By: Sharai R. Thomas

As a little girl growing up watching Disney’s Cinderella and Snow White, I always dreamed of one day meeting my very own prince charming. I wanted to grow up, fall in love and give myself totally to my prince who would be my first and only love. To most of you this doesn’t seem too farfetched for a seven year old girl to be thinking about, because most girls this age tend to have these types of dreams. Now as I grew into a teenager I realized that this concept wasn’t considered “cool” or as realistic with my peers at school or even in society. This idea of one woman and one man loving each other began to change rapidly around me, but I was resolved in myself to have my one true prince.

I believe that growing up in a Christian home with Christian values definitely shaped me to be the successful woman that I am today, and also impacted my decision to remain a virgin until marriage. Even though it was a struggle for me with the pressures and temptations from the media and school friends, I had made up in my mind to stay true to what I knew was the right thing to do. After all, I didn’t see the “glory” in sleeping around with whomever just to experience life, or so I could end up with a disease, pregnant, or with a broken heart that would affect how I would relate to other men in the future. No, that wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted. I didn’t want to be distracted from my goals and aspirations in life just for mere moments of fun and pleasure. I was destined for greatness, for leadership and even though the devil tried to destroy my purpose with temptations, God was always there to help me through the tough times.

By the time I was 19, I was starting to develop a serious relationship with the man I am proud to say is my husband today! My awesome husband, Pastor Duerre J. Thomas Jr. and I met while attending World Harvest Bible College in Columbus, Ohio. Like me he had the same convictions about sex before marriage and was keeping himself for that special young lady he would make his wife! I say that to say, it’s not just women who should have to keep themselves while men just sleep around with everything in a skirt! Especially, if you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior it should be your utmost desire to keep your sexuality under control with God’s help and keep yourself for that special someone. Why should women have to settle for a non- virgin husband while men everywhere, even those who aren’t Christian look for a nice virgin wife? Is it because we don’t think it’s possible to find a man who has kept himself? There is nothing impossible with God. Just ask God for His best and don’t settle for less than that!

Even if someone has messed up in the past it is possible to renew that covenant with God and yourself and refrain from sexual promiscuity. True love is able to wait, but you must also set boundaries in your relationships, and keep from always being alone! These are a few things we had to practice while dating. It wasn’t easy because the desires are there, but if you stick to the plan with God’s help it is possible to keep yourself. Duerre and I dated for 4 years and got married August 20, 2005 at the age of 23. Both of us were proud to say that we were able to achieve our goal of remaining pure till then!

Four years later we now have four fine sons, D’mari our twin boys, Damir and Shamir, and the newest addition to our family, Dashaun. When I look back and reflect on where God has brought me from and where I am today, I am truly glad that I was brave enough to go against the norm and make the choice for purity even though it wasn’t and still isn’t popular or easy!  I am proud to be an example for my children and others to follow. I encourage you to do and be the same! Just know that God is able to keep you, if you are willing to be kept!