Hello iWaited Family!! I would like to introduce to you our 2nd feature on the iWaited Blog. Drumroll please…..Armond and Nneka Mosley!! I ran across Armond and Nneka on the Urban Chastity website and decided to reach out to them. They are definitely a couple of on the move. Armond has written a book and is a sought after speaker and Nneka owns her own handbag boutique, I will provide the links below. Let’s get it started….
- What is your name and tell me a little bit about yourself?
Armond: My name is Armond Mosley, I am 31 years old living in East Norriton, PA, and I’m originally from Huntsville, AL. I am a graduate of Howard University. I’ve been living in the Pennyslavina area for about 10 years now, moved here by myself. About two years ago I published my first book, which is entitled Rededication: A Story of Sex, Repentance and Restoration. It kind of details my journey and deliverance from sexual sin. It also has a workbook in it for individuals rededicating their lives to Christ. And want to live a life of sexual purity. That’s something I’m really passionate about, especially for Young Adults and Singles how to navigate this thing called life. I do a lot of speaking around this topic.
Nneka: I am Nneka Mosley, I’m originally from Petersburg, PA and I’m 33 years old. I have a handbag line called Nneka Saran. I also have another business with a partner called Handy Chicks, where we teach workshops for women to teach them how to reupholster. Kind of a similar story to Armond, where I always struggled with sexual purity. I waited for a while, or longer than most friends to have sexual intercourse but it’s always been a struggle to remain sexually pure. Battling with wanting to live my own way knowing that I should live God’s way.
- How did you meet your mate?
Nneka: We actually met in New York during an internship that we had together. We met there and we became friends and we were really just friends for about 7 years. Strictly friends.
- How long did you date and how long was your engagement?
Nneka: We dated for a year and then we were engaged for six months before we got married.
- How early on in the relationship did the subject of sex come up?
Nneka: It was kind of different. Because we were good friends we talked about a lot things way early on. We both knew years before we got together romantically that we both were on the same page with trying to live right. Celibacy was something that Armond did on his own before for me on his own. We were talking about the different experiences he had while he was celibate. Meanwhile, I was kind of celibate…it was more so by circumstance because I wasn’t dealing with anyone. I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to randomly have casual sex with anyone but I wasn’t in a relationship. At that moment I hadn’t necessarily pledged to be celibate for biblical reasons. At a certain point we both got on the same page with that before dating each other.
Armond: It wasn’t a matter of sex coming up because we already knew what our relationship was going to be based on and what our foundation would be. It was just two friends talking about their individual relationships. As a couple there was no pressure or confusion as it relates to sex, we knew we would be seeking to remain pure until marriage. That’s kind of how story went as it relates to sex. I guess it was different from two people who don’t know each other and the sex talk comes up.
Me: It kind of went unsaid that you guys would wait for marriage once you started dating.
Armond: Exactly. For me, I had already made a declaration to be celibate until marriage. I was already speaking at different churches about celibacy, I was fully already sold out for that lifestyle. For her, she was celibate by default, she hadn’t made a full declaration but she wasn’t in a relationship and she’d been celibate for three years up until that point. So once we got together she already that I was waiting until I was married and she had a desire to wait. We didn’t have to talk about “Hey, what are we gonna do about this sex thing?”. It was two people who were already on the same page so we didn’t even have to persuade each other to live that lifestyle.
PAUSE: I then asked them a question that I get all the time concerning someone that’s currently Waiting or has a desire to wait dating someone who may not be on the same page.
Armond: On one hand yes, it could happen. My advice is that you do need to find someone that’s on the same page, because you don’t want to play with fire. It’s like me saying well I can convince her and eventually she’ll come over to my side. Generally speaking, when one person has not bought into the idea and the other person has, it’s easier for the other person to fall victim than the other way around. Another caveat to that is Nneka and I talk about this all the time, we firmly believe that the man has to be the leader in that regard. If you’re going to have a scenario where one person is down and the other person isn’t, the scenario that works best is if the man is the one sold out. If the woman is the one abstaining and the guy is saying no, I’m going to go out on a limb and say 9.9 times out 10 that’s not going to pan out very well for the women.
