Jumping the Broom

love, marriage, wedding, custom, black, african, american, husband, vow, wife, film
Jumping the broom is a marriage custom among Black Americans that has it roots in slavery: slaves weren’t allowed to get married so they demonstrated their love and commitment by jumping over a broom together to signify their union. I learned this from watching the film of the same name starring Paula Patton as a woman who gives up a life of casual sex and makes a vow to God to stop having sex until she is married.

The character Sabrina’s story mirrored mine because I was also leading a life of sleeping with nearly every handsome man I met until I realized that was not the path to a fulfilling relationship. Like Sabrina, I knew that if I were to ever have a healthy relationship I would have to take sex out of the equation and put God in its place. Sabrina asked God to send her a man and give her a definite sign that he was the one. Almost immediately, she ploughed into a pedestrian with her car. He turned out to be the one, of course, and she stayed true to her vow even while they were engaged.

Much ado was made about the fact that the man had to wait six months (!) for sex as though only men find it challenging to wait. I can tell you from experience and you know if you’ve read this blog that women find it hard to wait, too! I still doubt whether I’ll be able to wait for marriage to have sex with my future partner. That is a lot of temptation and the world accepts and encourages sex before marriage which makes it even more difficult to stay pure. I think the trick is to surround yourself with people who understand and support your commitment to save sex for your wedding day. Since I’ve put that intention out there more and more people are entering my life who “get it” and I’m grateful for that.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Having people around you that encourage your celibacy certainly helps, but the greatest factor in maintaining your commitment to wait will be the man that you choose to lead you. If you acknowledge a weakness or temptation towards sex, it is up to him to keep the appropriate boundaries.

    This movie’s protrayal of the man frustrates me because it implies that the best a woman can do is to find a man that “respects” their decision. Let me tell you, this is not reality. First, there are millions of men willing to lend lip service to their “respect” for your celibacy, and will happily play the good boy martyr until they catch you in a moment of weakness. Second, it paints the picture that all men will merely tolerate a woman’s decision to remain celibate, and this is the best you can ask for.

    However, a man that values your celibacy as much as you do, will fight to help you maintain your commitment. He will not see it as a season to get past, but rather as an opportunity to be a protector against your temptation rather than a willing ally. It takes two to have sex — if your man is as committed to both of you remaining celibate as you are, you can establish boundaries together without one of you trying to “respectfully” press them.

    Nothing is fool proof, and this is where God’s strength takes over, but if He’s brought you this far, I believe He’d have you commit to a man that values your celibacy and his own, rather than having you resist temptation with a man that you know wants to get you in bed. If this is a deal-breaker for most men, then you already know what they’re interested in. But don’t buy the lie that there aren’t men who would be privileged to guard your heart and purity.

    I know…another post in itself. And I did so well last time! 🙂

    • Oops…didn’t close off my italics :-/

      • Actually I’m glad you wrote this because I hadn’t entertained the possibility that there might be a man who would support and defend my position. But you’re right I do need that in a partner. I suppose I didn’t believe there were any men like that.

  2. I too wonder abotu celibacy and would I be able to hold off. I have a friend who is interracially married. She was once involved with a Asian man whom she lived with, slept with, learned to cook his food and fed but he never gave her a commitmment of marrige. Instead, he put it off and said he isn’t sure right now. She respected that as much as it hurt her to do so, and waitied till his major projkect at work was over before she broke it off with him. She was hurt because she loved him and accepted his culture as apart of her own and by all accounts loved him deeply.
    She vowed that he next relationship she went into, she would wait before she entered a sexual relationship until she vetted him and proved he was the one. It was hard, and if I remember correctly, she prayed about it too and she met her now husband quite out of the blue. She vetted him and found that he was everything she was looking for. He respected her decision not to have sex and they didn’t move into together or begin having sex until after their engagement which lasted a short time before they were officially married. I’m glad there are other women who think the same way.


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