One of the challenges plaguing the youths of today is the inability to maintain chastity, which is the total abstinence from sexual activity before marriage (or outside of marriage). Young people find it unbearable to say a capital ‘NO’ to premarital sex.
Are you a young (or maybe even an older) person reading this? Do you struggle with sexual addiction and you truly desire to be free? Then, this article is for you. Here, I will show you some practical and result -producing steps that you can take to overcome the temptation of premarital sex- a deadly forbidden fruit that rob young people of their promising future.
How do I maintain chastity as a teenager or young adult? Here are 8 sure-fire strategies to achieve your goal of living and maintaining a chaste life, which in turn helps you become a happy better version of yourself and live your best life.
1. Don’t think about it for now
Please, mind my use or choice of words. I say ‘for now.’ This applies to unmarried young people. When one is fasting, he/she does not set the mind on the palatable dish of food on the dining table. Instead, he/she takes the mind off it and focuses on the things that matter at the moment until the fast is broken, say by 6 P.M. Similarly, as an unmarried person, you’re in a sex fast. Meaning, for the now, you’re not to indulge in the act of sex until the wedding night when the fast period will be over. If this is true, then, allowing your mind to be flooded with the thought of how it tastes is setting yourself up for temptation. It is like a man on a fast but whose eyes will not leave the plate of his favourite meal on the table. See, what the mind focuses on, the body wants to do. Yes, and the converse is the same.Total abstinence from premarital sex becomes difficult when you are thinking about it. Do you often find yourself lost in the thought of sex? Then, you’ve got to guard your heart against it until the right time comes.
2. Rebuke the thought of it/Think of the negative effects
Let’s be sincere; we are humans. And being humans, there may be times we can’t help thinking about sex; it’s part of our nature. At creation, God put the desire in each of us so that we can enjoy it. You know, what you don’t desire, you don’t cherish and so don’t find it enjoyable when given to you. So, it’s not a sin if your mind goes there. But whenever this happens, and you realize it wants to take advantage of you (make you sin), rebuke it. This is because, in as much as God makes it part of our human make-up, there is the right time he wants us to express and satisfy the desire. Therefore, you’ve got to control the desire. Remind yourself of the bad effects the act brings. Rather than focusing on the pleasurable side of it, imagine the lasting consequences it brings when engaged in outside the boundary of marriage. Say to yourself, “It’s not time yet. It’s not yet a ripe fruit for me. Eating it in its unripe state will make my teeth ache.” The more you remind yourself of the negative side effects, the stronger you are able to resist it.
3. Remove/Avoid triggers
Get rid and avoid triggers. Triggers are the things that excite the urge in you even when you don’t originally have the feeling, especially when you are the weaker type (the easily aroused type. see step 6 below).
a) Remove all appearances
Consider the illustration I gave above in step 1. What do you think a person who is on a food fast should do to help take his mind from the plate of food on the table? In point 2, I mentioned rebuking. But here, does this man have to rebuke to get rid of the thought of eating? I believe even though he may need to rebuke, it is not the first thing he should do. First thing first. Before rebuking will be considered, he has to do one thing first. What is this one thing? To avoid seeing the food of course. Because the more he sees the food, the more he thinks about eating. And how? In my take, I think he can do this in two ways. He can either take the plate of food to an inner cupboard, or better yet, leave the dining table to another room where he cannot even perceive the aroma of the food. Period. It’s after doing this and still finds his mind drifting to that direction that he may need to rebuke because it’s only at this point that rebuking will be effective.
