A 29-year-old single lawyer and a 27-year-old virgin walk into a bar…
I’m joking. But the following video is no joke. I found it sobering.
I was watching an episode of TD Jakes show (I didn’t even know he had a new show!) and it just got me thinking a whole bunch of thoughts:
I could immediately relate to the lawyer-lady in the red dress (Sarah) and the 27-year-old PK and virgin (Jasmine). It was like watching my story being played out on TD Jakes’ stage. I’m so glad these two women had the bravery to go on his show. I also really appreciated Bishop Jakes’ advice. He didn’t ridicule them but provided fatherly wisdom.
First thing’s first – are people really out there judging people for being virgins? There is no shame in being a twenty-seven year old virgin and I marvel sometimes that I live in a society that shames people who are not willing to spread their legs and have sex with every and any man with whom they come into contact. I’m not slut-shaming. I’m just saying that we need to respect the decisions people make concerning their bodies (rather, the bodies God has given them) – whether it’s having sex with whomever or not having sex at all. Plus, just because you’re a virgin doesn’t mean you’re not sexually attractive; it’s just that you’re not sexually available — but you are available to do a whole lot of other things…just not sex. There are many physically attractive virgins out there; here are some examples: JimDre Westbrook (aka Worth the Wait Guy) or Lolo Jones or Simone Samuels. 🙂
As for Sarah, when she said that she is an attorney, I immediately saw why we both have the problems we have. We law-types tend to take things very seriously. Serious students are attracted and admitted to law school. Serious students pass the bar. Law is a serious business. People come to us with serious problems. Thus, often super type A lawyer people are super serious about a lot of things – life included. But I’ve realized that this approach is not always helpful outside of law and in life. I actually advocate for a relaxed approach to life – simply because I’ve learned that it’s the only approach to life that works…or allows someone to live.
Regarding pressure — it’s true. We do – I do? – put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves (or myself). I think his advice to “start dating you” – start getting to know yourself and have fun (which is what you do on a date) – and relax are on point. Especially as type A personalities, we’re always putting pressure on ourselves. We like plans and timelines and predictability, but life doesn’t work that way. In the same way that we know that the limitation period runs out in two years and we plan our trials and examinations for discovery, we want to plan our lives – married at 25, baby by 27, second baby by age 29, promotion at 30, another promotion at 35, retirement at 65… We need to stop listening to the invisible biological clock ringing in our heads. We need to relax.
But we know this. I should know this. It’s been proven to me time and time again.
I may be really anxious about hearing about a job, but whenever I get tired and stop caring and go on with my life, I get the call.
I may be super preoccupied about my weight, but whenever I’m just like “whatever”, whenever I’m just like “I don’t care anymore; imma eat these here Kettle chips,” my weight stabilizes or I lose weight.
I may be dead tired and yet I still can’t sleep (I have insomnia), but when I’m ambivalent about sleep and I’m like, “*Kiss teeth* Forget this. I’m gonna get out of bed and go write, or read…” then before you know it my head starts to drop and I eventually fall asleep.
I’ve often (but not always) found that when I just chill, relax, stop caring so much, stop trying so hard and just allow myself to be tired, then the thing which had previously eluded me suddenly finds me.
So, note to self: Relax.
Can I just say though that this feeling of desperation is not completely our fault? Everyone (like, honestly, everyone, including the students I teach and my ten-year-old second cousin in my case) reminds us of the finiteness of our fertility. Every day we get bombarded by messages that tell us that we are inadequate or defective if we are not coupled or have never been coupled. For me, it is a conscious, daily, hourly battle to remain secure in who I am and the path God has laid out for me. The fight can be exhausting, and sometimes the outside pressures get too much and force me to make frantic phone calls to my sister lamenting the fact that I can feel my ovaries dry up as we speak.
If men felt the constant, relentless, heavy pressure we feel – pressure to look good, pressure to get married by a certain age and pressure to reproduce, pressure from outside and pressure from within – I’d dare say they’d act the same way. Desperate people do desperate things — most of which are often problematic.