- How long were you abstaining before your met your mate?
Armond: Remember, we met each other 7 years before we started dating. In those 7 years neither one of us was abstaining, I don’t even think it was in my mind. But before were started dating, I had been abstaining for about 1 ½ by that time.
Nneka: And I had been, well, I hadn’t had sex in three years.
- If you hadn’t abstained before, what made this relationship different?
Nneka: Initially for me it wasn’t a conscious decision for me. In my mind I wasn’t 100% sold that if I met someone who I was really into that I would not have had sex. A little before Armond and I got together, I started drawing closer to God and making that declaration. And talking to Armond regularly he was an influence for me to make that declaration as well.
Armond: I had experiences in my life and I really feel like God was pressing me hard on this issue of sexual purity. I couldn’t figure out why He was bothering me and not my friends but I just felt like He wasn’t going to let me live like everybody else. He was calling me to a higher standard. That void didn’t get filled until I became obedient and submitted. As I was trying to fill that void with everything else, nothing was quenching that thirst. He got me to a point where things in my life were not going the way I wanted them to, I was confused and frustrated. The one thing I knew for sure was that He was really pressing me on this issue of sex and that’s what helped me to get me to a place of submission. That’s why I named the book “Rededication” because that moment of rededication was where I said “Ok God, I know You’ve been speaking to me for years now.”
- In what ways do you think, keeping sex out of your relationship benefitted the relationship?
As far as sex not being in the picture, we found out early on that you have a more authentic and more genuine relationship. The beautiful thing about me and Nneka was that we were already friends and we had a great foundation to build a relationship upon. I think a lot of people jump into dating scenarios and have expectations of the other person that are very similar to what a wife would have of a husband and a husband of a wife as opposed to just being friends first. Sex not being in the picture allowed us to continue to build that relationship and that friendship conducive to a marriage. One of the great things about our relationship now is that we are great friends and we have a lot of fun together, we laugh and we joke. We enjoy spending time together, it doesn’t always have to be something sexual. I know for a lot of people once the sex is taken off the table, they find out “Wow, you’re really not that cool and it’s not that fun hanging out with you”. In a marriage, every moment is not just going to be sex, you’re going to have to have some tough conversations, you’re going to have disappointing days where one person’s down and the other person’s up. It just helped us to get to a place where we had a sincere and genuine love for each other. Sex just became the icing on the cake as opposed to being the foundation. ß—– Good stuff!!!!
PAUSE: I expressed to Armond my ability to relate in being called to abstain when no one else in my immediate circle felt that same call. I also expressed that God is calling a generation of people to step and do this courting and marriage thing the way He intended.
Nneka: I do believe that God is calling a generation to stand out. Everyone’s journey is different. We don’t understand why certain people have to go through certain things and certain people don’t and that can be across the board, not just in this setting. You can always say “Why me, why did I have to go through this?” but you will be rewarded in the end. Sometimes you look at other people and it seems they’re getting it without having to go through this but you don’t know what your reward will be and how God will bless you because of your obedience. Not to say that God won’t bless the marriages of those that didn’t go that path, I do think there is something to be said for following God’s Word.
(Nneka really encouraged me with this!!)
- Were you ever tempted to give in to the temptation to have sex?
Armond: We just tried to limit the amount of opportunities for temptation. We didn’t sleep in the same bed, which a lot of people do and try to live a life of celibacy but you’re playing with fire to the extreme degree. She dressed attractively and I thought she was beautiful and sexy. But she didn’t walk around trying to flaunt it when we hung out because I think that would have made it a lot more difficult. Both of just being committed to helping each other and making that commitment to God. For us, It was a new level of commitment to God. “I may make a lot of mistakes, but one thing I’m not going to do is screw this up.” I’ve played with it before and saw the consequences of it, so we kept things on an even keel, so that we didn’t set ourselves up for failure. You see people who you know are intimate, you see tv shows etc. There were definitely those moments, but being able to pray and having accountability partners and having friends. Most of our core friends were on the same page and even those who weren’t knew what we were about.
