I recently had a conversation with a young woman about her choice to be celibate and being in a relationship with her partner who did not choose celibacy for himself (willingly.) This young woman shared her heart about her current situation and the challenge of being in a relationship with a partner who does not have the same desire (no pun intended) as she did in maintaining her vow to be celibate until marriage. See the problem is that while she said the words her actions did not follow. She would say, “no sex” with her mouth but her body betrayed her every time. The funny thing is that while she did not tame her own body she honestly expected that her partner would help her achieve her goal.
Remember this is the same partner who had no desire to follow this for his own life but was willing to honor her vow as much as she allowed him. It seems that both of their expectations were different. She expected him to help with her vow by not tempting her and he expected her to help him by following through on her vow. Unfortunately that never happened. He pushed the line for temptation and she could not resist. Although her partner was clear on what he wanted she wavered and wanted help.
Whose responsibility is it to maintain a vow that we have made for our benefit? Let’s look at it this way. When I accepted the offer of employment to my job I agreed that I would be at work on time and in place each day for work. If my supervisor allows me to be late each day without penalty does that change the fact that the company still requires that I am on time? The fact that your partner turns the temperature up in your body does not change
the fact that you have made a vow to be celibate.
I shared with this young lady wisdom from a sex therapist I heard at a workshop. The therapist went over all possible responses to the” change in temperature” but the key thing that she stated was to have a plan. It seemed almost revolutionary when I heard it but it was simple. Of course she went through all of the biological happenings in our bodies before we get to the point of no return but she also gave counter measures. (all of which I will not share in this format)
If celibacy is what you have truly chosen what is your plan? What will you do when faced with the possibility of breaking your vow? What is your emergency exit plan to avoid the “possible” rather than the” inevitable?”Ask yourself, do you really expect your non-celibate partner to help you to maintain your celibacy prior to marriage or will you choose to do this with God’s help? Think about what types of signals you are giving your partner when you don’t follow through on your vow. He obviously did not run for the hills when you shared your vow with him. He will try as much as you allow him but he will respect that fact until it becomes too confusing. Consider what he understands about your commitment to celibacy if you require date nights to be in open spaces and say goodnight at your door rather than coming in for a night cap that turns into a midnight rendezvous or breakfast? Do you really need help or just permission to continue where you left off…?
Please share your thoughts on the challenges of following through on your own commitment.