Faced with temptation, one young minister remembers his parent’s voice, and his promise to live holy.
Raised up in a religious home and taught to wait until the honeymoon to shoot your rockets, one young minister—after breaking the rules and suffering the consequences—admits he was in competition with himself to score as many “points” as possible, and is now sharing his story to his peers in hopes of inspiring them to abstain from sex, until they’ve found the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with at least.
Addicted to sex, he would say, Antonio Bennett, 24, knows that his role as a leader in a faith-based institution might be challenged as he reveals his struggles, but nonetheless, feels moved to prevent other young men and women—particularly in the black community—from heartbreak and the emotional roller-coaster that casual encounters to the dark hole of temptation can cause.
Growing up in a working-class South Philadelphia home with both parents who read the bible and feared God, Bennett says every time he did wrong he felt convicted. Hearing both his mother and father repeat Christian values as he aimed to lower their voices in his head so he could lower his pants, Bennett candidly states “I didn’t necessary follow everything I was taught, but my parents were also realistic, they gave me condoms when I went to my prom.”
Bennett credits a good friend of his who opened his eyes to the error of his ways.
“One day I called my friend Daniel Pope, a student at Temple University, to see if he was interested in going to a party, I heard it was going to be a bunch of women there. He blew me away when told me he didn’t live that life anymore. He sat down and shared the word of God with me and I immediately became convicted. I knew the truth but I had let the media and my peers influence me to go to places I should’ve been and spending money on women when I didn’t have it to pay bills. When I saw another young brother stand up and say he wasn’t going to do it, I decided I wanted to be like him.”
Bennett says surrounding himself around good men is going to sustain his journey. He reveals that his biggest inspiration his is father, someone he calls “a strong leader, a provider.”
“Most of the black boys I grew up with didn’t have fathers at home, mine was always there, and he never walked out. He sacrificed to make sure we had everything we needed. The biggest thing he sacrificed was his time.”
While he agrees he learned hard work from his dad, Bennett is confident that he’s taught his father a thing or two.
“I remind him often to not grow weary in well doing, that hard work pays off! When you have kids you never know how they’re going to turn out, but you work your hardest to increase the probability of your desired outcome. My father poured everything into me; he’s my hero; I just pray for a double portion of his strength.”
I asked Bennett what it means to be a good man.
“I think a good man is someone who first has faith in God. Being a good man encompasses caring for each other and providing not just for your family, but for your community as well; you need to posses morals and standards.”
The first person in the history of his family to attend college (PennState), Bennett says while off in school flirting with danger he would remember the stories his mother read him from the bible and admits they have certainly influenced his current manly walk away from sin.
“I remember my mother blatantly asking me: why I would want to deny a child the privilege of having a family if you had one? That was a deep question, at least to me it was, and it put things into perspective. I didn’t love the women I was sleeping around with, I barely tolerated them, and I certainly wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life with them. The truth is by being promiscuous I was doing more damage to myself than anyone else. And when you stop and weigh the pros and cons – factoring in heavily STD’S and pregnancy, seeing how most of us twenty-somethings are not in the position to take care of a child – it’s just not worth the risk at the end of the day.”
“Our people need to realize that a mother and father co-parenting harmoniously provides balance; it allows you to draw on two sets of unique life experiences, and as the bible says there’s safety in a multitude of council. A two parent home can teach a child a lot about dating, mainly that women aren’t servers, they’re helpers, and the man isn’t the boss, he’s the protector and the provider; both are equal but play different parts.”
Authentic and “not afraid to wear a belt,” Bennett’s message is simple: “if a man really wants you and wants to be with you for the rest of his life, he’ll wait until its right.”
Faced daily with temptation, Bennett remembers his parent’s voice and his promise to live holy, stating: “I’m not perfect, but Jesus is working in me and propelling me towards perfection.”
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™