Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the Purpose in Purity podcast! This is the second episode of the “Embracing Purity in Marriage” series. In the first episode, Gerald and Nia introduced the series and gave a bit of background to how we got together. During that episode, they related they slipped into sexual sin at some point during their engagement. They felt convicted, repented, and recommitted to pursuing biblical purity through their engagement. Join Gerald and Nia again as they discuss several useful tips on how to overcome sexual temptation during your engagement.
BEGIN WITH GODLY CHARACTERBefore getting to the “tips and suggestions,” bear in mind that as Christians we must always be striving to maintain a godly character. Whether you’re single, married, dating, divorced, make sure that your relationship with God is the top priority in your life. Cultivating an intimate relationship with God drives the spiritual disciplines such as prayer, reading and studying scriptures, and being in church. It also filters into your lifestyle — are you holding yourself to a biblical standard?
With that as our backdrop, let’s move on to the tips and suggestions for overcoming sexual temptation during your engagement.
#1: Don’t lose sight of God.
Following the excitement over new love, an engagement, and anticipation about marriage, it’s easy to get distracted. Recalling her own engagement period, Nia states that she took her focus off the Lord and that her attention was not on deepening her relationship with God. Looking back, Nia suggests that striving to pursue a deepening relationship with God could also inspire your fiancé(e) to do the same. Gerald follows that up, reminding men that they will be the spiritual leaders in the marriage. As such, they must set the example of seeking after God.
#2: Limit the amount of alone time.
Whether it be in the car, at a hotel, or even each other’s rooms, Gerald and Nia strongly recommend that unmarried couples limit the amount of time they spend in private places. Instead, they suggest that dating or engaged couples spend their quality time in a public space where they’re surrounded by other people. Continue to honor God in your relationship. Take precautions against sexual sin and do not put yourself in a compromising position.
#3: Find outside accountability.
It is vital that both men and women in a relationship find an accountability support system outside of each other.
If you don’t know where to start in finding a support system, Nia suggests that you find:
- An older, wiser, mature Christian in the faith who can offer you godly counsel.
- Someone you feel comfortable talking to, especially with regards to walking in sexual purity and other intimate topics.
- An accountability partner willing to coach you through your struggles and not condemn you for them.
#4: Limit the amount of affection.
A basic rule of thumb: If you have to ask whether something’s okay, it’s usually not. We have learned that kissing, hugging, and touching are general ways to show affection toward our significant others. That’s not exactly wrong, but there are boundaries that need to be set lest you slip into sexual sin. Know your limits and be honest about them.
That’s not to say you can’t be affectionate at all. However, be cautious in how you display this affection. Do not do anything that will compromise either your conscience or your partner’s conscience with the Lord.
#5: If you mess up, repent and recommit to purity.
As stated before, Gerald and Nia did struggle with sexual temptation during their engagement and slipped into sexual sin. Nia gives praise to God for the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Both she and Gerald were spiritually aggrieved by their actions and committed to repentance and readjusting their lifestyles so they could better honor the Lord. Specifically, Nia recalls a heartrending conversation she had with Gerald some time afterward. In that conversation, she remembers Gerald telling her that 1) he could not allow her to lead him in sin and 2) that he did not want to lead her in sin by allowing her to lead him astray.
This conversation had a profound effect on Nia. Though her feelings were hurt, she realized that she didn’t want to dishonor the Lord (nor be the reason Gerald dishonored Him). That said, Gerald follows up to say as the man he is today, he would never place the blame on his wife for leading him anywhere. He reiterates again the importance of the man in a relationship taking the lead and setting the example for their girlfriend, fiancée, future wife.
Gerald closes this section with an important reminder: God is faithful to forgive our sins. We must be open and honest about our struggles and shortcomings, repent of those things, and resolve to recommit to following God over our own passions.