Now that I have your attention we can address the matter at hand. We live in an hyper-sexual society where sex is considered a basic need like food and water, and since our generation thrives and lives off of the media, we’ve been influenced (whether you want to believe it or not) to do it for the majority of our lives. It’s in every movie, tv show, and on every timeline in America. I mean seriously, my favorite song in the 7th grade was “Peaches and Cream” by 112. I didn’t really understand exactly what the song was talking about word-for-word back then but I’m sure some seeds were planted because I never stopped thinking about sex after that lol. Sex is just something that you kinda do and to not do it is quite taboo. The latter half of that statement has been my reality for many years. I made the decision to wait for sex until marriage when I was much younger but I didn’t really understand the importance of that decision and what it meant to be 100% celibate until a few years ago. I’ve made A LOT of mistakes and even more intentional decisions where I’ve entangled myself in situations of a sexual nature (I’ll expound on this later) but I believe that experience has been an excellent teacher along this journey for me.
In a moment of transparency, living a life of celibacy has brought me a lot of joy and protected me from a lot of pain but in hindsight it’s also brought me even more pain and rejection (sometimes God’s protection can hurt). I mean seriously, you don’t know fear until you’ve had to look into the eyes of someone you’re already falling for and tell them that you’re celibate. There’s this intense moment between after you say it and when they respond that almost causes you to stop breathing for a second or two. In most cases, my celibacy is one of the reasons why I’ve been single for the last 6 years. It’s just not sexy (all pun intended) to tell a guy that he can’t have your Cookies lol. Despite everything I’ve experienced, celibacy has taught me what I do and don’t want in a mate, the importance of delayed gratification (as DeVon Franklin and Meagan Goode like to call it in their book “The Wait“), and that true love is everything that the Bible says it is…patient, kind…doesn’t insist on its own way…bears all things, etc. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). I think that ultimately, celibacy is a form of “suffering with Christ” (Romans 8:17, 1 Peter 4:1) but it is also a means to an even better end. People glamorize sex but no one wants to talk about the residual effects of it, the tormenting soul-ties that can form, or the damage that it can do to your ministry if you’re not careful.
I’ll share some of my story with you….
People like to say that what happens in high school doesn’t matter but I believe that your high school experiences ultimately shape all of your experiences in adulthood. For me, I never got “The Sex Talk” like most teens. My parents told me that fornication was a sin and that was enough for me to be too afraid to try it. I used to believe that I was one of those people who never got away with anything so I was more afraid of getting pregnant on my very first time around rather than making a conscious decision to honor God with my body. It wasn’t until almost a decade later that I made that commitment to God even though everyone thought I already had. You see… I knew the WHY NOT behind the whole ordeal but no one ever really explained to me the WHY of it all. For this very reason I went about celibacy the wrong way but nevertheless people made a spectacle out of me because of my sexual-status. Some praised me for my stance, judged me for it, treated me like I was some circus attraction…trust me…and again I say…it hasn’t been a glamorous life. Even when I came home from college and went to football games with my friends people would openly ask me, “so are you still a virgin?” I found that question to be so very offensive. I’m not even quite sure how people found out about me because I’ve never publicly talked about my celibacy until now. Something that I struggle with is the fear of rejection and after being rejected by countless guys, even reaching back to as far as middle school, it just wasn’t something that I wanted to share. During my senior year in high school and I was “talkin” to this guy that I really liked. We stayed on the phone for hours, flirted in the hallway, you know…all that stuff that people do when they’re getting to know someone. At this point he already knew that I was a virgin but he decided that he liked me anyway and I was very excited about that. After months of carrying on I finally decided to ask him when we were going to make this thing official but his response was one that I was totally unprepared for, “Look Lynn…I like you…a lot. I could even say that I love you. But to be honest with you…I wanna have sex with you and I can’t…so I’d rather for us to just keep doing what we’re doing because if we get together I’m gonna cheat on you.” I probably stared at my phone for several minutes after that conversation. I appreciated his honesty but I was heartbroken. To this day I still respect him for being that brutally honest with me especially at such a young age but it frustrated me that once again I was about to lose out on dating a guy that I really liked because I wasn’t willing to bend on my “No Sex” rule.
