If you’re single and trying to keep the golden door closed, you may often find yourself grappling for insight on how to stay on track with that goal. My husband and I dated for over two years and were proud to have made it to the altar without dipping in each other’s cookie jars! Waiting till marriage wasn’t easy, but we believed that it was certainly possible.
In this article:
- Commit to the goal
- Admit that you want to do it, but don’t have to
- Permit what you’re comfortable with
- Submit your plans to God and others you can trust
After having grown tired of being told not to fornicate without any concrete strategies on how to do that, many couples have asked us how we managed to avoid romps in the sheets when we were single, dating, and waiting.
These are the things that worked for us, that may be a solid starting point for you, too.
Commit to the goal
I was already celibate when I met my husband and made it clear (with my words and actions) that there’d be no sex in the champagne room very early on! Waiting till marriage was my goal. He respected my position and decided for himself that I was worth the wait. As our courtship evolved and things started to get serious, he recognized that celibacy had to become his goal too; not just my own.
Tip: Abstaining will be virtually impossible if both people don’t have the same intention (and are mutually invested).
Admit that you want to do it, but don’t have to do it
After making your commitment, it’s time to discuss what abstaining will look like for you as a couple. The first step in that process is to admit and accept the fact that there’s going to be sexual energy between you. Even though you’re waiting till marriage, trying to deny it or pretend that you don’t have those feelings is unrealistic. Being honest with yourselves takes the elephant out of the room and allows you to begin a mature discussion about the fact that just because you have those desires, it doesn’t mean you have to give into them. You simply have to learn how to handle dealing with them.
Permit what you’re comfortable with
Establishing boundaries is a crucial part of the process. You and your mate will have to get clear about what you’re okay with and what you’re not. This is not a pass to do “everything-but-the-act-itself,” mind you! It’s simply a way to create specific action items that will help you avoid any potential slip ups!
Look at it like trying to get out of debt. Being debt free is a great goal to have, but if you fail to create an action plan for HOW you will eliminate your debt, then you’ve got nothing but a dream deferred.
Some of our boundaries included someone calling time out if things started to get too heated, and/or setting a time limit for late night visits at each other’s homes. These seem simple, but they were effective for us. Maybe cutting back on the french kissing (if that’s a trigger for you), is a good place to start.
Tip: Decide what will work for you both and be committed to honoring your set boundaries.
Submit your plans to God and others you can trust
Another key factor in our endeavor was accountability. I had a small group of close friends that I was accountable to during this time and it made a huge difference for me. I often updated them on how things were going and it felt good to have their support. Sometimes I loathed getting those calls and text messages checking on my late night whereabouts, but it was all done in love! It’s always good to have like-minded people around you that you can trust. If you’re waiting till marriage, choose your accountability partners wisely!
Finally, we knew we couldn’t do it (literally) without God’s help. We prayed for strength and discipline throughout the entire time. This served as a great building block for a healthy marriage. I feel as though God has smiled upon our union in a very special way as a result of our commitment to Him and to ourselves.
Remember that abstinence is very possible if you want it bad enough! It’ll take maturity and lots of work, but it IS possible.
BMWK: What other tips would you add to this list?
Up Next: 5 Reasons I’ve Been Celibate For the Last 8 Years
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on July 24, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Thank you so much Mrs. Wright
I turned 21 this year and for the last few months I’ve been living young, wild, and free. I don’t use my age as an excuse I was really just doing what I wanted too. I looked in the mirror the last week and realized I didn’t like who I was becoming I’ve vowed to be celibate again I was successful for a year then I met my ex and figured his needs should be met. Being single has made me realize if I kept doing what I wanted too I would miss out on the man God has for me and settle for lust. Your article made me remember how good i felt the first time I was celibate.
Thank you again
Amber Wright says
That is great, Andrelle, thank you for sharing your heart! When I was dating, being celibate helped to keep my mind clear and it was a great filter for the guys who only wanted to get in my pants! Their intentions were always made clear after a while. So when my husband came along, I knew he was committed to ME, not the chase of making me one of his conquests. I wish you the best as you start again with your goals. You can do it!!!!
Claire Taylor says
It’s so funny that I stumbled on this my boyfriend and I have decided after two sexual encounters that we will no longer engage in sexual activities. We want to respect one another and do what thus smith The Lord according to his word. Please pray for us.
Claire Taylor says
This saith The Lord
You can do it, Claire! Just talk it out and work it out.
