Book Review: The Wait
As an active book lover, it comes as no surprise to the masses when they see my nose buried in a book. People are always asking me for a quick synopsis on my latest read yet I feel like I never do them justice through a Facebook post or quick Instagram comment, so I've decided to use my platform and write reviews for inquiring minds.
"The Wait is to motivate you to change your thinking about unexpected seasons--to use period of active waiting to sculpt your life into the shape you want."
When I first heard that Meagan Good and her husband, Devon Franklin were writing a book together, I was so happy for them. I have always been a fan of Meagan Good growing up and I got the chance to meet Devon Franklin during a meet & greet in Brooklyn for his first book, “Produced by Faith.” They were a beautiful couple and were very open about their faith in God and how celibacy played a big part in their relationship.
At one point, it seemed like celibacy was the latest trend in pop culture. Singer/model Ciara and her NFL hubby Russell Wilson remained celibate throughout their entire relationship, saying it was a sign from God as an act of renewal. Reality star Angela Simmons was the poster child for years on remaining a virgin and that never slowed her down from dating and being an Instagram baddie. Growing up in a Christian household, I always knew that saving yourself for marriage was the “right” way to go but as I got older, I also knew that shit happens. Like most people, I was curious as to how these people, especially public figures, were able to maintain celibacy in such a hyper-sexual reality?
I decided to tackle this journey with my girl, Shannon, who was also tired of the results she was getting from the current dating scene. Both of us are busy girls so luckily for us, it was an easy read. Unfortunately, it was not what we were expecting. At all.
Well, let me back it up a bit.
The media had focus mainly on the celibacy part of the book but there were other powerful lessons that the book shared. It taught about not only waiting for sex but waiting in general. It spoke highly and strongly about the act of patience. It taught about patience within your career, personal life and dating life. I felt like that was an important lesson because our generation and the world today is filled with instant gratification, which is unfortunate because the best things are worth waiting for yet we tend to rush into relationships, jobs, etc without thinking it all the way through.
"Waiting has nothing to do with lying back and hoping that good things find you. It's about putting aside distractions, using your gifts, and becoming someone God can trust to bless with great opportunities and wonderful people."
It also had some great relationship advice. If you’re someone that tends to repeat the same bad dating habits like Shannon and me, then it taught you to go about dating with a brand new mindset. You have to be open to meeting people from different walks of life and consider switching up “the list”. Why keep repeating the same thing and expecting different results? That’s insane. Literally, that’s the definition of insanity. Don’t do that to yourself.
"We ask ourselves what we want, but we rarely ask ourselves what we deserve. When we forget to ask, we're more likely to approach relationships from a place of need and insufficiency. We need to be with someone because we fear being alone."
Lastly, I appreciated the fact that it had a guy’s perspective. When you think or hear about celibacy, it’s usually coming from women because we were raised in a society that taught us sex defines a guy’s manhood. It’s as if men don’t have self-control when it comes to sex. It was a pleasure to hear Devon, a handsome man who works in Hollywood, speak to the men about what it is to overcome certain insecurities and live in their own truth. It was quite empowering.
(I wanted to give Shannon a platform to share her thoughts as well...)
The Wait, "a powerful practice for finding the love of your life and the life you love," is the first thing you see on the cover. Power, the reoccurring theme that yelled at me throughout the book, seems to mean everything to me in my life. Through heartbreaks, let downs, failures, poor decisions, and any other negative experiences, I always seem to initially regret that I was vulnerable and gave up my power to be put into those situations. Does waiting to have sex really mean you're keeping your power? Does a sexless lifestyle really provide mental clarity while also adding value to your relationship? Those and many more questions came to me when I first picked up the book. My expectations were to get a perspective of what it really felt like to wait and practice a sexless relationship with someone you were head over hills for. Cover to cover, I was slightly disappointed. They did a great job describing their experiences on a surface level, but I felt like they weren't very descriptive of what they actually felt during trying times and temptation. Additionally, when in my life would I meet someone and marry them in less than two years? A lot of the principles felt fabricated and dishonest to me, or did I really think that low of myself to lack self control?
I started reading the book at an interesting point in my life. Being single with no intentions to date makes it easy to be celibate. There's no one around to tempt you and as I started reading the book, I started falling into the "talking" stage with someone long distance. After I finished the book, I randomly got the opportunity to go on a first date with my distant bae and I remember feeling an incredible amount of temptation to pounce on him on the first night. Post date the book had a different meaning to me. If he would be the man I would later be marrying could I fight the same sexual urges that I felt on the first day I've met him, throughout our entire relationship leading up to marriage? I hate to doubt myself, but knowing me it would be very hard to do. They said they prayed a lot, so I've started and I'll check back in and let you know how that goes.
Overall, we liked how they shared the perspective from both Devon and Meagan as separate and joint entities as each topic was discussed. Unfortunately, we both felt like they weren't keeping it all the way real with us. It was a very cookie cutter, how-to manual of being celibate. We were waiting for them to share personal stories of when they were faced with giving in but overcame THOSE moments. What did they do? What was said? How did they react? They both target towards a younger audience and should know that we love to keep it real with pure, honest facts. With that being said, I would not necessarily rave about the book but if you're considering this personal journey, this book can give you a few pointers to steer in the right direction.