How do we avoid the temptation to have sex?


I am 23 years of age and a college student. I have been in a relationship for over a year now. My motive for being in the relationship is to be with my partner now and stay with her until God blesses us to marry. My problem is how do I handle my sexual feeling because we sometimes attract each other and we may make love? Anytime that happens my spirit goes down in Christ. I have had sex with her before, but I want us to keep away from the sex until we marry. We are staying at different locations, but we visit each other. I want us to stay with each other but with no sex. But each time we get close to each other we attract each other and might do something we are not ready for.

I want God's guidance in the relationship. Please I want you to advise me on how to handle what I am facing. I am very dedicated to Christ when it comes to worshiping God. We love each other very much and we will like to get married in the future. I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you.


The choice for if you get married and when you get married is up to you and your girlfriend. God is not holding you back from such decisions. God blessed marriages back when the world was first new (Genesis 2:24). He told us how to pick good mates, but whether we follow His guidance is up to us.

Since fornication is a sin (Hebrews 13:4), we have to avoid it. But what happens too often is that couples focus on avoiding the actual act of intercourse, forgetting that sex starts with events long before the clothes come off.

Solomon points out the problem when he asked, "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27). You can show a hot coal all the affection you want. You can cuddle it and dote on it and it will still burn you. Your kindness to it doesn't change its nature. How often do you hear someone say, "But I love her!" Solomon's point is that your feelings toward your girlfriend won't change the fact that both of you have built-in desires and capabilities for sex. Trigger them and they follow the instincts built into you.

Solomon also asked, "Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?" (Proverbs 6:28). Using the same example of hot coal, if you walk on it, it will burn you. You can apologize and say you didn't mean to step on it, but you'll still be hurt because your intentions don't change what it is. Thus, the excuse, "But I didn't mean for it to go this far!" becomes an empty one because your intentions don't change your body's drive.

That is why Solomon concludes, "So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent" (Proverbs 6:29). Though he is talking directly about adultery, the same point is true about fornication. When you start intentionally stirring up sexual feelings, you are never innocent when things go further than you wanted. While you say you take your purity seriously, your actions state otherwise. This is why Paul said, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" (I Corinthians 7:1).

That is why we are told not to make room for lust and lewdness. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14). Lusts are those thoughts and desires you keep battling about taking things even further. Lewdness is engaging in sexual foreplay that gets the body ready for intercourse. The Christian must recognize the danger and not start a sequence of events that can't be legitimately completed.

Because you know that things like lust, lewdness, and fornication can possibly happen, you place restrictions on yourself because you have good reasons for not trusting yourself. Rules like:

  • No sexual touching
  • No long passionate kisses that stir up desire
  • No going to each other's place when no one else is around
  • No being alone with each other
  • Treat her with the respect that she deserves because you love her


Thank you so much, Jeffrey, for the rules and guidelines.

One problem I am facing is that we are easily attracted to each other and end up sharing love. That is what I want to take control of. I am the one who falls easily for sex. I was brought up by my good mother who always protected us from women in order not to have affairs with any woman. Now that I am grown-up things are getting different. I just want to avoid having sex and keep myself from things that will tempt me and my partner until we get married.

Hope to hear from you again.


"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

The only difference between now and when you lived at home is that you are now fully responsible for your own actions. What you do with your body is completely your choice, so if you are going to avoid sex, you cannot approach it.

It appears you think of "love" as the physical actions and the sexual passion that results. Because of that, you are tempted to go further than you should because you are convinced that you need to show your girlfriend "love." But if you read through the attributes Paul lists in I Corinthians 13:4-8, you will notice that sexual passion has nothing to do with love. Yes, married people who are in love do express themselves sexually, but the sex isn't the love. I would like you to read:

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