Tips on Abstinence

The question:

“What can I do to help me abstain from sex?”

Make a goal and stick to it! Although many of us like to think that our parents forced us to go to school, we had the choice to do something different even if we wanted to. No one had to convince you to take the course or major to acquire your degree; you set your mind and said that you were going to follow through. The same applies to abstinence. Abstinence is the major that will allow you to reach the degree of marriage where you can celebrate your achievements by “enjoying” the fruit of your labor. If you set your mind to achieve your goal and truly believe in the purpose of it, no one can make you think otherwise.

Don’t test the waters! When you’re on a diet, you stay away from all types of junk food, however, one day you go to a bakery on your friend’s behalf and see a whole display of sweets. That chocolate brownie is staring you in the face saying “eat me” and you look away and say “no” to yourself, but then you take a SECOND look at it and just give in and eat it. At that point, your strict diet has come to an end because if you’ve had the chocolate brownie once, you’ll convince yourself that having it once in a while won’t kill you and then the frequency increases and increases and increases, and there’s no end in sight.

Sex and/or “messing around” is the exact same way. You can take better care of yourself when you abstain. The moment you start to waver and play around with it, chances are that you’ll be stuck in the behavior and won’t even know when to stop. Don’t put yourself in a compromising situation, but if it does happen, don’t throw your hands up and say that you’re in too deep. You’re never in too deep, well, unless you’ve actually gone ahead and had sex. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” It doesn’t matter if you end up looking stupid or like a wimp, get out of the situation before you make that mistake. In the end, it’s God that gets the glory. Your blessings will make up for the embarrassment in that little moment.

Now let’s talk about that SECOND look. A friend once brought this up to me and said her mother told her about it. When you see an attractive person walk by you, you notice them and look back at what you were doing, but the moment you take a second look and turn back, that’s when you allow your mind to take it further. You may start to daydream about this person or just think about them in an unrealistic manner. When someone is trying to seduce you, you may ignore them and laugh about it, but the moment you turn around to respond to them, you’ve already entertained a possibility that you may be interested. After that, the thoughts trickle in and it goes on and on. Avoid that second look. If you know you are not interested, don’t take the extra step of creating that “what if” thought in your mind and then falling into the trap. Be strong. Keep your goal in mind always.

Don’t let anyone convince you that “you don’t buy a car without test driving it”. I’ve heard too many times that it’s impossible to get married to someone without having sex with them because you need to see if the sex is good enough for you. They tend to compare this to cars and say that you can’t buy a car without test driving it. I disagree. Naturally, sex isn’t always as mind blowing until you’ve done it a few times, and even in those few times, you haven’t mastered it because there’s so much you need to learn about your partner and how certain touches make them feel. It’s a curriculum that never really ends because we change all the time and what we desire also changes. No one can read your mind and so until you talk about sex with your husband, don’t expect him to just get everything right. Trial and error is your best friend. Anyway, I doubt that you only test drive one car before you make a purchase. I bought a new car with my husband about a year ago. We were not yet married, but we were engaged. We test drove about two cars before we made our final selection. Test driving two cars is about a small number compared to what others prefer. So, based on that, he may use you as a test drive, and because you haven’t had the chance to learn about his preferences, he will say that he doesn’t want you and then go on to the next person. In that case, you will end up giving your cookie to several guys before finding the man of your “dreams”. No one generally buys a car without test driving at least a couple of them.

Stay away from Porn! Don’t watch porn, and don’t watch movies that will get you all hot and bothered. I know that’s hard to do in this day and age, but self-control is key. In Matthew 6:22-23 (NLT) it says, “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” What you watch will become part of you. It will become who you are and so watching porn and inappropriate films will only be a detriment. Avoid these to reduce the urge of having sex because it will help you remain strong in the long-run.

Get involved in activities that distract you! You tend to feel the urge to have sex when you have nothing to do. Get busy. Play a sport with some friends, find a hobby that will take up your time, read books. Just do something that will keep your idle mind from drifting towards thinking about sex. If you’re not thinking about it, your chances are much better.

Join a movement! I’m sure there are abstinence or celibacy groups on Instagram, Facebook and just on the web in general. Involve yourself and get some support from the people that are in the group. Groups of that sort tend to post very often and tend to post encouraging statements as well. I think it would be beneficial. If any of you follow Heather Lindsey, you would be familiar with an initiative she started called “Pinky Promise”. This initiative was started in order to help girls remain pure until marriage. You can learn more about this here: Pinky Promise Movement.

Accountability Partners Find a friend or two and explain your intentions to remain abstinent/celibate and have them hold you accountable. They should be responsible for keeping you in check. If you have any quality time or dates set aside with your mate, let them know so that they can check up on you with a little text from time to time to remind you that you should remain focused. Let them know what time you’ll be home and send them photos or a video so that they know you are actually at home and not at your mate’s house breaking your promise. It may get annoying, but in the end, they are helping you out for your own benefit.

For the Females! I think we’ve all heard about the granny panty trick. Wear underwear that is the absolute opposite of sexy. This should be something that you would be embarrassed about if someone were to see it. Also, make sure that you don’t shave down there. There’s no point in shaving there anyway since no one will be invited to see it for a while.

Get REAL testimonies! Watch videos, sermons, or inspirational people talk about their past and how it has influenced their future. You may not realize it, but there are many people out there that will tell you that it was not worth it. I feel that those types of testimonies speak volumes because it’s their real life experience that they are sharing with you.

Sleep it off! Yes, times get tough. It becomes UNBEARABLE and so sometimes you just have to sleep it off. Go to bed. Close your eyes and dream of something that gets your mind off of it.

Above all, don’t forget to keep yourself in PRAYER. What you are doing is beyond what the flesh can handle and so let the Holy Spirit guide you and show you which path to take.

It may seem like I’m giving these perfect examples of how to stay away from sex, but by no means am I saying that this journey is going to be easy. This is a journey that is difficult, hence the reason why you need to make it a goal of yours. The end result is more than rewarding, and just think; God will be smiling upon you. That’s the best part!

God loves you.

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