How Do I Stay Sexually Pure?

guy and girl

A young woman recently wrote to me through my website. She's 18 and a university student and wanted to know how to stay pure. She said that people give advice to guys, but they're not the only ones who struggle with sexual desires. I'm glad she pointed that out. I agree! This is what I wrote her. Maybe it will help you, too:

Dear Casey,*

Thank you so much for your note. I love that you're asking this question. The first thing that popped into my head was ... stay away from boys. Don't go on any single dates. Ask friends to keep you accountable! :) All those things are good things, but there's a deeper issue and that's the desires of our hearts.

You're so right, girls do have sexual desire. We want to be held and kissed and be intimate. It's not just the guys who are thinking about those things. Girls also want to be loved, appreciated, and made to feel they're attractive. We want to see a sparkle in a guy's eye when he looks at us.

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The truth is... that never stops. Ideally when we get married all our desire is to be toward our husbands, but I've even struggled with wanting to feel attractive to other men too ... we all want to be adored!

The thing is, what we do with our bodies starts with our minds and hearts. We think it. Then we dwell on it. Then we want to act it out. When I struggle with something, it's because my heart isn't where it should be. My first priority is to love Jesus with everything in me—to ask Him to satisfy me. To realize that I may be "missing out," but in the end I'll get the best. Those rules are good boundaries, but too many times we set them and then we like to dance on the line. We like to stick our toes across and see how far we can get.

Instead, it's better to ask Jesus to show us His way. After Bible reading, prayer and counseling with adults you respect (and who live righteous lives) your decisions will be just that... your decisions and boundaries.

Pray and ask God to change you from the inside out. Pray Psalm 139:23-24 and ask God to search your heart. If you find your mind wandering where it shouldn't be, pray 1 Corinthians 2:14-16. Ask for God to give you the mind of Christ.

Also, remember the God who created the universe can strengthen you (Is.  40:28-31). He can help you through this! Finally, pray for your future husband.

Pray for his purity, his strength, and his desires to be saved for you. I guarantee that if you're praying for him to be strong it will encourage you to do the same. I have a book I co-wrote with Robin Jones Gunn, Praying for Your Future Husband. Hopefully it will be a good guide to help you until you marry "The One."

Praying for you,


(*name has been changed)

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Tricia Goyer has written more than 35 books, including both novels that delight and entertain readers and nonfiction titles that offer encouragement and hope. She has also published more than 500 articles in national publications such as Guideposts, Thriving Family, Proverbs 31 and HomeLife Magazine.

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