Well, it’s almost 10pm and to be be honest with you, I’d much rather be in the bed, but my hormones are so off the charts right now that I’m trying to get my body to a place where I pass out (to avoid all “unnecessary” activity).

A few days ago, I received a blog response from a young woman who’s in a relationship.  I am in information overload right now, but I think I posted her comment.  Anyway, she was asking me how she could get to a place of not being sexually active in her relationship.  She said she’s caught up in a cycle—get tempted, have sex, regret it, repent—and didn’t know where to begin in order to stop.

Aside from blogging for XXXChurch, I am also a blogger for Honey Magazine.  Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote an article entitled, “I’m Abstinent and Some Days I Hate It”. I won’t lie to you, some days I absolutely do.  So, aside from the fact that it’s a mandate from God (Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5), why do I do it?  Well, one of the main points I shared in the Honey piece was that just as there is a holy trinity (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit), I believe that we all have a human trinity, too (mind, body, spirit).  As I am maturing and my self-worth is growing, I have come to a place where I simply don’t want anything to put one of those three in jeopardy.  I Corinthians 6:18 says that sexual immorality is the one sin that man commits to oneself; it’s the ultimate form of self-betrayal and since I am charged to love my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:31), anytime I partake in an illicit sexual act, it’s not really about if it feels good (cause it usually does), if everyone else is doing it (cause most of them are), or if I want to (cause I usually do—Jeremiah 17:9).  It’s about loving myself and those around me enough to make the sacrifice to be loyal to them by not putting them in a sinful position.  You really can’t “make love” to someone when your “loving” brings forth the ultimate consequence of hell fire and damnation (hey, we don’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth—John 8:32, Galatians 5:16-21).

But my XXXChurch reader friend didn’t ask me “why” she should stop.  She asked how.

Unfortunately, we live in such a medicated society (what the heck is Restless Leg Syndrome, anyway?!?) that we always think there is a pill, a book, a simple solution for what ails us, when the truth is, that’s not always the case.  Last year, I wrote a devotional called, “The 24 Hour Bug”.  Sometimes something comes over us and we just have to tough it out.  Sin is a lot like that.  I Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will always provide us with a way of escape.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: answering 1am booty calls from your ex, having sleepovers with your current, watching “Real Sex” on HBO, reading a Zane book before bedtime, putting “fingers on the glass” (my cute expression for masturbation), none of these are going to help you flee fornication; these are not ways to walk away from temptation, but rather right to it.  God never said he wouldn’t respect your power of choice.  He just said he would provide you with options to make the right one.

But if you’re looking for a simple way out of this flesh journey, as someone who has found herself in tears some days as she tries not to accept or make “that call”, I’m here to tell you there ain’t one.  Sexual sin provides one of the best highs and the worst lows known to man.  Once you’ve found yourself “hooked”, like any other kind of junkie, sometimes you just have to tough it out to get your sexual dependency out of your system.

The truth is, no one “just has sex”.  There are A LOT of steps you take, a lot of choices made, a lot of “still small voices” that you hear and ignore before you “fall” and so I have to believe that those of us who continue to do it and then feel convicted (or condemned) about it are really asking, “How can I not fall and it be easy for me?”

IT AIN’T.  It’s the enemy’s job to make temptation so enticing that it feels easier to succumb than to resist.  I mean, if it were hard to be tempted, a lot less of us would fall for his traps.  But, what I have realized about myself is that while we are all sexual beings (and so it’s natural to have sexual desires from time to time), when we find that abstaining consumes us to the point of intense internal suffering, that is not a temptation, that is detox.  The remedy for that?  Making the decision to stop and then putting it in your mind to go cold turkey.

Some days you will have to cry it out, walk it out, pray it out, “cell phone off” it out, spend the night at a same-sex platonic friend’s house it out because sex is so powerful that it takes some time to get really and truly free from it—mind, body and soul.

My blogger friend, God never said that resisting temptation would feel good or denying your flesh would be easy.  He simply said that you could do it because you can do ALL THINGS through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13) and God promises that when you walk in the Spirit the lust of the flesh will not be fulfilled (Galatians 5:16).

If you love your man and he really loves you, remember what I Corinthians 13 (4, to be exact) says love is, the first being patient.  Make the choice to stop and then be patient with one another during the process.  A lot of couples who built their foundation on sex are scared to see what will happen to the building known as the relationship once sex is pulled out.  To be honest, it can be a really rough road and many relationships do not survive it.  But that should not be your motivation for staying in something that you know is wrong.  If this is who God has for you, even in the tough times, you will be able to sustain one another.  How do I know?  Because God says what he does, he does forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14) and you, my dear, God’s queen, deserves a man who has forever, not tonight, on his mind.

It won’t be easy, but you have at least one sister toughing it out with you.  Sometimes I cry, sometimes I scream, sometimes I sweat but at all times, I try and remember what my Father tells me in his word that he is able to do exceedingly above and beyond all that we can ask or think ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US (Ephesians 3:20).  If he can top the great counterfeit sex that I’ve experienced with a real intimacy that I can’t even begin to conceive, that should be a really mind-boggling experience—and I’m worth experiencing it in this lifetime.

Even if the price tag is going cold turkey.