What can you tell me about avoiding the temptation of sex outside of marriage? I'm looking for any advice that you can offer or any tools that you can tell me about.
Great question. Let me see if I can get this discussion started.
First, I believe that an understanding of the goal of relationships from God's perspective would be a good foundation for this discussion. God created us and he loves us and he knows what is best for us.
In the book of Genesis the Bible tells us that God created Adam and after some time had passed God looked at Adam's situation and stated that "It is not good for man to be alone." So, he made a "suitable helper" for him in the form of the first woman, Eve. God realized that man by himself was not good, so he made woman. I believe that the most healthy way for a man and woman to live is within a covenant relationship. This covenant or promise is one that is made between a man and a woman and God. This covenant relationship is what we call marriage.
I also believe that God intends for one man and one woman to live in an intimate relationship with each other for life. In our culture we have been told that intimacy is sex, while in God's eyes there is so much more to intimacy that just the physical act of sex. As a matter of fact, one of the things that sets us apart from animals is the ability to experience real intimacy, not just sex. When we have sex outside of this covenant relationship we are really just having sex, there is not true intimacy and just having sex is a sin in God's eyes. True intimacy includes covenant, trust, commitment, sacrifice, discipline along with desire, attraction, and all the things that go along with the physical side of sex. People who have sex outside of this covenant relationship think they have intimacy, but really they are just settling for sex.
Now, along with these positive reasons there are also some negative things which can motivate us to want to wait until we are married to have sex. There is the risk of physical disease, pregnancy, emotional damage, and other consequences of sex outside of the marriage covenant. From a practical sense it just makes life easier, from a spiritual sense waiting is pleasing to God and not waiting is disobedience or sin, and intimacy is better than just having sex.
I don't want you to think that this is an easy way to go, it's not, but it is a better way to go. Decide together that you choose intimacy over sex. God created these urges, but He intended them to be expressed within the marriage covenant. Choose to wait. Choose intimacy. This is God's design.
Tell me your thoughts and we can talk about some other stuff.
grace & peace.