What is Abstinence?

Updated: Sep 26, 2018

"Let's talk about sex baby, let's talk about you and me, let's talk about all the good things, all the bad things that may be, let's talk about sex, let's talk about sex" Who remembers this Salt-N-Pepa song? it was a hit in the 90'S. Yes, today we are talking about SEX before marriage and how it pertains to our Christian walk.

We will share tips on abstaining, draw some things from people's experiences and hopefully, this post can push people in the direction of walking in holiness the way God wants us to. This blog post promises to be exciting and thought-provoking. If you haven't been abstaining and are not married, how about you try something new? So let's talk!

Picture Cred: George Coletrain for unsplash.com

How does sex before marriage affect our relationship with God? Can abstinence be something we practice to get back on track after we have strayed? Let's start by defining what these terms are. Sex before marriage is pretty self explanatory, it means having sex with someone while unmarried, while abstinence according to Merriam-Webster.com is defined as the practice of abstaining from something. That is the practice of not doing or having something that is wanted or enjoyable. We define abstinence as denying yourself or sacrificing your desires for a greater good or benefit. Abstinence is something God has commanded us to do when He talks about not having pre-marital sex.

Now, this topic has become taboo, because people look at you weird when you reveal to them that you are waiting for marriage to have sex. 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 may get responses like “it’s the 21st century, no one is doing that anymore" or "you must be dreaming because you wouldn't find a partner who will wait with you, and even if they do, they might sleeping with other people or may be gay."

"But the body is not for fornication but for our Lord, and our Lord for the body."

One of the issues we discovered when researching this topic is that people are not looking to the word of God for godly standards (which makes sense because not everyone is Christian); instead, they listen to the world for a stamp of approval. The world tells you sex before marriage is okay, if you are an adult and both of you consent then its fine. The world shows you pictures of "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 or they made it. But in reality, you don't know what happens behind closed doors, because these examples are not transparent.

The world feeds you with its standards daily, through the media, be it television shows, music, movies and social networks, all these things scream at you every day. Passing the message across "you can live your life however you want without any consequences," after all, "You Only Live Once" (YOLO).

Which are all 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. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:8-9 (NKJV) Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it."

Not to get in too deep, but you get the picture that we are trying to paint. The world's message 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 may forget what is expected of you as a believer.

As Christians, we like to believe that we know a majority of the things the Bible talks about, but when we reread certain things, we now see that we might have forgotten about some things that 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, no matter how hard you go in that one time, the effects usually wear off in a matter of days if you don't keep up.

In that same right, we have to get in the word of God every day so we can stand out from the crowd. If you constantly surround yourself with the media that is thrown at you daily, it will be effortless for you to think that if the whole world is doing it, and they seem ‘happy" and "fine" then it should be okay, why should I be different?

Well here are 3 reasons why:

1) God has commanded us to do so; in 1 Peter 1:16 God says be holy for I am holy. God has called believers to a higher standard than the world; He has called us to His standards.

2) The consequences that follow pre-marital sex are not beneficial ; such as Sexually transmitted diseases and infections, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, emotional distress, heartbreaks, and the list is endless.

3) Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; 1 Corinthians 6:20 says "For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and spirit, which are God’s." So we don't belong to ourselves, our bodies are not our own, we can't do to it whatever we please. Christ paid such a high price for us, so we can live freely and not be slaves to sin, in this case, sexual immorality.

Picture Cred: Tao Heftiba for unsplash.com

What abstinence does for us is to help remind us that we do not go out there and give our bodies to anyone without the commitment of marriage. When you abstain, you are saying I choose to put God first and lay my life down to honor Him. In return God honors you. Our number reason to abstain from any sexual sin should be to honor God. Sex before marriage not only taints your relationship with God, it also clouds your judgments. You don't see clearly when you have sex outside of marriage.

You tend not to focus on the issues at hand because you want to get everything over with and please your flesh. Sometimes it may be one-sided. The guy/girl may not want to have sex outside of marriage, but is somehow involved with someone who wants to, how do you get out of such situations, you may ask. It may be difficult to break free because you have given up so much of yourself to this relationship, and God telling you to let go of that person becomes difficult to obey.

How do you break things off? This is what you do, put on your big girl panties (or big boy boxers) muster up courage, have an honest conversation with the other person and break free. In some situations the other person is not even worthy of a discussion like in cases of abuse, then you have to leave without explanations. The freedom you will experience will be something you have never felt before, so liberating. Then you can now freely enjoy an open relationship with God without fear or shame. Because when sin is present in your life, you tend to hide from God just as Adam and Eve did in the beginning after they ate the fruit.

3 Tips that can help you abstain from Sex before marriage

1) Walk in the Spirit; The bible says in Galatians 5:16 that if we walk in the Spirit, we won’t fulfill that lust of the flesh. Some of you may say what does walking in the Spirit look like? Spending time with God through prayer, worshiping Him, being more aware of His presence, listening to messages about the word of God, meditating on the word of God (diligently) listening to and singing spiritual songs or songs that glorify Him and delighting in His word. When we feed our spirit more than we feed our flesh, our spirit becomes stronger and doesn't cower down when temptation arises.

2) Boundaries; (We will talk more about boundaries in another post) but for now set boundaries in such a way that will make it hard for you to give into your flesh. Things like not sleeping over at each other's houses with the other person present, denying yourselves from specific songs and shows that promote sexual immorality, no kissing (not a sin but can lead to one), no touching. Things like this will help you stay the course.

3) Accountability; If you surround yourself with people who want to please God, this will help as well because they will help you on your journey and call you out when you start straying.

It also helps for you to find Christian people that may or may not be in your circle that has lived this out and look up to them as great examples to follow.

Here are a few of ours: Heather and Cornelius Lindsey, they have a thriving ministry in Atlanta; they did not kiss until their wedding day, because they wanted to honor God not only in their individual lives but also together as a couple. Joel (for King and Country) and Moriah Smallbone, both singers, doing great things for God and His kingdom, they didn’t share a kiss until their wedding day. Joshua Harris and his wife didn't kiss till their wedding day as well.

Joshua is the author of a fantastic book titled "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" check it out! A personal friend to Let's Talk Nation is Abiola. She has an amazing lifestyle blog (itsabeeyola.com) that talks about a whole bunch of different things, from food to how to go natural (as it pertains to hair) and faith. In fact, she was the first person who introduced us to this whole no kissing before marriage thing, and we thought she was crazy.

She and her husband were together for about 18 months before they got married, and they shared their first kiss as a couple on their wedding day. Lastly, her name is Janette popularly known as genetics; she is a spoken word artist and was famous for her poem "I will wait for you" talking about how she wasn't going to comprise her values, and how she will wait for God to send her the right one. God did, and she and her husband didn't share a kiss until their wedding day as well, they dated for about three years.

These are all beautiful stories from gorgeous people who just wanted to honor God with their lives, and God honored them in return, look them up if you can and hear their stories, and it will encourage you to know that there are people out there that have gone ahead of you and have succeeded. Although not easy, but when you know your why, it makes things easier. So let God set your standards for you and not the world.

Hope you enjoyed this post, until next time, stay blessed! Share your thoughts and comments below; can you do without kissing in a dating relationship? Do you think it's absurd? Or are you adventurous and want to try something new? Let's Talk!

P.S: Below are youtube videos of some of the people mentioned above. Enjoy!

Joel & Moriah Smallbone

Video Cred: Heavenellie account on youtube

Janette (genetics)

Video Cred: P4CM's youtube channel

Heather & Cornelius Lindsey

Video Cred: Heather's youtube channel

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