Yep, you read that right. I want to talk about sex: the good, the bad and the ugly. Only I want to do it in real-time, over the phone. With you. And I want to bring God in the mix as well. Because He created sex, after all, so I think it’s important that we consider His take on it. Won’t you join me?
My girl Simone, over at My Family Fantastic is coordinating this thing, and I’m just along for the ride. There will also be some other amazing Christian authors on the line giving their take on celibacy and waiting for the right one. More on that here. We’ll discuss the book The Wait (No worries if you haven’t read it. We’ll give plenty of reference to the material, so you won’t be lost). Then we’ll move on to celibacy in all its strugglistic glory. Did I just make up a word? Yes, I think I did. But you get my drift!
Honestly, I feel like I’m the last somebody that needs to give a presentation on celibacy, seeing as how I’ve barely got a grip on it myself. But hey, He delights in using the weak to confound the strong. I’m a willing vessel, so I guess I’ll get the job done.
I hope you’ll join the call!
What are you waiting for? Put a reminder in your phone right now! Go ahead. I’ll wait.
You probably read the title of this and thought, “Oh, she’s going to regale us with tales of romance.” Or, “She’s going to rhapsodize about choosing love for others over all else.” Oh, you weren’t thinking that? I’m the only one who uses words like regale and rhapsodize on the regular? It’s cool. I’m at peace with my nerdiness.
Anyway, I do want to talk about love, but not totally in the traditional sense or expected way. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of love and commitment. What does it look like? Can you have one without the other? And which one comes first?
Concrete answers elude me, but what I’ve managed to figure out is that the two go hand in hand. I can’t think of a single instance of love that doesn’t involve commitment and vice versa. The love a parent has for a child is cemented by the parent’s commitment to care and provide for the child. Later in life, hopefully the child does the same for the parent. Two people choose to do life together and perform a ceremony before friends and family, sign legal documents and share a mutual last name to celebrate their love by showing commitment. My faith dictates that God so loved me that He gave His only begotten Son for my sins. He’s so committed to me that He made the ultimate sacrifice.
All of these observations have led me to a revelation of sorts: If I love myself, why aren’t I committed to doing what I know is good for me? Or is it that I have to commit to doing what’s good for me as an action of love? Isn’t love in its simplest form merely a series of choices made over and over again? A choice to do what’s best for the one you love?
This whole summation may seem basic enough, but the truth of it all settled into me slowly, like rays of sun on a Spring day. The coldness of neglect, putting me last, not acknowledging my worth, were absorbed by the warmth of this knowledge. I’m worth committing to. I’m worth choosing. I’m worth the action of better choices each day.
What does this mean practically? It means going to bed at a decent hour, despite how much is left on my to-do list. It means going to Zumba class twice a week because I love shaking my rump-shaker. It means taking a walk even when I don’t feel like it, because it’s what’s best for me. It means taking time to cook delicious nutritious food. It means watching a movie and letting myself get swept away in the fantasy, because I need a mental break every once in a while as much as the next person.
I don’t know where we learned the lesson that self-care is optional. And it seems like women are determined to ace this unnecessary class, for whatever asinine reason. But whatever is erroneously learned can be re-taught in a more enlightened and compassionate way. I’m learning to love me more and more. It’s manifesting itself by my commitment to treating myself well. I’m really starting to think that’s way it’s supposed to be.
If you’re already on your own journey of self-care, I commend you. On the other hand, if you’ve allowed yourself to fall by the wayside in a misguided belief that you’re supposed to be last on your list, I implore you to start with one small act of kindness for yourself. Don’t allow anything to distract you from it. Make a pledge to yourself not to neglect it. Once you see that the world keeps right on turning, add another act of kindness, and another one. Commit to it. You deserve it. You’re worth it.
Have you ever fallen into the trap of neglecting yourself? How do you deal with unwarranted guilt when you take time to do things that only benefit you? In what ways do you regularly commit to showing yourself love through action?
I am so humbled and grateful that she is still here with us. She definitely cheated death and I thank God all the time for that. I also thank each of you for your prayers and monetary donations during our time of need.
Enjoy Tiffany’s life affirming advice below, and excuse the occasional curse word. She struggles with aphasia, which is a side effect of the strokes that causes language disturbances. Reading her blog is just like talking to her and I LOVE it!!!
I’m so thankful to be alive! Yes! Yes! Yes! Now it’s time to live it up!
It’s coming close to the 1 year date of the strokes. March 13, 2015 it was a Friday. I’m glad I never was a very superstitious person because that fact alone would have really messed me up. I wanted to write something profound. Something really deep to share from my year of recovery. So here we go @#?! happens.
If you want to know how insignificant you are just get sick. If you want to know how smart you are get sick. You want to know what and who is important to you get sick. If you want to know who and what deems you important get sick. The only thing positive about any bout with any illness is the crystal clear clarity it gives to what is important to you. Plus knowing you have…
Raymond Brown, popularly known as Smooth Suave, is one of Jamaica’s biggest drugs lords. With eight children by six baby mommas and counting, he’s a player for life. A true baller, he lavishes in his wealth. He’s a shot caller with “soldiers” wheeling and dealing all over Jamaica. It’s Suave’s world, and everyone else just lives in it . . . or so he thinks.
