By Laju Iren
I feel like I should start this post with a disclaimer. The aim is not to be judgmental. It is not also intended to be a one size fits all approach. It’s just a pointer to what sort of relationship habits Christians should avoid to stand a better chance of keeping themselves pure until marriage. That said, here goes:
1. The couple without boundaries
This couple doesn’t usually plan to have sex before marriage. But because they are not intentional about it, they eventually do. If you don’t have boundaries in your relationship, anything goes. If you kiss each other today, you will do more tomorrow. It is the Holy Spirit that will empower you to live above sin, but you must yield yourself to his leading. Having boundaries in your relationship is one way to gauge the difference between right and wrong.
2. The couple that won’t ‘hear word’
Don’t be careless and do silly things like sleeping on the same bed and saying that it won’t affect you. It will, big time! Flee temptations. Flee every appearance of evil. Learn to take corrections and instructions from the Holy Spirit on your inside and from those around you.
3. The couple with history
If one or both of you has a history of sexual partners, the temptation is likely to be stronger in your relationship. I’m not making excuses for you, neither am I judging you. However, you must be more intentional about staying pure in your relationship. Don’t gun for a long courtship. In my opinion, think you can be married between one or two years of courtship. Make your dates as public as possible, and it will do you both good to be as paranoid as possible when it comes to getting physical.
4. The couple with no date in mind
I think Christian dating relationships should be entered into with marriage in mind. I’m not saying you must marry each other whether or not the relationship works out, but I’m saying that it must be a major consideration. Courtship and dating should be an opportunity to get to know each other and find out whether you are compatible in the long run. But when it turns into an old hobby with no date in mind, it becomes a problem. This is important because sex is only a sin based on timing. If it happens today before your wedding, it’s a sin. If it happens tomorrow after your wedding, it isn’t. Sexual urges were put in your body by God. They are to be managed and then enjoyed in marriage, not deadened. This is where the man of the relationship must step up. Don’t just lead a girl in a merry-go-round with no intentions of marrying her. It’s very painful when I see men who have jobs, have been dating a girl for three years and say they have no idea when they will get married. That’s unfair, and you’re more susceptible to sexual temptations that way.
5. The couple with wrong friends
Stop deceiving yourselves, bad company corrupts good manners. If you friends feel like premarital sex is a normal thing, it will seem that way to you pretty soon. Have god-fearing friends, not just for the sake of your relationship, but for the health of your spiritual life as well.
6. The couple with no strong spiritual leadership
In life, especially as a Christian, you need to be accountable to people. When there is no one to call you to order, it becomes a problem. You both must spend time with your Christian friends, attend church often and put yourself under the leadership of your pastor or pastors. This will help you grow spiritually and remember that the more you grow in the knowledge of God and his word, the stronger you are against temptations.
7. The couple with at least one non-serious Christian
Dear Christian serious about God, please don’t date somebody that isn’t. What are you looking for? When you love someone, you have the tendency to be blind to their faults, and when you’re dating someone that doesn’t see anything wrong with premarital sex, you’re dating and unserious Christian. It doesn’t matter what his or her title may be. That person is not a serious Christian.
8. The couple with no chaperone
Oh, I’m just kidding about this…kinda. If you’re always alone together, something is bound to happen. As a couple, spend most of your time together in public places, or with friends and family.
When it all comes down to it, the spirit of God is the one that can help you overcome temptation. Because he is at work in you, he equips you to make to right decisions (some of which I have mentioned here), and strengthens you to say no to sin.
If you have any thoughts on this topic, please don’t hesitate to share. Also, f you have questions on this or any other topic, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Although I answer questions in the ‘Ask Laju Iren section,’ I can keep responses private if you request.