Warning: This post is a little lengthy (900 words), compared to my more recent posts. I apologize in advance. This series consists will consist of 5 posts (all shorter than this one) 🙂 . I pray that the posts are enlightening and encouraging.
Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, Relationship Evaluation Day, Single Awareness Day, or whatever phrase you use to refer to February 14th. I was supposed to post this on Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t get a chance. Valentine’s Day is a day full of emotions – happiness, excitement, sadness, depression, etc. Many people spent Valentine’s Day with their true loves. Others spent it alone. But, what about those of us without society’s definition of true love? Are we waiting on it? We wait for phone calls, birthdays, vacations, etc. No one likes waiting, and rarely do we choose to wait. So, why do we say we are waiting on love? (Questions to ponder – I’ll talk about my answers to these in the upcoming posts.)
When we were growing up, our parents were constantly telling us to wait for this or for that. As parents, they told us to wait for our protection. Waiting for anything helps us learn to delay gratification. Some learn the lesson immediately; others learn it eventually and still others never learn it.
This talk about waiting takes me right into the True Love Waits (TLW) initiative and other abstinence pledges. We were told to respect ourselves, save our virginity for our future husband and to focus on God. When I was 13 or so I discovered True Love Waits and I embraced it. I still have my ring and the bible. We’ve all heard about TLW. Even if we didn’t take the TLW pledge, our parents told us waiting until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse showed our respect for God.
A few years later I met my first “real” boyfriend. I don’t know what made me use quotes around real. You might be asking, “What made him real?” 🙂 I don’t know (shoulder shrug). Maybe it’s because we dated for almost 7 years; he was the first guy my parents allowed to come visit at our house and the first guy they let me go on double dates with when I was 16; he transferred to the college I attended; my friends became his friends and vice versa. Maybe those are the things that made him “real.”
Needless to say, or maybe I should say, I fell (well, that seems accidental) jumped off the TLW band wagon. I have since recommitted myself to a life of abstinence. I started jotting notes about TLW a few months ago when my church was in the process of planning a TLW ceremony for the youth and young adults. I was asked to speak to the group about TLW. I agreed because as Christians, we are required (I believe) to share our testimonies. I debated about what I would say, how I would say it and how it would be received. As I stated in the welcome letter, I don’t think I’ve had to deal with any very difficult moments in life, but there are areas with which I’ve struggled. I used to consider myself better than the girls who slept with any and everybody, had one night stands, etc. because I was just having sex with my boyfriend. In God’s eyes there was no difference between me having sex with my boyfriend and someone else having sex with their one night stand. A sin is a sin.
When I initially embarked on the TLW journey, I thought I’d meet a guy in college and be married by 21, just like my parents. I didn’t think I’d have to “wait” long. But, I didn’t meet my spouse in college. In fact, my boyfriend of 7 years and I ended up breaking up when I was in law school. But, I jumped ahead of myself. After a few years of dating, we told each other we no longer needed to wait on true love because we had found it in each other. We said that we didn’t have to wait because we were going to get married anyway. We talked about marriage a lot. But, we didn’t get married after college. He wanted to, but I wanted to continue my education. A shock coming from the girl who wanted to be a stay at home mom… I went to graduate school and hopped back on the TLW band wagon. It worked. I was excited. Then, I was introduced to a guy who stopped dating me because I was abstinent. I was hurt at the time, but now I know I am stronger because of it. I resumed waiting after that relationship. There have been other relationships since those. But, through it all, I have decided that waiting is what is best for me, AND more importantly, it is what God wants for my life (Romans 12:1,2).
What I have learned/ am learning while waiting:
- The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak;
- After being in a physical relationship with a man, it is hard to return to the relationship, the second time around without sex;
- Avoid situations that will cause you to succumb to your desires;
- We do not face any temptations that others haven’t faced;
- Don’t compromise your beliefs and standards for anyone; and
- Being diligent in church attendance, bible reading/study and prayer are IMPORTANT!
Peace and blessings!
P.S. Stay tuned for Part II.