All you have to do is turn on the television, go to the movies, or pick up the latest popular novel and you’ll find men and women engaging in impure relationships. Honestly, we live in a sexually-charged culture, and because of this, it can be really challenging to stay pure in a relationship. So how do Christians maintain purity in the midst of all this?
- Talk about and set clear boundaries. According to Hebrews 13:4, sex is reserved for marriage. God created sex to be enjoyed only within the boundaries of marriage. Make sure that you and the person you’re dating agree upon this simple truth. (If you don’t, you may want to reconsider the relationship.) Together, determine that you will keep yourself pure and only be intimate with your future spouse after you say “I do.”
- Make a plan. We’ve all heard it said: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Don’t fail in your purity because you neglect to think things through. Have an honest talk with your partner about what your plan will be if things get heated or are heading in the wrong direction purity-wise. Consider arranging for the two of you to never be alone together whenever possible. Decide where is off-limits (like being in a bedroom with the door shut) and what exactly is inappropriate touch or actions. Go on group dates whenever possible, and avoid activities (like certain movies) that could be sexually explicit and contribute to rousing impure desires.
- Utilize accountability partners. Speak with your pastor, youth pastor, or other trusted Christian friend about your plan to stay pure in your relationship. Share your plan with them and ask them to check on you from time to time. Request that they regularly pray for you, too.
- Pray together before each date/activity. This will help set the tone for the date and encourage you to stay on track. When you dedicate your time to the Lord, you’re much more likely to maintain purity.
- Take the way out. God promises in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that He’ll always help us when we’re tempted: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Choose to take the way out that He provides.
- Purity starts in the heart and mind. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Ask God to help you keep your heart and thoughts pure; in turn, this will help you act purely as well.