I know many of you want to practice The Wait but do not know if you actually can. But I have news for you: As hard as it is, it is still very possible to fight temptation.
Meagan and I fought the natural desire for more than a year from the time we started dating to the time we married. Some days were easier than others, but staying celibate was never easy.
We’re living, married proof that you can resist temptation and remain celibate even when you’re in a committed, marriage-minded relationship with someone you’re madly in love with.
You’ve got to have strategies for dealing with it—for bolstering your will when you’re weak, for avoiding the triggers that set off your desire, and for getting the heck out of the room when resistance is futile.
Here are some tips to help you fight temptation:
1.Remember Why You Started
When you find yourself motivated by a strong desire to grow into God’s purpose, reminding yourself of that goal can help you remain committed.
When tempted, “The Lust Prayer” will help you overcome temptation:
God, please help me get control over this beast called Lust. I will not let it destroy me or disrupt the destiny you have set for my life. You said you would provide a way of escape when temptation appears, so show me the exit sign right now, Lord, because I’m about to do something that will please my flesh but harm my spirit. I’m tired of continuously falling prey to lust. I keep falling, getting back up, and falling again. Give me the victory today! I claim authority over my body, my heart, my mind, and my sexuality. You made me sexual but give me the tools to manage this sexuality in a way that pleases you! You said you’d never leave nor forsake me so I’m trusting in you, Lord. You have authority over this lust and I claim that authority now. Be my strength when I am weak and deliver me from this flesh that threatens to destroy every good thing you’ve planned for my life. I pray this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!
2. Remember What Temptation Looks Like
Genuine temptation is insidious. It doesn’t seem like you’re in trouble until you’re more than halfway there. That’s when you have to be careful.
Sexual temptation sneaks up on you and catches you when you’re weak. Temptation will fit anywhere in your life that you make room for it: work flirtations, having contact with exes, pornography, you name it.
In practicing The Wait, one of your goals is to create a lifestyle that acknowledges temptation by putting as many safeguards as possible in place.
Staying strong is really about avoiding stimuli that get you focusing on sex, staying out of provocative situations, and remembering your commitment to God and why you’re waiting.
But the serious relationship takes the temptations of dating and ratchets them up. It could actually be easier if you’ve been honest with each other about The Wait and your commitment. You can keep each other strong based on your mutual agreement not to have sex until marriage.
3. Remember Your Triggers
Even if your faith has weak moments (which we all have), the most effective way to be successful in your commitment to celibacy is to know your triggers.
Avoid setting yourself up for failure.
So, don’t just rely on loving the Lord and being strong. Know yourself. Not to put too fine a point on it, know what makes you horny. Take your triggers out of play, period.
Here are some major triggers to be mindful of:
- Late nights
- Emotional trauma
- Intimate contact
- Sexting and Snapchat
- Travel (hookups on the road)
4. Remember to Stay Disciplined
Anything that helps you stay disciplined is fair game. Some suggestions are:
Make technology work for you by setting a “go home” alarm on your smartphone. Ask a friend to send you an “Are you guys being good?” text message at a preset time, etc.
Avoid people who talk about sex all the time, double-date or date in social groups, control your environment, try to stay away from graphic sexual imagery, and stay busy.
Now that you have some tips on how to fight temptation, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know what you’re going to do to make a change TODAY!