book review, Men, Women

My Wait

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The Wait is a honest depiction of celibacy in the modern age. Devon Franklin and Meagan Good give personal accounts of their journey, individually and as a couple. Whether your choice or consideration for celibacy is one of a commitment to God or not, The Wait offers so much  confirmation and assistance to one practicing the lifestyle. Devon and Meagan began their journey of celibacy separately and at different times. Each walking through life seeking God’s will. They did not know at first that they were for each other, but began a friendship that did turn into a marriage. I am approaching close to 3 years of celibacy and waiting in God’s time, knowing He is writing a beautiful love story- better than I could ever imagine.

Right away, the question of Why gets answered for us.

“But why? Why did we consciously delay gratification – not just sexual but emotional and spiritual- that would have come with diving headfirst into a passionate relationship? The answer is simple: we wanted God’s very best for our lives, collectively and individually, and we wanted it in whatever way he intended. This required patience (pg.xvii).”

“Because we waited, we exchanged immediate gratification for what we really wanted and who we really wanted to be. Because we waited, God was able to reveal things that we would have missed if we had been blinded by the white-hot light of lust, desperate to fulfill our own desires. Because we waited, we were eventually ready (pg.xviii).”

The authors clarify that the Wait is (sort of) about sex. Sex is always around us through tv, movies, music, blogs, magazines, talk shows, billboards. Lets to be real- sex is in our own minds and memories. When you decided not to have it [sex], not to entertain it, even fight against thoughts of it, now that is what stirs up curiosity and controversy. Singer, Ciara Harris and now fiance Seattle Seahawks QB, Russell Wilson stirred up media with their commitment to doing it Jesus’ way. Congrats By The Way!!!!

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God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.  

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Waiting is not passive. I’m not waiting for a prince to rescue me from some high tower of a castle. The authors, tells us while we wait we should be working on ourselves, “…letting love and purpose manifest in your life as result of you working on becoming the best version of yourself (pg.11).”It’s about focusing on becoming our best, the best God intended for us to be. Trusting God that He is working on your behalf at all times. This allows us to fill free from believing that we’ve got to make things happen NOW, “God has His hand on your life during this time, rearranging the scenery in order to set you up for good things to come (pg. 13).”

Waiting is not about ridding yourself of sexual urges. They will always be there because of our human nature. However, “your sexual urges lose their power over you. You gain power over them (pg. 16).” You have to want Plan A over all other things. Plan A is the very best God has in store for you, though based on our decisions we may miss out on Plan A.

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Chapter Two: Getting What You Really Want (Hint: It Isn’t Sex), reminded me of The Purge – my own struggle of discovering what I really wanted. The Wait is about removing yourself from that toxic cycle, running towards the things and people that continue to break you each time.  Are you suffering from post-traumatic relationship disorder?

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It’s about personal growth. Growing up. Improving yourself. Praying that God not only send you a spouse, but He work on you. Pray that God teach you how to be that spouse. Relationships, situationships all distracts us. Most of us. Most of us don’t do it God’s way (at first). We’ve gotten the person of our affection in our grasp and just stopped focusing on our priorities. In the past, its always been difficult to take care of priorities when there’s some guy I’m pining for.

Waiting reduces drama, conflict, and expense….Then there’s the post-sex conflict, expectations, and crises (pg. 64)… who wouldn’t love to say good-bye to the walks of shame, morning-after scenes, waiting on the call that doesn’t come, and feelings of being used?…. Waiting gives your better knowledge of your partner. When you’re not blinded by lust or the counterfeit intimacy that can come with premarital sex, you can see the person you’re dating for who they are (pg. 65).”

Temptation…something that I really loved was, “Sometimes wisdom means knowing when you’re not strong, ****so that you don’t have to be strong**** (pg.88).” WoW! I had never thought of temptation in this way!

Funny (but pathetic) story I recently recalled to a friend. I remembered years ago, I was on my way to see a guy [the one from The Purge]. It was a summer night around 10pm or 11pm or ??? While driving there, I was telling myself I wasn’t going to hookup with him. I wasn’t going to stay long. I prayed to God, done let me hook up with him- don’t let me have sex with him. The outcome? I was in his bed sooner than I realized. Easily melted into our sin and I never resisted. What a dummy. What a fool. I went knowing I wasn’t strong that’s why I included God at the last minute. Grabbing God at the last second isn’t enough. I was being unwise.