However, his nemesis, King Kong, sees it differently. Rivals since childhood, King Kong is hell-bent on destroying Suave at any cost. As the war over power, drugs, and money intensifies—from Wilton Gardens (Rema) to Arnett Gardens (Jungle)—bodies are dropping like flies, washing the island of paradise in blood.
But it is the murder and kidnapping of two of Suave’s loved ones that bring him to his knees. Being framed for murder, hunted by the cops, pursued by his enemies, betrayed by friends, tormented by a horrid secret, and fighting to protect his family and empire, Suave is nearing his breaking point. Yet, he isn’t going down without a fight.
Voilà! Suave makes a deal to eradicate his enemies—but if it backfires, it could very well cause him his own life. Then God counteroffers Suave’s deal with His own—one that will undoubtedly give Suave the victory he needs but requires him to give up his drug empire and turn his life over to the Lord. With his motto being, “I don’t do God,” will Suave accept God’s deal or take the risk of his own deal?
“Today, I want to talk to you about redemption,” Bishop Hudson began. “Ephesians 1:7 says, ‘In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.’ Amen. Redemption is possible through the blood of Jesus! Hello, somebody? I said, you can be delivered from the bondage of sin and find peace with God. Am I speaking to somebody?”
“Amen, Pastor,” a member shouted from the front.
“You better speak to me, Bishop,” a young lady in the choir yelled.
Bishop Hudson paused, took off his jacket, and handed it to his assistant. He grabbed the microphone out of the stand and paced the pulpit. “We all are in need of redemption. You know why? Because we all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.”
Hmmm, interesting, Suave thought. Even Christians need redemption, too.
As if he read Suave’s mind, Bishop Hudson remarked, “So you can act like you were born holy, pure, and righteous all you want, but that’s not the case. We were able to become a child of God because Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross. His death was in exchange of our life.”
“Praise the Lord,” “Thank you, Jesus,” and “Hallelujah” rang throughout the church.
“Do you want to be free from the burden of guilt?” Bishop Hudson asked, looking out at the congregation.
Suave shifted in his seat, wondering why the bishop was looking at him.
“Do you want to be free from curses and bondage?” Bishop Hudson stepped down from the pulpit into the aisle. “God already purchased our freedom,” he said, his eyes wandering from one face to the other as he moved closer to the back.
He better stop picking on me, or else I’m stepping. With his arms folded and face screwed up like a dried apple, Suave defiantly stared at the bishop as he seemed to get closer. I’m no punk.
“I said, you can go from being a sinner to a saint if you accept God’s gift of eternal life.” Bishop Hudson was now at Suave’s bench where he paused.
Suave glanced at the bishop through the corner of his eyes, his head held straight. He didn’t acknowledge the bishop, and for his own sake, Suave was hoping the bishop wouldn’t acknowledge him.
“I’m glad to see you this morning, my brother.” Bishop Hudson looked down at Suave, who still wasn’t looking at him.
All eyes in the church turned toward the back where Suave sat. Alwayne and Annette held hands and nervously looked on. Bishop Hudson was known to prophesize to his members, revealing things that no one else knew but God. He would also predict certain happenings that always came true. This usually made some members excited about receiving a blessing, and others nervous when they hadn’t been walking on the “right” side.
“God is going to give you a second chance.” Bishop Hudson rested his hand on Suave’s shoulder. “Those demons that are haunting you are leading you down a narrow road.”
Suave’s heart began to gallop in his chest. He wanted to brush off the preacher’s hand, but he felt compelled to hear what the man had to say.
“Your mind gets so mixed up at times that you find it hard to differentiate between the real thing and your imagination. But God says to tell you that He is going to give you the victory.”
Some people were now standing on their feet clapping, some praying, and others speaking in tongues.
“Deliver him, Lord,” an elderly man shouted.
“Set your son free, Father Jesus,” screamed another member.
“God is going to right the wrong that was done to you, so you can be free to serve Him and His people.” Tears filled Bishop Hudson’s eyes as he leaned over to Suave, his face only inches away from Suave’s.
On a will of its own, Suave’s neck turned, and he locked eyes with the bishop. Suave’s tears betrayed him and seeped down his face.
Theresa A. Campbell is the author of the captivating novels, “Are You There, God?” and “God Has Spoken.” She was born and raised in Jamaica West Indies. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baruch College, and a master’s degree in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Theresa has had a deep passion for reading since she was a child. It is her desire to inspire readers by writing stories from the heart to uplift their faith in God
Y’all got scared in the beginning of reading that description, huh? Was probably like, King Kong? Bodies dropping like flies? What in the world is Faith helping to promote? No worries, edgy Christian Fiction is what it’s all about these days. As long as redemption is featured, I’m down for the get down. What about you?