This week, three different people have asked me this question and it’s a question I get asked a lot. People really want to know how they can avoid falling into sexual sins while in a relationship especially one that’s leading to marriage. A lot of people have also asked me how my husband and I managed to scale through that phase, and if I’m being honest it really wasn’t an easy phase to scale through. From the very first day we met each other, we were both STRONGLY physically attracted to each other and when I think about it, I believe that one major thing that kept us from falling was knowing that we were both in a COVENANT OF PURITY with God and we knew the consequences of breaking the covenant And I also had this thought in my heart from a very young age that my destiny was tied to my staying a virgin until marriage; the mere thought of losing my GREAT destiny over few minutes of lust made me shiver.
Another question that I get frequently asked is if it’s okay to kiss in a relationship, and I like the response someone gave to the same question on the previous post on this segment: Virginity, What’s the big deal. Did we kiss during our relationship? Yes we did… and it certainly led to other things we really are not so proud to talk about.
My number one advice for staying sexually pure in your relationship would be DON’T BE IN A RELATIONSHIP UNTIL YOU’RE SURE YOU’D BE READY TO GET MARRIED IN THE NEXT TWO YEARS. If you don’t see yourself getting married anytime from now to a maximum of two years, then you shouldn’t be in a relationship yet. The major reason for this is, when you’re in an exclusive romantic relationship with someone, you both expect ultimate fidelity and commitment and when this kind of commitment exists, the sexual bond will begin to grow. It’s the beginning of the whole “two become one” process and it’s not a bad thing. The sexual bond will begin to grow long before the wedding day. It will be so hard to really stay sexually pure for so long when this bond and commitment already exists. I met my husband in October 2012, we did not start dating until July 2013 and then we got married in November 2014. That’s a year and a few months. So if you really are not ready to get married within two years, then you should just save yourself the stress of trying hard to stay pure in an exclusive relationship.
Second advice would be DON’T DATE SOMEONE WHO’S NOT A TRUE CHRISTIAN. If you love Christ, and you date someone whose spiritual walk is in the opposite direction, chances of you turning him around are slim. More than likely, you will be the one that fails. It may sound like a cliche, but missionary dating (trying to convert the person you’re dating) rarely works. You should only date someone you think you can marry, and the Bible is clear about “being unequally yoked” with unbelievers. Asides from dating obvious unbelievers, be aware that there are a lot of wolves in sheep clothing who call themselves Christians. I’ve personally experienced and heard of stories of guys who are leaders in church and claim that there’s nothing wrong in sex before marriage. I was once close to dating this guy who was a youth pastor of a very well-known church and the very first time I invited him to my house, in fact I did not invite him, he super imposed himself to come visit me at home and that very first time he came, he tried kissing me. From that moment, it felt like the scales on my eyes were removed and I could see clearly the kind of person he was. I FLED. Cause truth is I was actually already tripping for him but I just knew something wasn’t just right. So you should be discerning about who you go into an exclusive relationship with.
HAVE RULES/GUIDELINES OF ENGAGEMENT. Once you find yourself getting to that place where marriage is a real option and one person has got your heart, it becomes difficult to keep sexual urges under control. A lot of married people can testify that it felt like it was really harder to wait once the wedding date was fixed and getting closer. I can testify to that. A good way to manage this is to establish some rules way before the engagement when your heads are still clear. Don’t wait until you are in the back seat of your car making out to say, “Okay, if he touches my breast, I will have a problem.” Decide together early on when you both realize that your relationship is getting serious, and actually write down a list of things that you know you should not do. Some people can mentally draw out of bounds lines on their bodies and know what will turn them on. Some people have to draw the line at kissing, or short hugs. The truth is if your sex drive is running high, it will get tough notice I didn’t say “might” get tough.
SIN THRIVES IN PRIVACY. The closer you grow together as a couple, the more time you want to spend alone with each other. That’s normal. The problem however is that if people can’t see you, it’s much easier to fall into sexual temptation. So yes you can be alone, but it’s best to be alone in public, not private. If you want to see a movie on your laptop, invite a third party or go to the cinemas with a mutual friend or even another couple. I remember when my husband and I were courting, most of the time if we had to be alone in my room, we’d leave the door wide open. Even if you want to pray together, you can go to a church that allows people come in when there’s no on going service and spend some time praying together. I’ve heard of a real life story of a Christian couple who were initially just praying together alone in a room and one thing led to the other and that’s how they fell. The lady never really forgave herself. So all these just really help to add an extra measure of accountability to your relationship. Most people at least have enough common sense to not have sex in public. So avoid being alone in private as much as you can.
SIN ALSO THRIVES IN SECRECY. Don’t keep your struggles secret. Discuss your struggles with people you can trust. This will help keep you accountable. Find a couple who has either gotten married and gone through it, or one who are still courting and also struggling with it now and meet or discuss regularly to check on each other and encourage each other.
GET BACK UP AGAIN. If you ever cross the line and pass the boundaries, confess your sin, ask forgiveness from your God and your partner, and live in grace. Make drastic changes in the way you handle your relationship. Don’t put yourself in that position again. Repentance is hard, and it’s not just a teary-eyed acknowledgment of sin, it’s a get up and brush the dirt of your hands, and try to keep them clean, knowing that you cannot do it in your own strength. So don’t beat yourself and allow the enemy keep you down and depressed wallowing in guilt. Once you’ve truly repented, know that God has forgiven you and He has even forgotten. His grace is available for you to get back up and move on in the right direction.
In all honesty, staying sexually pure in a relationship is HARD WORK and It’s impossible without God’s help. But God has already promised us a way of escape for every temptation, find that “way of escape”. He doesn’t allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle, so if you’re currently struggling with this temptation, be reminded that you can handle it with God’s help.