Knowing your triggers is extremely important. Page 99 gives us some good examples: Late nights, emotional trauma, intimate contact, alcohol, sexting/snapchat, travel. There can be more and we all have our own combination of triggers. Just like any behavior that you’re trying to keep in check, over-eating, gambling, shopping, drugs etc. We all have triggers that if not examined can lead us to acting out our weaknesses. This is about being smart, not putting yourself up against temptation- believing that you can outwit your own flesh.

Chapters Five and Six divulge deeper into why women and men don’t wait. In short, women tend to have a fear of being alone, “Scratch the surface of a lot of unmarried young women and you’ll find a layer of fear just below the surface. Fear of being alone. Fear of not having children. Fear of being judged and found wanting. Fear of being less of a woman. Fear of being inadequate, insufficient, not good enough. Fear of not being all you were called to be by the time you think it should happen (pg.110).” I wont go further because I think this is an easy concept.

Why men don’t wait is something entirely different and worthy of deep exploration. Men tend to prescribe to “The List… unspoken inventory of must-haves that plays on a 24-7 loop (pg. 141).” The List is as follows: Wealth, Power, Position, A hot car, Great clothes, A huge crib, Big toys, A beautiful, sexy woman on your arm.

The List is a placebo. 

“The man who recklessly gives himself over to his sex drive denies and distances himself from his divine nature. He courts chaos, drama, legal troubles, illegitimate children- everything this side of the plagues Moses warned Pharaoh about in Exodus. Worst of all, he becomes manipulative and callous, willing to do or say anything to get a woman into bed. He becomes addicted not just to the physical feeling of sex but also to the psychology of how sex makes him feel- and the game he must play to produce this feeling (pg. 147).”

God was telling me, “Don’t play with my daughters’ hearts.”  – Devon Franklin

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Are you ready to change? Are you ready to pause and heal your wounds? Are you ready to relinquish your sad imitation of power to the One that made you? It’s not easy. It took me one day a time to stop making the same mistakes. It took me opening up to a trusted group of young women in a small group and them praying audacious prayers over me. It took me getting on my knees crying out to the One that made me, and humbling myself to repent of insecurity. The reasons we do what we do all differ, but sin is at the core. Sin wheres a mask of insecurity and pride, even power and selfishness. Jesus took these sins to the cross. Stop taking them down and putting them again.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:30

Related Reading:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/i-gave-sex-three-years-ago-heres-what-happened

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Men, Women

Doing Single Well

I’m not an expert in relationships. In fact, I’m sure a statistician could create a formula and generate some numbers to show that statistically speaking, I’m bad at them [relationships].

I haven’t been in many. They haven’t always lasted long. They’ve always failed. The guys? Umm… See Am I My Brother’s Keeper- I mention them briefly.

I’m not putting myself down. I’m being honest. I’m being Real. I’m not in the business of covering up my messes, my HOT messes. My walk with Christ in the most recent years, has revealed that those relationships/situationships were doomed from the beginning. Before they even started. Before a first kiss, a first glance. Doomed. Destined to fail.

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Since getting serious with God about three years ago, I have not been in a relationship. I have been single since May 2012.

I’m writing this piece as an expert at being single. A professional singleton. Here are my main tenets for being single, especially a “Christian” single:

  1. Know Yourself

Outside of and apart from some dude or chick, who are you really? Outside of trying to impress a potential lover. Apart from trying to win the affection and validation of another person. Visualize your life in the future or even now. What do you want in it?

Eventually and God willing, I want a husband. I want the boyfriend that will be the fiance, that will the husband, that will be the father of my children. I’d like to move out of my city to a smaller community on the outskirts. I’d like to home-school my children while they are young. I’d like to have a home that is accommodating enough that we can invite friends and family over for holidays and special occasions. I’d like to continue serving Christ and have a husband that does the same. I’d like to raise children against the grain. I’d also like to become a foster parent of older teens.

This is me. This is what I want for my life. You either want the same or you don’t.
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What don’t I want? Dysfunction. I detest dysfunction. I need someone that is just as committed as I am to living a life free of dysfunction.

If a guy doesn’t want to be my husband or the father of my children, he is not for me. If he is not committed to destroying the dysfunction in himself, he is not for me. If he chooses to not give his heart to Jesus Christ, he is not for me.

I’m seeing too many people trying to Churchify and Christianize some dude or chick they’re fooling around with. If you’ve already sinned with this person, what makes you think you can flirt or seduce them into coming to church with you and that somehow makes it all Right? Your attempt at fooling God is futile. He sees your deeds and sees your heart. Stop trying to validate, justify and impress yourself with all your church dates.

Some ladies need to know there are guys that will come to church with you as long as they think its one step closer to getting in your bed.

