Certificate of Virginity: When the Celebration of Celibacy is Criticized

( [email protected] ) Oct 26, 2015 12:54 PM EDT

Social media has been in a frenzy over the new Mr. and Mrs. Bowman: Tim Bowman Jr. (the nephew of famed Gospel singer, Vickie Winans) and Brelyn Bowman (the daughter of Pastors Mike and Deedee Freeman). Not so much because they got married on October 10th, but because the bride presented her father with a certificate confirming that her hymen was still intact at the time of her marriage.

Social media EXPLODED.

Gospel singer, Vicki Yohe-Hodges, a featured soloist at the wedding, shared a meme on Facebook about the beautiful couple and the certificate of celibacy and has received mixed reviews.

(Photo : )

I responded saying,

"The only folks mad about this are the ones suffering from a guilty conscience. If you lost your virginity, then dedicate yourself to celibacy NOW! It's not too late. What God has cleansed, no man can call common or unclean.

"What she did is not an attack on anyone else, it was a decision SHE made to celebrate HER decision to remain pure."

Others stated:

"it was a beautiful gesture by a daughter to her father to let him know the things he taught her were followed. although a little personal to do at the wedding i think it was a gesture of pure love from a daughter to her father."

"I applaud her - Awesome example for all little girls growing up today where everything is about sex (how they dress and all the crazy videos that are sex related) this is great to hear of a young lady sticking to be Christian belief"

Some other not-so-nice comments were:

"Here we go with church folk being extra."

"It's disconcerting to me the focus on the daughters virginity and the thorough lengths she felt she had go through for her father. It's sick and perverse if you ask me that she went to a doctor, who cannot even certify such a thing if he tried and that he went so far as to go along and certify something that's not even possible to satiate some archaic and patriarchal idea that a woman who is pure is somehow worth more than one who is not."

"Is she for sale? I don't get why she needs to have a certificate authenticating her virginity, and what does this mean for her word? Could she have not said she was virgin? Once again we a woman are convinced it's OK to me treated at cattle or objects, I'm wondering if her child will need it's papers too, proving that it belongs to the Father."

You get the idea. While I was thrilled to see many of the positive comments, the mean ones were just absolutely astounding. A little later, Vicki shared an inbox message she received about the whole to-do:

Vicki ,

I don't know who you are but you seem like such a conceited Christian f***.

I saw your comments on the lady with the hymen certificate and that's all fine if that was her choice but what about rape victims and males?

You've got to be some kind of next level american white trash Christian f*** to think that it's fair!

Talk about WOW! How is it that women can build their "careers" on leaked sex tapes and we can glorify promiscuity on screen and off (bonus points if you brutally murder the children you conceive through abortion), but we can't praise a young woman for celebrating her purity on her wedding day? What is the world coming to?

Under one Youtube video, a commenter stated, "ok you don't want to have sex till marriage i can understand that but to talk about it in public keep it to yourself it's your choice." To which I was compelled to respond, "Why? People flaunt their sexuality in public all the time. Why should those who choose to remain pure have to keep their mouths shut about it?" It's a double standard.

When someone celebrates an accomplishment in their life, it's not about bashing someone one else who hasn't accomplished the same thing. And anyone who takes offense to it does so more than likely because of an insecurity they themselves have.

Brelyn made a promise to her dad to remain pure, but the decision to follow through and present him with the certificate was all her own. Furthermore, she celebrated her decision amongst loved ones who understood and respected her decision--and her husband's--to remain celibate until marriage.

The newly minted Mrs. Bowman responded to all of the confusion online with one classy Instagram post saying:

"Apparently some people on social media are trying to decide if they like or don't like my commitment of waiting/presenting a certificate to my dad. I started to want to explain/go in depth then I looked to my right and my husband is swimming in the pool. I looked ahead & saw the Indian Ocean. So while they're deciding I'll enjoy the promises of God for my life! #MeettTheBowmans #livingmybestdays #mychoicemylife #goodlife"

No Guilt Needed

Therefore, those who attack her decision should look to their own selves. If you have led a life of promiscuity, then you can repent of your ways and turn to God. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit," (Rom. 8:1).

If you have been sexually violated, that is not your fault, neither is it who you are. Ask God to heal you of any shame, guilt, and condemnation and seek godly counselling. And if you have been violated in this way or know someone who has, please read Not Marked by Mary DeMuth.

And to those who were either not born with a hymen or had it broken through something perfectly harmless such as cycling or horseback riding, then you have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. You're still a virgin. God and the spouse He sends will understand.

And for those of you who would like to start practicing abstinence today, you're not alone. Just look at couples like SONY executive, DeVon Franklin, and his wife, actress Meagan Good, as well as R&B singer, Ciara, and her boyfriend, NFL player, Russell Wilson. It's never gonna be easy (no use in lying about that!), but it is worth it. What The Bowmans accomplished is cause for rejoicing. And I do hope that purity does indeed become a revived trend amongst married couples!