“OPPORTUNITY MAY KNOCK ONLY BUT ONCE, WHILE TEMPTATION LEANS ON THE DOORBELL.” – UNKNOWN
Temptation starts at the heart. We have to want to have self control, but as long as we don’t want it, we will give into temptation every time.
Here is a great example: You and a person you have feelings for went out for a date. You have been wanting this person for a long time. So when the date is over and the person says “Hey, do you want to come to my room for a drink or a snack?” You immediately go, convincing yourself in your head that you will not do anything. One thing leads to another, and things start to heat up and you start taking off your clothes, giving into the temptation. Then, this person looks at you and says “wait, I have to tell you, I have an STD.” You immediately throw out all “want” to do anything, and it does not happen. Self control comes back into play, and you go home.
Imagine if we could exercise that same self-control every time. That example is vital as it shows that self-control we thought we did not have, is in fact there. We just choose to ignore it, and choose to not walk in it. Self control is a fruit of the spirit. Sometimes we blame the devil or the kingdom of darkness, but if we just say no, or not put ourselves in certain situations, it would be controllable.
So, practically when you are in a relationship, temptation can be easily avoided by boundaries.
Set healthy boundaries, that you know you will follow and boundaries are different for every relationship. Here are a few examples:
Stop when things get too much
Sleeping in the same bed may not be wise
Do fun things during the day and/or with friends
The main thing is PRAY. Luke 22:40 says Pray so that you may not fall into temptation. That means the more we pray, the more we read our word, the more we will not want to do the wrong thing. Instead of focusing so much on not doing the wrong thing, just focus on praying and reading the word more, and allow that to renew your mind and change your actions. At the end of the day we are all imperfect.
If you fall, IT IS OK. Of course I am not condoning anything, but I am simply saying if you mess up, lean on God, pick yourself back up, and try again. DO NO BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT.
The reality behind temptation is that it is an invitation. Temptation leads to sin, and sin can lead to places you may have never wanted to go. There is a saying by R Zaccharias that states:
“SIN WILL TAKE YOU FARTHER THAN YOU WANT TO GO, KEEP YOU LONGER THAN YOU WANT TO STAY, AND COST YOU MORE THAN YOU WANT TO PAY.”
Falling into the temptation isn’t the true issue, it is when you become alright with it that it becomes an issue. When you are willingly saying “I am going to do this and keep doing it”, that it hurts your soul, makes you feel distant from God and soon it overwhelms your spirit with guilt.
If you are already there… it is not too late. Open your bible spend some alone time with God and turn from what you were doing.
JAMES 1:13-18 WHEN TEMPTED, NO ONE SHOULD SAY, “GOD IS TEMPTING ME.” FOR GOD CANNOT BE TEMPTED BY EVIL, NOR DOES HE TEMPT ANYONE; BUT EACH PERSON IS TEMPTED WHEN THEY ARE DRAGGED AWAY BY THEIR OWN EVIL DESIRE AND ENTICED. THEN, AFTER DESIRE HAS CONCEIVED, IT GIVES BIRTH TO SIN; AND SIN, WHEN IT IS FULL-GROWN, GIVES BIRTH TO DEATH. DON’T BE DECEIVED, MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT IS FROM ABOVE, COMING DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF THE HEAVENLY LIGHTS, WHO DOES NOT CHANGE LIKE SHIFTING SHADOWS. HE CHOSE TO GIVE US BIRTH THROUGH THE WORD OF TRUTH, THAT WE MIGHT BE A KIND OF FIRST FRUITS OF ALL HE CREATED.
So take a breather, everything will be alright. Be honest with God, and yourself, and make some life changing decisions that will help not only your relationship with God but your relationship with your significant other in the long run. God will bless your sacrifice and obedience.