Studies show couples who have sex before they get married end up with less pleasurable sex lives compared to those who wait until marriage. Regardless of such useful information, it’s still a real struggle for many people. Usually it’s because they’re more focused on what they can’t do than what they can. So it’s good to know Biblical guidelines like those outlined in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, but even better when it’s used as a tool to reinforce you positively.
1. Get an accountability partner, preferably someone of the same sex who’s spiritually sound and totally committed to holding you accountable for your actions.
2. End phone calls and dates earlier rather than later. Pinpoint a time you’ll dismiss yourselves from each other, maybe around 10 p.m., and stick to it. The less time you’re around your physical attraction in vulnerable, non-accountable environments, the less likely you’ll have sex with them.
4. Make a list detailing the benefits of a sexually pure lifestyle and rehearse them daily. With your mind on the benefits, there’s little room for agonizing over the “cant’s.”
5. Hang out with other Christians who are serious about living a life of sexual purity. You become like who you’re around, so associate yourself with people who’ll propel you forward.
6. Turn away or turn the channel when sexually stimulating images come on the television. No sense in teasing or tempting yourself.
7. Go to the next song or change the station when sexually stimulating songs come on the radio. Words have just as much power as images.
8. Update your video and music collection so it only includes items you’d watch or listen to if God were physically in the room.
9. Attend Biblically edifying workshops and seminars. Learn all you can about living a Word-centered lifestyle so you’re knowledgeable of what to do and how to do it.
10. Shut down conversations that conflict with standards of sexual purity. Entertaining people or things in opposition of those standards is a waste of time.
11. Delete people who frequently talk about sex, display explicit images or post explicit content from your social media connections.
12. Weigh the worth of fornication up against God’s favor often. When you appreciate what you have you’re less likely to frivolously let it slip away.
13. Seek professional counseling from a Christian counselor if you seriously struggle with sexual purity. Never feel so ashamed about a problem that you don’t get help.
14. Smile, wave and shake or hold hands instead of hugging, pecking or passionately kissing. Too much physical touch is a tease that you’re not free to do anything about yet.
15. Celebrate your sexual purity so you don’t despise it. Healthy pride in yourself moves you to understand the importance of remaining on track.
Editor-In-ChiefZara Hairston is a modern-day renaissance woman who uniquely draws people to the Cross of Christ through teaching, writing and speaking. She holds a bachelor of arts in Journalism from Temple University, and a master of arts in Christian Counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary—where she was also ordained. Hairston's organizations include Love-Life, Inc., YourHeartShape, Moms In Christ, BComingMe, Sister Keepers and Arrow Spring Academy. Currently, she resides in the Atlanta area with her husband Anton "Eshon Burgundy" Hairston and their three children.