It’s important to set up boundaries at the beginning of your relationship so you know where you both stand from the out set. Though even though you may be dating for some time and you may have not made these boundaries, it’s not too late! Especially if you are struggling with sexual sin, it would be a beneficial step towards purity.
“Where are you at?”
The first question I would ask is “Where are you at?” with any temptation you can either run towards it or away from it. If you’re struggling with porn and you are up at three in the morning, surfing the web alone and you “fall into temptation” the questions would be “Were you actually tempted or did you set yourself up for it?”
-So where are you at?
-Are you somewhere that would be easy for you to slip up?
-Are you alone with your significant other?
-How is the setting or the atmosphere of the situation?
-Are you alone at home watching a movie? Maybe that’s not the best.
As a general rule, public places are the best. You’re not likely to mess up when you’re in a room of people or hanging out with your parents. I think if we are all brutally honest with ourselves, I think we know when we are playing with fire.
Don’t be alone –be in group settings
Whatchyou talkin’ about Willis?
Have wisdom in what you talk about. Don’t talk about anything that could be construed as sexual in nature. Know what TMI (too much information) is. Just because they may not mind knowing, that does not necessarily mean it should be discussed.
Know what you and your significant other can handle, if they are struggling with sexual sin such as porn or masturbation then don’t go into detail about each other’s struggles.
When trying to accomplish goals or change lifestyles, accountability is key, especially if you’re in a relationship and striving towards purity (even if you don’t seem to have struggles). Sexual struggles in every dating relationship will come, but it’s important to plan ahead of the struggles. Set up healthy boundaries and accountability in the beginning of your relationship because it’s harder to change bad habits later down the road.
Who do you seek accountability with?
Both partners should have their own boundaries before you go in and each have an individual person(s) that keep them accountable for purity.
Parents and spiritual leaders in your life are usually good people to seek accountability with. Who would want to confess sin to their parents? That gives you more motivation to be pure.
Other couples are also good people to seek accountability with; you’re both walking with each other in similar situations and they can be good encouragement in a walk for purity.
Declaration of purity
Make a declaration of what your boundaries are and put them where they are seen every day (like your wall) as reminders and make sure that those who are keeping you accountable know your deceleration for purity.
When you get into situations and find yourself messing up more, then maybe go back and reassess your boundaries and know your struggles. Plan accordingly. Think ahead of the temptation. You know when you’re messing with fire.
It’s never too late
And if you are already in a place where you’ve crossed boundaries and you can’t seem to stop, and you have not set up any steps for purity, it’s important to:
-speak out and tell
-create an action plan to change habits
-reevaluate your relationship
-consider taking a break
It’s not too late for any couple, no matter what has happened. Purity before marriage is more of an attitude of the heart and the actions it takes, than legalistic do’s and don’ts. Anything can be reclaimed and restored. It won’t be easy, but nothing that’s worth having is.
I pray that one of my favorite quotes will bring hope to those who are struggling.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
So let’s continue fighting this fight and claim purity in all things. For through Christ we can do all things!
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