There’s a line in a poem I wrote that says, “Lonely turns to horny for the sake of the company”
I thought a fitting segue for this week’s topic. The one topic I’ve been trying to avoid.
And not just any kind of sex, sex outside of marriage, in Biblical verbiage referred to as fornication.
Before we begin, I want to emphasize that everybody struggles with different things. Every one has his or her kryptonite. Every saint and sinner has a vice, a comfortable, old habit they fall back on because when life sucks at least they have __________.
For saints specifically, we are looking to minimize our vices by placing Jesus in His proper space in our hearts and minds. He is what keeps us sane and whole. He is how we are able to walk away from bad habits because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. God gives us that peace that passes all understanding, if we know when and how to call on Him.
I say all this because when it comes to sex and the church i was raised in I was told to abstain but rarely given tools to fight it. What I know frustrated me was the emphasis on all the obvious traps, but no warning about the sneakier, more devious pitfalls.
People who grow up in church - according to my experience - have sex outside of marriage in 3 or 4 categories.
Reason 1: All they were told was to not have sex because they would go to Hell. This unfortunately isn’t a very strong argument for a 13-18 year old with raging hormones and no real concept of what Hell even means, especially if they haven’t developed a deep enough relationship with God at this point.
Reason 2: They felt left out. As if we were missing something because we were being disobedient to God and our parents. This is obviously mature hindsight me speaking, but the point still stands. Your friends from reason 1 are doing it, all your friends from church are doing it, and they make it sound so cool and fun. You look crazy for not trying it.
Reason 3: They’ve done everything but already. There were a few of us that were proud of how close we could get to the edge without actually falling over. It was inevitable, and we had pretty much desensitized ourselves of the guilt by the time we did the full deed. What’s a little penetration between friends.
Reason 4: Sex is the currency for meaningful companionship. This one is the fox in the vineyard, it’s a sneaky little devil. You can identify with this one if you really did love God and you also really loved your significant other. They loved God too, and you were probably going to get married anyway when you got old enough. When you didn’t, well you’ve already had sex so what’s a little more.
So clearly if you are reading this and you’re still a virgin let me say, if no one else has already told you lately, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Keep it up and share your secrets for purity with anyone who will listen. Continue to hold up the bloodstained banner and be an encouragement to those who wish to do the same. Also this is by no means an all inclusive list, so get in where you fit it.
But, for the rest of us, here are some tips and tricks to start/continue celibacy because sex outside of marriage is still sin no matter the reason or justification for it. You can keep going, but definitely read the last blog. Also, we are here to Be Great and casting away the sin that doth so easily beset us is part of that (Hebrews 12:1). We can not be godly successful living in sin. Whether that sin is sex, lying, or gossiping God can’t use us in every way that He wants to if we are in a place where we are willfully and frequently living contrary to His Word.
Tip 1: Stay busy. Now this isn’t to say you won’t get horny if you’re busy, but it’s harder to act on that feeling if you’re occupied. Take up a sport, work out, join a book club, add anything to your routine that you enjoy that will occupy your time. Most of my teens were spent as part of a youth choir that toured basically every summer during high school. An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. Scripture: "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good." Proverbs 16:27-29 AKA An idle mind is a devil's workshop.
Tip 2: Find at least one person who is celibate/abstaining as well. I would say find a group if you can and support each other. Pray for one another, encourage one another to stay strong and that you are doing the right thing. Scripture:"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20
Tip 3: Resist the devil, and he will flee. STAY AWAY FROM TEMPTATION. Legit. I’ve isolated myself from guys who I am attracted to that couldn't care less about my celibacy. I don’t listen to music that I’ve kept on a sex playlist or would want to put on a sex playlist. I try not to watch movies/TV that have lots of sex in them. Your body will speak to you without outside influences, so do your best not to fuel the fire. Scripture: "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." 1 Corinthians 6:18
Tip 4: This really comes first but I wanted to make sure I had your attention first. Deepen your relationship with God. Read your Bible, pray, meditate, go to Bible Class so that you can combat your desires with prayers that have power. God designed sex, so it feels good He just wants us to enjoy it in context. He has also given us the ability to withstand temptation. We just have to follow the instructions He has provided. Scripture: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33
Tip 5: Say no. It's never too late to say no. OK, so you’ve ended up in the room with the person ready to give you what you crave and have been asking for. Tell yourself no. Leave. Call a friend to come rescue you. I want to remind you that just because you get close, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to follow through. It’s only too late when it’s too late, when you’re in the act. Every moment before that you have control on whether or not you’re going to follow through on the sin you planned or fell into. Scripture: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
I hope this helps you as it helped me and that you are encouraged to start or continue your celibacy/abstinence.
Do you have any tips you would like to add?