The perk of featuring couples who have yielded their relationships to Christ is that it, in turn, encourages me. It's not always easy "walking and waiting" but it's definitely worth it. Oftentimes, even as Christians, we think that being intimate (having sex) before marriage is ok and have disregarded the command that sex is reserved for marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:1-4). Today's couple gives us a great illustration of what it looks like to be obedient to God in remaining celibate until marriage, that it's very "doable" --not in our own strength but through Christ--, and it's worth the wait.
Meet Armond & Nneka Mosley.
Both: How important was it that you were friends before you were married?
[Armond] I believe it was very important because our friendship is what has been the foundation of our relationship. We're pretty simple people and so, we just really enjoy hanging out with one another. Whether it be watching our favorite TV shows together, going to a movie or just sitting and discussing our dreams, we find so much satisfaction in the fact that we can do these things so effortlessly. Often times when friendship is lacking, these simple activities can become a cumbersome task. [Nneka] Being good friends for years before ever getting romantically involved and ultimately married was a great thing for us! It allowed us to truly get to know one another and develop a close bond as friends before either of us even looked at each other as more than friends.
Nneka: As women, some of us aren't used to being in a relationship where there isn't an expectation from the man to want sex. How did Armond being celibate make a difference in your relationship?
Initially, I had a hard time with readjusting my mind set and what I was used to in relationships. Small things like not sleeping in the same bed together took some getting used to for me. But overall, I'm really thankful that Armond was so strong on his stand of being celibate because it gave me an excellent example to follow. And both people really have to be on board for it to work.
Armond: How did you adjust to showing your wife affection in a non sexual way before you were married?
Great question. Well, for one, I had to be more intentional about doing "acts of service" and giving "gifts." Nneka is big on both of them and I've never been good at giving either historically (still working on it too!). But, I had to make sure that I showed her by my actions that I loved her. Sometimes it would be something simple like washing her dishes, folding her clothes or cleaning her apartment. Other times it would be through a thoughtful sign of affection; flowers, gift card to favorite store and cooking for her. Aside from these things, I made sure that I used words to communicate how I felt about her. With sex/physical contact not being in play, I didn't have the luxury of pulling the old "girl, you know how I feel about you" line that us men are accustomed to using...lol.
Both: Some women think it's necessary or part of the relationship to give their body away before marriage. Armond, can you share, in your opinion, what that really signals to a man? Nneka, what would you say to a young lady who is giving her body away before marriage yet is still praying for the one?
[Armond]Well...let's just be honest. That old saying "why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free" is true. While men will make it appear that they aren't judging you because you gave it up, in the back of every man's mind they would prefer you put up a fight. So, even in the secular sense, its never cool to "give it up" early in relationship. We, men, we're built to WORK. So, ladies, at least make him work for it...if it comes easy, he'll never have the same level of respect for you. It's that simple. Now, that said, I'm a full proponent of waiting until marriage because to me, that is the right way to do it. Plus, it gives women the ultimate leverage. As the saying goes, "anything worth having is worth working for." And men want to feel like they are rewarded for their hard work and thus, if you give in too soon, you'll never get to see the level of hard work or effort that could have been. This usually plays out in his dragging out the time period before popping the question or getting lazy and no longer trying to woo you.
[Nneka]For most women, I think we often think sex is something we have to do to get & keep a man. While I know there are some women out there who may feel they are getting just as much out of it as the man, at the end of the day, I don't believe women are generally built that way. Most women are doing any and everything they can to show a man why we ultimately would make a great wife. Instead of placing our complete trust in God to send us a mate, we take matters into our own hands. Compound that with the old saying we here so often... "Well if you aren't doing it, there will always be someone who will." Its constant things like that which encourages premarital sex. But if you aren't doing it, and a man doesn't want to deal with you because of that fact alone...its a good chance he isn't the "one" anyway. I can only speak from personal experience and since I did engage in premarital sex myself, I can understand wanting to do the right thing but falling. So I would say to the young lady to place complete trust in God and His plan for her life. No matter how unrealistic it may seem that the Lord will actually bring you a man who is celibate...nothing is too BIG for God!!!
Both: What kind of support system did you have to help you in your walk?
[Armond] I had Nneka and two male friends who were really on board with the walk early on. They helped to hold me accountable each step of the way. They were key and because God was the basis of our friendship, they were not only able to hold me accountable, but they were also able to pour into me in those moments where I found myself discouraged. Additionally, they too had committed to the walk and I think that also served to be a key piece of our relationship and foundation for a support system. I had other friends too, but these three were really in the "trenches" with me and that was invaluable. Aside from "peers," I also had a few ministers who served as mentors as well. Like my friends, they poured into me too, but they also stretched my faith and challenged me to grow deeper in Christ. [Nneka] I had Armond and a few of my other friends. I am fortunate to have God fearing, Christian friends who were very supportive during that time.
Armond: Some reading this may think celibacy is "optional". Can you shed some light on the importance of knowing that this is something God asks us to do?
God had it right all along. Sex is to be reserved for a man and a woman under the confines of a marriage. Yes, sex is good...real good, but done outside of the proper context it has the potential to have devastating consequences. Can God still restore one whose fallen victim to the consequences of sexual sin? Absolutely, but we must understand that it was never His intent that we contract HIV/AIDS, STDs, become parents before we are even adults ourselves...these things are not part of God's intentionality for His children. They are the results of our disobedience to His will as it relates to sex. Within the faith community, we've kind of allowed sex to become trivialized and treat it as an "acceptable sin." As a result, celibacy becomes more of an option than a mandate/requirement and much of the conviction around it has been subconsciously diluted. But, we have to recognize that sex outside of marriage IS against God's will. As such, we can't be fooled by the Enemy and just push the "sins" that we enjoy into a closet with no intention of addressing. We have to face them head on and just like all other sins, seek God's help in deliverance. God wants the whole you, not just the parts you're comfortable giving to him. And it is in that regard, that He's asking each of us to submit ourselves as "living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him."
Nneka: What does the term "worth the wait" mean to you?
To me, the term worth the wait means a woman knows her value and recognizes that she doesn't have to feel the need to have sex with a man before marriage to keep him. She she is worth waiting for.
Both: Can you share some helpful scriptures that helped you to remain celibate?
These are a few of key verses that helped us in our journey:
• Romans 12:1-2
• 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
• Romans 8:5-8
• 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
• Galatians 5:13-26
• Colossians 3:1-5
• 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8