I recently watched the video of DeVon Franklin (Actress Meagan Good’s husband) describing why he initially became celibate. He talked about how at one point he was ministering to others about not having sex but he was having sex himself. He was living a lie and cheapening the words that came from his mouth in the process. He became celibate so that he could be a better messenger for the Lord. His obedience has not only blessed his ministry but his personal life. He now has a beautiful woman of God to share his life with as well as a new book.
His testimony made me think about my own battle with fornication and hypocrisy. One thing I never want to be known as is a hypocrite. Everyone at some point in their lives has said one thing and then done another. Sometimes it’s intentional, other times it isn’t. As a child I was told, “Never say never because you may one day find yourself doing what you said you would never do.” Ain’t that the truth!
As a college student, I attended Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church and on Wednesday nights we had an amazing youth adult Bible study. I loved it and it was mainly because of the atmosphere of knowledge and worship set by the youth and young adult pastor, Stacy Spencer, who now serves as pastor of New Direction Christian Church. One day Dr. Spencer pulled me to the side and asked me if I would be willing to lead one of the breakout sessions we usually had after he delivered his weekly message. During this time, we would discuss in small groups what he talked about and how we could apply it to our daily lives. I have always had a great amount of respect for Dr. Spencer and I still enjoy hearing him speak. I should have been honored that he saw something in me that prompted him to ask me to be a leader among my peers but instead I panicked and stopped coming to Bible study. Why, you ask? Simply put, I thought I was unworthy. One of the topics we embraced regularly was sexual immorality and at the time I was head over heels in love with someone and getting my groove on whenever humanly possible.
Love is a beautiful thing (oh yes it is!) but when the expression of that love conflicts with your religious beliefs it creates inner turmoil. I couldn’t bring myself to stand up in front of those young people and be a hypocrite. I couldn’t bring myself to say what thus saith the Lord knowing good and well I was doing it…OFTEN! I’ve grown up a lot since then. Although I still don’t believe in doing one thing and saying another, I know that while you are yet in your sin God can use you and change you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t stop sinning, repent and continue to work each day to resist temptation. God continuously calls us to live a life of holiness. What I am saying is don’t let the guilt of your sin keep you from doing work on behalf of the kingdom. If you mess up at work you don’t quit your job, do you? Of course not, you need that job to survive! You apologize to your boss and your coworkers and do better the next time. Your mistake may have taught you a valuable lesson that allows you to become a better employee. We are human. We make mistakes but our humanity is not an excuse to sin nor is it a reason to separates ourselves from God. God expects more from us. He wants us to acknowledge our sin, repent, use our experiences to help us become better Christians and use our testimonies to sow seeds of hope, progress and the power of His love in others. If you fall, don’t do what I did. I let my sin keep me from helping to lead others to Christ. Who knows what good I could have done for the youth in that Bible Study, as well as myself?
I now write books that encourage sexual responsibility….that includes, abstinence, celibacy and being selective about your sex partners, if you should choose to engage in premarital sex. I know from experience, that everyone isn’t going to abstain but the least you can do is be smart about who you share your body with.
I, myself, have chosen celibacy. I have always been hesitant to share this fact openly because I have no desire to become the poster child for not getting any. However, it seems that God is pushing me to be more transparent. Resisting temptation isn’t easy, but I’m doing well right now. I’m walking the walk I talk and I must say that it feels good to be able to look others in the eye and know that I’m not living a lie nor am I lying to them. They respect me more but I also respect myself. I enjoy not feeling guilty about my actions. Best of all, I know that I have pleased my Heavenly Father. I am an example of what he can do in your life if you do what thus saith the Lord. Life is good!
Pray for my strength and I will continue to pray for yours.
My Side of the Single Life is by book author Jae Henderson. Her inspirational romance novels, Someday and Someday, Too are now available on Kindle and Nook. Visit her at, www.jaehendersonauthor.com and www.imagoodwoman.com.