with Spirit. Lastly, I even thought about African American women and men wearing conrows…and the symbolizism of the 3-cord strand…on our “crown”. Thank you for such a Powerful and Insightful post. God Bless.

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