Nneka: Once you’re actually in the relationship, a lot of people think that sex is a natural part of a relationship, that’s the norm for most people. Once you do something for a while, it becomes your norm. When we first started dating Armond had already been celibate in a relationship setting, he had been in relationships where he was celibate. I had not had that experience with someone. He was the first person that I was 100% sold out with being celibate. There were situations in the past where I felt convicted and I told the person that I wasn’t going to have sex anymore and ended up falling back into the same routine. He was the first time. For me, initially, it was a little more challenging. You’re so used to everything having some kind of sexual connotation, you’re in the kitchen and the person comes up behind you (for example). Taking that kind of stuff away and trying to figure out ways to still show affection to each other. One thing I found is that because most people equate sex to affection and once that’s removed you have to find ways to still show affection to your partner. You have to show them that you still desire them but not in a way that’s not good before marriage. You’re a still a woman and you still want to feel like you’re beautiful. After a while it really became a norm. People asked us how we did it but not having sex was the same as having sex for a lot of people.
- Why do you believe God asks us to remain pure before marriage?
Armond: I think that God knows what’s best for us. I think we all have seen the consequences of sex, whether it’s physically, emotionally or spiritually. God understands the proper place for that type of interaction to occur, is within the loving confines of a committed and submitted marriage. And I think back to my different encounters and I put myself at physical risk, if I would have contracted something it would have been my fault. I could have gotten any of the women pregnant and that would have altered my life completely. Not to say that pregnancies that happen out-of-wedlock aren’t a blessing, but we can sometimes do things in our lives to make the journey harder. In the Garden of Eden when Adam & Eve ate the apple, they made the journey harder. It wasn’t intended to be that way. Because of sin we put up additional barriers and roadblocks on our own personal journeys. I can think about the emotional hurt when I only slept with someone just to get a number count and really not caring anything about them. I’m sure that made some women distraught and question their own self-worth, which is unfortunate. As I was living in that sin in particular, I feel like it was driving a wedge between me and God. As long I kept fornicating, God was not going to open His arms to bless me the way that I believe that He would and could. I believe there are things He wanted to show me, that He would not show as long as I continued to revel in that sin. He wants us to wait because marriage is the proper place. And that marriage is submitted to Him and He can protect us.
- What are some finals thoughts/words of encouragement for the readers?
Armond: As a couple we’re far from perfect. It’s only by the grace of God that we were able to make it through the journey. We really did submit to Him. If we were just trying to do this in our own strength and our own will it wouldn’t have happened because we’re human. Secondly, it is hard and it’s definitely not easy. Even if you fall, my book highlights how many times I said “Alright God, I’m going to be celibate” and a month or two later I was back in the bed. This whole journey is about falling down, getting back up…falling down and getting back up. Just because you fall down, doesn’t mean you can’t get back up. If you’re committed to that lifestyle, He’ll give you the strength. It’s not to say that the first step out of the gate is going to be a perfect step. But if you truly submit to Him, He can make it possible. There are plenty of couples as evidence that it is possible. We are a testament of the blessing that can come from it.
Nneka: For the women who are waiting: Sometimes it can be very daunting, especially black women because you hear all the statistics about how there are no men…no black men. Then you’re talking about black godly men who go to church… then not only are you talking about black godly men who go to church but black godly men who go to church and actually want to be celibate. Women be patient and trust God. We’re always waiting on something. Because once you get married, you’re waiting to have kids. Once you have kids you’re waiting for your career. The bottom line is “Do we really trust God?”. If we really trust and believe God then we know that He’s not going to leave us hanging and that He knows the desires of our hearts. I encourage women to stay encouraged. Push past the days that you may feel lonely or feel like it’s not worth it. Trust and rely on God’s word that’s He’s going to bring it to pass.
Armond’s book can be bought here: http://www.armondmosley.com/#!books/cj5l or you can order it through Amazon.com. You can also visit Armond’s website to book him to speak at your church or event.
Nneka’s website for her handbags: http://nnekasaran.com/collections/all