Can a Black Man Remain Abstinent?
Is it impossible for a man to remain a virgin until marriage? Does a man posses the capabilities to pass up an irresistible temptation? Or, are all men destined to become fornicators and adulterers? Stay tuned as we huddle up for some straight talk about fine sistahs, facing temptations, sex drives, late night dates and sexual frustrations.
Before I get started, I must tell you that I will be using fictitious names for some of the people that I will mention in this piece.
My Dad Transformed Right Before My Eyes…
I was one of the fortunate ones who grew up in a home with a mom and dad. My dad was a very hard worker who, being a child of the south, knew the importance of a man taking care of his family.
He may not have been the greatest communicator around the house, but I always knew that he loved us and would do just about anything to take care of us.
When my dad became a Christian, I saw him gradually transform right before my eyes. One of the things he did was surround himself with other men he could just be real with. You see, my dad wasn’t like a lot of these “lightweights” that you see running around many churches today vying for the pastor’s attention.
He was a true man of God that knew the importance of surrounding himself with other men that knew where he was coming from. Sure, my mom was always there for him, but sometimes he just needed another man to talk to; man-to-man. My mom respected that and encouraged him to do so.
When my dad was around other women, I never recall him trying to flirt. I also don’t recall him taking a double-look at a woman (well at least not around me). Even when we would watch TV, when a very attractive woman would appear on screen, although we both knew she was attractive, he never made a big deal about it.
My dad always treated my mom with respect and always spoke very highly of her even when she was not around. Now don’t get me wrong, they had their serious disagreements, but their love for each other always superseded when they didn’t see eye to eye.
My Dad Left an Indelible Mark On My Life…
Needless to say, my dad left an indelible mark on my life. Especially in the area of having genuine respect for women. However, when it came to explaining how to steward my sexual desires (especially at that young age), my dad did not do too much.
You see, my dad came from an era where fathers and sons really did not talk about those things.
As long as I did not get anybody pregnant, I was OK.
As I got older, being OK was not enough for me. I really needed some answers (thank God we did not have the Internet back then!!!).
Straight Talk: Man 2 Man
It wasn’t too long after I graduated from college that I met a couple of guys on an out of town trip who were both from my hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
They were also Christians, so needless to say we became very good friends. What really struck me with these guys was that they were not only strong, but they were always straight up.
This was something that I rarely saw in the church.
Amazingly, we talked about everything…
One of the guys was a little bit older than me and was married. He and his wife opened their home up to me. There, I had the opportunity to see him and his wife interact on almost a daily basis. I saw them when they laughed together as well as when they would have their disagreements. I saw the adjustments they made in their lives from being just husband and wife to mommy and daddy.
It was like I had a front row seat to a marriage besides my mom and dad. It was through our commitment as friends with these two brothas that we learned the value of being straight-up with each other.
If one of us (me and my other friend who was unmarried at the time) was considering getting into a relationship with one of the sistahs, we would challenge each other as to why we were considering that particular woman.
If it was just because she had nice eyes and a nice behind (can I be real here?), that would come out in our conversations. It was very annoying at times to have to “come clean” with someone, but looking back, it saved us from a tremendous amount of heartache. I would be lying to you if I said we never came close to “crossing the line.”
Hey, when you’re single and you get around a FINE sistah, it can be very challenging at times.
It was due to our commitment to each other and to God, that we never “crossed the line.” Please let me remind you that our commitment to each other was not fostered through some program. This was strictly through friendship.
There were many days and nights we would go to the gym to work off sexual frustration. Because we were engaged in other activities in our community on a regular basis, we had plenty of things to keep our minds busy besides sitting at home playing video games.
When we would go out with a sistah, we would always make sure that we got her home at a reasonable hour. In addition, we would NEVER go into her house if their roommate (if they had one) was not home.
These sound like very tough guidelines that we set for ourselves, but we knew as men what we were capable of.
By this time, Jamaal, Keith, and I (the friends that I have been talking about) had teamed up with some other brothas who were doing the same thing we were doing.
The Band of Brothas
By this time, it became easier because with more men came more encouragement. Just when you thought that you were having a very bad day with handing those sexual drives, all it took is a phone call to find out another brotha was having the same kind of day.
This, of course had us laughing by days end. I tell ya, on some days, for some men, it can seem like everywhere you look… Whew, God help ME!
And the thing about it is… you may not be even thinking about anything at the time and the next thing you know, BAM! Here she comes… eye candy! C’mon brothas, you know what I’m talking about!
Well, one by one just about everyone in our group got married. As for me, one day the heavens opened up and God dropped in front of me my brown sugah for life (maybe one day I will have her tell ya’ll how we met [details, details]). All I can say is that the moment we were married, all I could tell the brothas was “hold my mule!!!”
I was married when I was in my late twenties. We have been married now for over 6 years and have two beautiful children. So when I look back, I can see how where my dad couldn’t help me, I was fortunate enough to have other men in my life that could kinda “fill in some of the blanks.”
The wonderful thing about my “band of brothas” was that many of them (unlike myself) had a sexual past. Through being honest with each other and most importantly our faith in Jesus Christ, we were able to make a commitment to our future wives that we did not even know at the time.
I am not one of those married men who is going to tell you the lie that once you get married, somehow you will have an ability to overlook all the other beautiful women out there. I still see them everyday; however, thanks to my dad and to my “band of brothas” I know how to deal with the bait when the temptations try to strike. In other words, I will not try to hide my ring or try to flirt with the idea.
Oh, I forgot to mention, we even avoided looking at the sex-scenes when they would all of a sudden appear in a particular movie we may have been watching. It is almost as though we men have highly flammable gas inside of us (some more than others
All it takes is one look and “oh boy” the engine begins a churnin!
Something as simple as a music video will do this for ANY man.
To conclude this part of my life story, I will again stress that this was not part of any program or anything like that. This came about via our desire to be the best we could be for God, our families, and our communities. We saw too many brothas (just in our own families) that were like “rolling stones” and we set our minds, hearts and bodies to put an end to that destructive legacy. It was very fun, but make no mistake about it, it took very hard work.
This is the kind of commitment it takes to be a man these days.
So if we want to stop unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, all we have to do is use the greatest power that we all possess: Choose to stop it.
Some choices are not easy, but they are sure worth it.
Even though it should not matter, all but two of us were black.
Commentary by Gillis Triplett
As CEO of Mastering Manhood, I encourage every man to establish a “Band of Brothers” Your core team should be men who are strong in the Lord and straight shooters. The type of men who are not “Yes” men, but men who will challenge you to be your best in Christ. To see my “Band of Brothers” click here.
Men, we have been fed a bunch of misinformation and lies concerning our sex drives. We are not all indiscriminate cheaters, fornicators and adulterers. There are multitudes of us who hold up the banners of godly morals and values, courage, integrity and fidelity… and like Duane, we MUST boldly make our voices known as a testament and guiding light to our future generations!
I want to take this time to thank Duane for sharing his inspiring life’s story with us. Duane provides daily commentary on politics, religion, cultural and social issues as it relates to the black community, on his website the Black Informant at www.Blackinformant.com.
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