So recently I led a group in my home about relationships, and it was so much fun. It was a co-ed group, evenly split between women and men. When the group was over, I felt like I was really ready to date the “right way.” After all, I now had a blueprint to go by.
One problem. I had the blueprint but no tools to build with.
Over ten years ago, I decided to become celibate—I’d had a pretty dark past, and I just wanted God to heal me. Of course I still had crushes, I still went out here and there. But I never got into anything serious. After this class was over however, I ran into three different men who were interested in me.
And I lost. My. Mind.
I had a set of principles that I was living by before. But the principles had changed all of a sudden.
For ten years, the principle was simply this: Don’t touch. You’re just not ready.
But what was my new principle now that I was ready to do relationships right? I hadn’t bothered to figure that out.
I struggle with a seriously compulsive personality when not kept in check. What do I mean by compulsive? Blurting everything that comes to mind, identifying every emotion and acting on it. I used to call it being passionate, but really, it’s just a lack of self-control.
Before chastity, I had no boundaries. I did whatever made me feel good. Before chastity, I would have found a way to be with all three of those guys who liked me. And because I was who I was, I would have lost them all. I knew what was good for my mind, body and spirit—I was raised with principles. But what I wanted, whatever I was passionate about, always superseded what I knew was best for me.
Can I just tell you—that’s such an exhausting way to live. But He’s making me better.
Two things are helping me get principled. Galatians 5:22/23 talks about the fruit of the Spirit being comprised of many virtues including self-control. God is showing me how ridiculous my lack of control looks, not just as a Christ-follower, but just in general. I mean, really? Who enjoys constantly being around someone who is out of control? It’s fun at first, kind of exciting. But after a while, it’s just annoying. And if the person who’s out of control is you, it’s not like you can get away.
The second thing is realizing that passion for something or someone is like a cup of hot coffee. In the cup, it can be sipped and enjoyed. When it’s spilled all over the place, it can burn you and the people around you. No one enjoys that.
It’s like Mr. Miyagi say: “Danielson, never put passion over principle. Even if win, you lose.” So today, right now, just call me Charlie Sheen. Because I’m, duh, winning.