In a study done by the Christian Post in 2011, 61% of Christians ages 18-24 said that having sex before marriage isn't all together wrong. One student was asked what her basis was for her belief. Her answer: "How will you get to know someone fully and intimately before you marry them?"
However, because I am constantly working with college students in the local church, this doesn't surprise me. Biblical sexuality has been and is being attacked on all fronts today. From pornography, to the movie industry, to social media, Biblical sexuality has been given the choke hold around the world today.
With that being said, I want to encourage the Christian in a dating relationship who is reading this that purity is possible. However, it will not be easy. Because of the cultural onslaught and the physical urges that you are experiencing, it is often easy to be deceived into thinking that purity is not possible. So, for those who are struggling to honor God in their relationship and lives by living pure, let me give you some helpful advice...
Radical Holiness Calls For Radical Measures
I think sometimes we deceive ourselves into thinking holiness is easy. It isn't. Striving for holiness in a relationship takes work and can be painful. With that being said, if you want to be pure in your relationship you need to take drastic measures. Make it your aim to not be alone together in any context. Refuse to 'get alone'. Set boundaries for how long you are out together. These things may seem extreme, but the reward of holiness is far greater than the fleeting pleasure of sin. Set boundaries and stick to them.
Fill Your Mind With What Is Pure
Turn off Netflix and get into your Bible. Memorize Scripture. Study God's Word. Read thick theology books. Fill your mind with truth. I see so many college-aged students waste so much time filling their minds with what is absolute junk. The result is that their worldview and how they view sexuality gets shaped more by Netflix and Hollywood than by God's inerrant word. Get a plan together for how you are going to take in more Truth and do it!
Open Your Heart To Another Mature Christian
Find someone of the same-sex and build a relationship with them. Meet with them and share your heart. Tell them about the struggles you are having with living pure. Pray with them. Learn from them. Do not trust yourself to live pure on your own, "The one who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he breaks out against all sound judgment" (Proverbs 18:1).
Remember, purity is possible. Share life with others, have accountability, fill your mind with truth, and set up boundaries. Holiness is not easy, but it is worth it.
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.