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  • Writer's pictureBeverly H.

Abstinent Guy IRL- Falling (Part 1 of 2)

Post Title: Abstinent Man IRL- Falling (Part 1 of 2)

Jackson took an unusual approach to abstinence through a pact with God.

His story is raw and real. It’s divided in two parts: dating before the pact and life after it. I met him when he dated, and eventually married, my close friend Emma. He is proof that a man can succeed at saving sex for marriage.


*Jackson didn’t ask that I change their names, but I did so anyway to give them some space.


Bombarded

Instead of dating in high school, Jackson worked two jobs to help buy groceries for his family. His transition to college was dark.

JACKSON: In college, you end up with a lot more free time. I struggled a lot during my first year. I went through significant depression, had thoughts of suicide. I wanted to date and lose the virgin label, but knew it was wrong. I started struggling with pornography, well

knowing it was wrong. I began to wonder if people would really miss me if I was gone. And the most confusing part of it was that I was already a believer.


But nobody had prepared me for spiritual warfare, but I was knee deep in it and struggling to understand how to get out. This wasn't something that was freely discussed at church, with family, or by friends. Nobody discussed it, I was alone and had to deal with it for a long time. That spiritual attack pulled me much closer to God once I realized what was happening. I started going back to church and wanted to start dating, but I did't fully understand how intense the desires were at the time. As I continued to struggle, I made my own outlet and I threw myself into college schoolwork, not so much into dating.


Get It Done- and then some

Social hype about sex was suffocating Jackson. He wrestled with his mind’s desires to go ahead and have sex versus his soul’s desire to honor God.


JACKSON: Once I did start dating, I realized it was a very slippery slope for me. I had wanted to save myself, but in that environment I just wanted to get it over with. Too much pressure and all of that. I just knew at the time I wanted to get it over with and I really didn’t care about the ramifications.

ME: I know you pretty well. It’s strange to hear such a kind person say they wouldn’t have cared about the ramifications. That’s not who you are.

JACKSON: Oh, the thing is you can look at it and say that's a very kind

person; I also know how deep I was in other things. I mean, everyone has sins and things that they struggle with. Me, I know one of the things I struggled with, just to be frank, was pornography. And at the time (before I dated my now wife) I struggled with sexuality. Trying to figure out, you know, like, what, do I like guys? I don’t understand. What’s going on here? So I was full on into all types of pornography. The struggle is real. I mean, it takes so long to get that stuff out of your head in a way and for Jesus to bring healing to that area. It took many years for me. It’s awful. At the time, I was like, this is wrong. This is awful, you know? And I beat myself up over it. It was, in a way, spiritual warfare. I was being bombarded with it and struggling through it, and I was trying to do it all on my own. But even then [when he wanted to get losing his virginity over with no matter the consequences] you have those Bible verses that kind of keep flooding your mind again, it’s like no there’s a purpose. There’s a purpose. This goes back to when I was struggling with suicide as well.


Looking back, there was a purpose for my struggles. I recognize these were my decisions, my sins, and not something that God forced me to go through.

Having gone through these struggles, I know I’m in a better position to relate to individuals who also struggle with them. I can share verses that helped me, I can pray more specifically because I know the thoughts, images, and feelings they struggle with. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and pornography (both heterosexual and homosexual) are ammunition used within Spiritual Warefare that destroy us. Unfortunately, they are all topics that individuals struggle with that nobody talks about.


I Can't Even

ME: Tell me about dating before your pact.

JACKSON: I had a college girlfriend prior to Emma. We were kissing, and I knew that if I continued kissing it was going to lead to things because that’s where my mind wanted to go. I would compromise too much of what I’ve been doing. I called the relationship off. I was done because I knew how tempted I was and how quickly that temptation, that urge, was developing. I was like, I don’t want to do this until my wedding day and I need You to help me. It was still a struggle, but God did see me through it. I wanted to be honoring, you know. Yet, you can say that and be kind of two-faced because I was still struggling with pornography every now and then. As a woman, I don’t think that you truly understand what it’s like to be a guy in that regard. To have those urges and emotions to that extent. It sucks! I just decided to hold off. I was like, “This isn’t what God wants. This isn’t the story I want to tell my children.”


Find out what Jackson’s radical pact was in my next post, Abstinent Man IRL- The Pact (Part 2 of 2).


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