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God says that He knew you before you were born. Jeremiah 1:5

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

“I am God’s child.
Galatians 3:26

I am Jesus’ friend.
John 15:15

I am a whole new person with a whole new life.
2 Corinthians 5:17

I am a place where God’s Spirit lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19

I am God’s Incredible work of art.
Ephesians 2:10

I am totally and completely forgiven.
1 John 1:9

I am created In God’s likeness.
Ephesians 4:24

I am spiritually alive.
Ephesians 2:5

I am a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20

I am God’s messenger to the world.
Acts 1:8

I am God’s disciple-maker.
Matthew 28:19

I am the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13

I am the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I am greatly loved.
Romans 5:8”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/faithandlife/devotionals/what-does-bible-say-about-me.html

You are who God says you are. Not what some dude or chick said. If your ego is getting fluffed up by “You’re hot” and “Hey Sexy,”… You Are in Danger. If your love tank is getting filled up by fornication, You’re On Your Death Bed.

I tell you this from experience. See The Purge. I tell you this to help open your eyes Wide and snap you into reality. God is on His way back to Earth. What do you want to get caught doing when He arrives?

Confession: In God’s strength, I have been abstinent for over two years. It can be done. I’m serious about waiting until I’m married.
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2. If Its Not From God, I Don’t Want It

Nowhere in the bible does God, Jesus or anyone else guarantee you a husband or wife. You’ll have to prepare yourself to live a solo life. I ask God for a husband, but I don’t feel entitled to one. I ask God to prepare me to be a wife. God knows exactly who I’d like to be my husband. I pray for that person but I also tell God, “If its someone else, I’d be happy with that.” I preface a lot prayers with “If its your will…” I have relinquished all my Proverbs 7 ways. Look it up and read it well.

I continue to let God direct my path and move within me. I ask Him to mold me and shape me. Yes, guys catch my eye. Yes, I fantasize a little bit with the “what ifs” but I always stop myself and give it to God. I’ve apologized to God, “God, I’m sorry if I’m wanting [ fill in the blank guy] more than I’m wanting you.” You’ll have to get in the habit of giving people, fantasies, thoughts, feelings and ideas to God. Get in the habit of relinquishing your fleeting “control” over to the Master. You’re not entitled to a man or woman, not entitled to have sex. We are to be living pure Holy lives. So get used to denying your flesh, dying to yourself. If you believe its your Right to have a “physical release” you’re mocking God. Eve thought she had a Right to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

I continue to give moments to God, continue to press into Him. Continue to do things His way not mine. Mine leads to Heartache, Confusion, Insecurity, Rejection and Darkness.

3. Be Smart

I describe myself as a strategic person. The steps I take, no matter how small will lead to my end goal. Each step is leading me in the direction I want to go. Where are your steps leading you?

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If you want a job, you get up, look and apply for jobs. You go to the interview, accept a job offer, then show up when you’re supposed to. However, some people think jobs fall out of the sky while you lay on the couch in your underwear watching the Steve Harvey show and eating Lucky Charms.

Being smart, means taking responsibility for your actions and choices. At some point, you’re going to have to accept responsibility for your poor choices. You chose to have sex with someone not committed to you. Someone you’ve known for about 5 minutes. Someone that is not seeking Christ. Someone that doesn’t take your choices seriously. You’re upset because they don’t care about your relationship with Jesus? You’re upset they don’t see the point in honoring God? You’re upset because they don’t care to understand the turmoil you feel when you sin? You chose to sin with them and are upset they aren’t upset? And you wonder why they look at you like you’re crazy!

I firmly believe there are times you can only love certain people from a distance. You may “want” this person badly, and even for the Right reasons- to Glorify Christ in the final Outcome. Lord, if we ended up together, Lord, if he gave his heart to you- it would be for your Glory! Happily Ever After, The End.
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Not always. Not exactly. I will continue to choose Jesus day in and day out, despite getting the things or people I want. There’s more to life, than lovers and spouses. I choose to honor God in not coveting what isn’t mine. If you’re longing desperately for some dude or chick, check you heart. Is you’re longing for that person replacing your longing for your Creator?

I do my best to keep drama away. I do my best to play it smart and make sure I get the results I’m looking for. I no longer have the energy to confuse myself with my poor choices and want the other person to “understand me.” God knew sex was deep stuff. He knew it was binding. He knew it was powerful. He knew that outside of His protection (marriage) it could destroy people. It could cause chaos and emotional havoc. If you continue to be unhappy single and feel entitled to have “someone, ” to engage someone sexually- you are not playing it smart.
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These are my tenets. Lessons I’ve learned in terrible ways. I sharing this with you in hopes it will make sense to you and you will get your heart Right with God.

 

 

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