I’m 27 years old, passable 22 :). I was always a Christian, because I was born into that family. Did I always exhibit those good Christianly qualities? No. I didn’t always exemplify biblical qualities; I still do not. I recall a friend having a “come to Jesus” moment with me—and it was brutal, but the truth was necessary and I didn’t like hearing it. Then there was another moment, following that when I just bawled to my (now married) friend, who was/is a believer and a follower (and was a virgin, for context of this blog) and I asked her—“Why are you my friend?” I didn’t think I was worthy of her friendship because I felt shame and condemnation. She was living the complete opposite as me; actually exemplifying the life I wanted to live. Until that point, I’d never met a young woman with a relationship with Christ—a believer and a follower.
Are You A Believer or a Follower?
She and I are still friends to this day—love her! It wasn’t until after that moment (and a few others), 1. I learned who my friends were (by their concern, honesty and transparency about how I was living) and 2. There’s a difference between a believer and a follower. A believer is someone who believes the Word. A follower is someone who has the faith to carry out what they believe the Word to be. I was a believer, but I haven’t always been a follower. When I started actually living, applying, and following the Word, it really changed my habits, thinking, friends……my life! I share all of that to say The Word maneuvered me into building a relationship with God. It is by those principles I try my best to live. One of the ways God dealt with me was through sex, because it would have been easy for me to slip back into old habits—especially since I wasn’t in a relationship. He used my single years for me to build a foundation with Him, first (since I got it backwards).
This is what I’ve learned about being single and dating—dating is not for mating; dating is for collecting data. Data, as in information to build a relationship. The concept is, if you’re building a relationship, you’re building a foundation—you aren’t adding the granite, crown molding, waterfall shower-head and furniture yet. When you’re building a solid foundation, there won’t be pressure to worry about filling the inside yet—you’re following a blueprint. There’s a process to follow to ensure the concrete is poured with no cracks, the framing is durable, the best type of insulation is used, and approval of any permits; then you move on. Don’t say you’re celibate, slip up, and start over and it becomes a pattern—that is not celibacy. Nothing just happens; you allow it to happen.
A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.
If you are dating or courting (whatever you want to call it), know your limits, yourself, and your triggers. First, be vocal and upfront about your journey. If that person wants something different, cool. YOU just stand firm on your beliefs. Don’t feel obligated to change that person—that is not your job. Society tells us to know a brief background on a Person A and it’s okay to sleep with them or that one night stands are acceptable. I’m here to interject: you can have a single life and relationship without sex. The foundation without sex is the mind, soul, spirit, and then body. You must weigh the value of your own personal values and convictions. Do you believe the Word, but you just find it too hard to resist the temptation? If you follow the Word—it lives, changes, and leads you based on your relationship, you can and will resist. Scouts honor, I’ve tried…living it. However, it is based on your perseverance, level of commitment, and discipline. Last post I mentioned your flesh. Realize this, you understand your physical self—you already eat, breathe, sleep, and take care of yourself. But what about your spiritual self? It too needs to be fed and needs rest. Just like a good workout routine or nutrition plan, you need discipline. Whichever you feed more will dominate.
Men + Women
I recently asked a friend how is he able to remain celibate, because culture tells us men can’t control themselves. I’m not going to boost his ego or anything, but he’s not the holier than thou, bible thumping, “lame” we may associate a celibate man to be. I mean, I think I’m attractive and not the chaste looking female one would associate with it either. But that’s the good thing. Russell Wilson, Ciara, Megan Good, Tim Tebow, Devon Franklin, Lenny Kravitz, Jordin Sparks…all attractive people. All very relatable. All not the normal face of celibacy and virginity (if you think about the Duggars). And all (was/now married or is) celibate. God just bless Tim Tebow, but I guess if that’s the life you chose, it’s easy for you to keep your commitment (my very point). Anyways, my friend replied, it’s all God for him—he couldn’t do it without Him. To be all God, that’s some discipline!
“If a man can have the discipline in his sex life, he can conquer discipline in every area of his life. Women should and can protect themselves from purposeless relationships, rejection, and giving into their emotions.”
If he can take into account the responsibility and effect of emotions sex has on a woman, that’s (a part of) manhood. And, vice versa. Men and women can help contribute to each other by protecting themselves—physically, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. Men should (this day in age) be more attentive and aware of what pointless, meaningless, casual relationships and sex do to women—especially if a child is conceived. Your presence is one thing, but any unresolved emotional damage intentionally or unintentionally created from a woman’s perspective is your responsibility. Women—you can avoid a lot of heartache by being more aware of his intentions and your emotions. I hate the saying, “women have the power” –no, you both have power in the relationship; at least you should. Especially if you both are equally yoked, on the same path, and honoring each other.
I should have done this from the start, so let’s clarify the difference between abstinence and celibacy. The two terms are used interchangeably, but one is a lifestyle—not just a choice. Abstinence is choosing to refrain from sex. Celibacy is choosing to live a single life. Abstinence can be used to describe anything (I can abstain from coffee, but let’s just be real) and quite frankly, does not hold the same value as a celibate lifestyle (I can abstain from coffee or choose to give up coffee). Having a celibate lifestyle is for someone unmarried and sexually abstinent, generally motivated by personal or spiritual beliefs. It is a choice, based on your own convictions. So why don’t you have a man/woman? All the foundation building is theory, right…. since I don’t have a partner? Not necessarily. I’m going to tell you why I don’t, and probably you too. Later.