(by Karl Fanega)

Deep inside I’ve always wanted to love and be loved.  In my search for it I found it in the wrong places and it has been tainted ever since.  Love became sex.

NOT NOW!  That’s what screams in my head whenever I think even just a hint of living pure.  Why?  I figured it was mainly because I have a lot to give up.  For years it was hard for me to give talks about love, about waiting for the right time in marriage, and about living pure.  When given the chance to give the talk or even share about it, I try my best to give it to someone else.  I can honestly say that this was indeed a great struggle, but the fact that I struggled just meant that I’m trying something that I never tried.  Though, my head screams “NOT NOW!” I ask “but WHEN?”

This started on February 19th of 2011.  Just a couple of hours before my birthday, on the WSC 2011 stage, as a prayer to God, I’ve made that decision to change my ways.  For the first time in my life, I made that decision to live pure.  I told that crowd, most importantly I told God as I was holding my “blank” FFL Covenant that it was time to be a better man.  Then I made the same decision again another time, then again, then again, and then I lost count.  Deep inside I know that it’s what my heart cries for me to do, but when faced by that challenge, I fail and tell whisper to myself “not now.”

Then 22nd–23rd of October 2011, Singles Live Pure in Bangkok happened.  It was a great feeling, telling other men about my struggles, and knowing theirs as well.  We all found our own gut level reason to live pure along with the ideal qualities of men that women want.  We got to share what men ideally want in a woman as well.  I found out why we have to live pure and that it continues to be everyone’s struggle, not just mine.  So once more, I’ve decided again to live pure.  Weak as I am, none of the teachings went in my head, and days later I failed again.

Then one day, I just told myself “Now!”  It was a transformation that happened overnight.  Struggles with myself and my thoughts that was corrected by my couple coordinator during our 1-1s, made me decide once again to live pure.  For years I pray to God to help me become a better man; a man for Him.  For years He gave me opportunities to be that man and I failed miserably.  For years I succumbed to my desires and justified all the sins I committed.  That same night I was given another chance, I avoided a sin and I went home early to and started fixing things.  That very night I did a lot of things, and told a couple of people that I should stop seeing them for a while.  The highlight of it all though, was that I brought my struggles to the light.  All the things that concerned me, all that I’m doing wrong, and all that I struggle with, I wrote about, and then prayed about.  Four pages of it I wrote down as a letter from a son to his parents, asking for help, for prayers, and for support.  St. Paul said that “For My strength is made perfect in weakness,” and “for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  God gave me a weakness, and for years I fed that weakness with sins of this world.  With my struggles to live pure, my struggles to be a better man, God has given me enough chances and tests to overcome it.  I glorify God with my weaknesses because it will give me strength.  He showed me an example of love in my home, and I cling to that real Love that rests in Him.  Every day I will fight and I will win that battle in living pure.