Spooning Leads To Forking, A Lesson In Boundaries
If you’ve been following my blog hopefully you’re starting to see the value in waiting to have sex until marriage. So the next topic I’d like to cover is HOW to wait. Because agreeing that something is moral and doing it are two completely different things altogether. So how can we set ourselves up for success should we choose to wait? Well, the first thing you must do if you decide to pursue this path is set some very clear boundaries up front. Good intentions don’t mean jack shit; it’s only what we’re able to do that matters. Let me share a story with you.
A few years ago, a female friend that I’d known for some time and I reconnected. She was going through some tough times and I pulled her close to my group of friends to try and surround her with uplifting people. Immediately I started to see she was making healthier decisions with her life and was being positively influenced by the group.
We started to spend more time together, just as friends, as we had a level of comfort having known each other so long and had came from similar backgrounds. There was some physical attraction between us, but I was praying about who to date next and was waiting for God to give me a green light on someone. Up until now He hadn't said anything about this girl or anyone else; although I was enjoying my time with her and we continued to grow closer. We had never been physical in any way, not even held hands. There was some minor flirting and I could feel us getting closer and thought it was a dangerous situation. I talked to her about it but we both pretended like that could never happen because we were “such good friends”. I ignored the red flags and the next time that we spent together, alone at my house watching a movie, we wound up having sex. It was a huge blow at the time as I had been abstinent for three years. I really believed that I was stronger than that. I had every INTENTION of saving myself for marriage. But once we started kissing I couldn't pull the emergency brake on and stop it...even after 3 years of abstinence! Things got out of control quickly and it almost ended our friendship. In hindsight, I see that I wanted the benefits of having a girlfriend without the actual commitment, and it was my fault because I hadn’t set stronger boundaries.
To remain abstinent, you must know yourself and be very honest with yourself about what you can and can’t do when it comes to dating. For some people, their boundary might not be spending time alone together, others may not be able to even kiss or hold hands. The main thing is to “know thyself” and don’t try to see how close you can get to the fire without getting burned. Even my friends that don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God will say, at the very least, He was the most enlightened person to walk the earth; and what did Jesus say about sin? He said, “if your eye causes you to sin to gouge it out.” Think about that. Can you imagine gouging your own eye out? So, when I have friends ask me if it’s ok to cuddle or spend the night at their significant other’s house while they are dating, I would ask “is it worth it?” While there might not be anything wrong with cuddling per se, let’s be honest, it usually leads to other things. I understand that not cuddling someone you are dating sounds extreme, but it’s nowhere as extreme as gouging your own eye out! I have many friends, that miss this aspect of a relationship; and while cuddling may be innocent to them, it’s not always innocent to others, especially if they’re not committed to waiting until marriage to have sex. Spooning leads to forking! The old “I just wanted to be held” may be true, but all that matters is what you are able to do, again, intentions count for nothing. Therefore, I recommend before dating decide what your boundaries are and communicate them to your new prospective partner right away. Decide where your line is before ever putting yourself in a compromising situation, so you don’t make a mistake. Trying to decide where your boundaries are when you’re already horizontal is a bad idea.
REMOVE OBSTACLES TO SUCCESS
I won’t lie, if you are going to do this it is going to cost you. I removed all obstacles from my life that would prevent me from succeeding. The boundaries I now keep personally? For the last three years, I decided not to spend time alone with women because I know that it is dangerous for me given my past and my weaknesses in that area. I might ride in a car or go to the movies with a female, but I wouldn’t have a girl at my house to watch a movie let’s say or go to hers if it was just her and I. Another thing I did to pursue this path was I gave up drinking alcohol several years ago. One of the primary reasons I did this was when I drink I feel promiscuous. I used to rationalize drinking because drinking isn’t wrong, but if it causes me to make “mistakes” over and over then it must go. I can’t tell you how much more productive this one decision has made me and it all stemmed from my desire to wait to have sex until marriage. For me, remaining sober is one of, if not the best strategy for finding true love and long-term happiness. Personally I didn’t want to burn another female friendship, hurt another person, damage the faith that other people have placed on me and lose credibility, get stuck with the wrong person inadvertently, get an STD, or get someone pregnant etc. Make sense? But hey, those are my boundaries, and I admit they are up far. But if I’m serious about having all the things I want most in life, and everything that I believe God has for me, there are certain sacrifices I needed to make to put myself in a position to succeed.
Should you choose to remain abstinent before marriage, it can be lonely, and it’s hard, and you may be depressed at times. Trust me, it's been an emotional roller coaster for me. Honestly, it's what I imagine going through withdrawal to a substance is like, but on the other side there's this beautiful freedom that comes with it.
The Bible says, "no discipline feels pleasant at the time but painful, later however it yields a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it." Be willing to "go through" it. No one gets to their promised land without going through the wilderness. The wilderness is uncomfortable, it's unfamiliar, sometimes it's flat-out painful. But know there is something great on the other side for you if you make the journey. One more tip if you are trying to stay sex free before marriage. I strongly recommend seeking out a mentor who can give you good advice and accountability around your relationships. A church is a good place to find someone that shares these values, and it won't cost you any money. Having a good support system is crucial. Surround yourself with people headed in the same direction or you’ll never make it. If church isn't your thing, try a volunteer group or check out CityFam. The relationships I've made there make it almost easy.
Will it be hard? Absolutely. But think about what you are vying for here, this isn’t a small thing, this is the life that you’ve always wanted, and the person created just for you to share it with. I think too often we forget how good the prize is at the end of the wait. I recently had a friend find his soulmate after a long period of waiting, and he told me, "if I would have known it would be this good I would have waited a lifetime."
In the coming weeks leading up to my book being released, I will be writing more blog posts sharing my experiences and observations. I will also be sharing excerpts to help shed light on a very misunderstood, but vital to understand subject, with the hope that it helps people gain clarity into Why Waiting Works. Thanks for reading.
Join the conversation in the Why Waiting Works Community. Stay tuned.