5 statistical facts about sexual purity from published reports

This was a list of facts given to Ethan and I when we signed up to be married through our church.  I am going to list them as they are.  These are not my opinions, these are statistics collected and expanded upon in research.  They’re legit.

1. Those who abstain from sex before marriage report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction in marriage.  In fact, those who report they are very sexually satisfied in their lives are not good-looking singles who have multiple partners.  Research done by Bethesda Research Group reported in the Washington Post, “Couples who strongly believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong are a whopping 31% more satisfied with their sex lives.” (From The Hottest Valentine”)

2. “Those who cohabitate or live together before marriage have a 50% higher possibility of divorce than those who do not.”  Researchers at UCLA discovered that not only do those who cohabitate have a higher level of divorce, they are more likely to commit adultery once they are married. (From M.D. Newcomb and P.M. Bentler, “Assessment of Personality and Demographic Aspects of Cohabitation and Marital Success,” Journal of Personality Assessment)

3. By contrast, the University of South Carolina in a study said that those who abstain from sexual intercourse before marriage have the highest rates of marriage fidelity. (From L. H. Bukstel, G.D. Roeder, PR Kilmann, J Laughlin, and W Sotile, “Projected Extramarital Sexual Involvement in Unmarried College Students,” Journal of Marriage and the Family)

4. “The introduction of sex in a dating relationship is almost always the ushering in of the breakup of that relationship.” Doctors Les and Leslie Parrott made this statement after interviewing thousands of single people on college campuses.  (From Relationships)

5. “Sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, can remain dormant, asymptomatic (you don’t know you have it), for up to a dcade or more, but be passed on to others during that time.”  The rampant spread of STDs flatly contradicts those who try to claim that sexual intercourse is a harmless recreational activity to be pursued with a large number of partners.  People are paying with their lives and their health for accepting that lie. (From Ibid., 139)

Trusting God with our deepest and greatest desires

How many times I laid awake uneasy, battling God over my love life, wondering when God would make it happen and fighting the desire to make it happen myself. Or in the beginning, when I was dating my daughter’s father and God told me to walk away – breaking apart my daughter’s chance of a whole family, leaving the comfort of a relationship, knowing that this meant God wanted me to date Him, essentially, and learn who I really was in Him, single, without any man to sway me or mold me into their perfect companion (which I always did). That was the most terrifying time of my life. It was easily the most life-changing, surreal, validating, and rewarding experience of my life as well.

If you have strong desires in you heart that have only grown stronger in your walk with Christ, then those are desires He promises to fulfill, but on His time. The days when you feel discouraged or wonder if God cares about how badly you want it, pray hard, ask Him for encouragement, and once again (I have to do this on a daily basis basically) release that desire into God’s hands. Trust that He loves you deeply, like we love our children, times a million, and wants nothing more than for you to delight in Him and the life He’s blessed you with. Trust that His plan is better than our own and His wisdom is far greater than our own.

Give Jesus the thrown of your heart and life, delight in Him, pursue Him above all others, love Him above all others, follow Him and He will lead you to the desires of your heart at the perfect time in His perfect way.

Give ear to my words, O Lord,
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to You I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:1-3 NIV)

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:4-5 NIV)

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:1-3)

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Don’t be the Bathsheba (a.k.a. your body is not made to be publicly displayed)

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Don’t be the Bathsheba meaning don’t be a sexual temptation by flaunting your body publicly.    No, Bathsheba did not make David do what he did, but the reason for my title is that women today are inviting men to commit … Continue reading

9 ways to beat sexual temptation

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We are sexual creaters.  We were created that way.  Sex in marriage is a blessing from God, but the time before we tie the knot is a constant battle.

Ethan and I were always very attracted to each other, but over the last 2 years of deepening our emotional and spiritual bond, the attraction is insane.  This is the hardest and most rewarding battle I’ve fought in my single-lady life. Same for Ethan.  There have been so many benefits and blessings to waiting that we have no doubt we are doing what is pleasing to God.

Here are the ways Ethan and I beat sexual temptation:

1. Don’t wear sexy underwear or bras unless you will not be alone at any point that day/night.  I don’t know about you ladies, but the second I put on my favorite bra, I want to show Ethan how awesome it looks.  I found it so much harder to stifle that desire those days/nights.

2. Flee.  If you’re put in temptation’s path, run.  When things get too heated or too tempting, Ethan and I literally separate until we can calm ourselves down and get control.  If need be, separate for a few hours, or even the rest of the night if the temptation is too great.

3. Pray and redirect yourself when you get on those train of thoughts.  Those days that I let my mind run rampant, I struggle.  Same for Ethan.  It’s alright to have lustful thoughts for the person you’ll be marrying, but be careful.   Too much can lead to you pushing the envelope.

4. Pray together.  Ethan and I used to start off nights we hung out together with this.  We should get back into it because it is so extraordinarily helpful.  Or if you’re both having a hard time with control one night, stop and pray.  You’ll be amazed how focusing both of your minds back on the bigger picture will change the mood for the better.  Satan flees at that point.

