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Abstaining – Are More Men Saying No?

by C.J. Claire

            I attend a very large church in New York and surprisingly it is filled with men and I mean real men.  They come in all shapes and sizes, and many are single and present an attractive package. Therefore, when my church recently announced a weekend workshop on, The Abstinence Question, I couldn’t wait to attend to see if it would turn out to be the usual female dominated event.  And to my surprise, it wasn’t.  In fact, the female ratio was more 60 to 40 than the usual 90 to 10 in a room filled with over 300 people.  But even more shocking was that a significant number of the men were very verbal about their newfound commitment to sexual abstinence.

            I almost fell out of my chair when one of the finest brothers in the room stood up and said that he had been abstaining for almost a year and that he had promised God that the next woman he slept with would be his wife.

            However, he went on to express that he had ran into some “strange” opposition to his new position with almost every woman he’d met.  The “Amens” from other men in the room became almost a quiet hum, as he described the reactions of women to his new stand.

            He told about being accused of being gay and the number of women in church he’d met, who pretended to respect his stance, but later tried to seduce him.

            As more brothers spoke about their struggle with abstinence and their efforts to live for Christ, I couldn’t help but notice the unusual silence of female voices in the auditorium.

            I wondered if any of the women were experiencing the same guilt I was feeling, because I could identify with some of the things being said about women with “distrustful attitudes.”  I was certainly one of them.

            I’ve been abstaining for over two years now.  Yet, when I met a guy whom I really thought had potential, I dismissed him as a “down-low brother struggling with his sexuality” when he failed to even have a conversation about sex.  I ended up moving away from him without any explanation.  I was waiting to tell him my position, but I became disturbed when he never asked.  Talk about being confused…I was at the head of the list.

            Later, I felt like a complete idiot, when I ran into him at a mutual friend’s party, and he confessed that he was a born-again Christian who was practicing abstinence and he didn’t know how to tell me.  The funny thing is that I made the same confession to him.  However, he said nothing about reconnecting and I was disappointed.

            Darren Washington, a well-known advocate for sexual abstinence once said, “There are many men who have chosen to live a lifestyle of sexual abstinence, but many of these men will not speak openly about their decision.  Men who decide to abstain from sex have usually made the choice because:

  1. A relationship with God has become priority. 
  2. They no longer wish to be vulnerable to a sexually transmitted disease.
  3. They may have a STD, that has been said to have no cure, and don’t want to spread it.
  4. They’ve experienced a bad relationship where the man was hurt, or had his heart broken.
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