A Constant Struggle

Hello beautiful people!

Get ready, because today’s post is a touchy subject for myself and possibly many of you. However, my goal is to provide you with support, encouragement and hope in moving forward.

Here at Your feet I lay my past down
My wanderings, all my mistakes down
And I am free

Whoever said physical temptation is only a guys struggle, is wrong. Okay so, physiologically speaking, they are accurate in saying that men are wired in a way in which they think about and crave sexual intimacy more than women. However, women most definitely face this same struggle, especially this girl…

Openly discussing one my largest battles in relationships is not fun, easy, or something I am proud of. However, my heart felt like opening up about this issue so that it may not only help myself work through those regretful patterns, but ultimately help women struggling with this exact same issue. For the record, I can’t wait until I am married.

Raised as a pastor’s kid in a Christian home, I grew up with values which paralleled Biblical standards. Included in these moral standards in which, as a believer I am to abide by, was sexual purity. Looking at the Ten Commandments out of Exodus 20, I’d say I did a great job of not swearing, using God’s name in vain, not stealing, coveting, etc. But the one thing that is VITAL to the life of a follower of Christ, is maintaining sexual purity. And from me to you, I failed at this.

In my opinion, the idea of abstaining from sexual promiscuity  or remaining physically pure in dating relationships too often is seen as this deprivation of enjoyment or devious plan from what society tells us we should be doing. People view it as a negative thing, when really, purity is God’s wise foundation for long-lasting and joyful relationships. Being physically,  mentally, and spiritually pure is a precious gift which Christ has given us, so that if we so recieve it, we will be fulfilled without it, until we are married.

Just because I was saved at a young age, have attended church regularly my entire life, and associate myself as a child of Christ, remaining physically pure is not easy. It takes more than a best effort of mere humanity, a promise ring, or a commitment to your parents  to stay pure. It takes the sanctifying work of God in our lives. It takes constant focus, prayer, and strength to stay pure in our sex-obsessed society. Sexual temptations come to all individuals, no matter what their situation may be.

I’ve dated, I’ve loved, and I’ve been involved physically with men I have been in relationships with. You may be saying, “Well, duh. That is part of growing up, part of life. Sure, dating to figure out what I call your “must-haves & can’t stands”, sharing your heart to those you feel comfortable with, and physically being attracted to people is part of life’s experiences.

What is NOT part of God’s miraculous design for our life however, is physical impurity outside the constraints of a covenant marriage. The sticky part of all this, has to do with how one defines impurity. To some it is kissing, to others it is sex. And then there is everything in-between or the gray area.

I found myself get caught up in this comparison game during college. I’d justify my actions by looking around at my peers and telling myself “they are doing way worse things than you, going “further” than you physically, so you’re doing great.” Instead, I should have been asking, “What does the God who created me think of my behaviors” or “Is what I am doing drawing me closer to Him and his Kingdom?” See the difference? [Insert conviction, guilt, and regret].

Purity, in my eyes, involves not only how you act, but what you think also. Purity means having the strength {through Christ} to keep your thoughts clean, fix your attention on only things that glorify God, and ultimately deepen your relationship with your heavenly Father. From a physical perspective, purity to me, means kissing and nothing more.

Once you cross that line, emotions are raging, your Christian standards get tossed out the window, and lust begins to take over your mind and body. In my experience, unless you set a specific boundary, those mucky waters after kissing and before sex become dangerous territory. Territory in which, as Christians, we are to flee from, avoid, and not enter until marriage.

The beauty in past mistakes and sinful behaviors, is that an end can be put to them. If, in the bottom of your heart, you feel convicted of sexual impurity or any of your actions, I challenge you to spend some serious time in prayer and ask God to lay on your heart his desires for your life. [Enter forgiveness, freedom, and hope].

If and when you decide to commit your life to the sexual purity we are called to abide by, I recommend reading some of these truths that I’ve compiled based on my own personal thoughts, as well as things I’ve read.

  • Sex is a God-given gift meant for marriage.
  • All individuals stumble through this process and no one has perfected the area of sexual purity.
  • Christ can and will forgive your sins.
  • Self-control is possible with daily interactions & surrender to Christ.
  • As your relationship with Christ grows, your desire for purity will also grow.
  • Purity satisfies and strengthens our lives devoted to Christ.

The following are some strategies Jordan and I have implemented into our relationship to remain physically pure throughout the entirety of dating. Trust me, it is SO hard and we have not perfected this yet. It is a constant struggle, but we have found strategies to help us.

  • Keeping Christ at the center of our relationship through prayer, daily quiet time with Him, weekly Bible study, and open communication about where we are spiritually.
  • We have a set of questions that we discuss bi-weekly which hold us accountable for numerous things.
  • Setting rules (no laying down for example) to avoid temptation.
  • We recently wrote out and signed a contract before each other and God that we would abide by the boundary we set, and remain physically pure before the Lord while we are dating.
  • He meets with his accountability partner weekly which keeps him in check. I am in prayer about somebody I would like to have as mine because I see how much it benefits him.

Having an open conversation with whoever you are in a relationship with currently about past relationships is vital. It is not a fun conversation by any means, but it really opens the door for open and honest communication.

Remember, you are NOT alone in all of this. In fact, I bet most of your friends struggle with this same issue. Also remember, that as a believer, we are called to a higher standard. It is easy to give into temptation and act on pleasure-seeking desires. It takes God’s help, strength, discipline, and a deep commitment to Christ, to be physically pure.

I challenge you to be different. The empowerment, confidence, and respect that you will feel, will be worth it. I  promise that you will feel a closeness to God like never before. Purity means being set apart for God’s use, which is holiness in action.

Here at Your feet I lay my future down
All of my dreams I give to You now
And I find peace, I find peace

I will leave you with some Biblical context which I found extremely powerful while preparing for this blog post. Thank you for letting me share this with you and like I said before, I am hopeful that it will impact at least one of you.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)
He is precious to me.

Have a blessed day and week.

Let your light shine!

-Abby Dawn

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