When I was 20-years-old, I made a vow before God to remain a virgin until I get married. For the longest time, I used to think this was the dumbest decision of my life. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that it was in fact the best decision of my life.
For those who don’t know, a hookup culture is one that accepts and encourages casual sex encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment. It is generally associated with Western late adolescent behavior and, in particular, American college culture. However, when it comes to Millennials, this behavior has carried well into our thirties, mostly thanks to apps like Tinder.
The purpose of this piece isn’t to belittle the world. It’s to encourage my brothers and sisters who haven’t given into the world. I’m talking about the ones who endeavor to do what’s good in God’s eyes, to put him first, while sometimes feeling like…what’s the point?
Right now, I’m seeing a lot going on in the news when it comes to the abortion argument, the right to choose, a woman’s body, and where does life begin. I’m hearing these arguments and it feels like…it feels like I’m an alien who’s only visiting the planet earth. This isn’t my home. I’m seeing calls for a sex strike, pro-choice feminists pushing for women to forego sex to champion their cause.
The thing is…once upon a time, I used to be like them. Once upon a time I called myself a feminist. I called myself a Democrat. I used to admire Obama. I was so happy to at last have a black president. I believed in the LGBTQ cause and the greater push for equality and inclusion. I believed in acceptance and tolerance.
In a perfect world, there wouldn’t need to be a push for equality and inclusion. But alas, this world is not perfect. That is the reality. The reality is, the United States is a conglomerate of different cultures. The reality is, a lot of those cultures clash, they conflict. What’s acceptable to you and your ilk, might not be acceptable to another’s.
To say that they’re wrong and you’re right…I’ve heard these arguments before. I asked long ago… “Is there no right or wrong, only popular opinion?”
And many said there is a right and a wrong.
When I asked, “Based on what?” (says who?)
Many said it’s based on the Bible. Others said, it’s based on the community. If the community says it’s okay to fornicate and indulge in immorality, while the Bible shows that God views such actions in a bad light…what do you do if you’re a God-fearing Christian? What do you do if you’re a God-fearing Christian with a homosexual inclination? In my case, specifically…what do you do if you want to get married, but you’ve made a vow before God to wait until marriage, while living in a culture where sex seems to be a pre-requisite to marriage?
As I rise from the precipice overlooking the city, I can’t help but think, “Why did I ever make that stupid vow in the first place?”
In 2006, I was 20-years-old. I wasn’t a super religious. In fact, I hated it. I harbored so much resentment to religious organizations due to the guilt trips they used on people. They’d tell me, “if you’re not part of our religion, then you’re part of the world.” This false-delimma fallacy was the epitome of my hate and rage. But still…I don’t think I ever blamed God for that. Just the people. It’s strange, but in my heart of hearts…ever since I was a kid, I always believed that Jehovah God was a God of logic and reason.
Either way, I never completely turned my back on God. I just needed time to find my way. I needed time to forgive and forget the past. But during that time…in 2006, I ended up missing the Memorial of Jesus Christ’s death. That’s one tradition, one practice I truly believe in.
Jesus Christ died for our sins that we may be forgiven and have the hope of everlasting life. At any point, he could have gone the route of Satan. He could have seen all the sexy ladies and indulged. He could have gotten a taste of power and took control. He was beaten, spat on, and crucified by worthless humans that aren’t but a breath from God’s nose, while Jesus Christ was there since the beginning, who aided in creating the heaven and earth.
How could I recognize that Jesus Christ did all that for us…and not honor him by attending a memorial service? In 2006, I missed that service. And on that night…I closed my eyes and prayed for forgiveness.
Looking back, I’m sure I had no idea what I was doing. But the words came straight from my heart. It’s how I felt. And in that moment, I swear I felt God’s presence. There was nothing special about me. I’m not Jewish, not from God’s chosen people. I was just a black film student in the midst of my sophomore year, but I felt God’s presence. And I said:
“Jehovah, please forgive me. I swear on this day, that if you forgive me, I promise that I’ll wait until I get married to have sex. I’ll keep my virginity until then…”
In that moment, I felt I was forgiven. I believed it in my heart, right then and there. Thus, the vow was official. I was uplifted, and relieved, and glad.
But still, Rock…why make a vow of chastity in the first place? You could have made a vow to do anything. Why that?
It’s a valid question. Which takes me back to one my opening paragraphs about the ladies going on a so-called sex strike. You see…the thing was, back in 2006, I weighed 378 pounds. I always wore this oversize blue vest to cover up my man-boobs. I saw how detestable I was to my classmates…I believed I was a monster. I believed I was the ugliest man on earth and no woman in her right mind would ever want to be with me or ever see me as desirable.
So in short…in 2006, making that vow of chastity was something I thought would be the easiest thing in the world to keep. Hence…it’s easy to go on a sex strike if you believe in your heart that nobody wants you in the first place. Of course, I could be wrong about the feminist on that account, but speaking on behalf of myself, that was my reason. I believed I was forgiven by God, and I thought that vow would cost me very little.
Hahaha! Was I ever wrong. Because flash-forward 5 years later…whelp. Solid steel and sex appeal, my boss calls it. After years of busting my ass in the gym, cutting down on food portions, discipline and commitment to bettering myself with this intense drive that I carry to this day, I ended up losing 178lbs for my 6’3 frame.
The vow I made when I was 20-years-old, suddenly became very difficult.