This is exactly what we need to do when it comes to overcoming premarital (and extramarital) sex. Do you want to avoid the thought of sex so you can focus on your goal of living a life of chastity? Then, you have to remove all appearances of it – everything and anything that reminds you of it. Examples of the things that can arouse your desire for sex include: erotic books/movies/songs, pornographic films, immoral discussions with friends, etc.
b) Avoid all appearances
This is almost the same with the preceding tip but there is a thin line that separates them. In today’s world, due to the advancement in technologies coupled with civilization, shutting the door of our hearts against the thought of sex may require extra work and personal discipline, especially as young people. Even when we have done our best to get rid of the materials we personally got for ourselves for instance, almost everywhere we turn to tends to remind us about it; the TV broadcast, the pages of Newspapers/Magazines, the internet/social media platforms, peers, etc. If we have all of these things around us that constantly draw our minds to it, what can we do then? It’s to avoid seeing them as much as possible. Switch off or change the TV channel, close or skip the Newspaper page, reject that friend request on social media, e.g. Facebook, close that pop up page on your internet browser, etc. Just avoid it. Simple!
4. Don’t make it convenient
You can reduce your chance of falling into the unlawful act of sex when you make the ground or the environment unsuitable for it thrive. For examples: Don’t be alone with the opposite sex, fiancée or fiancé in a hidden place. When you plan to meet with the opposite sex, let it be in an open place where it will be hard to fall or obey your urges, no matter the pressure. When he/she visits, make the room uncomfortable as it were for the act to happen. Tell him/her to keep door and windows open; go with another friend, play healthy songs, etc. Yes, let me say this here. Music has a way of working on your emotions especially as a female. The more you listen to songs that carries the aura of sex, the weaker you become in your ability to say ‘No’ to the pressure to fall. And the weaker you get, the more convenient the other partner finds it to take advantage of you.
5. Set standards for yourself
By standard, I mean the limit or extent beyond which you must not go. Standards or boundaries keep you from going too far. If you’re in a relationship, set standards which you and your partner must keep to right from the beginning. Some boundaries you should set to guide your actions include:
- No touching (fondling or caressing).
- Kissing is not allowed.
- Under no condition should the night be spent together.
- No sex talk or discussion on sex except on a healthy platform and when necessary.
- No visiting with provocative appearance.
6. Understand your weakness
Another way to overcome the temptation of premarital sex is knowing your body’s level of ability to resist. Individuals vary in their strength to withstand the urge of sex. While some are easily aroused by the slightest source of provocation, others are not. There are persons that will never be moved no matter the level of provocation until they decide to. So, knowing the group you belong to will greatly help you to overcome. If you are the type that is easily carried away, then, stay away from sources of provocations immediately you notice one.
This may not be different from the points already made above, but I want it to stand alone for more emphasis. The Lord is aware that it is not easy physically (by one’s own natural effort), hence He instructed that we flee every appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). Apostle Paul warns, “Flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18). This means we are not to debate over it or try to stand its presence when the best thing is to flee. Note the word, ‘Flee.’ The Bible did not say, ‘run from,’ but ‘flee.’ To run is not the same thing as flee. When you flee from something, you disappear quickly or vanish as the dictionary puts it. When you are running from a thing, you can look back. But when you are fleeing, there is no room or time to look back. I hope you are catching the picture.
Sexual issues are sensitive and delicate to handle alone, especially for teenagers and very young adults. As a growing up adult with no or little experience in the matters of sex, do not hesitate to seek parental guidance and support when you’re facing sexual challenges.
Read: Overcoming The Challenge Of Teenage/Unwanted Pregnancy – Part 2: The 100% Sure Way For Preventing Teenage/Unwanted Pregnancy
8. Seek for guidance and help
Wrapping it up
Indeed, chastity – living a life void of premarital – sex is possible following the above strategies among others. However, as earlier mentioned, maintaining a chaste life requires the help of the Comforter. In other words, trying to adopt the above steps using your personal strength may remain a game of struggle. You need the help of the Holy Spirit to live a life of chastity. Therefore, for effective result, ask God for help daily through the person of the Holy Spirit in the place of prayers, fasting, the study of the Word, and worship. Be consistent with this and in no distant time, you will consider the habit of premarital sex a thing of the past.