When I gave my heart to God in 2012 and decided that I was going to live for Him for real, that included saving myself for marriage. I made a vow to God that I would abstain from having sex and save my body for the man He had reserved for me. I didn’t know anyone who had ever done this before, and I wasn’t even sure if or how I was going to pull this off. As a matter of fact, I had come to church that day I went down to the altar to be saved, with a guy that I had just slept with the night before, and we weren’t even in a real relationship. All, I knew was that abstaining from sex was apart of the package of submitting my life to God. He was calling me to a life of complete and total surrender to Him, and I no longer wanted to be in partial obedience. The first thing I did was cut off the pseudo relationship with the guy I was seeing at the time, the same one who came to church with me that day. He actually begged me to continue seeing him, even saying that he would be willing to do the whole celibacy thing with me. I know most women would have taken him up on that offer, but I knew that would have been a big mistake. First off, I was new to this whole God thing so I didn’t want any distractions. Developing my walk with God was like a new relationship in and of itself. You know how it is when you begin dating someone you really really like. You spend every ounce of free time you have with that person, and all you want to do is get to know them better. If I would have continued talking to that guy, one of the relationships would have been neglected either the one with God or the one with him, and my new-found relationship with God was way too important for me to take that chance. I wanted to finally give God a fair shot; He deserved that much after all He had done for me. Secondly, I had enough wisdom (even being fresh off the altar), to know that him trying out the whole celibacy thing was never going to work. Not because he wasn’t being genuine, and not even because I think he couldn’t do it, but because his motives were all wrong. If a man decides that he is going to give up or do something just to please a woman, it will never last. That’s so important I must repeat it again to make sure you really understand.
Anything a man does or tries to change for a woman and not for himself, even if it works temporarily WILL NOT LAST. That man has to be abstaining from sex because it his personal conviction, and he is doing it to please the Lord; that is the only way it will last. The minute it gets hard or the woman does something to make him mad or sad, what foundation does he have to stand on? His reasoning for making the change in the first place was not his idea, and so it cannot and will not be sustained. Even if a guy has the best intentions, which I’m sure was the case in my situation, do not count on anyone to change because of you. This is why it is so important that when you are choosing a guy to get yourself involved with, you want him to already have his own convictions regarding abstaining until marriage, and you want him to already be waiting out of honor and obedience to God. If it’s something that he is not already doing (for a solid amount of time) and you all have to talk through it, then you are setting yourself up a lot of frustration down the road.
Speaking of motives, you have to know why you are choosing to abstain yourself. Check your motives. Are you doing it just because you heard that’s what it takes to get a good man or some either selfish, shallow reason? Or are you doing it because you know that you were bought with a price and that you should glorify God in your body? (1 Corinthians 6:20). When things get tough and you want to give up, you are going to need a strong foundation to help sustain you, and if you always go back to your why, you will have greater success. If you are doing it to honor God then you don’t have to do it on your own, you can rely on God’s strength and His grace to keep you.
So how did I do it?
Guard Your Heart
I am still very passionate and very intentional about guarding my heart even while married, and I believe that it is one of the things that helped me the most while I was in my season of waiting. Not only did it help me to keep my body, but it also helped me to not get anxious about being in a relationship or being married. So what do I mean by Guard you heart? Proverbs 4:23 says “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” When something in The Bible says ABOVE ALL ELSE I think that means we need to pay very close attention to it and really take heed. The word heart here refers to your innermost being, your spirit, that place which is the seat of your very will and emotions. When you guard something that means you are protecting it by putting a barrier or restriction of some sort over it. What this verse is saying is that you have to protect what you are letting into your very core.
