Editor’s note: In The Unwritten Rules to Dating and Waiting, an e-book Meagan Good co-wrote with her husband, DeVon Franklin, she talks about how to avoid the temptations that trip so many people up on their abstinence journey. This is an excerpt.
When I was nineteen, I struggled with celibacy. But what I really did was abdicate responsibility for my celibacy. I would say, “This man could be my husband, so that would make it OK” or “Well, I’m not going to initiate sex, so if it happens it’s not because I made it happen.”
But I knew that I was putting the responsibility on the other person and not taking ownership of my commitment. It was hypocritical. Finally, I said, “This is not what the Lord has for me. I’m not going to go into another relationship trying to be celibate and then passively caving on the commitment.”
I had to make the commitment that sex was absolutely off the table. The crazy thing is that when I did that, God blessed me with somebody who was celibate before I was. It’s incredible how things can work out when we’re true to God and to ourselves.
Even if your faith has weak moments (which we all have), the most effective way to be successful in your commitment to celibacy is to know your triggers. Avoid setting yourself up for failure. It’s not the act of sex that’s the problem, but the moments leading up to it.
Here are some major triggers to be mindful of:
#1 Late nights. Movie night on the couch in somebody’s apartment is fun, but it can lead to more.
#2 Emotional trauma. When you get in a fight with someone, get in trouble at work, or just feel bad, you’re vulnerable and want comfort. Be careful.
#3 Intimate contact. Be affectionate, but be mindful if that affection is making it difficult for you or the person you’re dating to resist temptation. If it is, dial down the intensity.
#4 Alcohol. Drinking and celibacy probably isn’t the best mix. Liquor reduces your inhibitions and makes you more likely to do something you’ll regret. If you’re waiting, consider doing it sober.
#5 Sexting and Snapchat. Provocative texts or video clips can send you over the edge if your willpower is wavering.
#6 Travel. Hookups on the road can seem like they don’t count, kind of like calories from ice cream that you eat when nobody’s watching. What? Of course sex when you’re on the road counts. Don’t fool yourself.
For more advice from Meagan and DeVon, click here.
SOURCE: EEW Magazine – Meagan Good