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Purity in Relationships

First of all, remember that if you plant purity today, you will reap a rich harvest, free from shame and guilt. And, by the grace of God, you’ll look back on your life not with regret, but with joyful gratitude. Sexual purity is ALWAYS in your best interest. Be smart, not stupid, and you’ll enjoy the best God has for you!

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3 ).

 You don’t have to date just because lots of other people date doesn’t mean you have to. You can enjoy fun, positive friendships with people of the opposite sex and be involved in all sorts of activities without coupling up with one person.

If you do choose to date, the following guidelines can help you maintain a walk with God and guard your purity. 

1) If you’re a Christian, only date Christians.
You won’t marry every person you date. But the person you marry will be someone you dated. God says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers . . . what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 ).
There are many contexts in which to do evangelism—dating isn’t one of them.

2. Realize where you go and who you go with will influence your sexual desires.
When we put ourselves in a godly atmosphere with godly people, we are influenced toward godliness. When we put ourselves in an ungodly atmosphere with ungodly people we are influenced toward ungodliness. “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (I Corinthians 15:28 ).

3. Realize your date is your brother or sister in Christ—not your “lover.”
“Treat older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:2 ). A rule of thumb is, don’t do anything physically you wouldn’t do with your brother or sister.
If a Christ-centered, positive relationship develops, then you might move to cautious displays of affection such as hand-holding. But be alert to the difference between appropriate affection and intimacy. You must stay safely back from the line where either one is propelled toward sexual intimacy.

4. Focus on talk, not touch; conversation, not contact.
Treat your date as a subject to listen to and understand and appreciate, not an object to experiment with, conquer or satisfy your desires.

5. Avoid fast moving relationships and instant intimacy.
Pace your relationship. A car moving too fast is likely to swerve out of control when it hits a slick spot. Keep your foot near the brake. Don’t let this relationship get out of control.

6. Be accountable to someone about your physical relationship.
This should be a committed brother or sister in Christ, usually the same gender as you. It should be someone who takes sexual purity seriously, someone with wise advice, who will pray for you and help hold you accountable to high standards.

7. Pray together at the beginning and end of each date.
Commit the evening or day in advance to the Lord. Ask Him to be pleased in everything you do. Plan to pray at the end of the date to thank Him for it. Knowing this prayer is coming will help you to be sure to control yourself and please God.

8. When you sense the temptation coming, before things start to get out of control, RUN.
“Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18 ). When it comes to sexual temptation, it always pays to be a coward.

9. Write out your own standards and enforce them yourself—never depend on your date.
You as an individual are fully responsible and accountable to God for what you do (Romans 14:10-12 ; 2 Corinthians 5:10 ).

10. Memorize Scripture on sexual purity and quote it when tempted.
“I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11 ). When the attacks come—and they will—be ready to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17 ).

Even if you are no longer a virgin you can and should commit yourself to secondary virginity—to remain sexually pure from this day forward. You need more than good intentions to maintain your purity: you need a plan which includes avoidance and accountability. If you are committed to a relationship with a growing Christian, formulate a plan to prevent falling back into premarital intimacy.

11. Be radical—do whatever it takes to guard your sexual purity.
In Matthew 5:29-30 , Jesus tells His listeners to do whatever is necessary to deal with temptation. Get creative, get radical, and do all you can to avoid temptation.

12. Count the cost of impurity.
Rehearse in advance the devastating consequences of sexual sin and you’ll be less likely to commit it. Even a forgiven person must deal with many consequences to his sin. God removes guilt, but He doesn’t always remove consequences.

God forgives when we sincerely repent, but if we sincerely repent we will show it by taking necessary steps to avoid temptation.

@Randy Alcorn

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