WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT SEXUAL ABSTINENCE

First I want to say there is a difference between celibacy and abstaining from sexual relations. Celibacy is usually a lifestyle where people do not engage in sexual relations because of religious reasons and a certain calling on their life to abstain. Abstinence from sexual intercourse can also be for religious reasons, but it generally isn’t because a person feels called to abstain from sex throughout their lives: it usually is because they abstain until they meet and marry the person they feel God has chosen for them to share their lives with.  I want to share what I have learned about abstaining from sexual intercourse because I feel it may help others who struggle with choosing this as a lifestyle until they marry.

  1. God is ever-present with you and knows the difficulty of your choice and is there to comfort you. Sometimes we may feel that because Jesus Christ was God, that he can’t possibly understand what we are feeling. Jesus was all man and all God. It says in Hebrews that he knows our weaknesses and infirmities and understands them all. God created us and he created us with the desire to be with the opposite sex; he understands better than anyone what it feels like and what it means to a man and woman to be united, sexually.
  2. Abstaining from sexual relations until marriage guards and protects our emotions. I know this has been said numerous times, but there is an assurance that we have when our mind, soul, and bodies are in God’s hands and subjection. We have the knowledge that no matter how  relationships go, God is honoring my devotion to him and the entirety of my being is covered. There is a peace that comes from knowing that I’m  not dishonoring my body and God honors that. Hebrews says that “Marriage is honorable..” This means that it is good, whole, righteous, and that the sexual act within marriage is pure, not defiled or dirty.
  3. When you are filled with God’s spirit, a sexual relationship outside of God’s covenant  of marriage is grievous.  I learned this when I was in a sexual relationship and not married. I thought that because we loved each other, and we were faithful to each other that God would somehow overlook the fact that we weren’t married. God never overlooks, sidesteps, or walks around his word and the truth of his word. No matter how much God loves you; he doesn’t love you enough to make any exception for you and your situation. For him to do so, for God to go back on his word in any instance he would cease to be God. Also while in this relationship, I began to feel myself becoming distant from the things of God: this means that I couldn’t listen to someone preaching God’s word, I couldn’t read my Bible or pray. My conscience was being violated, because I was breaking one of God’s principles, and I was in a sinful situation that was causing me to be separated from God.
  4. Even though I tried to justify sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant, the Holy Spirit in me never gave me peace about it: also I didn’t know it at the time, but I was cutting myself off from the blessings of God: in this present life and the eternal ones.  It’s true that those who play house, never get the real house. When we settle for less than God’s plan, we cut ourselves off from the very thing it is that we want. Also, settling for someone who is unwilling to marry you, could be standing in the way of someone who would be willing and able to make a holy committment to you. Abstaining from sexual relations shouldn’t be something you do seeking a reward or a husband; it should be something you do because it is right. The man who I was with wasn’t just unwilling to marry me, he was using me to satisfy his own selfish and self-centered needs, whether he realized it or not. And this fact alone was enough for my heavenly father to want to protect me from such manipulation.
  5. I was sinning against my own body. In twenty-four years of marriage and living with a man who was consistently unfaithful to me, I never contracted any sexually transmitted disease (other than a yeast infection): however, in the span of two years, I contracted a virus  that placed me at risk of developing cancer. Also, in the two years I was sleeping with this man, I was always sick with some type of persistent cold or bronchitis. When I stopped sleeping with him, I still have colds, but the persistence of  sickness  isn’t there.
  6. Sexual immorality in the form of fornication continually opens the door for sexual obsession or even possession by sexual demonic spirits. What most people fail to realize is that sexual sin, is sexual sin. When we knowingly disobey God’s word and sometimes unknowingly, we open the door to a flood of demonic influence from whatever demonic powers that are out there. When we have the power to control our desires and inclinations and choose not to do it, we open ourselves up to things that we don’t have control over. Nothing is worse than feeling you don’t have control over your sexual desires; when something else comes that has power over you. This is where sexual deviation comes from in the form of child molestation, rape, bestiality, homosexuality, and the list goes on.
  7. When you don’t have your sexual desires and feelings under control, there is some element of emotional immaturity. I realized that I desperately wanted love and intimacy with a man, and I did so at the expense of my relationship and peace with God. After traveling through the maze of loss of self-esteem, loss of peace, and a general feeling that I’m doing something wrong, I began to so value the lost elements of my personality that I felt no temporary attention a man could give me was worth losing my self-respect: and my friend, that is personal growth and emotional maturity. I allowed myself to be manipulated as a child, to obtain something that I felt I couldn’t live without. Emotionally mature people are able to delay self-gratification for something much better that is long-term.  There are sixty year-old people who are still immature emotionally. Age has little to do with how mature someone is emotionally.
  8. Lastly, waiting for the commitment you want in marriage is taking the moral high-ground. People who compromise themselves sexually will eventually compromise themselves in other things also. Taking the moral high ground says to yourself, and to others, “I am worth the very best that is available.” It says that even if I have to live the rest of my life alone, it is better than being with someone who de-values me, or gives me less than what I want, need, and deserve.

The Emotional and Spiritual Reasons For Sexual Purity

The Christian’s view of sexual values should be vastly different from the world’s; in spite of the fact that we live in a sex saturated society and an “anything goes” mentality. Being that sex was created by God, I believe that he knows best why sex is best for individuals within the context of marriage.
Indiscriminate sex outside of marriage leaves the heart cold and indifferent; it also trivializes marriage and the sacredness of two people giving themselves to one another sexually.
Substituting sexual contact for emotional intimacy never works. Sex has no meaning in itself. It is only within the context of a committed, monogamous relationship that sex has the ultimate meaning. Sex outside of marriage destroys self-esteem, self-confidence and bolsters feelings of embarrassment and shame; which is why children who are sexually abused suffer from feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. The same principle is at work in adults in that it is hard to feel good about yourself when you have taken your clothes off and engaged in the most intimate contact you can with someone, and they ignore you afterwards and pretend nothing ever happened! Repeatedly engaging in sexual immorality just lowers one’s self-esteem more and more. It also makes the heart colder, more distant and desensitized to feelings of genuine love. (It makes genuine love more difficult to recognize.)
Sex outside of marriage leaves one open to possession by sexual spirits(demons), which can ma

ke one unable to control sexual desires. Sexual immorality is the one sin that can bring someone into total bondage(very similar to drug addiction);however sexual addiction is worse because you bring other people into the same bondage as yourself. This is why some people are so promiscuous and seem to be unable to decline any offer of sexual advances.
Sexual immorality is particularly dangerous for a Christian. Firstly, because of Christ’s teaching we should know better;( Hebrews 13:4), ( I Corinthians 7:9); secondly, when in the body of Christ, we are literally in Christ. We are a part of him, he is a part of us. When we take our bodies and engage in sexual immorality, it is the same as taking Jesus’s body and joining it in that sexual act. (I Corinthians 6:19) This can never be taken lightly and severe consequences occur when a Christian joins their body with someone they are not married to.
with every “relationship” that doesn’t work in a bed-hopping mentality, the mind is constantly wondering, “is this one going to work”, or “when is he or she going to walk off and leave me.”
The consequences of a failed relationship or engagement aren’t as detrimental to one’s emotions if sexual involvement isn’t in the picture. If you believe your body and emotions are sacred and you only give your heart and body to a person you can trust with your life and future, then remaining sexually pure makes good sense. Since God has called us to peace,( and this means peace of mind); it makes sense that he wants us to be whole and at peace with our decisions; and this is especially true in regards to our physical bodies and our emotional well-being.