Nine steps to handling sexual temptation in courtship
Let’s be real. If you’re dating someone, you’re probably attracted to them. If you’re not, I don’t know whether to congratulate you. God put sexual urges in your body for a reason. He wants you to enjoy sex in marriage. I know what it is like to face temptation daily in a dating relationship. I dated the hubby for three and half years before we got married. And that man is fine! It was not an easy journey, neither was it a perfect one, but God helped us wait until marriage. We are not the perfect example, God’s word is. I just mentioned that to let you know that it is possible. Although I’ll be sharing some common sense tips that helped us, the crux of this article is God’s word.
Date a Christian
Sexual temptation is something every dating couple faces. However, you’re more likely to fall into it when your partner is not a Christian. I am tempted to use the term ‘serious Christian’ here, but I will not. Christianity in itself is a word that should be taken seriously. It represents the supremacy of Christ in a life; a life that is yielded to him. A Christian does not make light of sexual immorality even when ‘everyone is doing it.’ If you are with someone who doesn’t agree that premarital sex is a sin, whether or not you have a different opinion, you’re already in agreement with them by agreeing to date such a person.
Why abstinence? There are many reasons why people choose to wait. Fear of pregnancy is a big one. So is the fear of catching a disease or getting caught. These can be bypassed through various means. However, only one reason really counts in the scheme of things: God’s will. It is God’s desire that you wait until marriage for sex. He isn’t doing it to punish you, he created sex for you to enjoy. Remember, our lives are not to be lived for ourselves. He is our purpose.
3. Go very slow
People always want to know “how far is too far?” My advice? Don’t go far at all. Getting more physical is not going to build your dating relationship. In fact, it could push you further away from each other, because the more you touch, the less you talk. And like Bimbo Odukoya of Blessed memory would say: Courtship is a time for interview, not for intercourse. Decide the boundaries from the very beginning, because if you don’t, things can escalate very quickly. Let me be clear, the bible doesn’t give us any specific barriers when dating, but it does tell us to flee every appearance of evil. The more you touch each other, the more you’re likely to. Fanning the flames of your attraction to each other is not going give you any relief. If you kiss today, the temptation is going to be there to do even more tomorrow. So don’t just take it slow, take it very slow. When you get married, you can both have sex every day if you want. If you don’t get married, well you’ve done each other a favour then.
4. Follow the spirit’s leading
The number one way to overcome the lust of the flesh is to walk in the spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that will strengthen your feet to run away from compromising situations and give you the wisdom to avoid such situations in the first place. The Holy Spirit works in you, empowering you to live above sin.
5. Can you hear the wedding bells?
The longer you’re together, the more attracted you become to each other. Don’t make an institution out of courtship. Marriage is the institution. If you’re both struggling with sexual temptation and you know you each other enough to get married, actively plan towards it. Don’t just go on and on with no date in mind. In fact, couples with no date in mind are more likely to ‘do it’ before the wedding night. Check out why here.
6. Be accountable
Who are you both accountable to? Can your spiritual leaders call you to order? Who can you talk to if you’re having struggles? Find a spiritual leader you both respect if you’re not close to your pastor or pastors.
7. Use your head
Both of you will sleep on the same bed, visit each other at odd hours and decide to do everything but have sex, and you will say that nothing will happen. How is that? What super power do you have that makes such a miracle possible? How does one play with fire and not get burnt? It’s easier to stop a moving vehicle from going off a cliff before it gets there, then to press the brakes and hope for a miracle last minute. Bible advises us time and time again to flee sexual immorality. Use your head, please. Be wise.
8. Guard your gates
What do you do with your mind when you’re alone? I believe it was Rev. Sam Adeyemi who said that your strongest sex organ is your mind. Ladies, I can tell you from experience that those romance novels won’t help you one bit. Guard the gates of your mind. Fight for purity in your mind. It’s a battle you can win with the word of God.
9. Structure your dates
If all you do is visit each other at home and hold hands on dates, you will run into trouble very quickly. Public places make the best dates for dating couples. Of course you should have a lot of fun together, but once in a while, attend church together, go for trainings together. Have topics that you’ll discuss when you’re together. Pray together.
10. Get up
If however, you make a mistake and go beyond your said boundaries, don’t spend time wallowing in the guilt. Employ what my pastor usually refers to as: ‘Gutsy guilt.’ Be sorry for what you have done, but don’t wallow in the condemnation. You can get counsel if you need to. You can send me an email here.
Thanks for reading. Be encouraged; you can do this!
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