When I went college I decided that I would consider bending the rules just a bit. Surely if I fell in love with a guy who was willing to wait for a while then it wouldn’t be as bad if I went ahead and had sex with him. “Making-love” sounded so much better than having emotionless sex with a random guy so that was my new goal. I’m not even sure if I believed what I was feeding myself but something had to justify my new reasoning. I was tired of being rejected and to be honest I had the same sexual desires as anyone else who was already sexually active, and I was kinda ready to give in. This led to the idea of me doing “just enough” but not enough to “actually have sex.” That was a trap and a lie from the enemy because ANYTHING sexual (especially foreplay) has the power to entangle your mind and spirit. I didn’t date many guys in college and didn’t “go there” with many of them either but for years after that I allowed things to go just far enough for me (and the world) to feel comfortable with still calling myself a virgin.
Everything came to a head when I finally met my match. I won’t go into too much detail because I really care for this guy and he didn’t have a part in my fall…I take full responsibility for my actions…but I had reached a point where I completely and totally lost control of my body. I didn’t know it was possible to be that sexually attracted to anyone. I had practiced doing just enough with him so much that just enough no longer satisfied my fleshly appetite. Somehow we never went “all the way” but to this day I’m still not sure how we didn’t. It HAD to be the sheer and utter grace of God. Nevertheless, I found myself living a double-life. You know how it is…choir practice on Tuesday…Bible Study on Wednesday night…Bae’s house on Thursday…slain in the spirit on Sunday morning…Sunday Night Sleepover later that evening…etc. This sinful appetite became a serious stronghold for me and the devil didn’t want to let me go. I was sick of myself. My love-interest never persuaded me to do anything…I was in complete control of our transgressions. He wasn’t as well-versed in all things Jesus and my biggest fear was that he would begin to see me as a hypocrite. I thought of myself as a hypocrite. I would say, “okay this is the last time” and he would say, “okay” but I would initiate things between us. I was spiritually and emotionally spent. Stuck between my desire to please God and the desire to please my body I found myself slipping away from God. I remember this one time we were together I thought The Rapture was happening. It scared me but not enough to stop sinning. I knew I was in trouble when I didn’t feel convicted about anything anymore. I knew that I would soon reach a “point-of-no-return” if I didn’t change my ways. I was in a backslidden state and too ashamed to admit it. My lack of conviction scared me so much that it catapulted me back into a state of conviction. I know…that sounds ridiculously confusing but who else except the devil is the author of confusion? He almost got me y’all. This moment in my life was pivotal. I learned that even though I hated the pedestal that people tried to put me on I had actually put myself on it as well. I learned that I was just as capable of falling into sexual temptation as the next person. I learned just how strong the flesh is. I learned that I wasn’t as grounded as I thought I was. Much like Adam and Eve when they sinned, I felt exposed. I was too ashamed to seriously pray for deliverance. I mean…I prayed but I’m not sure how much I meant it because my sin felt good…it was fun. After things ended with me and him I thought that surely I could regain control of my body on my own…I thought that I was on my way to deliverance since I no longer had anyone to sin with. And then…it happened again…with another guy. I felt like I failed myself and God…I felt helpless and dirty. Then one Sunday a guest-pastor came to our church and spoke on the very thing that I needed at that time…Deliverance. The Spirit that I was sure had left me stood up inside of me on that day in such a way that it literally brought me to my knees. It was during that service that I decided to give my broken pieces to God and let Him heal me…I couldn’t do this thing on my own and I was tired of living with the regret of my actions. I didn’t want to play church anymore. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This was my defining moment. I decided that it was time for me to truly walk after the Spirit and to stop allowing the enemy to drag me down. I no longer wanted him to have power over me. I didn’t want to live with the guilt, shame, and condemnation that I had inflicted upon myself. I decided to accept God’s forgiveness that day and here I am 5 years later…free from fornication. The desire to sin doesn’t always die and sometimes I’ve been tested but I know my limits and the power that I have over the enemy. I just can’t let him win without a fight.
