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[updated: 8/5/20]

Are you tired of fighting sexual temptation?

Weary of wrestling with your relentless sex drive?

This post is for you!

Perhaps you’re tired of trying to keep your dating life pure? Or, more to the point, tired of trying and then failing.

And trying and failing.

Again and again.

Would you like to fail less?

Or perhaps you aren’t currently dating, but are struggling with sexual fantasy (and porn? and more?).

In that case, would you like to equip yourself to win the battle over sexual temptation BEFORE you start dating; ready to walk in consistent freedom instead of constant failure?

Whichever place you find yourself, look no further for clear insight, direction, and encouragement in winning the battle against sexual temptation.

For a little background, this article is part of a series introducing purpose-driven dating, and one of the elements of this approach to dating is “time invested in one other person.” We first talked about what we mean by spending time with just ONE other person and then last week we started talking about what we don’t mean by that.

This week we share one more important clarification.

NEWS FLASH: Sexual Attraction is Normal!

When I say that purpose-driven dating means investing your time in just ONE other person, I’m not saying that two people should be…

a l o n e .

To the contrary, alone is often a very unsafe place to be when dating.

Alone is when friskiness turns into fornication.

No. Not all the time, but the longer you date in isolation the greater the temptation for this transition to take place.

Of course, part of this tendency is due to sin, but what’s often forgotten is this: it’s also absolutely normal. (Yes, I said that.)

If you date in isolation…

…just the two of you…

…with no one around…

…and you’re both crazy about each other…

…it’s completely natural…

…to want to get sexually intimate.

Hopefully not on the first date (although our hyper-sexualized culture makes that seem normal too), but…

If you find yourself deeply attracted to someone with whom you have been spending extensive amounts of time alone together, and you’re not inspired to do more than hand-holding, I might question if you’re human.

My bet is that Adam and Eve didn’t spend too much time exploring the garden before they got distracted by the idea of exploring each other.

If you know what I mean.

(Hey, they were naked, you know.)

And believe it or not, this pleased God immensely. Not because He’s some kind of sick voyeur, but because He’s some kind of good God who created the sexual experience to be a precious and powerful way for two people to bind their hearts, minds, bodies and souls as one.

That and because God wants men and women to bear and raise children who can grow up and do the same thing. Indeed, He not only desires that. He commanded it.

From this perspective, can you see how spending long periods of time alone with someone with whom you experience intense attraction, while expecting to remain sexually pure (in both mind and body) not only isn’t natural, it’s not what God wants for us?

So don’t do it.

Stop hanging out alone together, date after date, fighting sexual temptation.

Cease and desist!

To Marry or to Burn: That is the Question.

Am I saying, “Go ahead and follow those animal instincts?”

NO! Because, contrary to what pop culture might lead you to believe, you’re more than an animal.

You are an image bearer of the creator, and as such you are called to control your own body in holiness and honor!

Am I saying, “Go ahead and get married, because it’s better to marry than to burn?”

NOT NECESSARILY! (In fact, read the following carefully!)

If your sex drive is in overdrive (or even if you’re just madly in love) it’s highly likely you’re not able to accurately gauge the character of your beloved, nor the health of your relationship. And if you’re sexually active, your “reality receptors” are severely compromised. That’s not a safe state of mind in which to make a marriage decision. And that’s why we have divorce.

Maybe you’re perfect for each other. Maybe you should get married. Maybe you should do it TODAY.

Maybe you’re perfectly awful for each other. Maybe you should break up. Maybe you should never see each other again. Regardless, sexual temptation is one of the worst reasons to get married, because marriage doesn’t magically empower you to win the battle against sexual temptation.

So if I’m not suggesting you just get married, nor that you should just go for it. What am I suggesting? Simply this:

If you will spend more time AVOIDING sexual temptation you will spend less time fighting it!

The more effort you expend steering clear of compromising situations in the first place, the less effort you’ll have to expend in hand-to-hand combat with your rabid libido.

Even better? Endeavor to seek God and His kingdom and His righteousness! Learn to delight in HIM, because the more joy, peace and hope you find in the goodness of your heavenly Father, the less you’ll be tempted to seek temporary happiness, ease and escape in the sin which separates you from Him.

Five Steps to Winning the Fight

Like some solid steps in accomplishing this mission? Look no further!

  1. Keep things out in the open when you date. Simply refuse to date in isolation. Be aware and honest about your limitations, and date accordingly. Stay out in public. Stay in the light. Click the previous link to understand more about this one single sex boundary that just might work.
  2. Keep your friends and loved ones involved in your dating life, following the suggestions of last week’s post.
  3. Make sure you’re confessing your struggles and failures, both honestly and specifically, both to God and close friends who know you best and love you most.
  4. Make sure you’re growing in your understanding of your sex drive, this precious gift of God which Satan seems to love to pervert more than any other.
  5. Make sure you’re rebuking the five sex lies that will keep you from the healthy relationships your soul so deeply longs for.

And for more help in the area of setting boundaries, check out this LoveEd episode in our series Stuff You Should Know Before You Date (#B4Ud8):

Did this post encourage you? Let us know in the comment section below. Does it raise more questions? Share those below as well! And either way, let us know how we can pray for you!

This post is one in a series on Purpose-Driven Dating which we define as follows: Intentional time invested in one other person for the purpose of growing in intimacy that might lead to a life-giving, life-long marriage. Next week’s focus: …for the purpose of growing in intimacy… The series begins with this post.

Click here to go to the next post in this series.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

[originally published: 4/29/15]