• Also see Marriage Prep
In 1997, nearly eighty percent of Christian couples we surveyed at our seminars reported that they had experienced premarital sex, largely with their current spouse.
Seven Steps To Regaining and Maintaining One’s Virginity
1. Turn to CHRIST through repentance and confession.
Making God our first love again begins with CONFESSION and REPENTANCE. The word confession in its simplest terms means “admit it” when we know we’re doing what grieves God. In other words, it’s agreeing with God that our behavior is not His best for us. Becky, in our earlier story, admitted that her life style was not pleasing to God. She also asked Christ to forgive her for sinning.
In addition to confession, REPENTANCE is necessary. Repentance means to “turn around and go the opposite direction.” This means to stop your sinful behavior and go the other direction. It’s doing a 180 degree turn. The Bible says to “Run from anything that takes us away from God’s best.”
2. Understand the Consequences of Pre-Marital Sex.
An important part in maintaining virginity or regaining a lost virginity is by resisting further sexual involvement by sharing truthful consequences of sexual behavior. A Few of the Consequences: Here are some of the reasons why having pre-marital sexual involvement is harmful:
It dulls our soul toward God and His ways.
It lowers our self-worth by making us feel guilty or shameful.
It reinforces our self-centeredness, strengthens our sensual focus and pulls us away from our loving focus on God and others.
It creates a greater susceptibility to sexual diseases.
It increases our need for greater stimulation in sexual contact, which then increases the potential for conflict in marriage.
It can reduce our satisfaction in the marital sexual relationship because the marital relationship can not compete with the “back seat of a car.” A prominent 1996 poll conducted by the University of Chicago revealed, adults who report the highest levels of sexual satisfaction were those who preserved sexual relations until marriage.
Couples who have had pre-marital sex have a greater chance of marital dissatisfaction and divorce.
It increases one’s chances of sexual addiction.
3. Discover WHY you had sex so you can correct the problem.
Attempting to change a particular behavior without first understanding why we did it is very difficult. It would be like telling a chef who made a terrible dinner to simply stop cooking so bad. Unless the chef knows why the meal was so awful, he can’t correct the mistake.
It’s the same rationale with premarital sex. Here are some reasons why people have sex before marriage:
You believed that the person you were with would break up with you if you said, “No.”
Your relationship with Christ was weak or nonexistent.
You were in rebellion.
You were curious. One study reported that 75% of teenagers say that curiosity about what sex is like was a major factor in their pre-marital sexual behavior.
Your self-esteem was too low. When someone has a negative self-image and feels like he has very low worth, the more likely he is to be involved in sexual activity.
You were confused about the meaning of love. A number of investigators have revealed that girls, more than boys, report being in love as the main reason for being sexually active. It seems that these girls tend to rationalize their sexual behavior by believing that they were “swept away by love.”
Puberty arrived at a young age. In one study, early-maturing boys and girls reported more sexual activity than did late bloomers.
4. Forgive yourself by TREASURE HUNTING the pain of the sexual experience.
One of the best ways to increase your self-value is to find value out of a trial. God instructs us to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
5. Becoming AWARE OF YOUR CHOICES and build a BUFFER ZONE away from sexual temptation.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin stated the fifth way to develop purity when he said: “Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” As you maintain or regain your virginity, it’s important to realize how every action we take leaves a lasting impact on ourselves and others. Even the smallest movement can have a major impact. This is the message you must understand if you’re trying to stay pure: Every choice you make has consequences for yourselves and others.
6. Developing a buffer zone.
We need to learn how to keep from stepping out of play in the area of intimacy with our fiancé. As Dr. Gary Oliver notes in the book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, the key is creating a new sideline—ten yards away from the original line. In other words, leave room for error. For example, if you have had sex, then you need to develop a new purity line. For some, the new line he won’t go beyond might be kissing, holding hands. For others it may be no contact, period. If the new line is kissing, then stepping ten yards back might be not kissing while lying down or no “passionate” kissing. Since everyone makes mistakes, having room before you step out of bounds can be the difference between losing a few yards and losing the game of virginity.
7. Seek out Accountability.
Accountability with a trusted person is one of the most important ways to maintain or regain virginity. This person could be a family member, friend, coach, counselor or pastor. Or it might be a group of people who have made a similar commitment towards purity. Whoever provides the accountability, we have found that it greatly affects a someone’s ability to say “No” to sex before marriage. Within an accountability relationship, the important ingredient is having that person ask the difficult questions. For example, “Did you compromise your standards on your date last night?” or “Have you been tempted sexually this week?” Ideally, these questions force us to carefully and prayerfully consider our choices because we know that someone will be checking.
Written by Dr. Greg and Michael Smalley, Used with Permission. Originally seen on Smalley Online.
Get the Book
• Also see Marriage Prep