All Articles Tagged "premarital sex"
As a teenager, church was a crucial aspect of my life. As a matter of fact, it was the most important part of my life until I went to college. Life changed after that.
It’s crazy how something is meaningful one day, then the next it just isn’t.
For me, church was the first time I ever felt accepted by a collective group of people. I was an oddball kid, and I didn’t fit in with anyone at my high school. I was a nerd; always looking for a library and another fictional adventure to lose myself in.
My mother didn’t believe in minors going to unsupervised parties or teen lock-ins at the local skating rink. Didn’t matter how many times I asked, she wasn’t having it. So after years of being an awkward loner, aimlessly wandering, meeting and losing friends, I discovered the Youth Whole Life Network.
YWLN was the youth ministry at the church my family and I were attending at the time. Prior to becoming a youth leader, church was a routine for me. Every Sunday morning we’d start around 10:30 am and let out somewhere between 1:30 and 3 p.m., depending on how good the Holy Ghost hit that day. Praise and worship, some prayer, a hefty offering, long, boring sermon, and then altar call.
During that time, church was routine. Nothing more. Nothing less.
But after becoming a youth leader, that all changed. Church became not only an enriching place but also a social necessity. It provided me, a loner, with a chance to thrive and dwell amongst others like myself. But at a cost.
Some expectations came with church leadership. Although I was still a child, I was held to a higher standard, and I had to do more. Be more.
I was taught to pray without ceasing and spent long hours studying the intricacies of the scriptures, old and new. Long nights were spent planning youth conferences and retreats where other kids just like me could be filled with the Holy Ghost. Every fourth Sunday I found myself in the pulpit on Youth Days, nerves racked as I spewed long, powerful prayers over the congregation.
I would sit in the bathroom stall before service practicing how to pray; fitting in praise and worship clichés in between Lord We Thank Yous. The prayer had to be perfect. It had to be impactful. It had to have power.
Over time I realized, despite the many positives of being a youth leader in the church, I was developing a religion instead of an actual relationship with God.
Ten years later, both myself and the other young people I grew up with in church are all adults. We’ve graduated from our respective colleges and universities and moved forward with life. Our youth pastor, who led us with such diligence, care, and precision, now has his own ministry. About 70 percent of the youth leaders from my old church are now members of his church, and their congregation is thriving and growing more every day.
I don’t go there, or any house of worship for that matter. Years of active church leadership revealed the flaws behind the veil of ministry, and I needed to separate myself from that to have a real relationship with God.
But social media keeps us all in contact with one another. Memories of piling into the church van and ministering to other youth, traveling across the country for church retreats and the jokes and laughter I shared with my fellow youth leaders still cross my mind and leave a smile stretched across my face.
I’ve watched their lives blossom and develop through Facebook, and everyone appears to be leading rich lives. They are all married, and the majority of them have children.
Not that there is anything wrong with being married. Marriage is a beautiful thing. But everyone is married to other youth we grew up with in church.
And I just find that a tad bit odd.
After all, these former youth leaders are around my age, most of us not even close to 30. But people are in full-blown marriages with babies or babies the way, creating families. It makes me question if church influence and fear of the consequences of sex before marriage pressured some people to move sooner than they should have.
As a youth leader, we were taught about conviction, but I never fully understood it. It almost felt like beating yourself up for doing bad or “sinning.” I would find myself repeatedly repenting for the same things; seeking internal forgiveness from God–and from my church. I think we all were as we kneeled before the altar, tears running down our faces, thanking the Lord for being a forgiving God and for giving us a chance to get it right.
I learned at an early age that self-conviction was a silent killer, and any kind of sexual sin seemed to be the ultimate letdown to God. Although I wasn’t sexually active in my teenage years, I was extremely curious and would sneak to watch porn when no one was at home. As an adult, I realize it’s normal for teenagers to be curious about their bodies and sex. But as a Holy Ghost-filled, praying, retreat-planning youth leader, I was convinced after every click on YouPorn that I was going to hell.
I was a sinner. And so were others.
Growing up, when girls would get pregnant in church, they would get dismissed from ministry. A.k.a., they would “sit you down.” It was almost like church punishment for your sins. I remember multiple teenage girls getting pregnant before they were married. They were soloists in the choir or youth leaders, like me. But after they started showing, they seemed to disappear from those roles.
