While editing this post, I was watching an interview between Meagan Good and her husband, Devon Franklin. During this interview she says, "don't settle for anyone who doesn't see you as close to how God sees you - perfect."
That really struck me and inspired me to do something different with this post - start at the end. Since I have a tendency to talk in circles and usually don't get to the point until the end. I figured, I'd try something new and start backwards. Here goes...
I hate the dating process, because I'm always left thinking how many times can I be disappointed and come back from it? The walls that have to come down to trust someone new get higher each time and the one thing I don't want is to be tarnished for the one who does deserve me.
Back to the beginning...
I've been sitting on this topic for weeks trying to decide how I wanted to approach it. I figured it best if I just dove in and let things manifest on their own.The idea stemmed from my growing interest in religiously rooted reality programming. These shows push me to act more in my spirituality and increase my desire for an increased relationship with God.
I've always "known" God and the importance of having a relationship with Him. However, outside of that, I don't think I could truthfully say I know what it means to live a Christian lifestyle or what it is to be a Christian. I'm not even sure I know what the values of a Christian are - aside from the moral codes that have been weaved through society and instilled in me since youth.
While watching Preachers Daughters, my latest reality guilty pleasure, I was introduced to a girl on the show named Kolby. She radiates this raw sense of innocence and purity. It's not purity in the virginal sense, but pure as in untarnished by the realities of life and having this energy of believing that there is good in people and their intentions.
That thought is what inspired me to write this. Forever, I looked at purity as a sexual thing. That purity and virginity were synonymous. I would even go as far to say that's the definition society has placed upon it as well. Based in my experiences, a woman's innocence (purity) has been very wrapped in her sexuality.
Earlier this year, I'd began to evaluate the word innocence and its applicability to me - not because I'd been off whoring, but because I just didn't feel "innocent." It sparked from a conversation this past Christmas, in which some friends surfaced this term as a descriptor for me. I found myself irritated a bit because internally it didn't match the view I had of my self.
In a period of self reflection, I tied this back to my childhood. For reasons I'd prefer not to get into at the moment, around my preteen years, I'd developed a negative outlook as it related to my ability to be dependent on others. I realize that this has set the tone for a lot of my interactions from then to even now.
On the show, Kolby's mom is openly, and obviously, against premarital sex. But not because it's sex, but because of the affect she believes sex has on a woman's heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
I'd never thought about that until seeing that episode or at least looked at my approach to life through that lens. But, the concept of remaining pure in one's heart stood out to me. It made me look at how fragile the heart and the emotions that stem from there are. We all deal with things differently, but speaking from my perspective, repetitious bouts of sadness or disappointment lead me down a path of negativity and avoidance.
This brought me to the idea of purity rings and how it's the fathers that give these to their daughters. I used to think it was tied to the concept of women being a commodity and this exchange of rings as further emphasis on his ownership of her until marriage. But, the more I thought about it, I believe that it goes back to the saying of how a girl's father is her first boyfriend.
I'd misconstrued the full meaning of that as well, thinking that it was solely based in a girl's father being the first man to make her feel special or beautiful - in essence, building her self esteem. But, I now see the Christian view to this. As her husband is eventually responsible to do, a father's duty is to protect his daughter's heart -the essence of her being.
To start back at the beginning, which was originally the end, I hate the dating process because I'm always left thinking how many times can I be disappointed and come back from it? The walls that have to come down to trust someone new get higher each time and the one thing I don't want is to be tarnished for the one who does deserve me.
But at my age, and given my circumstances, the duty to protect my heart is my own. As Meagan Good said, "don't settle for anyone who doesn't see you as close to how God sees you - perfect." Someone that views you as such, I believe, would willing take on the responsibility of protection. After all, isn't that what most women want? To feel protected.