I sat in the black, leather chair. The young man sat on the brown, leather couch. The Christmas tree was not center stage. His heart was.
“That’s what my generation does,” he told me. I listened, not convinced. My view unaltered.
The conversation was on sexual purity. We didn’t mention either of those two words. Conduct was what was being discussed.
“Don’t you defile a woman,” I told him. You are valiant and noble. If you love her, marry her.
The man wasn’t ready for that commitment. Many aren’t. They don’t want to commit. They want to interact sexually, but commitment requires strength.
The conversation moved on into the kitchen. I began unloading the dishwasher. It gave me something to do.
“Back to the topic,” I continued. “The woman, did she live with him before she broke up with him?”
“Does that bother you?”
The man hesitated. “A little.”
“It should. It should bother you a lot!”
The air seemed to open. I wanted to talk about this. He needed to address a concern that had sequestered in his heart.
I put a pan in the cupboard. Then I walked back to the kitchen sink. Always an appropriate place to stand. He stood on the other side.
“A person can have a conversation experience,” I explained. “He can be sorry for what he has done. But all that still comes into the marriage.” I let it sink in. “The same is true for a woman.”
I admitted, “I can’t talk for a man, but for a woman, sex is so mental. You lie there wondering if the other person is thinking about you. Or is another in the arms of the lover?” I knew women played mind games and evoked fantasies. Romantic novels hide no lies.
The young man listened. Then admitted, “I need to think more about the kind of person I want to marry.”
While he was thinking, I added more. I know there are women, who like men, pursue sex for the prize. “Nail, score, whatever term you want to use to capture the event of conquering the will of another through sexual intercourse.”
Earlier, I had talked about the covenant of marriage and how the sexual union was the divine sign of the covenant. Most times we don’t think of the act as a sign of a covenant, but the consummation of a marriage is through the union of becoming one. The challenge can be in uniting hearts and minds.
Back to standing in front of the kitchen sink. “My heart goes out to young women who don’t have the courage and strength to say no to a man who is yielding to his sexual drive.” The same are my regards for a young man overtaken by a woman wanting her will to conquer his.
I wasn’t finished expressing my empathy. “I can’t help but believe,” I paused to look at the young man, “that there are young women, ladies, yes, let’s call her a princess, waiting for a man who will be a prince in her eyes, who desires her for her heart and soul. A prince who is willing to wait for the prize of their physical union. A man who loves her for who she is, not for what she can give him during a rush of passion.
Strength, it takes to stand firm. With a scepter in hand, which most ladies don’t carry, they need to be strong, and say, no!
The young man listened. Wanting to hear, but not wanting to hear. Still, the words impacted his soul.
“Most young women don’t know how to play their hand.” I looked to watch his reaction. “Sex is a trump card. They play it too soon.”
Had anyone told the young man this? Probably not, especially his mother.
The words spoken by a women years ago, repeated themselves as I spoke. “Don’t ever use sex to control your man.”
I questioned possibly hypocrisy, but who was I to judge?
Put aside manipulation. I was talking about being strong. Strong enough not to play the trump card until both hands are down, rings are placed, and vows exchanged. Then a physical union can trophy their love.
I remember watching the movie, Braveheart. This is a love story and one of my favorite movies. The man, William Wallace, because of his love for his wife, goes to war, and during one of the battle scenes, makes his men wait. They must wait beyond the point we are comfortable waiting. But wait, we must, and then at the most critical moment, Braveheart, tells his men, “Now!”
Isn’t that what climax is? Knowing the now?
So how do we confront the challenge of not being like the generation that does not want to wait? The men and women who want to live together before being married.
If the woman agrees to moving in together, what will she do when the relationship faces challenges? Who will have the strength to stay together? If they did not have the strength to wait, will they have the strength of will to stay together? Or will the man and woman excuse themselves, and look for another, while each leave being somewhat used.
After several relationships, how will they feel? At what point do you start to feel worn or taken advantage of?
Yesterday, I sat in my office. I could not help but overhear the drama between a man and wife. Guessing them to be in their early thirties, I watched as each physically pushed and shoved the other. Their expletives defended and threaten. Arbitration through mediation was not a skill their young sons were learning.
The man sat in his car. The woman continued to defend her case. The man shut the door. The woman went to the other side. She did not relent. She was strong.
At some point in our maturity we must become strong. The question is what will it take to have the courage and the strength to be the person each of us was created to be? What circumstances will summon the beauty and resilience to be true to ourselves? To have the freedom to be who we each are?
If I am honest with myself, I do not want to marry someone who has treated women as entrées on a smorgasbord. I want to be the one who the prince is willing to search the kingdom for. The woman whose heart fits his beautifully.
So, such are my thoughts on strength. May you have the strength to say no to those who want to use you. To those who are not willing to respect you. Have courage and be kind. Someday your prince will come.