We are starting to see a surge of couples, especially celebrity couples, being vocal about their decision to remain celibate during their engagement. By doing this they are allowing God’s glory to shine in their relationship by taking the focus off them and placing it on God. Overcoming sexual temptations can be challenging but not impossible. Below are a few suggestions on how to honor God and avoid sexual temptations during your relationship:

1) Put God First – When my husband and I were in engaged, like most couples, we struggled with temptation. Most of the time it was because we put ourselves in certain situations. We had to come to a point when we had to literally ask ourselves, do we love each other more than we love and honor God? When you love someone you will do anything to please them even if that means sacrificing the most valuable thing to you. God wants us to love him so much that we put our desires and will aside to honor Him and His word. Ask yourself this question… “Is pleasing my flesh more important than pleasing God?  1st Corinthians 6:18 KJV states “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” What exactly does fornication mean? According to dictionary.com fornication is “voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons not married to each other.”  In order for us to put God first, we must obey His word and put it into action by applying it to our lives daily.

2) Set Boundaries – I know what you are probably thinking, that sounds so old-fashion but it actually works. By setting boundaries my husband and I were able to refrain from having sex during our engagement. Here are some suggestions on how to set boundaries: Sit down together and write rules for your relationship. For example If you know kissing tends to make you really hot and steamy then it’s probably best to not kiss or try to kiss only on the cheeks and avoid passionate long kisses. Set a curfew. The longer you are together the more likely it is for things to happen especially when you are in a secluded place alone like an apartment. If you find it difficult being alone together then invite other like-minded couples or maybe a sibling with you on dates.

3) Pray and Fast – Prayer is our direct line of communication to Jesus. It is vital that you pray unto him expressing your concerns in regards to temptations in the relationship. St Matthew 26:41 KJV states “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Fasting is often use as a method of consecration. Webster defines fasting as “to eat sparingly or abstain from some foods”. The purpose behind doing this is to build spiritual strength. Isaiah 58:6 KJV states “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” As you can see fasting is vital to the spiritual growth in a relationship to gain the victory over the enemy.

4) Avoid Distractions –Distractions can be anything that deters your focus. It is important to avoid distractions that would “stir up your sexual desire” which includes TV shows, movies, and music with sexually explicit content. The scripture tells us in 2nd Corinthians 2:11 KJV “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” The more we become aware of the devices Satan the easier it becomes to avoid. Stay focus and keep your mind on the things of Christ.

5) Use Self Control – One of the fruit of the spirit mentioned in the 5th chapter of Galatians is temperance which is defined as “control over actions, thoughts, or feelings.” When we allow the Holy Spirit to operate within us, we are better equipped to handle and fight against sexual temptations. Where there is a will there is a way. Self-control starts in the mind. Once you determine in your mind what you will do, your actions will follow.

The road to marriage can be a little rocky but with a determined mind, and a desire to please God it will become a lot smoother. If by chance you fall into temptation, know that God is a merciful God and he will forgive you of your sins and restore you. 1st John 1:9 KJV “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we put God first everything else will fall into its proper place (St Matthew 6:33). Continue to honor God and watch the blessings flow in your relationship.

Click here to see the published article on The Praying Woman website

This article was written by Saviela and her husband,  Larry Thorne Jr.