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Sunday, June 12, 2011

{Celibacy Sunday} 18 months! (...and counting)

"This here celibacy thing.... LAWD it's got something over me. Like an addict, I could really use a thing....
You know what I'm talking about."

 - Jill Scott 'Celibacy Thing'

When I left my ex husband, I decided to be celibate until I remarried. Having been married and having experienced sex in the way that I believe God intended us to experience it; having it any other way, to me, lacked value. And, it always left me feeling dirty and guilty afterward. 

Less than a year after making that vow, I grew weary of my commitment and made a conscious decision to enter a sexual relationship with someone who I wasn't even that fond of. I told myself that because I didn't like him like him, that he could be my jump-off and that would be all there was to it. Needless to say, that was not the case. 

After our first encounter, I was sprung. I tried telling myself that it was because of the way he made me feel, not about how I felt about him, but it didn't work. I was torn and my vision was clouded. This man was not husband material, not even boyfriend material. Yet here I was, giving him the best of me; the part of me that God had intended for me to share only with my husband. 

It was like I was in college all over again. Being with him (he was five years my junior) reminded me of the carefree times I had before being married, becoming a mommy and having responsibilities that wouldn't go away. 

The entire time that this was going on; I was tormented. Literally tormented. I found myself crying out to God to help me to get away from the situation. My mind and heart were working against my flesh, to get me away from him. 

I had a talk with myself and I asked myself some very tough questions. What was I looking for? Companionship or a relationship? What if I were to get pregnant by this guy? What would it look like to go from having been married and having a legitimate child to now having an illegitimate child (and subsequent 'baby daddy') with someone that I was not even willing to claim as someone I was dating?

What I wanted was a relationship that would lead to marriage with a man who loved and served the Lord. What I wanted was someone who I could be proud to be seen with and introduce as my man. Not someone that I made excuses about when having to explain what we were to one another. 

So, I ended things between he and I. I repented and I promised the Lord that I would not give myself to anyone else until I was married again. And by His Grace; I have maintained my commitment. It hasn't been easy, but, it's easier when you're single.

Fast forward to August 2010. I meet a wonderful man with whom I am immediately enamored. Now, between the former gentleman and this wonderful man were several men. I had to have the same conversation with all of them. That I am celibate and not willing to so much as entertain the idea of sex outside of marriage. 

That conversation is bound to illicit one of two reactions; a) (A challenge)  "Really? We'll see about that." or b) (A turn-off) "I'm straight. It was nice knowing you."

I had come to dread having this talk with my potential suitors but with the wonderful man I met in August; it was a totally different story. 

He asked: "How do you feel about sex outside of marriage?"
I replied: "I'm not going to say that I haven't done it, but I will say that I don't believe in it. I've been celibate for 8 months now and I plan to remain celibate until I'm married."

As it turned out; he too had been on a celibate path for quite some time. In a matter of days, we were a couple and have been ever since.

I love this man. More than I have ever loved any other. It's wonderful to be able to say that and know that one's vision is not deluded by sex. All things being equal; we've never even been to second base. Early on, we established that we couldn't do "other things" if we were going to maintain our commitment. We kiss with our mouths closed (just the peck hello and goodbye) and we keep our hands to ourselves. 

It's not easy, and we have talked about reneging on our celibacy vow but fortunately, both of us realize the value in building a God-centered relationship. 

In the meantime; we focus on bettering ourselves and getting to know each other so that when we get married, it will be for keeps. 

                                                               Jill Scott - Celibacy Blues


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