Not many days after that service I made a VOW to God that I would keep myself and what I had left to give for my husband. I no longer consider myself as a virgin even though most people like to say that I am. I’m definitely Born-Again but labels don’t matter as much to me. I don’t think God ever intended for us to worship the idea of being a virgin or to wear it as a badge of honor. God is glorified in our waiting, our future husbands will delight in the gift we present to him on our wedding day, and above all God just wants our commitment to Him to be sincere. I’m determined to be celibate now more than ever because it’s not worth y’all. No matter how you slice it, any form of sex is sex. There is no amount of sex, almost-sex, foreplay, masturbation, oral sex, or anything of the like worth sacrificing your salvation and your relationship with God over. We should only be slaves to Christ…not slaves to our bodies and our sinful desires.
Celibacy helps you think more clearly about potential mates and it guards your heart from regret and unnecessary heartbreak. Let’s be clear…I’ve had my heart broken many times since making that vow but my recovery time is super short compared to when I was doing my own thing with no regard for God. Y’all know I talk about Heather Lindsey a lot but her husband said something that changed my way of thinking and stays with me, “When you don’t have a physical connection you have no other choice but to develop an emotional connection” (Check out his video on Courtship- Cornelius Lindsey). Sex clouds your judgement and can sometimes make you feel emotions for a person that you don’t really feel in your heart. It takes time to tell the difference. I never want to wake up 25 years down the road only to discover that the only thing my husband and I have in common is sex. I don’t want to resent him for not understanding me. I want a love that transcends anything physical so that when we do become physical, everything we’ve developed up to that point drives our passion for one another. The Bible says that beauty is vain ( Proverbs 31:30) and that’s because it fades with time. The man who loves you after babies have caused gravity to take over your “perky parts” is more than likely the one who you developed more than a physical relationship with. Ultimately, celibacy creates an opportunity for sustenance within a love relationship and sustenance is WELL worth the wait.
My goal is not to condemn anyone who isn’t ready to make this type of commitment or even to throw stones at the ones who never intend to. My goal is to show you that you’re worth so much more than a night of pleasure and that you truly have power over your body. Here are a few things to consider if anything I’ve said is moving you closer to the idea of Celibacy:
- Remember that Your Body Is A Temple of the Holy Spirit- In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Paul reminds us that our bodies are a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit and therefore we do not belong to ourselves. I like to think of it this way…if I had the power to pick my house up and drop it anywhere in the world I most definitely wouldn’t drop it into a war zone. Yes it’s my house and technically it serves as a shield of protection from the outside world but for how long? No matter how durable your house is, the bombs and bullets will eventually penetrate it which could eventually penetrate your body and kill you. It’s the same thing with sex. Technically what you do with your body may not always effect what’s going on on the inside of you but for how long? It can eventually cause emotional bombs, spiritual bullets, or bullets of disease to penetrate your temple. Be careful what you do with a body that the Holy Spirit dwells in. Would you feel comfortable taking Jesus to bed with you and your boo?
- Know Why You’re Making This Choice– Okay I don’t have a Bible verse for this one but this is pretty much common sense. Why would you make a life-altering decision (and celibacy is definitely life-altering when it comes to your pickings for a mate) without knowing why you’re making it? On second thought…2 Timothy 2:15-16 encourages us to study in order to present ourselves approved unto God. This verse prompts us to know the Word for ourselves so that God will be pleased but also, so that you can defend and explain the Gospel to others. You’ll want to do the same thing with your celibacy because trust me…people WILL have questions. Take the time to search the scriptures on sexual immorality and read the stories of other Believers…it will keep you grounded, strengthen you, and guide you in making the right decisions for yourself. You never know…your story of celibacy and sharing what God says about honoring Him with your body might influence others to do the same.
