4 Major Ways to Pursue and Maintain Sexual Purity in Your Dating Relationship

As a Christian single, God's will for you is sexual purity (1 Thessalonians 4:3), abstinence until marriage, for only in a marriage relationship between a man and a woman is sex not sin.

If you are a virgin, God wants you to remain so until you tie the knot. If you've fornicated before and repented, God wants you to wait until marriage before recommencing sexual relations.

If you are currently in a relationship involving sex, you need to acknowledge your sin to God and repent from it.

Pursuing and maintaining sexual purity during dating is possible. God would not command something he knows is impossible for you to do.

The struggles may be real, but rest assured that if you seek to live the way God desires of you, there is grace for you to overcome the temptations.

If you already think it is impossible to be sexually pure during dating, you will be overwhelmed each time temptation comes knocking on the door of your heart.

The knowledge of how to pursue purity should move you to take steps not to fall into sin. If it remains only mere knowledge, it won't help you. It is the doer, not the hearer, that is blessed.

Many Christian Singles who fornicate never intentionally plan to commit the act. They possess knowledge of the truth about God's will concerning sexual purity, but failure to act on it leads them to only realize their mistakes after the deed is done. You can avoid that.

1.   Glorify God in your relationship.

The first and even only reason why you should pursue purity is because sexual immorality is sin against God. Your body does not belong to you. It belongs to the Lord who bought you at the price of His Son's life (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

Make a commitment to glorify God in your relationship by committing to say no to sex before marriage. This will come through the decisions and actions you take with your partner.

As a Christian, you should not be with someone who doesn’t love God, because they would not consider godly standards worth submitting to.

If your partner doesn't see God's honor as a priority, you are with the wrong person. Let go and wait on God to bring your mate.

True love waits to have sexual gratification only in marriage. It is easier to maintain purity with someone who has the same values with you. Be with someone who will help you to be sexually pure, not someone who will pull you into sin.

2. Set relationship rules and boundaries.

Glorifying God is not an emotional or mental act; it is demonstrated by your actions, what you choose to do or not to do. Do not take it for granted that since your partner is also a Christian, there's no need to set relationship rules and boundaries.

Remember that you are still human and can each fall into sexual sin. Emotions are irresponsible until you make them accountable. Relationship rules help remind you both of your commitment to purity.

Aim for safest boundaries

Your desire to remain abstinent until marriage may still fail if your relationship rules and boundaries are such that the distance between sexual stimulus and the act itself is very thin.

Jane and Jack were surprised to have had sex after they'd each promised the other to wait until marriage. It was then they realized that it had been unwise for them to calm their excited emotions with kissing, that it had been risky expressing their affection for each other by tolerating levels of physical intimacy that were sexually arousing.

Believing that they were strong enough to resist arriving at the real act, they would spend considerable time kissing and touching body parts, until one day they reached the point of no return.

Counselors agree that petting conforms to the law of diminishing returns. The first kiss is thrilling. The second less thrilling. And the third is even more less thrilling. You will have to kiss more or touch more, or overstep some more boundaries, in order to achieve the same effect.

Singles sometimes ask whether it is right to kiss during dating. The best answer is to go for safest boundaries. If you don’t want a fire, don't grab a box of matches and attempt to strike in a room whose air is filled with butane.

Another disadvantage of petting during dating is that you gradually lose self-control each time the flesh is gratified. And with the law of diminishing returns in play, you would need more touching of excitable body parts in order to get pleased.

You will never reach the place of out rightly fornicating if you aim for safest boundaries. It may be hard to set and impose those boundaries, but think of why you are doing so.

Look at your goal, instead of paying attention to the present struggle with self-control.

There would be enough time after you say "I do" to indulge what level of intimacy you want without guilt and regrets.

Right now, it is better to kiss premarital kissing goodbye, say no to sleepovers, refuse to massage each other's body, say no to uncompromising locations and postures.

3. Avoid long-term relationship

This is highly subjective. How long is long?

The bottom line is to date with purpose. If you are not ready for marriage in the very near future, it's probably better to commit yourself to what is important to you right now. Maybe personal development, business, career or a deepening relationship with the Lord.

Aimless relationships are a good breeding ground for fornication. Without a purpose and plan for your relationship, what may be binding you two for now is simply sexual attraction, which is hard to maintain over a long period of time without yielding to temptation.

4. Ask God for help. Constantly

Sheer determination is good but not usually enough. This is very important if you've once been sexually active. A person who has fornicated before lacks the same resolve of a virgin.

The Holy Spirit is the ever-present Helper whose enablement you can take refuge in. One way you do this is through prayer. Sometimes fasting may be necessary to discipline your body and restrain the emotions that want to get out of control.

Acknowledge your helplessness to the Lord and ask for help. Coupled with a desire to honor God, you will find it impossible to indulge sex before marriage.

Also important is for you to constantly read and meditate on purity Bible verses. The Word of God is so powerful that it exerts a holy influence on you when you just read it.

It restrains your emotions and puts up a barrier between you and sin that cannot be easily jumped over. You will have to literally ignore those words ringing in your ears and mind to violate godly boundaries.


I wanted to mention accountability as one of the ways but I feel that accountability on its own falls short in helping you pursue purity in your dating relationship if you don't take the steps above.

During premarital counseling, some would-be couple who already are having sexual relationships, some even pregnant, still choose to lie to their counselor about their act.

This just indicates how failure to guard against sin can lead to you and your partner agreeing to remain mute about the situation. Your accountability partner would never know, since they don't follow you around.

The greater responsibility in the pursuit of purity therefore rests with you, your response to God's will concerning sexual standards and the actions you take to ensure that you effectively do so.

Be encouraged in your pursuit of purity in your dating relationship. It is a possibility. Some do fail to maintain that standard, but you don't have to.

God's will is for you to wait until marriage. You have a part to play to enforce God's standards in your life. Take the initiative to impose rules that ensure you achieve that God-honoring goal of sexual abstinence until marriage.

God bless,