Tonight, I tuned in with all of America to watch our gorgeous First Lady Michelle Obama deliver a soul stirring speech. I felt the warmth in her smile and I heard the shake in her voice as she held back tears.
Similar Bedrock Values
The genesis of this blog came about when Michelle and Barack came on the scene. I started it because what they have is what I want for black men and black women. What they have in each other is what I come from; a mother and father with similar bedrock values who joined together to have a family and build a legacy.
As I listened to Michelle speak about her Dad, I felt like I was listening to me talk about my Dad. He’s retired now but he woke up with the birds every day to go out to work and provide for his family. He wasn’t a man if he couldn’t provide a good living for us. Coming from the Caribbean to America brought its own set of struggles with finding work but my Dad never let it stop him. He drove to White Plains, Queens and anywhere else he had to for work and never complained.
Measure of Success
The measure of his success was never about how much money he made. For him, being a man was and still is all about being an excellent husband, an excellent father and an excellent provider. Like Michelle and Barack, my parents didn’t start out with much but they were good stewards over the little they had and God blessed them with the lot they needed to take care of their 8 children.
Dignity and Decency
My parents taught me dignity and decency. They are the reason I would never date a guy named Lil Scrappy much less accept a proposal from a man who asks, “Is you gon marry a n*gga.” If I dared bring home a guy with that name, my mother would let me have it and he wouldn’t come back to the house because he would be too embarrassed after my mother’s tongue lashing around where he got that ridiculous name. I don’t believe Michelle and Barack have to worry about their daughters attracting a Lil Scrappy.
A Good Thing
When I look at the photo of Barack and his girls watching Michelle give that powerful speech, I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:22 which says, he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. I truly believe Michelle is his secret weapon. She is his Proverbs 31 woman. Let’s take a look at some of her attributes:
The heart of her husband trusts in her. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. (vs 11-12) She did him good tonight with that speech.
She (Michelle) girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. (v 17) We felt that strength in her voice and we definitely saw it in those toned arms.
She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (vs 25-26) We heard her wisdom tonight while feeling the kindness in her delivery.
Her children rise up and bless her. Her husband praises her. (vs 28) I know Malia, Sasha and Barack are praising Michelle for a job well done tonight.
Check the Innerds
In order to have a relationship like Barack and Michelle or like my parents Earl and Allison, you have to check the innerds. I love what Michelle says here; you see, even though back then Barack was a Senator and a presidential candidate…to me, he was still the guy who’d picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, I could actually see the pavement going by through a hole in the passenger side door…he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he’d found in a dumpster, and whose only pair of decent shoes was half a size too small.
Hole in Car vs. Wholeness of Character
The innerds are what make a person not their red bottoms or the kind of car they drive or how much money they don’t have or any other materialistic piece we throw into the equation. I’m not sure we would have this beautiful black family in the White House if Michelle paid more attention to the hole in his car than the wholeness of his character. While material things have their place, they won’t hold your marriage together when its falling apart.
Something to think about…
P.S. That picture up top is parents at my dad’s 80th birthday celebration on May 19th, 2012.