- Your Soul Is Too Valuable For Unnecessary Bondage– I thought about doing an entire blog post on Soul-Ties but I think I’m going to pretty much cover it here. Like I said earlier I didn’t get a sex-talk from my parents but I did get one from my big sister in college. She explained to me that when two people have sex there is an exchanging in the spirit realm where you’re able to essentially deposit pieces of yourself into the other person and the same vice versa. At 19 years old that was a bit of birth control for me lol. I understood what she was saying but it wasn’t until I had an encounter of my own that I began to understand just how powerful sex really is. Even with doing “just enough” I found it utterly impossible to get over this guy. For years after we parted ways I still missed him, still longed for him to be near me, and still had flashbacks of our time together. I shudder to think of the state I would have been in had we gone further. I thought I would never shake him from my system but God broke the tie for me and I am forever grateful. You see…God’s design for sex is within the bounds of marriage. He designed it for us to never stop desiring sex with our spouses and that’s the reason why your sexual appetite continues to grow even after the first time. He never intended for husbands and wives to part ways. He never wants us to choke down and smoke out the memories of moments of passion…He commands us to only have them with the one we join in marriage with. In Matthew 19:4-6 it speaks of “…the two becoming one flesh” because sex is a type of cement that binds people together…you’re literally fused together as one being in the spirit. When we choose to do it our own way the same things happen but instead it distorts God’s intention because you end up cemented to multiple people…one flesh with multiple people…that God didn’t join together. You see how deep that is?! You may be carrying things deep within your spirit because of someone you fused your spirit with years ago. Who wants to be unnecessarily bound to someone? It’s not worth the risk. Soul ties are serious y’all but I have great news…if by chance you have a soul tie or two of your own God can break the tie if you ask Him to! I declare that all ties are broken in the Name of Jesus! You CAN and WILL be free!
- God Honors Your Sacrifice- A little earlier I talked about celibacy being a form of suffering and that’s because you’re telling your flesh that it can’t have something that it wants. Just because you make the decision to go without something you’re accustomed to or desire doesn’t mean that the desire for it dies. Think about the times when you were fasting. Your stomach was probably screaming at you for food. If anything, deciding to go without food probably made you even hungrier, may have given you a headache, might have made you irritable or left you feeling weak in your body BUT your spirit was fed the Bread of Life and Living Water. God honors that sacrifice by making your spirit strong. You have the power to tell your stomach what it will and won’t have, just like you have the power to tell your body what it will and won’t do. Understand that there will be some casualties in this war we call Celibacy. You might lose a guy or two…or three lol. You might spend countless nights alone. Your body might scream at you for sex. You may even ask yourself if you’ve made the right decision from time to time. Celibacy is gonna cost you some things but God sees your sacrifice and He will honor it in due time. Hold on to faith in God…His promises won’t pass you by if you honor Him (Hebrews 10:23).
Here are a few Practical Tips to Remember if you are beginning or trying to remain steadfast in your Celibacy:
- Be open and honest from the beginning. It’s not fair to lead someone on…especially a man who probably hasn’t taken the time to wonder if you’re sexually active or not. Don’t leave him wondering. I believe that there is no formula that can help you to determine the appropriate time to have this kind of conversation. Point blank…it’s gonna be awkward even if you meet a man who’s also celibate lol. I’ve had this talk on the 1st date before and even gotten to know a guy for a few weeks or months and then told him. You should always be prayerful about when and how to have this conversation. Sex is GOING to come up and you may or may not get the response that you want but it’s necessary because this conversation will drive where you’re heading next with your love-interest.
- Beware of anyone who says, “Yeah…I respect that.” In the past, I’ve been naive in thinking that just because a guy “respected” my decision to be celibate that meant he too was choosing to be celibate in exchange for a relationship with me. In most cases I found that the guy respected my stance by never pressuring me to have sex while he continued to have sex with whomever he pleased lol. I respect Donald Trump’s decision to run for president but I wouldn’t vote for him…I get it but I can’t force it lol. The easiest thing to do would be to only entertain guys who are already celibate when you meet them but since we don’t have an outward indicator of who these men are, this may not be the case for you. You must be clear in where you stand on the subject or else you may find yourself only respecting your stance and not actually living it. If a guy says this to you then you should definitely open the floor for in depth conversation about what “respecting that” means. NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING…you’ll end up getting your feelings hurt. Also understand that you can’t expect or force a guy to be celibate for you. It’s a heart and mind condition so if he’s not doing it for himself, from his heart for the glory of God then things will eventually get messy. None of us are that strong in our own power.
