I had lunch with a new friend this past Friday and stumbled into sharing my values with regard to abstaining from sex until marriage. In utter amazement she exclaimed, “That’s the holy trinity of anomalies! You’re Black, Single, and Abstinent.” Yeah so ummmmm… she totally nailed it! It is absolutely abnormal in today’s culture to save sex for marriage. Just to show that there has been a shift in recent years. It was just 16 years ago in 2000, Jay-Z had a song called ‘I Just Wanna Love U’ where he said “save the narrative, you savin it for marriage…” This to me is an indication that it was more prevalent then to hear people expressing abstinence as a value and a way of life. In the very next line, Jay-Z questioned how genuine this value was but it was at the very least not unheard of. And again this was just 16 years ago. And now… 16 years later, when I tell someone I’m abstinent, you’d think I cursed their mama!
I’ve been laughed at, told I will never find a man who’d be willing to marry me without test driving, dismissed as a religious freak, and so much more. However, these are just the external naysayers. Unfortunately, they have been no match for the internal naysayer I’ve contended with at times. I have found that my internal voice is the loudest and ugliest with regards to matters of intimacy and sexuality. This has become even more of a reason for me to devote myself to discipline in this area.
While my reasons for choosing to abstain from sex until marriage are undergirded by my faith, my desire for something different began prior to becoming a Christian. You see, I have something to compare my current lifestyle with. When I talk about my past, I reference it as my “hay day.” By definition, a hay day is the period of one’s greatest popularity, vigor, or prosperity. By secular world standards, the period of my life before coming to Christ would have totally been deemed a “hay day.” The irony though is that my current life is far more abundant and fun and without engaging in many of the things I used to. But back to my point… During my so called hay day when I was sexually active, I felt so empty and depressed. I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t moments that were physically pleasurable or fun. But Good Night!… Those moments lasted what? 30 minutes? An hour? Compared to the countless hours I went feeling used, invalidated, unloved, unknown, optional, etc. It didn’t add up and it certainly wasn’t adequate compensation for how I felt after the fact.
I found myself denying not only who I was but also what I was truly desiring. I’d convinced myself I could be ok with casual sex (otherwise known as sex with no strings). That was a lie! I wanted more. I needed more. I wanted to be genuinely pursued, seen, known, loved, cared for, protected, honored, and respected. In the world of casual sex, these things are an impossibility. And again I had this epiphany even before I knew (or should I say cared about) God’s views on sex.
I guess all that to say… seven years later I’m ok with being the “Holy Trinity of Anomalies.” It has forced me to not only be completely resolved in my reasons for choosing to be abstinent but also grow the intimacy of my relationship with the Lord in the process. And if nothing else it certainly keeps life interesting lol.