Sexual desires and feelings are a natural part of being a human. These desires are hard-wired into us; it is normal to want intimacy with another. However, the Biblical outlines for this type of intimacy is clear: within a marriage covenant. For us single ladies or even those who are in relationships waiting to get married, abstaining from sexual immorality can be one of the hardest temptations to overcome because it is such a common desire that every human has to deal with.
Even though having sexual desires are common and natural, sexually immorality is sinful and has to be dealt with. Whether this comes in the form of pornography, masturbation (read more about masturbation here), or actual fornication, God has promised us that He is faithful and He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. He will give us a way to escape the temptations life throws at us (1 Corinthians 10:13). The Bible warns us that those who unrepentantly live a lifestyle of sexual immorality will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). Although the world may take sex before marriage, pornography, and masturbation lightly, we must not. If we want to grow in holiness and truly follow God, we have got to get these sins and temptations under control!
Even if you have already had sex before marriage and you are currently not married, you can still remain pure until marriage sister! Don’t let your past (or even present) discourage you from following Christ. It’s never too late to start following Him. He loves you and wants to help you overcome!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
To overcome sexual temptations and sin, we must:
- Draw close to God & pray
- Fill your mind and heart with God’s Word
I know, some of you may be thinking, tell me something I don’t know. And though these steps may seem obvious, if we really disciplined ourselves to actually follow and stick to them, we would be able to shut down temptations quickly.
Let’s take a closer look at these steps along with 27 Bible verses to encourage and strengthen you in this battle!
3 Steps to Overcome Sexual Temptations
1. Flee (aka: RUN, girl!)
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18 (emphasis added)
First things first- FLEE.
To flee, means to run away from something with a sense of urgency. Sister, you need to flee from those temptations, thoughts, and those situations! You’ve got to run away from sin and temptation like it’s the plague! Treat it as such- it works! Let’s look at how Joseph fled the temptation of Potiphar’s wife:
“Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.” – Genesis 39:6-12 (emphasis added)
Now, while it isn’t recommended that you run naked out of the house, you can still flee situations with the same seriousness as Joseph. Joseph understood just how sinful sleeping with his masters wife would be, and he acted without hesitation to avoid sinning; so much so that he fled out of the house without his clothes! This sense of understanding and urgency to run from sin & temptation is what we should strive for as followers of Christ.
Ladies, when we find ourselves in a tempting situation, the best thing to do is RUN. Flee that temptation, that boy, that situation! Shut down those lustful thoughts! All sin starts in the mind or the heart- it begins with a thought, a temptation. If you find yourself thinking lustful thoughts and you don’t shut them down quickly, you will be more vulnerable to fall into that temptation. Don’t even give it a chance!
“Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” – James 1:15
If you are in a relationship waiting to get married, the man you are with should help you strive to remain pure until marriage. Though you will both face temptations at times, the best thing to do for each other when you start to feel tempted is stop what you’re doing, pray, and redirect your attention to something else.
2. Draw Close to God & Pray
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16
Another essential step to overcoming sexual sin (and any other sin, for that matter) is to draw close to God. Walk with Him, talk with Him. Stay by His side. We are often like little children; when we stay close to our Father, we are more likely to obey Him and do what’s right. When we start to wonder off on our own, however, we are likely to get into trouble. When we stay close to God and walk in the Spirit, the cravings of our flesh will start to become less and less desirable. We will be stronger spiritually and more prepared to handle temptations that come our way.
3. Fill Your Heart & Mind With God’s Word
“”How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” – Psalm 119:9-11
When you saturate your mind and heart with God’s truth, it will be harder for you to fall into sin. When temptations come running at you, God’s word will be like a giant brick wall guarding your heart. Let Christ, through His Word, shield your heart and your mind. This is the absolute best way to pursue and live a holy lifestyle.
“”All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Another tip I recommend, is to get a piece of paper and write down a list of scriptures that encourage you to stay pure (check some of my favorites below!). Along with the Bible verses, you can also write a list of reasons why you don’t want to sin. Refer to this paper whenever you feel tempted and read over the verses and reasons you’ve listed. This can really help, because in the moment we’re feeling tempted, we can often try to justify or rationalize our sin; reading over the verses and reasons you have written will help to remind you of God’s truth and why you don’t want to commit that sin. This can work well for other types of sin as well, not just sexual sins!
27 Encouraging Bible Verses to Stay Pure
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;”
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
2 Timothy 2:2
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
“And He said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
“That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
1 Peter 1:14-16
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
2 Corinthians 7:1
“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
2 Timothy 2:21
“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
1 John 3:3
“And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.”
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