I think that was a fear for every youth leader. That either they’d get caught having sex or get pregnant and be ineligible for ministry. So when I noticed everyone suddenly hopping on the marriage bandwagon, that was the first thing I thought.
There was so much pressure on us to be great. To uphold righteousness and be set apart. We were told we didn’t fit in with the world because compared to those in the world, we were unequally yoked. So we all gravitated towards each other and, subsequently, started marrying each other.
But everyone is still so young.
In my mid-20s, I feel that I’m nowhere near ready for marriage. There is so much more of me to explore; pieces of me that I haven’t uncovered yet, gems within myself that have yet to shine.
I want to travel to countries I can’t pronounce, fill up a passport with rare stamps, and dine on food my mother can’t prepare. There is so much more of me to see before embarking on a lifetime partnership with someone else. Your 20s are for discovering yourself, right?
With divorce more prevalent, marriage just seems like something not worth rushing into. Yet, with my church upbringing and the Bible’s ‘no sex before marriage’ command, it’s easy to see how some can be persuaded into marriage to avoid carnal desires of the flesh. But I can’t help but feel like organized religion is dissuading people from getting the most out of life’s experiences.
One thing is for certain: Either I’m moving too slowly, or all my peers are moving full speed ahead into the rest of their lives. Or perhaps, there is a pace for everyone, and there is no race to the finish.
Before a love affair begins, or even before meeting someone new, people have standards they set for themselves for things they expect when it’s time to be a part of a new relationship. Things such as communication, mutual respect, and honesty at all times are just a few examples for most people. For others, stuff like good sex (and having lots of it) are paramount. But what happens if the person you are interested in doesn’t want to have premarital sex? What then?
For some, engaging in premarital sex can be detrimental to a relationship. For starters, it can take away the focus of actually taking the time to learn about who a person is from the inside out. Once you’ve done it, sex becomes a big part of your relationship. Making sex a requirement can also be uncomfortable for your partner in many ways. You never know how a person may feel about having intercourse. They may not find it to be as pleasurable as you do due to a bad or traumatic experience in their past. They may not be comfortable with their body. And in some cases, they may not be ready to take that next step in the relationship, but they don’t want to disappoint or possibly lose you, so they make a decision they later regret.
On the flip side of things, many people make sex a requirement in a relationship for reasons they believe are valid. One reason is to “test the waters” of sexual chemistry. They want to know if they are sexually compatible with someone and if they will be satisfied with them before they can truly commit. Another purpose is to quench the thirst of physical attraction and curiosity. We all know what happens when we see an attractive person. We begin to feel some kind of way towards them. Our bodies start to tingle, and our minds begin to wonder, which in turn make us want to get to know them in a sexual manner.
While everyone can justify why sex should or shouldn’t be required for a monogamous relationship, let’s not forget the real purpose of having sex, and relationships. Sex was created for a husband and a wife to enjoy, not for random physical pleasure. And relationships are bonds that are created by two people who connect spiritually, mentally, emotionally, intellectually–and then physically. Countless couples are together because of the ties they’ve built, while others are together because they are just sexually compatible. But can a quality relationship emerge from sex alone? And can requiring sex in a relationship make things better or worse? What happens if you really start to like someone for who they are, you want to move forward with them, you finally have sex, but the experience is not what you thought it would be?
Everyone’s standards are different and should be respected. Whether having sex is a deal breaker or not for you, it’s your choice, but it may be best to think thoroughly about what you really want in a relationship and a mate. You never know who you could be overlooking simply because they don’t want to have sex just yet. And while you can’t expect someone to change their way of doing things to appease you, you can stick to what you want and find someone who is on the same page as you.
Sex is a beautiful, spiritual experience when shared with the one you were intended to be with. You don’t want to minimize what it is by making it a must-have item on your checklist of the criterion for a relationship. While it can satisfy you physically for a moment, it can also weaken you spiritually and weaken your relationship. You have to decide what’s important to you.