5. Pray for each other separately.  This is always good.  You never know what your other half could be struggling with and facing on a daily basis.

6. No porn.  No looking at other people lustfully.  Your husband spouse deserves a faithful wife – mind, body, and soul.

7. Don’t kiss on a bed.  Or maybe even on a couch.  This leads to heated moments that can lead to other bad things.  Best to just avoid it since it gets extremely tempting very fast.

8. Honestly ask your man if he could be your rock for you the days/nights that you’re having a particularly hard time.  Men love to be needed and to be useful in their own unique way.  They love having a purpose and being able to help us.  That’s how they’re wired!  You admitting a weakness and vulnerability will also deepen your trust in one another and he will take your plea to heart.

9. Don’t tempt him with a super sexy outfit.  Ethan always tells me this is the hardest and most frustrating thing because “he has me, but he can’t have me all at the same time.”  When we wear super sexy outfits, we’re making the battle harder and more frustrating for our men.  Men are even more sexual than we are, and seeing a woman he has such strong feelings for showing off the body he’s trying so hard not to think about all day… how much temptation can a guy take?!  Don’t get me wrong, making an effort to look good for him is important sometimes and greatly appreciated, just don’t push it too far.

Here is an interesting way to think about this – when put in a sexually tempting situation you have two options to choose from:

1. your flesh – your sexual desires, your desires to fulfill your significant other’s sexual desires, your fear or disappointing said significant other, your craving for affirmation, trying to satisfy their craving for affirmation – this is so temporary.  Literally minutes of physical satisfaction that will leave your Spirit suffering.  Also, you cannot fully satisfy your significant other’s craving for affirmation, even physical.  That is something that is not your job until marriage.  Believe me ladies, I’ve tried.  That is something you have to trust God with until that point.  He will come through for you both, but God can’t fill that void (yours or your partner’s) until you give it to Him to fill.  After I truly gave this up to God, after I told Ethan very plainly, “I am sorry for holding you back spiritually, I haven’t been giving God the opportunity to fill this void in you because I  hate to see you suffer.  But God is asking me to trust you with Him, ALL of you,”  Ethan had his breakthrough God moment literally a few days later, where God was finally able to heal all the wounds from his past.  Ethan’s relationship with God is on a whole new level now, a level he may have never reached had I kept clinging on to him for fear that God would remain silent.

2. your Father – choosing Him over yourself, choosing Him over your significant other, trusting Him with your relationship, leaning on Him to help redirect you.  God will bless you, God will bless the relationship He has designed you for.

Don’t let your flesh rule you, let the Spirit guide you and obey its nudges.  Don’t choose your significant other over your Creator.  Fight the good fight, purity is beyond worth fighting for.

One last note to the ladies – staying strong in your morals may turn a man away from you, but guess what that means – he’s not the one.  He doesn’t deserve your body.  If a man pushes away from you because you have physical boundaries, that’s a good indicator that his heart and intentions with you are far from being in the right place.

9 ways to date God’s way

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Ahhh dating.  Simultaneously the best and worst thing.  So fun, so nerve-wracking, at times so confusing, at times so disappointing, at times so filled with hope and promise… It’s so much trial and error, but there is so much to be learned in that time looking for Mr. Right.

What dating has taught me:

1. Give EVERY relationship to God from the beginning – even before you meet up on date #1.  Ask God if this is the right or wrong move.  Ask God what He wants you to learn.  Ask Him to make it perfectly clear whether to continue seeing the guy or not.  Then… you’ve gotta OBEY.  Trust God that if it’s not him, it’s somebody better.  Even somebody that you think seems “perfect” for you won’t come close to the one God’s made just for you.  Trust Him.  He knows every guy’s heart better than we ever will, and the best part of this is they can’t fool God like they may be able to fool us (1 Samuel 16: 7).  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve met a lot of phonies, and even been blind enough to date them.  For years.  Madness!  If we trust Him, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary heartbreak.  After finding the right man to date, the battle becomes keeping God in the center of the relationship AND your life, rather than the man you’re dating.  For me, this is something that I constantly have to keep in check.  When things did/do get off balance, I find that Ethan and I fight more, which makes sense, since I am expecting him to fill parts of my heart that he can’t.  This is a common struggle, don’t be ashamed of it, be aware of it and work to counter-act it with your man and with God!

2. Give yourself time to get to know yourself in Christ first, then worry about finding Mr. Right.  I know this is not the easiest thing.  I actually hadn’t spent much time single UNTIL I decided to follow Jesus.  I feared being alone because I wasn’t sure who I was without a boyfriend.  That goes away!  That time to transform, grow in your faith, and (in my case) re-grow your spine to be firm in your expectations and morals is so crucial to finding the man God’s designed for you.  My good friend enlightened me to this fact when she put it into words one night.  She had recently broken up with a boyfriend that was holding her back spiritually.  He was tempting her to drink and pushing for sex when she told him she didn’t want either anymore.  After the breakup, she felt lonely and hated thinking about how long she may have to wait for the right man.  Then she realized that she was still really struggling with serious temptations and doubts and hadn’t yet grown firm enough in her faith to meet the type of man she was looking for and be the right woman for him.  The man she wants to find is strong in his faith, straight in his ways, and leading a life pleasing to God.  She had to be firm in those regards herself, first.  This was extremely encouraging and freeing for her.

