Let’s Get Practical
So here we are again – the icky, vulnerable and slightly awkward topic that is sexual purity. Only this time I’m going to be sharing some practical tips to add to part one, because conviction is definitely only half the story! So here are a few things that I’ve learned over nearly 6 years of dating. There’s way more to this than I can fit in such a short article, but hopefully it helps someone. If you have different ideas that have helped you, feel free to chip in in the comments! Okay, here we go:
1. First, Love Yourself
Before you try to pursue purity in a relationship, you first need to take a good look at yourself alone. As we discussed in part one, purity begins in the heart, so what are you doing to keep yours in check? We all know that thoughts lead to actions (no one ever jumped in to bed with someone without the thought first coming into their minds) so the most obvious question to ask here is: what are you feeding your thoughts? Films, books, music and TV that twist sex into something that God didn’t intend it to be can be damaging to your thought life. Here’s what the Bible says…
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
As Christians we should actually be practising this regardless of whether we are in a relationship or not, but I’ve mentioned it in this context because of this fact – only healthy individuals can make healthy relationships.
2. Make sure you and your guy are on the same page.
There is a whole lot of communication that goes into keeping a relationship pure. Firstly do you even share that all important conviction? If not, I can guarantee this won’t be an easy ride for you. The Bible doesn’t teach about not being unequally yoked just for laughs, (2 Corinthians 6:14) and those verses don’t just apply to Christians being in relationships with non-Christians either. Your relationship has to glorify God if you want Him to bless it! That means finding a boyfriend/fiancé/husband who will bring out the best in you and push you further towards God, not pull you away or distract you from him
3. Pray, pray, pray
And yes, I do mean together, as cringey as that may sound. If you can’t have a relationship with God at the centre before marriage, it will be harder to create one after. So set yourself up well now! Trust me, relationships that last are built on way more than just physical attraction. So focus on building a spiritual relationship, rather than a physical one. Invite God into your decision making – set physical boundaries together that you’ve actually asked him about, and then ask the Holy Spirit to help you to stick by them.
4. Get married
If you’re applying all the above and are really struggling to not cross boundaries, this is what is written in the Bible:
“But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians7:9 (NIV)
This is actually scripture, not a suggestion! Now I’m not suggesting get married to any old guy who you really fancy, I am aware that this would be a lifelong commitment! But you have one of two options if you find yourself really stuck. Either you can’t control yourself in a relationship that is, in every other aspect, glorifying God – in which case, get married. Or you are in a relationship that is compromising your purity as well as your walk with God – in which case, you need to get out. If this isn’t a long term thing, well that happens to be someone else’s husband you’re messing with. Yes I am aware that this may sound harsh, but there’s a reason Jesus compared living pure to walking a narrow path. It isn’t always going to feel good, but the rewards are more than worth it!
By Yemisi Joy
Waiting for love. Waiting. This has felt like my heartbeat for a long time. Waiting for my idea of love. […]
The artist waits in earnest anticipation as the crowd gathers around the covered masterpiece they had spent years on. The […]
Navigating sex, faith and relationships is tricky at the best of times. The internet is rife with well meaning advice […]