Fighting the Urge
When it comes to fighting “the urge” we all know how extremely difficult this task can be. We are all human, so the urge we have to be intimately involved with the opposite sex is completely normal and natural. God created sex, so the feelings you have are not uncommon and all of us will deal with these feelings at some point in time. Although, sexual intercourse is a gift created by God, it comes with certain parameters and rules. As Christians, we should strive towards holiness and righteousness. This should be one of our highest priorities in life. None of us are perfect, therefore we are bound to sin, but what makes a difference is when we know right from wrong and we still willfully sin. So how do you date without fornicating and is it possible to be involved in a committed relationship without fornicating? These are questions that every Christian will ask if their heart and mind are truly set on pleasing God in all that they do. So, the answer to your question is yes. Absolutely yes! Will it be easy, absolutely not! However, it is possible. I know it is because I did it myself. So, my mission today is to help empower you as you take on this duty and to provide you with tips to make the fight against the urge a little easier.
First, let me address what the word of God has to say concerning fornication. I can talk all day about why you should wait until marriage to have sex, but until you fully understand why you are doing what you are doing, my words will go unheard and the advice I’m giving you will be pointless. The bible makes it undeniably clear that we should refrain from premarital sex (fornication) and all sexual sin. It states for us to, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…” (I Corinthians 6:18-19). I couldn’t have made it more plain myself. We are to run away from fornication and any other immoral sexual activity. Partaking in such activities only separates us from God, and there’s no way we can prosper if we are outside of the will of God. I Thessalonians 4:3-5 states this, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” As you can see we have been instructed to live a life that is pure and free from sexual sin. Part of being a Christian means you have signed up to live a lifestyle that is free from sexual sin. You have been set apart from those of this world, which means you don’t associate yourself with the things of this world. We have been commanded not to conform to this world, but instead be transformed by renewing our minds so we can determine God’s will and those things that are proper, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2). So now do you see why it’s so important to abstain from premarital sex? This is what our Father in heaven asks of us. It is His command that we be pure and holy.
Now that it is perfectly clear that abstaining from premarital sex is a biblical principal that should be applied to our everyday life, we can now take a look at how you can find the strength you need to resist temptation. Always remember as you go through this uphill battle that the temptation you are facing is common to man, but our God is faithful to us and he won’t allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear and with that temptation there will always be a way of escape (I Corinthians 10:13). If you trust God at His word then you believe, if you are tempted, God will give you a way out. Often times our way out is an easy solution, but we make it hard on ourselves. We want to open the door to sexual sin, but can’t say “no” when the door needs to be closed. God gives us the opportunity to practice self-control and discipline whenever we find ourselves in a tempting situation and often times our decision to deny the flesh is our way out of any tempting situation. The easiest way of escape can be found in your choice. This is the first action you need to take. You have to make up your mind and make a choice to remain a virgin or become celibate. It’s left up to us to take the opportunity to remove ourselves from any negative situation that causes our flesh to override our spirit. The Lord even gives us a subconscious warning system that forewarns us when we are about to make a bad choice regarding involvement in sin. The silent alarm that goes off inside of you is the Holy Spirit and this quiet alarm goes off with enough time to give you the opportunity to make the right choice. Although, we have this alarm our fleshly desires often overwhelm us and drown out the warning call. I do realize that fighting the urge is not always as easy as 1,2,3, especially in the begging of your no sex before marriage lifestyle. However, as you continue to practice abstinence you will begin to see it gets easier and easier, and when the silent alarm goes off inside you, you will be more drawn to making the right choice. So, if you are still reading this article and you understand why you have chosen not to fornicate plus live a life that’s free from sexual sin then please continue reading on to discover a few helpful tips to help you fight the urge. They worked for me!
No.1 Don’t open the door!
So, let me explain what I mean by “Don’t open the door”. When I say don’t open the door I’m referring to your willingness to open yourself up to the possibility of putting yourself in a tempting situation. When I was dating, I couldn’t invite everyone into my home and I didn’t go over a guys house so freely. When we allow ourselves to be in an intimate quiet space alone with the opposite sex, the enemy has a full playground to roam. Situations like this can trap you quickly and leave you questioning how you ended up making the bad choice you made. You cannot open the door to these types of situations, especially early in your journey. The flesh is weak so if you have not matured in this process, then I suggest you meet whoever you are dating in a public area or in a setting with a group of people. Once you get to know the person you are dating and you determine they have the same commitment towards not having premarital sex and you trust them not to tempt you, then you can practice spending time together alone, but I absolutely don’t suggest you do this with someone who is weak or doesn’t have the same desire to abstain from sex as you do. Furthermore, I don’t suggest this if you have strong urges yourself and are feeling weak. Denying your flesh is a process that won’t be easy and it won’t feel good. It will be quite difficult to say the least, but it’s not impossible. The best way to prevent yourself from making a mistake is to keep the mistake out of your home and your personal space. Don’t open the door!