3. When you are single and feel lonely, ask God to show you how much He loves you.  We are romantic creatures.  We want to be wooed, we want to be thought of, we want to be pursued and fought for, we want little gifts – whether in the form of a bouquet or a kiss on the forehead.  We want to know that we are loved, desired, and cherished.  GOD WILL DO THAT.  He created us that way, He IS that way.  We’re made in His image.  God will pull your heart strings in a way that He knows you will enjoy.  He wants to be delighted in just like we do, He loves doing this kind of stuff!!  For me, it’s gifts in nature.  A beautiful sunset.  A beautiful bug.  A warm breeze that smells like roses.  Keep your eyes open after you ask, He will deliver.

4. Let go of obsessing over beauty.  Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who shines God’s light from the inside, out.  Nothing compares to a woman who is confident in the fact that she was beautifully and perfectly made.  Beloved of the Creator Himself.  A masterpiece in who she is.  There really is a warmth and light that shines from those women.  This all comes from #2 and 3 up there.

5. Dress to meet a man of good morals.  Skanky clothes attract scum bags.  Skanky clothes repel men of God.  You don’t want to be lusted after, you want to be sought after.  You want to be respected, so you gotta show the world that you respect yourself and expect respect.  It is hard to associate a ton of cleavage with a high level of self-respect.  Flaunting our bodies means we’re okay with being ogled like a piece of meat and the source of perverted thoughts for anybody in the room.  This also gives the impression of a promiscuous woman, which is not what a man of Christ is looking for.  I actually wore (and still wear) a big cross necklace to ward off any scum bags or guys that are intimidated by a strong faith.  Like I’ve said before, I asked Ethan what he thought of God on our first date, and he later told me that he expected to be questioned about it because of that necklace.

6. Expect to be treated like a lady.  Expect he pays (at least for a while).  Expect to be taken care of.  Expect that he respects your boundaries.  If he doesn’t, he’s a boy, not a man.

7. No “project boyfriends.”  I recently realized that every guy I dated until my fiance, I wanted to (and thought I could) change.  This does not work.  You cannot change who a person is and you cannot change a boy into a man.  He’s gotta do that on his own. My example for this would be boyfriend #4, my daughter’s father.  When we got pregnant, I expected the smoking weed and hanging out with friends more than me to stop.  I expected he would step up, work more, and be the provider.  He didn’t.  When our daughter was born, I expected it all again.  He didn’t.  When I broke up with him, I expected he’d do it all then.  He didn’t. It’s been years, and I think he has made great strides, but he had to do all of that by himself.  He had to choose it.  If it is forced on them, there is resentment and rebellion and fights.  If you are trying to change him, and that change is essential to your happiness together (whether it’s his religious beliefs, a characteristic, or his actions), he’s most likely not the right man.  At least not at present.  Only God has the power to really transform peoples’ hearts and they have to seek Him first.

8. You should never date without keeping the future in mind.  I remember the worst argument my mom and I ever had.  It was over some jerk boyfriend I was dating when I was 17.  He was 19, barely worked, didn’t have a car, wasn’t going to school, drank a ton, partied more, and looked like a punk hobo.  He’s the one that cheated on me.  My mom said something like “Are you  serious?  Would you really marry somebody like him someday?  Just bending over backwards all the time working while he sits on his butt at home?” to which I yelled back “I’M NOT INTERESTED IN MARRIAGE AND NO, I DON’T WANT TO MARRY HIM.”  I wish I could go back in time and slap some sense into myself.  Think about it – to face temptation, invest time, invest emotions and open your heart… for nothing?  For fun?  Not much fun in the end, really… Don’t date just to date, and don’t date just so you’re not alone.  It doesn’t lead to anything good.

9. Don’t give them your body until you’re married.  Our bodies are a gift from our Creator, and they should be kept until a man has sworn himself in marriage to us before God and all of our family and friends.  There are reasons why God made sex for marriage.  9 ways Ethan and I beat sexual temptation here.

For more on #3, I highly recommend the book “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul” by John and Stasi Eldredge.  It goes deep into the hearts of women and how we can heal and cope with the help of God.  It is such a powerful book.  There are some really interesting revelations in there – like how God made us after man, and therefore we are the pinnacle of His creation.  Really uplifting and eye opening!  Also there’s more in there for #4 – about how Satan fell because of his own obsession with his beauty.  It talks about how he targets beauty and women out of jealousy in the world today.  Plus John (Stasi’s husband) writes parts of it too, giving the male perspective which is also helpful and enlightening!