The Christian woman should never give off an air of desperation, however, because she should not be desperate.
The Christian should never be desperate. Never. Like… never. At all. Ever. Never ever. Ever.
If you serve and TRUST and KNOW the God you serve, how could you ever be desperate?
Desperation happens when one is in despair and when one thinks that they have no options. But despair and God cannot exist in the same place at the same time. And the Christian always has options. God can and will create an option where there wasn’t one before. I, for one, often like to think in terms of dichotomies – either I can do this or I can do that, either this will happen or that will happen. God has often surprised me with a third or fourth option.
The Christian is never desperate because the Christian has God. And with God, there is no such thing as a desperate situation.
The Christian knows that if she does not have money, she doesn’t have to disobey God’s Word and sleep with random dudes or strip or somehow have to desperately figure out how to pay her bills because she knows God will provide – He always has and He always does and He always will.
The Christian knows that she doesn’t have to sleep with this guy because she thinks it’s her last chance and no one else will love her (or make love to her) like he does. She knows that just like she met this one, God could send another, and if for some reason God doesn’t, she’ll be okay. Really. (By the way, does virginity actually turn men off? Don’t men know that at the very least she won’t be comparing you with her other past sexual partners? Don’t men know that her lack of experience lessens the chance that she has an STI? Don’t men know that they (if they are not virgins) get to take the lead? Shouldn’t that be sexy? Don’t men know that virgins are usually tighter? 😉 I need to stop. I’m gonna get myself in trouble one of these days…)
Yes, we are told that fertility drops precipitously after age 35. This is true, but it is also general. It is not true for each individual woman. The Christian woman knows that she doesn’t have to desperately find a sperm donor or a baby daddy. She knows that God can hold back the tides of time. She knows that at 36, yes, medically the odds are against her, but that God can make new life come from an old womb, and God can make milk flow from a withered breast. She knows that the Great Physician is known for defying medical and gynecological constraints, and that, for His purposes, He often does. She knows that, if the Lord wills, she can have a healthy baby (or two or three or four) after age 35. She knows that even if, for some strange, rare reason the baby is born with Down Syndrome, that God will give her strength and wisdom to raise the gift of a child with a disability. And she knows that even if she is 40 or 45 that God will give her strength then too. She knows that while these are exceptions, exceptions are often made for the people of God. She knows that, while she is bound by time, she serves the Author of Time. She serves a God who closes wombs and miraculously opens them – not just in Abraham’s time but even today, in 2015. Thus, because she serves the Author of Time – who just so happens to be madly in love with her – she can afford to wait. Others may not be able to afford to wait but she can, because she has placed her life into the Timekeeper’s hands and she knows He has the power to turn back the hands of the clock. He set the clock in the first place, so He decides if it “tick-tocks” or when it stops. And as long as He is in control, she is content to let it tick.
The Christian knows that even if she lives (or feels like she lives) in a place with absolutely NO prospects, where the people around her don’t know how to spell “man” let alone have ever seen one, where there are no guys within a 100 km radius, and she feels that she might as well be living in the Sahara desert or Antarctica because the likeliness of getting married would be exactly the same, that God could still lead a guy to her area. Men get lost too. Men can immigrate. I’ve seen it happen.
Even if things look dead – like deader than dead — God can resurrect. Ask Mary. Ask Martha. Ask Lazarus. Ask Jairus. Ask Jesus. Heck – just read your Bible.
If there is a closed door, God can open it. If He does, that’s great. If He decides not to, that’s great too. Either way, we have no reason to be desperate.
In retrospect, I think I may have unwittingly oozed desperation with the men with whom I have met up for lunch or “coffee.” In my defense, I was just really, really hopeful and really, really eager and I may have really, really liked you. For my part, I’m gonna try to scale all that back a bit though from now on. If any of you men just so happen to read this post, please forgive me. I need grace. I am a mess. I know this. I’m trying to do better, but sometimes I fail. I PRAY I won’t come on too strong if or when we bump into each other the next time.
*Sigh* Relax. Breathe. Enjoy life. Have fun. It’s not that serious. ❤