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Chasing Chastity, Vying For Virtue

Are you desiring to reflect a life of purity but feel as though your thoughts constantly lead you to undesired actions? Perhaps, you think the urges are just too much to withstand? Well, as a 32 year old woman who has attempted to live a life of abstinence, I can attest that I understand. Here is my purity story-- full of realness chronicling my continuous path of chasing chastity and vying for virtue.

At 16 years old, I was sitting at the table, eating breakfast and suddenly I felt as though the Lord was nudging me to save myself for marriage in every way. I had just gotten into a relationship four months prior, so I brushed it off. That same day the Lord led me to hear a story about a young lady who made a decision to wait until marriage for her first kiss. The story delineated details about the connection that is formed when physical bonds occur between two individuals-- also known as soul ties. I then heard the Lord speak in a way that I had not experienced before. I felt His presence and a longing to make a drastic pledge-- no matter the cost. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I told the Lord I will dedicate my relationship to Him. I proceeded to ask my then boyfriend if we could wait to kiss or be physical in any way. Frankly, I thought he would tell me I was crazy and break up with me on the spot, but that was not the case. When I presented to him what God put on my heart, not only was he understanding, but he agreed not to kiss or engage physically. Truthfully, my teenage hormones yielded a little sadness, as I wondered what good-good we would miss out on, lol! Simultaneously, I was ecstatic that he was even willing to join me in the pursuit of purity.

Later that evening, I went home and worshipped God and thanked Him for giving me the strength to be obedient, regardless of the outcome. That day, Jesus and I made the covenant of our "Purity Vow." My parents were elated and shortly after, presented me with a Purity Ring to accompany the decision to honor God with my body.

Eventually, I found myself single again and thrusted into the dating world. I was floored at the amount of men who refused to wait until marriage. The games...oh the games that were played were unprecedented. The men I met seemingly enjoyed pretending to respect my wishes to abstain, only to "change their minds" after a few months or less.

Nevertheless, I continued to navigate the torrential waters of online dating... only to end up drowning in a sea of unequally yoked suitors who wanted one thing. Y'all already know! After three months of straight lunacy, I met a wonderful, respectful and attractive man. Unfortunately, he possessed another faith so I convinced myself that we would just be friends.

After six months of "friendship" my heart beated a different tune and I desired to be with him romantically. I knew he and his family were devout in their religion. Consequently, the situation was just not God's best for me. In the end, I chose Jesus. Why is this experience significant? It was the 1st time that I walked away from a great relationship because I wanted to please God and keep Him on the throne of my heart.

At this point, I was 23 and still a virgin...barely, but still trying my best to wait to engage in the ultimate intimacy with my future husband. Well, I did not take the time to properly heal, so I traversed upon a journey of serial dating, embarking upon rollercoasters of false validation. Despite the fact that I am blessed with an awesome father and two loving brothers, I wanted to be pursued and held by men. You see, as a physical touch love language subscriber, I thoroughly enjoyed cuddling, hugging and even sleeping next to the object of my affection. Dont worry-- although unwise, there were rules and a method to my madness. They were predominately men I knew for a year or more and some were close friends. We always had a verbal understanding that it would go no further. At the time, I saw nothing wrong with my actions as I kept saying, "We are not having sex, so I see no issue." Conviction from Holy Spirit told me otherwise. Over time, common sense whispered a little something to me too. It was foolish and dangerous to play such a game with myself as well as the men-- even if they were trusted friends and suitors...they were still MEN. Furthermore, I still had desires and I rustled the terrain of temptation way too much. You would think I would have stopped there but no... more compartmentalizing men and using them to validate my need to feel desirable, beautiful and wanted occurred for years. This toxic cycle continued until I made the decision to be modest, stop the behavior and wait on who God had for me. Then... I met the love of my life. He was everything I dreamed of and possessed all the qualities I yearned for in a husband. He treated me with dignity and respect. While we were deeply attracted to one another, we tried our best to maintain abstinence. Then, two years later on my 29th birthday, I did what I professed I would no longer do.... I laid down in expectation that he would lay next to me. But this time, it was different. This time, I wanted him to test me. This time I wanted him to attempt to go all the way. Y'all, when I say it was about to be Mount Vesuvius up in there, I was ready, okay?! I loved him with everything in me. But as we commenced intimacy, thoughts of Christ and my covenant flooded my mind: "Tee, you really love this man. He is incredible...he deserves you. But, what about the Lord and your covenant? You have waited all this time...are you really going to do this now? More importantly, do you love him more than you love God?" I took one last look at my purity ring and whispered, "Lord, give me strength. Keep me, even when I don't want to be kept." I turned to the person I contemplated giving my all to that night and apologized, stating that I just couldn't forego my promise to God. He understood, respected my desires and we decided not to put ourselves in such a predicament again.

After our amicable split 3 months later, I made a fresh pledge to truly give Christ my all in the area of intimacy…no more night adventures, no more close calls. I felt as though I was cheating the waiting period by going as far as I could without "going all the way." Through the lens of a facade, I was living pure. However, God's word tells us to "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship."

-Romans 12: 1-2

Was I truly offering up my body as a living sacrifice and holy as unto the Lord? Upon reflection, I was incessantly playing with fire, hoping not to get burned. ONLY BY HIS GRACE, I was kept.

God also instructs us to think on whatever is pure, right, holy, honorable, lovely and just. (Philippians 4:8). Realistically, to say I maintained pure and honorable thoughts while laying next to men who had access to my heart and body is a fabrication of the decade.

I had to truly submit and agree to trust God to be all He has promised to be. So, for the last 3 years, I have relinquished my habits of old and gave God my "YES" in all areas. While it is not easy, living for God and choosing to honor Him with my temple continues to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

So, if you are wondering how this can even be possible and how to maintain... I have two words which sustain me and one I would suggest: Prayer, Accountability and Redemption. Prayer keeps you in relationship and intimacy with our Creator. He knows you have urges. (1 Corinthians 10:13) He made you! Tell Him how you are feeling when you are feeling it. He will strengthen you.

Accountability keeps you grounded and assists when you are feeling weak. Having a mentor or friend who is accessible when temptation arises is paramount. Iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs 27:17)

Redemption is powerful as it denotes vindication from sin. Jesus already paid the price for our sins. (1 John 2:2)

Now, we must walk in the freedom of redemption. If you have already engaged sexually, that's okay. Forgive yourself and all parties involved. Talk to God and consider striving to live a life set apart and consecrated for you and your future mate. And never doubt that you are WORTH THE WAIT! Please know that chasing chastity and vying for virtue is so much more than a's a lifestyle that will benefit you in every way imaginable.

Thank you for reading my story!

Feel free to reach out to me with any thoughts or questions on IG: @lime_buttafly31

In His Love,

Tekoa Sanders💚

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