I really like reading your articles becouse it keeps me going am 30yrs now an am proud it,despite my relationship with girls
Thank you for reading!
Willie Carmickle says
I absolutely agree with all the tips listed in this article. I’d also migh make mention on premaritial counseling as well. All of this helped to keep me and my new bride on track of our goals before walking down the aisle. Thanks so much for all that you all are doing to help in the arena of marriage and our struggles.
Premarital counseling is definitely necessary!
Gee James says
Good article sista. Very helpful and practical.
Truth —> he recognized that celibacy had to become his goal too; not just my own.
Follow me! @CMediaUSA
G. Lanae' says
It is nice to hear you can do it… here is how we did it! My hubby and I have been married 10 years, he was celibant and I was a virgin, I was 32 years old when we got married. We made a commitment to not only save sexual intercourse until marriage, but my husband also wanted to save having our first kiss til the altar. We did it, granted our dating and engagement period was less than a year. I agree you have to Both want the same goal, sharing the same faith is helpful as well. My husband wasn’t solely responsible to me but to God, the men in his cell group and other men of God! Accountability was a strong factor, limiting time alone, especially night hours… hours of romance. Now to keep it real, there were successes and some failures… though we met our goal it was hard work. It was worth it whole heartedly. My desire was to bless my husband by him knowing I was fully his and giving that gift to him as his wife was beautiful. At our age to some it seemed silly but I believe it strengthened our union. To think our first task as a committed couple was to walk the road of celibacy together!!! Guess I had much to say on this subject but I suppose because I feel our stories can encourage others young and old to say “We Can! ” vs “We wish or we should have or oops!” Thank you for sharing and allowing me to give a shout out to abstainence!! For more reasons than noted… it was and is worth it!!
I, too, have just had the “hard” conversation with my sweetheart about making God and His Word a priority re: celibacy. It was not easy and we both acknowledge that we are warring against our flesh, but feel it will be worth it. I feel God’s peace in my spirit and pray for the strength to honor Him, myself and to not be a stumbling block for my sweetheart.
I got pregnant with my 3rd child the day after new years 2012. I’ve been celibate since then. I decided that I was tired of being looked at for what I had as opposed to being adored for who I am! I am not currently in a relationship but the challenge and temptation is still there. It is a constant effort on my behalf but I am worth it! Thank you for this article! I am bookmarking it and will use it as a reference.
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I so needed this article. I have recently decided to be celibate until marriage but I am not looking for a relationship. At least not with an earthly man. Im trying to get a better understanding of my relationship with God and a better understand of myself. I want to get to a point where I am happy and sure of myself. I used to feel like I needed someone to feel like I even matter. This article has helped me for when Im ready to get into a relationship and how to maintain my goal of no sex until marriage.
Hi, Keisha! I am so glad you found the article to be helpful! All the best to you on your journey!
I kept away from my friend when i notice that our agreement to stay away from sex is fadeing gradually,what should i do to restore back becouse i dont want but she keep insistin that we do it
Hi, Andy. You should have a talk with your friend to discuss where you two are headed. If your goals are incompatible, as they pertain to abstaining, you may need to do some re-evaluating. But even more than that, no one can make you do something you don’t want to do. You have to have the strength and the confidence to say no and walk away!
I am a 52 years old female. I have chosen to live a celibate life until marriage. I like to enjoy companionship of the opposite sex. is there any single celibate men out there that love Gods plan for life. If so please direct me to the site. thanks in advance. God bless.
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LaAsha Harris says
I think the article was very inspiring! I am 20 years old and just recently decided to abstain from sex.. Not because of anyone else but because that is what I feel God wants me to do. Young men in my generation clearly misuse the word love for lust and sex. I just want to live a more holy life like God wants me to. Granted, it is very difficult to do so believe it or not. Men my age feel as though sex is a very important part of a relationship whereas I believe it is not. They think that having sex with them means that you love them which isnt true at all. I just want a man to love me for me and accept my decision to wait until marriage.
I love reading through a post that will make men and
women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!
I will be turning 23 this month on the 26th. I recently have decided to remain celibate until I am married. I am currently single and its a lot easier to refrain from sex. Although I have never been a loose goose, I’ve been intimate with 2 guys in my past, and wish I didn’t open myself up like that. Ladies are bodies are truly a temple. I once heard from a person “Sleeping with someone thats not the one, is like cheating on the one”, this saying has helped me through this process. Plus I have been asking God to order my steps in his word, I just want to live right, that is all.
My man insisted he can’t wait so far am not a virgin what do I do?
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