NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
This post, in my opinion, is one of Blog Xpressions’ most expressive and vulnerable pieces since we launched in 2015.
Relationship educator and author, Auketria Manor, takes us on her journey of celibacy. Not many people are comfortable talking about sex, let alone abstinence or celibacy.
The fact that Auketria opened her heart and invited us in to explore her current journey is a stellar move!
Please note – this is her personal experience. I realize that not all of us serve the same higher power, so, keep in mind, this is her spiritual walk.
We strongly encourage any feedback or questions. No more being quiet! Women are doing some amazing things this year and I think this post is a great way to kick it off.
We’ve witnessed celebrity couple, Meagan Good and Devon Franklin, go thru this and just feels so good to see others opening up about their journey.
Let’s make this post go viral! Please share on social media.
Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to indulge in some real tea!
One of my favorite topics mainly because I find that relationships are so essential and much like money, relationships make the world go round.
Days ago, on the world’s New Year’s Eve, I came across a post via my Instagram feed by relationship coach and author, Emily McKnight.
If you are unfamiliar with who she is and what her content focuses on, I’ll fill you in:
McKnight’s story is inspiring as she invites readers on the journey of her and her husband prior to their marriage. They abstained from a sexual relationship until after they said, “I do”.
As I read the comments on the post that she shared, I smiled at the number of women who shared that they were already abstaining and smiled some more at the lengths of time of their various journeys as well.
I, too, have made the decision, AGAIN, to abstain from sex.
My epiphany was simple – I say that I love the Lord but I wasn’t demonstrating that behavior sinning against my own body, my temple. I’m not my own, I belong to Yahweh (God) and should present my body a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto Him.
I have had many thoughts and had many attempts to withdraw sex from my life in the past, but how many of you know that soul ties are real?
How many of you know that you become stuck especially if the sexual experience is actually good? We’re adults so I am trying to keep this as authentic as possible but tactful too.
Of course it’s all good when you are sharing a bed with a warm body for the thrill of feeling amazing for a time. But, is it all good when you realize that you have failed to know the core of your partner before sleeping with them and after you’ve had sex with them, those quirky things you thought were so cute pretty much drive you crazy now?
It’s usually because you were attracted to the physical make-up of that man or woman but had not found that attraction to their mind, their intellect, their spirit.
Granted, this may not apply to you because some folks are savage when it comes to sex and relationships (men and women) and it matters not to connect with a person beneath the surface. I do believe that it matters to some…even men!
See, when I am perusing my timelines, I come across “woe is my love life” posts from both men and women. What this tells me is that men are just as tired of empty relationships as women.
A relationship is more than sex.
A lasting relationship and marriage cannot be built on the sexual experience alone and engaging prematurely can be damning altogether. Yeah, I know you disagree, but for the spiritually aware, you know I’m telling the truth.
What do you and this new prospect have in common? Are you compatible where your faith and belief systems are concerned? How do you both feel about family dynamics? Have you seen him or her upset?
I, for one, don’t think you need to commit to someone if you have never witnessed them under stress, upset, or how they handle those emotions let alone have sex with them.
It has been one year for me since I began my journey and despite that some days have been a more mental battle than others, I am grateful that I’ve made it this far. Yes, I’ve been challenged and yes, I may have sparked laughter when I share my personal choice.
And yes, there have been times where I even had disappointments about not having a warm body to go home to, BUT, I’m thankful that I have not fallen off track, more importantly. The bottom line for me is that I could no longer settle for a temporary fix – I needed a breakthrough and change.
My Personal Journey
For me, the journey has not been easy but I believe I would be exaggerating if I said that it was “extremely difficult”.
Although I had a made-up mind to practice abstinence, there were occasions where I had to deal with my flesh as the desire would sometimes arise.
Then, I’d have to ask myself things like, “but, then what afterwards?”
“Is a few minutes of pleasure worth the feeling of spiritual defeat when I’m done?”
Even in a full blown relationship, the drive home brought feelings of emptiness and it felt as though pieces of me had been chipped away. I didn’t feel whole. Sexual intimacy is beautiful and designed for married couples according to scripture, and for me, someone who strives for spiritual growth, I felt conflicted, convicted and more stagnant in my growth each time I succumbed to my flesh and deprived my spirit.
Exactly one year ago, I decided though that something had to change. I was tired of my inner-woman being vexed by the actions of my outer-woman, my flesh. All it took was a decision to start and it takes a new decision each day to keep going.
