My journey started more than seventeen years ago. It was a decision made completely out of a commitment I made to God. This is a decision that I have yet to regret. Although at times it has not been easy, I am continuously encouraged by those who are inspired by my testimony. I became sexual active at the age of nineteen not because I was in love but, out of sheer curiosity. All of my friends were having sex and I was the last one in the group to become sexually active. With all the hype from my peers, movies, song lyrics and magazines, I was anxiously waiting to become a member of this so called prestigious club, only to realize later that membership comes with a price that I was not willing to pay.
I found out after my first experience sex was not at all what I expected. It was not quite the fanfare of pleasures my friend assured it would be. Yet, I kept in pursuit of this pleasure until I found it (at least what I thought was it). My flesh was being satisfied but little did I know at the time my spirit was grieving. Somehow I always felt a deep sense of guilt, shame, and embarrassment that was unshakable. Through all the pleasure there was still pain. The pain of somehow knowing this just wasn’t right. For years I tried to ignore it trying not to face what was really going on. I could no longer endure the battle warring within my spirit and my flesh. I cried out to God, “Take this desire away until I get married”. This is when the journey really began.
God honored that petition out of my ignorance. A part of our being, a part of who He designed us to be, is sexual but in the content of marriage. He did not take away my desire or urge, yet He allowed me to take control of it and not let the desire control me. Just because you make up in your mind that you are going to live a celibate lifestyle doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. It can be very challenging. Many people fail initially because they don’t want to go through the challenge, rather, they surrender themselves to the urge and give in.
Like anything else you may be trying to break free of, whether its chocolate, alcohol, drugs or even shopping, you have to remove yourself from that environment, situation and/or addiction. It is virtually impossible to practice abstinence while dating someone who is not. Even when you meet the one God has sent to be your spouse you will still come up against challenges. Remember my journey started over seventeen years ago, I have been abstinent for fifteen years. I didn’t give up, but I did learn from my mistakes.
Here are a few tips:
- Pray – One of the biggest mistakes I made initially was trying to abstain in my own will. Since I made this commitment to God I had to stay in constant communication with Him.
- Guard your senses – What you see, taste, smell, touch, and hear can all trigger feelings of arousal. How many times have you thought or said, “He is too fine”, “Her lips taste so sweet”, “I love a man who smells good”, “Oooh girl, I just want to touch his thighs”, or “You have such a sexy voice”. Be mindful of the books and magazines you read as well as the music you listen to and movies you watch. These are all potential triggers.
- Avoid open mouth kissing – Kissing prepares the body for intercourse.
- Be accountable – Find a mentor who can support you. Someone who has been where you are and mature enough to help guide you through the process. Make sure that person is not of the opposite sex, that can potentially be dangerous and lead to a setback.
Everyone has a different story. My pain was one of disappointing God and not honoring my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. The pain or disappointment that may be leading you to this point could stem from emotional or physical abuse. All roads lead to God. Seek His guidance, wisdom, and knowledge for your life. Know that it is a process. It may be more challenging for some than others, but you are more than a conqueror. Be encouraged.
From My Hands 2 Your Heart