My husband and I dated for about 2-3 months first before we ever visited each other’s home. We wanted to make sure we could trust each other and we didn’t want to rush past the first phase of dating, which was to build a friendship and learn about each other. I am a firm believer that if you rush into physical activity with a person too soon, and this could be kissing and cuddling and not always sex, that your judgement will be clouded, and you may get lost in the dating process. Inviting someone into your home too soon can cause you to leap over the first phase of dating. Lust can also step in and the time you should spending as friends and getting to know each other can be taken over by lust. Lust can lead to irrational decisions, infatuation, and bad judgement. Lust can completely destroy your ability to operate within the spirit. When my husband and I made the decision to spend one on one time together it was after I determined he was truly committed to dating me without sexual involvement and after I trusted him not to pressure me into doing something I didn’t want to do. The relationship I have with my husband has been the easiest relationship I’ve ever had and this was possible because I finally met a guy who had the same desires as me. So ladies, there are men still out there who can wait. You just have to wait for that type of guy to come into your life. Don’t give up or settle for less!
No. 2 Call on Jesus!
I had to do this many times. Fighting the urge means you have defeated the feelings rising up in your flesh, which often begins with a thought. When the urges began to rise in me, I had to introduce Jesus into my atmosphere. When the urges came, the thought of Jesus instantly calmed those urges down. What I mean is my hearts desire was to please God, so when I felt like I wanted to sin I had to think about Jesus and call on His name. When I did this it would cause me to ponder on how He would feel if I were to partake in sin right after calling His name. Let me tell you this works! When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and when you love the Lord like no other you will feel instantly convicted when you think of His splendid glory in the midst of your fleshly situation. The conviction I would get was enough to drown out my urge. The thought of displeasing my Savior who died on the cross for my sins would bring a greater feeling over me, one greater than the urges I was feeling. I had to remember who was still watching me even though I couldn’t see Him. Calling on Jesus is a powerful weapon that should be used during any time of need. So, the next time you feel the urge, imagine your Savior standing next to you and watching everything you are contemplating doing. The very thought of breaking His heart by willfully sinning, just to satisfy the flesh, should be enough to make those urges go away, momentarily at least.
Once you try this tip you will see how powerful it can be, but I must warn you ahead of time that the urges will come back. Calling on Jesus will have to be a plan of action you take on countless occasions. We live in a society where sex sells and where being sexy is everybody’s obsession. We see it on TV shows, see it on advertisements, and it’s seen on magazine covers. Sex is all around us, and most of us will not be able to turn off our urge with a simple switch. So be prepared to face temptation as long as you are single and as long as you are trying to do right. Just remember in the process who you are trying to please and when your urges arise, call on Jesus to help you fight the urge. Start thinking of how he’s blessed you and how He would feel if He were sitting beside you at that very moment as you fill your mind with lustful thoughts and sinful actions. I guarantee you, if you have a heart to please the Lord, the urge you have will quickly evaporate when you think of your redeemer.
No. 3 Guard your spirit!
When you make a decision to live a life that’s pleasing to God and when have fully committed yourself to refraining from premarital sexual activity you will have to make decisions to protect your inner man. You will not be able to hang out in the same places, watch the same shows, listen to the same music, or hang around the same people. Does a recovering alcoholic hang out at bars and expect to remain alcohol free? Does a smoker who wishes to be smoke free continue to hang around smokers and expect to remain smoke free? Does a celibate individual listen to sexually explicit song lyrics and expect to fight their urges? The answer to all three of these questions, is no. If you are serious about fighting the urge, you will have to purge yourself of all things that are unclean.
I remember very vividly throwing out cd’s that I could not listen to any more. Some of you may remember a R&B guy group by the name of Pretty Ricky. I loved their music in my former day. All my friends loved their music and we all had their CDs. The only thing about this group, although they had very catchy beats, was every single song was about sex and their lyrics were extremely explicit. One day while driving in my car, listening to their music, something clicked. There I was in my early 20s trying to live a lifestyle pleasing to God, but what I was pouring into myself was the very thing I was trying to fight. So, I turned the CD off and got rid of that CD along with some others. From that day on I began to listen to music that glorified God. Gospel music became my music of choice. It filled me up in a way secular music could not. I’m not saying I don’t listen to music besides gospel music on occasion, but what I am saying is if it’s too explicit then I can’t listen to it.
