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From NBA players to Hip-Hop Moguls, men in the limelight who have power are often surrounded by women who long to be with them. These women are known to stand outside of hotels or slip into the VIP section of clubs in order to make it happen. Each one believes that her future will change for the better if these men only caught one glimpse of them. These persistent and dedicated women have been labeled “groupies,” “side-chicks” and even “stalkers.” However, athletes and musicians are not the only men of stature whom some women desire. Preachers, too, have quite a few female admirers.

In writer Scott Williams’s blog post, Stop Lusting After Your Pastor!, Williams recalls a conversation he had with his friend, a female preacher, about women who can’t seem to keep their eyes off of their pastors. Williams writes:

Many women that she’s talked with in various churches struggle with the fact that they think their Pastor’s sexy! Not only do they think their Pastor’s sexy, but they struggle with their mind and eyes wandering into inappropriate places. It becomes a challenge because they tend to have these lustful thoughts as their pastor is speaking.

However, for some women, this is about more than just a lustful eye. Some have dedicated their lives to finding and marrying the preacher of their dreams. It is the hope and prayer of these women that they will one day become a preacher’s wife and the First Lady of a congregation.

“It’s something electrifying about a man of God,” says Maya, 34. “A man who dedicates his life to studying the word of God and then teaching it to people across the world, that’s a man that I believe I deserve. And he ought to have a great woman, like me, by his side.”

Janiya, 41, agrees. “I’ve dated lots of different guys in the past. Lawyers, athletes, and CEOs, but when I am with a preacher it feels the most natural, like this is who I am supposed to be with, who I’m supposed to marry. So I decided I would only date men in the ministry, and I’ve asked God to reveal that preacher to me.”

According to Reverend Reid, a pastor in Atlanta, the phenomenon of women who set out to marry preachers is not new.

“I can remember even in my 20s, I was still in seminary and hadn’t even been ordained yet. Women would be waiting for me and a buddy of mine who had also been called to the ministry at our cars after class. After I was ordained, I began preaching around Atlanta more, and I guess word got out I was single, and things got really real. After service, I would shake hands and fellowship with the people and women would come up and slip me their telephone numbers. I even had women bringing me home-cooked dinners and sweet breads to the church, and you know Southern women can cook. I was so relieved when Jesus helped me find my wife I didn’t know what to do. I thank her every day for marrying me and saving me from all those sweet breads and macaroni and cheese casseroles.”

When asked if he had any advice for women who want to marry preachers, Reverend Reid says they need to calm down.

“Be careful what you ask God for. I am not saying marriage isn’t a good thing. It is a blessing. But you have to be in constant prayer and meditation to make sure you are truly ready for such an undertaking. Pray and read the Word. Study it like you study NeNe’s nose on Real Housewives of Atlanta. The Bible has the answer to any question you might have. Read ferociously 1 Corinthians 7:1-40. If that passage doesn’t make you question if you are ready for marriage, then read it again. Finally, and I think this is the most important thing women should understand, God has lifted a heavy load from you that many of you are still choosing to carry. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22, a man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. So ya’ll don’t have to stand outside waiting for us or burn yourself over a hot stove trying to impress us. Your load has been lifted. We are supposed to find you. But, if you look even more closely into the passage it says a man that finds a wife. Not the postman, not the doctor man, and definitely not the preacher man. The word says man. M-A-N. When my sermons are done, I’ve said my last prayer, shouted my last shout, said the benediction, taken off the robe and the collar, I am just a man as are all my brother preachers in Christ. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. What God has for you, it is for you.”

Quite a few of us are probably guilty of what Reverend Reid speaks of, even if we are not seeking First Lady status. We have this idea in our heads of what we want our significant others to be, and we romanticize that image or idea in our minds. Some of us have a broad checklist of what we want in a mate while others have it already narrowed down like Maya and Janiya. However, at the end of the day, are we truly the best person we can be in order to contribute to a healthy relationship with someone else? Or are we merely looking for someone to help improve not only us, but our situation?

At the end of the day, we all must remember that you cannot be your best self if you are too busy searching for someone else to fulfill your misguided fantasies.

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