So, with that being said, what would you do if a person you wanted to be with didn’t want to engage in premarital sex?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? a motivational speaker and advocate for single women. As a teacher by gift and trade, she serves as a workshop facilitator to encourage unmarried women to embrace the beauty of living the single life according to God’s will. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
I Used To Be A Hypocrite! DeVon Franklin Says He Was A Backsliding Preacher Who Engaged In Premarital Sex
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard at least a tiny tidbit about Meagan Good’s courtship and marriage to her Hollywood executive hubby DeVon Franklin. What made their relationship stand out so much in the sea of other Hollywood unions was how openly they discussed their decision to practice celibacy before tying the knot. During a recent interview with Let’s Pray TV, the newlyweds were asked about how they were able to discipline themselves to refrain from having sex before their wedding night.
“I had made a commitment of celibacy a long time before her [Meagan] and I had started dating. What motivated the commitment is also what helped me to keep it once we started dating. As you all know I preach and what happened was, I was kind of living a double life. I was preaching one Gospel, but then not living it. Trying to be two people started tearing me apart. I was like ‘Man, this just does not feel good in my spirit.’ So here I am doing this with this one woman and I’m going out preaching something different. Once I got out of that relationship, I made a commitment to God, ‘Once I’m out Lord, I’m done and I’m not going to do this until I’m married.’ I need to live in peace and I can’t live as two different people. So the desire for peace and harmony was the motivator. The other thing was the thought that if for some reason my disobedience were to disqualify me from God’s purpose for my life, would the activity that I was engaging in be worth it?” DeVon expressed.
“When Meagan and I got together I was already pretty strong in my walk and my commitment. Now this is Meagan Good so I had to do some prayer. I had to know myself and say ‘Alright, we just gonna hug right now and maybe kiss ya on the cheek.’ You have to know yourself. You have to be honest with your triggers. You also have to be vocal about your commitment. We talked about it. I didn’t know she was on that page, but I was blessed to learn that she was and it was just a matter of helping her stay strong in it,” he continued.
His honesty is refreshing, especially since some church folk like to pretend that they’ve been saved, sanctified, holy ghost-filled and baptized in the blood of the lamb since they left their mama’s womb!
Turn the page for footage of their chat and to hear Meagan share how she stuck with her commitment. Thoughts?
For some women, there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their man. Although love should be unconditional, many women feel the need to prove their love to a man, even if it means compromising their beliefs, safety or even their freedom to show them what a “down A$$ chick” they are. However, a man who truly loves you will never ask you to do anything you’re uncomfortable doing in order to prove your love to him. Your love and devotion should simply be enough, and couples who share true love will never have to prove anything to each other. However, if your man begins a sentence with, “If you loved me, you’d…,” run because most likely, nothing good can come of it. Showing your love shouldn’t be shameful, painful, humiliating or illegal, and while you may think you’re assuaging his insecurities, you’re actually just allowing him to manipulate you. Think there is no limit to showing him how far you’ll go to prove your love? Think again. Here are 10 things no woman should do for a man, simply because he asks her to.
We are currently in the midst of a crisis and are facing a decision: whether we are going to choose blindness and live in a Christian dream world surrounding sex, or open our eyes to the dire reality and follow the Christian calling of love, non-judgment and compassion.
The crisis does not surround whether Rihanna is dating Chris Brown again or whether to side with President Obama or Bristol Palin on the issue of gay marriage. The crisis is HIV/AIDS.
Christian leaders may point out that in their ideal version of the world, the HIV/AIDS pandemic would be greatly limited because no one would “fornicate,” commit adultery or engage in “sodomy.” In such a world, HIV/AIDS diagnoses would primarily be found among people who were accidentally exposed to infected blood and used medical needles — or in a worst case scenario their lawfully wedded spouses (who did not know they were infected). But we are not living in that world.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson’s extramarital affair which resulted in a child, allegations of Bishop Eddie Long’s sexual acts with underage boys, gospel singer Kirk Franklin’s admission of a past Adult Videos addiction and Sunday Best winner Le’Andria Johnson’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy demonstrate that even those who believe that they have been called to minister God’s word through sermons, counseling and music struggle with their own interpretations of the Bible’s commands. It should therefore come as no surprise that the followers and fans in the pews are similarly struggling.
Chevonne Harris’s Ebony article Single, Saved — and Having Sex discusses this struggle and the decision that many young Christians have made to engage in extramarital sex while still expressing a steadfast devotion to their faith.
Read the rest of this article at theGrio.com.
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A female teacher was reportedly fired for fornication before marriage, according to NBC/MSNBC reports. Before even hashing out what you think of her scenario, just ask yourself the chances of a man being targeted for the same actions.