Well how do things get into our heart since the heart is apart of our inner being? We let them in through our physical senses-mainly our ears and our eyes. So, when I was single I did not listen to any secular music, even R&B and love songs. You probably are thinking well what’s wrong with love songs? They aren’t cussing or it doesn’t go against God, but that is not the point. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify.” In other words, what Paul was saying is that even though something may be permissible, it doesn’t mean you should do it. Not everything that is allowed is going to be beneficial to getting you where you are trying to go in life. When we listen to certain songs it puts us in certain moods; music is extremely powerful. Certain ideas and feelings are being subconsciously fed into our spirit or our ‘heart” and what goes in must come out. It is actually a form of meditation, and we all know that whatever we feed on and meditate on will eventually affect our life. That is why we can get into certain moods and in our feelings and not even understand why sometimes. Back then I would also (and still do) limit what I watch on TV and carefully monitor my social media feed and use.
It’s also important to be careful about what we are reading, because the things that seem the most harmless could be having the biggest affect on us. For example, I used to love to binge on romantic comedies and read romance novels all the while fantasizing about my future love life. We have to understand that all of these mediums are constantly feeding us images and ideas and we are just eating it up. Not to mention, those story-lines are nothing like real life, and so they are also selling us false expectations.
Most people would call me extreme and say that I am doing the most, but you do not get the God kind of results by doing what everyone else is doing. You get the God kind of results by doing what God says (in His Word and when He speaks to you individually) even if it seems strange or extreme, and even if everyone else does not agree. Proverbs was clear, it says that whatever you let into your heart determines the course of your life. Eventually, the fruit of your life and the harvest thereof will look like the seeds that have been planted in your heart through all these mediums of influence. Make a decision that you are going to be a good steward over your heart by fiercely and diligently protecting it against all that the world tries to plant into it.
Just a few more tips
You don’t want your mind to be idle and bored either so we must fill our spirits with something right? Meditate on the Word and other things that are going to elevate your spirit and your life. We want everything that we let into our heart to be edifying. The Word holds all the Power, and so it is a great place to start. Reading good books, watching quality programming, and listening to edifying music are also good.
Get you some accountability. We all need someone, and if we know that someone else is holding us accountable for our actions, then we are more likely to follow through with what we said we were going to do. Ideally, this would be a person who is on the same journey with you so that you all can feed off of each other and you understand each other. When one of you is weak, the other can be strong, and you can help push each other to better. If not, a mentor or someone you look up to will also work.
Watch out for distractions. When you decide that you’re going to save yourself for marriage please believe that the enemy is not going to like it. He will send distractions in the form of a man who is NOT YOUR HUSBAND. He is a counterfeit, and you will know it because he will not be on the same page as you and your journey. Walk away, do not even open a door for that kind of temptation. If you are quick to swerve all the fakes, it will make the journey to your real husband come quicker. I know this because I’ve been there.
When you do get into a relationship, the real tests will come. It’s much easier to abstain when you’re not really talking to anyone because there are no real opportunities for temptation. So, when you get into a relationship, set boundaries. Be honest with yourself. I don’t care how holy or how “strong” we claim to be, we are all human and we have fleshly desires. When you are in a relationship then obviously you are attracted to that person and so you don’t want to find yourself in any compromising situations. Maybe you have to limit or eliminate altogether any physical touch such as hugging or kissing. Maybe it’s not a good idea for the two of you to be alone. Whatever your boundaries are, just be honest and don’t try to bring fire to your bosom and expect not to get burned. (Proverbs 6:27).
Despite what seems to be popular today and despite what the rest of the world is doing-Despite what society may deem as normal, and despite what people may try to convince you of otherwise, God has not changed His mind about this; He still expects holiness, and He would not ask something of us that He knew we could not do, so trust Him in this walk. It. can. be. Done. If you want it. I am a living witness and so are countless other individuals; it’s just not popular or what you see on television, so you may think that no one is really doing it anymore, but that is a lie. It doesn’t matter what your past is, you can decide today that you are going to honor God and your future spouse and save yourself for marriage.
That’s all for now lovies. I am rooting for you on this journey and I pray that you all will walk into the fullness of what God is calling you to. I would love to hear what has helped in your celibacy journey?
Still Hidden in Him,