Written by Evi Idoghor
Abstinence or abstaining from sex as a single adult is a concept that often causes people to turn up their noses. You are independent, doing well for yourself, drive a fancy car, and perhaps own a home in a serene neighborhood, so why aren't you having sex? If two adults consent to sex or sexual activity, what is the harm in that?
I heard the other day that a catechist advised unmarried couples to have sex at least once before they jumped the broom, just so they know what sex with each other might feel like. Which is quite absurd, if you ask me.
In today's article, we are going to discuss reasons why single Christians need to abstain from sex and sexual activities (outercourse). Now, this topic has become taboo because people look at you weird when you reveal to them that you are simply not engaging in sex or sexual activities as a single person who is/isn't in a relationship.
In fact, you become an anomaly and everyone wants to speak to you to find out where your head is and why you came to that conclusion. You might get responses like these—Who still does that in 2021? Are you sure your partner isn't gay or sleeping with other people? To which I sometimes wonder, why is the lack of sex in relationships or in a person's life, often synonymous with homosexuality?
Here is what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:13 (ESV):
"...The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."
One of the issues I discovered when researching this topic is that people are not looking to the word of God for godly standards, instead, they listen to the world for a stamp of approval. The world tells you fornication is okay if you are an adult who has a consenting partner. As such they are quick to show you "picture perfect" relationships/marriages of people who lived their lives with no regard to God's word, and it looks like they are making it—living their best lives.
However, you are left in the dark as to what takes place behind closed doors, because these examples are not all the way transparent. Even if they are, and it happens that they have great and thriving relationships; God has called the Christian to a different standard of living. We live in a world where we are constantly fed with its standards daily.
This happens through the media: be it television shows, music, movies, and social networks—all these scream at you every day, passing the defiant message across— you can live your life however you want without any consequences, after all, you only live once (YOLO). Which are lies of the enemy because you don't live only once, there is a life after this, and whatever you do while you are here on earth, affects the life you will live afterward—for the Christian and non-Christian alike.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:8-9 (ESV) "For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance."
If you pay close attention to the world's message, you will quickly discover that it is always opposite from the word of God. That is why the Bible says in Romans 12:2 that we should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what that good and acceptable and what the perfect will of God is. If you don't constantly renew your mind through the word of God, you might forget what is expected of you as a believer.
As Christians, we like to believe that we know the majority of the things the Bible talks about, but when we reread certain things, we then see how we might have forgotten or are oblivious to what God requires of us. The word of God has to be in front of you daily; you don't go to the gym once and become fit for the rest of your life.
In the same right, we have to get in the word of God every day so we can stand out from the world. If you constantly surround yourself with the media that is thrown at you it will be easy for you to think that if the whole world is doing it, and they seem ‘happy,' because do what makes you happy, then it should be okay. So why is there a need for you and me to be different?
Well here are 3 reasons why:
1) God has commanded Christians to do so; in 1 Peter 1:16, God says be holy for I am holy. God has called believers to a different standard than the world; He has called us to His standards.
2) The consequences that follow fornication are not beneficial; such as sexually transmitted diseases and infections, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, emotional distress, heartbreaks, a disconnect between the believer and God, and many more.
3) Our body is the temple of God; 1 Corinthians 6:20 says "For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and spirit, which are God’s." Psalm 100:3 puts it this way—"Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves..." So we can confidently say that don't belong to ourselves and that our bodies are not our own. Hence, we can't do whatever we please with it outside the boundaries of God's word. Christ paid such a high price for us, so we can live freely and no longer be slaves to sin.
The Necessity of Abstinence
Abstinence helps in reminding the Christian, (especially when those sexual urges emerge), about their decision to put God first— sacrificing whatever emotions they might feel at the moment, in honor of Him. That way, God receives all the glory because His child/children have given Him a place of utmost importance in their lives. This decision isn't done on a transactional basis—God, I have chosen to keep myself pure, hence, give me ABC....but rather it is done out of love for the Father—if you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15).
Why A Single Christian Needs to Disengage From Sex and Outercourse
Other than the fact that fornication is a sin, it also clouds your judgments. You tend not to focus on the issues at hand because you want to get everything over with and please your flesh. You tend not to see the red flags in the other person, because there is something else standing in the way. So, if you are a Christian, who is single, in a relationship, and is also sexually active, it is time for you to have an honest conversation with your partner. And if they are not willing to give up sex and sexual activities (because some people be negotiating), then you will have to break things off.
The freedom you will experience for choosing to obey Christ will be something you have never felt before—pure bliss. As such you can freely enjoy an open relationship with God without fear or shame.
3 Tips That Can Help You Abstain from Fornication
1) Study God's word: if you constantly study God's word, then you will know for yourself what is right and wrong—what God approves and disapproves of (Romans 12:2).
2) Boundaries: set boundaries in such a way that will make it difficult for you to give in to your flesh. Things like not engaging in sleepovers whilst dating, denying yourselves from specific songs, movies, and shows that promote sexual immorality. Also, desisting from outercourse activities such as heavy petting, dry humping, masturbation, and even kissing. I know, I know, kissing! Isn't that going too far? Some might ponder.
Well, it might seem like that, but those who have kissed, or who kiss on a regular basis, can explicitly explain the things that happen within the human body when that is taking place. Kissing is often used as an expression of love or the emotions one might feel for another person. This usually leads to sexual activity or intercourse. You have to know your triggers and set parameters around them. Things like these will help you stay the course.
3) Accountability: Christianity is designed in such a way that we don't do life by ourselves. That is why we are encouraged to go to church regularly and form strong bonds with other believers. This enables us to help each other during downtimes and also hold each other accountable.
I remember when my relationship ended and my friend, Abiola (gorgeous girl), who I thought was beside herself at the time when she told me that she and her husband didn't kiss until they said I do! Immediately, I rolled my eyes at her. They were together for about 18 months before they got married.
Which left me pondering how they managed to keep their hands off each other, seeing that they were such an attractive couple—it made no sense to me. Of course, I thought they did the most. But now I see why they denied themselves from sex and sexual activities for a season—it was all to honor God.
Hence, as Christians the choice to abstain from sex and it’s derivatives is to honor Christ and all that He did for us, which is a good thing that brings glory to God.
Can you do without kissing in dating relationships? Do you think it's absurd? Leave your thoughts below. Also, remember to like, share and subscribe to receive our articles directly to your inbox.
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