Another thing I remember doing, was removing myself from environments that weren’t good for my spiritual well being. I stopped going to parties and I didn’t associate myself with people who didn’t respect my desire to not have sex. I also stopped watching so many music videos and movies that showed men and woman in a provocative way. I had to quit reading love novels that filled my mind with thoughts that were not pleasing to God. Just like me, you will also have to remove some things out of your life. Once you make these changes, fighting the urge will be so much easier.
No. 4 Make some boundaries.
Sometimes all you need to do is make some boundaries to clarify what you can and cannot do. The boundaries you set should also be discussed with your partner that way everything is clear and they aren’t pushing their limits with you every time you are together. This doesn’t mean they won’t try to push you to your limit, but at least you have identified where your focus is. When you are determining your boundaries, you will need to be honest with yourself. What are some of your weaknesses? What are some things you are struggling with? If you know you become more vulnerable when you kiss someone then you may need to refrain from kissing or you may need to limit yourself to a peck only. If you know you have a hard time fighting the urge when you are in someone’s arms then you may want to sit on opposite ends of the couch. I know these boundaries may sound foolish, but what’s crazier? Letting yourself willfully sin and putting yourself in a regretful situation or being honest with your partner about your boundaries because you want to live a life that’s pleasing in the sight of God. Some people won’t understand what you are doing and they will think you are crazy or too Holy. Let them think what ever they want. They only person you need to be passionate about pleasing is God. Are you worried about how God feels or how the person you are dating feels. They won’t be able to help you get into heaven. The choice is yours. I guarantee you, when you meet the right guy he won’t care about your boundaries. He will respect them because he respects you. Even better he will understand why you are doing what you are doing because his heart will be in the same place that yours is in.
My husband and I had some boundaries as well and those boundaries were tested, but we ultimately had the same goal, and that was to wait until marriage to have sex. We didn’t have our first kiss until about 3 or 4 months into our relationship. Some may say that’s foolish. How do you date a guy and not kiss him until 3 months in? It may be crazy to some, but who cares what they think. All I know is, at the end of the day the guy I fell in love with married me and we are happier than ever. The boundaries we had allowed me to feel comfortable and safe. Another boundary we had was that we didn’t watch provocative shows or movies when we were together. If a sex scene came on the television we both looked away. We didn’t do this to be like a child, we are both grown and we know that, but we did this to protect ourselves. We didn’t want anything to interfere with our goal and we didn’t need more fuel to add to the fire. Watching sexually explicit things can entice the brain and cause inappropriate thoughts that two unmarried individuals should not be having. So, at the end of the day you want to set some boundaries. Make it clear that you are waiting for marriage to have sex and if the person doesn’t agree then they are not the one for you. You can try to change their mind, but it won’t work. Let them know your boundaries and if they can’t subscribe to your plan to fight the urge then it’s time to reconsider the one you are with.
No. 5 Always remember to forgive yourself.
I wanted to point out that none of us are perfect and our Lord and Savior knows this. Because He died on the cross and rose 3 days later we are redeemed and can ask for forgiveness when we sin. We serve a God who loved us so much to send his perfect son to die as a sinner so we may live again, so please remember you are a child of God and his mercy endures forever. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Yes, you will have sorrow for your actions and the conviction you feel won’t feel good at all, but God wants us to know we are forgiven. All we have to do is repent of our sin, and make an even greater effort to remove ourselves from that sin. Thinking of God’s grace and mercy should be encouraging enough to pick yourself back up after you have made a bad decision. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. If you mess up dust yourself off and try again. Repent and learn from your mistakes.
As you go forward on your journey toward marriage I want you to remember nothing is impossible for God. His grace is sufficient for you and his power is made perfect in your weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). This means when we are weak we have the opportunity to call on Jesus and He will strengthen us. When God delivers us from the weak place we were in we can testify to others that it was no one but God that got us through. How wonderful is this! God can still be glorified in our weakness. In order for this to happen we have to call on Him, and allow Him to strengthen us. You can’t do it all on your own, and believe me, you will not fight the urge alone. Once you practice these tips I’ve given you, you will see things will begin to be a little easier. Your endurance will grow as you move forward on this journey. Don’t open the door to tempting situations, call on Jesus, guard your spirit, and know you are forgiven. If you do these things you will succeed!
Stay faithful and remember you can do this!
If He did it for me, He will do it for you