The Singles’ programme rounded up on Saturday night with Pastor Bode’s talk on, ‘The beauty of virginity.’ He read from Matthew 25 and spoke to the ladies at length; outlining the benefits of staying a virgin for the right man – ‘there would be no comparison between your husband and an ex’, he said, and more importantly, ‘you can proudly beat yourself on the chest and say to the world, I got married as a virgin.’ From the way he sounded, being a virgin was tantamount to making heaven.
Everyone left the hall super-charged in the spirit and determined to wait. Agbenu walked out with mixed feelings. She wasn’t a virgin; years ago she had succumbed to the flesh and given herself to Ocheje- a brother she had been dating in Church. They were both choristers at the time and although she knew it was a sin to indulge in fornication, she had given in to his persistence because she ‘knew’ they would eventually get married. But, things went sour and they went their separate ways.
Enter Richie – tongue speaking, demon chasing, the works. Having learned from her experience with Ocheje, she was determined not to have sex with him until they were wedded but Richie would have none of that. He loved her. She loved him. ‘Sex would further cement our love’, he argued. When she countered that pre-marital sex was a sin and that she was keeping herself for marriage, he proposed everything else without actual penetration – oral sex, anal sex, and the rest… she went with it. She knew it was wrong; each time she indulged, she would get down on her knees and cry before God, promising never to go back again. But when they met again, Richie would plead and remind her that he loved her. Over time, Richie’s lust intensified and he resumed his pestering; ‘after all’, said he, ‘you’ve done this thing before.’ Soon enough, he wore her resistance down and she acquiesced.
Yes, she got pregnant. She was in her final year at the time; she’d missed her period once and attributed it to the stress from her school project and all. The day she collapsed while bleeding profusely, she was rushed to the hospital where she was told that she’d had a miscarriage. She cried her eyes out that night but she couldn’t say exactly why she was crying. Loss of the baby? Regret? Relief? Anyway, she decided right then and made a vow to God, never to fall into sexual immorality again. Richie’s true colors showed when he refused to respect her vow and insisted that they continue having sex- with protection. He couldn’t care less that she had gotten pregnant and lost it. Agbenu left him and never looked back.
Now she had been reminded of her past; something she had worked very hard to forget. She called herself ‘a secondary virgin’ – one who has had sexual intercourse before but has now made a commitment not to be sexually active any longer. What preyed on her mind most was the fact that Tolu had been in Church for the Singles’ programme. Tolu was serious about her and had been hinting about marriage lately. He’d shared his past with her and she knew that he had never even kissed a woman. She loved him and she wanted to say yes if he asked for her hand in marriage but she needed to share her past with him first. It was a scary thought; she feared that he might leave her when he learned the truth.
“Agbenu…” She broke out of her reverie and turned to see Patricia, her flatmate.
“Hey, Trish. I didn’t know you came oh.” They hugged briefly.
“Barely. I just got in as the message was rounding up. I know I missed a lot.”
“Yeah, you did” Agbenu replied drily.
“No, not really.”
“Alright. Did you drive?”
“Yes, I’m parked close to the gate.”
“Let’s go home.”
As she drove, Agbenu was not her usual chatty and jovial self. Patricia could sense that there was something on her mind but she didn’t want to press. She kept stealing glances at her friend and caught the lone tear that slid on her cheek, which she hurriedly cleaned. Fortunately, the traffic was light and they got home in no time. As Agbenu tried to get down, Patricia held her back and hugged her closely. She didn’t know why her friend was crying but she intuited that it had something to do with the programme. When she could talk, Agbenu removed herself gently from Tricia’s embrace and leaned on the door.
“I don’t know what to do Trish.”
“About what?” She looked ’Tricia over, contemplating if she should talk to her. She felt like she could.
“I’m scared to tell Tolu about my past.”
“What about your past?”
Agbenu shook her head and closed her eyes.
“Agbenu, you know you can talk to me.”
Quickly, before she changed her mind, she let everything out. “I’m not a virgin, Trish. I’ve been involved in sexual immorality before now. I even got pregnant and lost it. I don’t know how to tell Tolu. He sees me as this born again, firebrand sister. He thinks I am a ‘good’”, she made air quotes, “girl. How do I then shatter this image he has of me?”
“But this was way before you became born again.” Patricia replied, “Old things are…”
“It was after. I was singing in the choir and doing all sorts. Oh, I’m so ashamed.”
Patricia was silent and Agbenu went on, “See, I knew you would judge me for…”
“Oh no. That’s not what I’m doing. Sorry that I was silent. Did you repent genuinely?”
“Did you go back to it?”
“Not after Richie! After I lost the baby, I vowed to wait until my wedding night.”
“Then, you are a virgin. Yes, you are. Old things are passed away and indeed all things have become new.”
“I’ve always held on to that scripture but from the way the talk went, second chances do not apply in this case.”
“Of course they do! No matter how far you’ve strayed, if you genuinely repent and forsake your sins, God gives you a clean slate to start afresh. Forgive my asking, has your relationship with Tolu been pure?”
“Yes, I haven’t had sex with him. I have kept my vow by God’s grace, although it’s difficult sometimes, but God has been faithful.”
“Exactly. His grace is sufficient! See Agbenu, we make the mistake sometimes of equating virginity with purity. No, not the same thing. It’s a beautiful thing to stay a virgin but what about chastity? I say this because some people are not having sexual intercourse but they doing other things just as displeasing to God – fondling, petting, masturbating, anal sex, you name it. And they still make bold to say, ‘I am a virgin’. I know that God is interested in the actual purity of your relationship, not merely in the ‘virginity status’; because you can be a virgin and still have an impure relationship. Do you get my drift?”
“Oh yes, I do and it’s so true. We need to also place emphasis on purity, not just virginity.”
“Indeed. God has forgiven and even forgotten your past. You should be thankful.”
“I am but what about Tolu?”
“You have to tell him.”
“I don’t know how to. I hear men want to marry virgins.”
“Of course they do”, Patricia replied, sarcastically. “Society points fingers at the women and leaves the men out. So, they go ahead defiling themselves and want to finally settle down with a virgin. Abeg, make I no vex. See, talk to Tolu, I believe he would forgive your past…”
“He has kept himself, Trish. He told me that and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him.”
“Shhh…” Patricia reached over the console and hugged her again.
Hey… I hope you were blessed.
So, recently there’s so much talk about being a virgin. Please don’t get me wrong, it is excellent. What bothers me is that we go ahead and do all other things as seen in our story, and still wear the ‘Virgin’s badge’. Brethren, these things ought not to be so.
Scriptures say: Flee from every appearance of evil. Let’s preach the purity message alongside! It’s what God desires of us. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. If you are living in sin right now, you can make a decision to come out of it and stay pure. His grace is sufficient!
1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 Thess. 4: 3
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.
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God bless you really good.
In His Love,
You would also love, Not Guilty! https://believersfranktalk.com/2013/11/not-guilty/