Many of you are ready for The Wait but aren’t sure what that will look like and more importantly, feel like in your life.
Involuntary celibacy isn’t The Wait. You haven’t been with anyone in a year because you’ve hit a dating dry spell? Sorry. Doesn’t count.
Remember, The Wait is a deliberate choice to delay sexual gratification.
The choice of celibacy comes at one of four stages, each with its own challenges.
But if you know what to expect, then you can be encouraged to keep it going.
Here are the stages of celibacy:
Stage One: While You’re Dating Around
The first is celibacy while you’re dating around.
Celibacy is probably most valuable at this stage in your romantic life because you’re clear-headed. Sex should remain on the sidelines, especially if you have a history of jumping into bed on the first date and ending up entangled in something that didn’t work out.
At this stage, celibacy is easier. You’re not overly attached to anybody. You’re objective.
Stage Two: When You’re Dating Exclusively
The second stage is celibacy when you’re dating exclusively.
You’ve met one person you really like and you’re getting to know them. Don’t be afraid to walk away and see what else God has in store. If he or she is hip to The Wait, then it’s up to you both to keep each other strong and committed.
In some ways, this is the most challenging part of celibacy. You really like this person but you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to something more serious yet.
One tip: find other ways to feel stimulated when you’re together. Do things that get you excited about each other’s mind, creativity, or depth.
Stage Three: Being Celibate in a Committed Relationship
The third stage is, as you might expect, being celibate in a committed relationship.
You’ve decided that yes, this person is worth marrying, and you’re ready to be exclusive. There are challenges at this stage, of course. You’re spending more time together than ever and talking about a life with each other. Sometimes, you might find yourself thinking, “It’s so close, why not just give in? We’ll probably get married anyway. In my spirit, you’re already my spouse.”
When you’re trying to keep your commitment to God at this time, the gift of foresight is incredibly useful. It gives us the power to avoid mistakes by being honest with ourselves about what might happen if we make choice A versus choice B.
Stage Four: When You’re Already in a Committed Relationship and Having Sex with Your Partner
The fourth and final stage comes when you’re already in a committed relationship and having sex.
Here, you might want to stop and practice The Wait, using the clarity of mind and purpose to see if this person is truly your spouse.
When you’re in The Wait as part of a committed relationship, you’re with the person you think God intends you to be with.
Although this may be the most challenging stage, it will probably save you a lot of heartache in the future. If your partner is unwilling to consider what’s important to you as it pertains to sex, what else are they not considerate of?
Now that you know what to expect at each stage of the dating cycle as it pertains to celibacy, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know which stage you’re in and what you’re going to do to make a change TODAY!