Yes, there have been times where I thought to myself this is for the birds and mentally prepared myself to throw in the towel and do my own thing. There have been other times where I compared someone else’s journey to my own: “Yahweh such and such has a happy marriage and had sex prior.”
But, then, I came back to reality – other folks’ happily ever after, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with me where I am headed and what my focus should be.
How Dating Is Different For Me
First, let me say that dating and being in a relationship with someone is NOT the same thing.
Ladies and gentlemen – I hope that you are not sharing beds with everyone you date. Dating is a time period in which you are spending planned outings with an individual in an effort to get to know them, collect data and determine if you and this person are compatible in the areas that matter to Yahweh and you to even agree to an exclusive relationship with one another.
Please chill at this phase (but I know you grown though). A relationship is SUPPOSED to be more of a commitment between two people but these days viewpoints may vary. Even at this phase, it would benefit you to abstain.
Moreover, some months ago, I was seeing a guy who said all of the right things and he was what I believed to be pretty ideal. He seemed responsible, he took joy in his career and purpose, a Christian, handsome and we clicked…at first. But, the more we talked, I began to see things that I was ignoring initially.
He seemed game for abstaining at first, but sometime later during a conversation, his true position surfaced. He let me know that he wasn’t sure that he could wait until marriage. I ignored it and chalked it up to him just being a man. He went on over time attempting to convince me that it was no big deal. I totally entertained him and even decided that more than likely if things continued to go well, I would give in.
But, something phenomenal happened between my changing of the mind to go along and actually acting on it.
I saw the real person.
I tuned in to the things he was saying and found that a life with him was going to be about one thing – him! There was a controlling spirit, he was self-absorbed, demanding and attempting to pull me away from Yahweh’s will for my life – sex!
Conversations were more about how he needed things to be and less about concerns for me. Where was the meeting point in this? A relationship is a collaborative effort of two! I had not tied souls with this man, so the things we normally ignore because of being sexually bound, I was like “nah, that ain’t going to work for me”.
Not having had sexual intimacy made assessing who he was as a person less cloudy. I had nothing tying me to this man or making it difficult for me to cut him off. I came out and told him with ease one afternoon, “I’ve given it some thought and decided that this just isn’t going to work for me.” I went on with the rest of my day not thinking twice about it even though he tried to insult me after I told him this.
I could care less, I had dodged a bullet and insulting me as far as I was concerned showed more about his insecurity than anything. Clearly I had done the right thing…for me!
Although I have not dated a lot outside of that in 2017, I’ve dated a little and I don’t bring up my abstinence right away but I bring it up as soon as I discern that the time is right.
Sometimes there isn’t a “right time” before I realize it doesn’t even matter because it won’t be a second or third date anyway. Other times, it is the guy who does not want to move forward due to my choice not to have sex and I am fine with that.
I knew what was up when I made this choice and I have nothing bad to say about others who have not made such a choice yet. Prayerfully, they’ll get their revelation in due time. What I will say is, it’s much easier to stay focused when I’m not dating someone that I actually like but through prayer and confessing to one of my sisters-in-love that I don’t know if I can hang on and getting checked by her, I keep going.
I remember her asking me:
“Then what? Begin blocking your blessings all over again and compromising your growth and how far you’ve come? Continue this journey, there is a blessing in it for you, don’t interrupt what Yahweh is doing in your life keep going.”
It is interesting to share that I wanted her to side with my plan to fornicate! But, she was like, “nah…you know Yahweh would not be pleased!”
Sisters and brothers, get you someone in your circle that refuses to co-sign your foolishness.
What’s Next for Me
Nothing special, actually. I’m going to continue to live, laugh and love. I’m going to continue to abstain by not putting myself in compromising situations and not care much when a prospect is not up for the journey. I’m going to continue to pray because I have not come this far in this particular journey by my own might that’s for sure.
I’m weak and I am human so I have to be intentional about staying the course by feeding my spirit and not my flesh. I will continue to look myself in the mirror and know that I have not given in to temptation and that I am growing and growing in a way that Yahweh sees fit for me.
I understand that my journey isn’t the next person’s journey and not everyone will agree with me and some may laugh. Prayers and love to them regardless, we get our revelation at different times.
My abstinence is not a matter of no longer enjoying life as some may think, but it’s a matter of aligning myself with Yahweh’s will for my life and truthfully it’s His will for yours, too. You just have to decide when you will align with it.
Until next time Xpressionists, Xoxo!