So over the Valentine Day weekend all the rage was to go see Fifty Shades of Gray. I get it! I would be lying if I did not say, I too was curious to go see the movie. However, back in May of 2003 (my sexual sobriety date) I decided to stop living life the way I used to live it and start living it the way God was calling me to live it; By not having sex outside of marriage.
I know, I know, you’re asking yourself; what!?! Are crazy man? No! And let me explain.
Up until this point, I was and still consider myself to be all man. Although up until this point I was only being the man I wanted to be and what the world, I think, actually expects all men to be. Your own Man!
So at a very early age in life I started on my sexual conquest and I worked every gift God gave me to attract the opposite sex… I was funny, so I made women laugh! I had charm, so I flirted as much as possible! I could dance, so you could always find me with a lady on the dance floor! Let’s just say, there wasn’t a moment that I didn’t spend working and thinking about my next conquest and I was good at the game. I was always involved with someone whether it was dating (which included sex) or just hooking up which of course was just for sex. It was all fun and games or was it!?!
I never intended to hurt anyone! But let’s be honest, when you’re hooking up with no commitment, you never intend to hurt anyone but someone always gets hurt. When you’re having sex, there really is no just being a friend. It always means more to one person than that one person is willing to admit and the only reason they don’t admit to it is because they’re afraid if they do their feelings will get hurt. And sadly this is where most of my relationships, if you could call them that, would end; with somebody getting hurt, feeling guilty, feeling less than and with a walk of shame. Do not think I am leaving myself out of those equations. Trust me, I knew what I was doing was wrong and it felt wrong!
Which led me to my decision of not having sex outside of marriage and one of the reasons this is titled “Old Fashioned” the other reason is because all the rage for me this Valentine Day was for me to take my wife to see the other movie that came out this Valentine’s Day, which is called “Old Fashioned.”
The movie is based on a man, Clay, who at one time was the life of the party, a frat boy and the film maker of Spring Break movies. I am assuming much like girls gone wild. He meets a girl, Amber, who is a free spirit and she has just left an abusive relationship. Ashamed of who she is, Amber travels through the country until she finds a place to settle and hopefully makes it her home. The two meet when she runs out of gas and finds herself renting a room from the once party frat boy. I am not going to give you a review of the movie but I am going to share with you what the movie is and what rings true to me.
This movie is a story of redemption that I can relate to because I lived it. As I previously mentioned in May of 2003 I made the decision to stop having sex outside of marriage. The decision was easy but the walk was oh so hard. I hit so many moments of doubt, loneliness and bouts of temptation. Not to mention I felt, how could God ever see me any way other than how I see of myself, which was as a sinner full of guilt, shame and unworthiness. However God answers this in Luke 5:31-32, He came to redeem me (us). As I went through this walk with Christ he showed how loved I am and he showed me how to love others just as He loved me unconditionally. I learned to appreciate women for who they were, which is a person with feeling and not an object to fulfill my need or I should say my want because God showed me all I really need is Him. Finally in 2008 I met my now wife Barbie. She much like Amber in the movie had been through an abusive relationship and was in search of a new beginning. After not dating for so long (by choice) it was very awkward to be dating once again. Barbie was a Christian and I shared with her how I was living and she was fine with it and maybe under her breath saying thank God. However, as we continued dating she realized, oh, he was serious and she was not quite sure how to handle this. As I have found in my walk with Christ many talk about dating Gods way but few, very few do it. So as we continued to date the pressure to sleep together became larger than life. She was confused and asking herself, what is wrong with me, why doesn’t he love me and I was telling her that I do but please let’s enjoy the process of dating and what God is trying to teach us. Her friends we also telling her, you know what, he’s just not into you and if I were you I would move on. I too was getting pressure from my own family saying you better make your move or you’re going to lose her.
I have to tell you, the battle was hard but oh so worth it. It took a lot of intentional planned out dating being aware of what God was calling us to but in the end on our wedding night Barbie and I knew what it felt like to be pure again. As if it were the first time we had ever slept with anyone and my friends, I can tell you this felt so much better than anything I had ever felt before… So here’s to God and His redeeming Love, Grace and Mercy.