- Steer-clear of situations where you could fall in temptation. I know, I know…we all just wanna be held every now and then lol. Unfortunately, being held a certain type of way in certain settings when the mood is just right can lead to other things that you never planned to happen if you’re not careful. I’m not saying that affection is the root of all sexual immorality but you have to be wise and know your limits and boundaries. Netflix and Chill is probably not a good idea. Sleepovers with your Hunnie…Baecations…living together…even reading books and watching movies with sex in them may be too much for you if you’re trying to avoid fornicating. What you feed yourself and allow in your environment will eventually manifest itself. You may have the best intentions at the beginning, get a little too comfortable, and find yourself wondering how you fell into the trap. At the end of the day you’re not superhuman and sometimes good intentions can turn sour if you let your defenses down. Have some sisters you’re close to to serve as points of accountability for you. Check in with them if you need to but whatever you do remember to stay on guard.
- Don’t think you’re invincible. Sometimes I wonder why God even allows us to have sexual urges if we can’t do anything about them lol. I know it’s because He put everything we need inside of us when He created us including the very thing that leads to creating another life. He’s not going to take your urges away and I don’t care how saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost you think you are, you too are susceptible to sin. Now let’s be clear…if the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, then you have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead inside of you so surely you have the power to flee fornication but remember to never boast in your celibacy for the purpose of bragging. Arrogance is an abomination to God. Pride says that you can do things without Him and just as sure as you think you can live a life of celibacy without God or free of temptation you’ll find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in.
- Babe smells sweet but where is his Fruit? So often we’re too afraid to share the spiritual aspect of ourselves with our potential mates. The subjects of prayer, studying the Word, and being actively involved in a church/ministry can be a topic that creates a bit of anxiety…mainly because if a guy says anything other than what you want to hear this might be another one who bites the dust lol. I don’t know about you but if I accept a date with a guy and we continue to go on dates my aim is to assess him and see if he’s a potential mate. Marriage is my end-goal so I don’t really date casually anymore. If you consider yourself to be a Woman of God who’s desire is to have a Man of God that can lead you spiritually then what type of fruit does his tree bear? In other words, what does this man’s life say about him. A “Forever Man” would never lead nor allow you to lead yourselves into temptation. He would cover you but how can he do that if he’s not connected to God? My main point here is to get you to understand that being celibate God’s way is only effective in a relationship when both parties have the same goal. Pray with your hunnie, participate in faith-based activities together, go on group dates, have Bible Study, attend church together…these things will bring you closer together the right way…closer to God…and will keep you from sin.
- Fill your mind with God. This is a simple act but proves to be difficult when my mind wants to think on things that aren’t Godly (just being transparent lol). The Bible encourages us to meditate on positive things in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” It’s impossible for your house to smell good if you’re constantly filling it with garbage. What goes in must come out so fill your mind with God. I know that His promises are true and everlasting. I know He’ll never leave or forsake me. I know that He created me with a purpose before He even formed me in my mother’s womb. I know that He is the Author and Finisher of my faith. I know that He plans to give me hope and a future. I know that I am more than an overcomer through Him. I know that I am the Head and not the tail. I know that I am an heir to His Kingdom and a Co-Heir with Christ. I know that He’ll be with me to the ends of the Earth. I know that He loves me with an everlasting love and I trust that in His time He will send me a man who’s heart is a reflection of His who will also love me with an everlasting love. Don’t think that you have to test the waters or test drive the car before you buy it when it comes to sex. God knows what you have need of in EVERY aspect of your life so if you keep your mind on Him and building His Kingdom then He’ll take care of you.
I know this post is probably going to blow my “Good Girl” cover with most of the people I know lol (I told y’all my past wasn’t squeaky clean lol). This is the most transparent I’ve EVER been on a public scale and it was a challenge for me to even write this. I pray that you don’t stand in judgement but that you see my heart. I believe that we overcome by the word of our testimony, and I’m determined to bring someone out with me. Celibacy is not a choice that you should make lightly. It won’t be easy but it’s TOTALLY worth it. For me, I want to honor my commitment to God and to my future husband. I want to present my body to both of them as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable because it is my reasonable service (Romans 12:1). I am much more than my womanly figure…far more than a night of pleasure and a morning of regret…beyond a pointless attachment…I AM WORTH THE WAIT AND SO ARE YOU MY SISTER.