There are many of you that when you picked up this book you were already engaging in sexual activity, or you started dating someone and you fell and messed up and began having sex with one another. I’m often asked, “What do we do now? Can our relationship survive after we have started having sex?” Let me share this story with you.
A young woman named Angela in her thirties was dating a prominent minister and they were heavily engaged in a sexual relationship. Angela was torn; she had to make a hard decision to stop having sex with her minister slash boyfriend because she was constantly vexed with conviction as she had to face her father and his congregation each week, killing her insides that she was serving God’s people with a secret sexual life with a man she wasn’t married to. One evening she cried all night long about how she was living a life that was not pleasing to the Lord and how it would break her dad’s heart if he had found out about it, so the next morning Angela, with mixed feelings of boldness and apprehension, pushed the speed dial number two on her cell phone and said, “Terry, I couldn’t sleep all night long…I cried all night.”
In his comforting, concerned voice, he said, “What’s wrong, baby?”
Her voice shaking, Angela cleared her throat and said, “We…I can’t continue to go on like this. This is not right. We’re both ministers and foremost, a child of God, and we’ve been having sex and fornicating like nothing is wrong with it. I can’t do this anymore!”
Terry interrupts her, “Awww, come on Angie! We’re not going there today, are we? Don’t be like these other religious folk who don’t know how to interpret the Bible! That’s not what fornication means!”
Angela was appalled! That comment caused her apprehension to fly out the window and with indignation rising up in her, she shouted, “I know you’re not going to try and twist Scripture to justify us sleeping together?! Instead of you being a man about it and just say ‘it’s a struggle and we will work on living sexually pure,’ you have the audacity to distort God’s Word! I can’t believe this! I can’t do this anymore!”
In disbelief Terry snapped, “You mean you’re leaving me?! You mean you’re gonna leave all of this?! You’re gonna wake up and see me on worldwide TV preaching and wish you had never left me! You might wanna think about that and take two seconds to change your mind…!”
Jeopardy music plays and then dead silence…Angela hung up the phone and wiped the black stained mascara off her cheeks and never answered his calls after that! I know; you’re flabbergasted! I don’t make this stuff up! Then there’s Jason. He meets this woman during a company conference and he began entertaining and succumbing to her flirtatious come on that was camouflaged as a nice girl just having conversation. Though she was a Christian, there was something that Jason couldn’t put his finger on and couldn’t give an answer even to himself as to why there was a silent alarm going off in his spirit about her, but she constantly came on to him. He finally gave in and began dating her. After a few entrees and iced-T dinner dates, she sexually threw herself on him and three sexual hook-ups later, Jason found himself preparing to marry this woman. She showed up at Jason’s church broadcasting that she was his fiancé, joined the church that day and requested to meet his pastor so that they can get “this show on the road!” She began to operate in a series of erratic behavior and Jason realized that there were a few books missing out of her leather engraved Bible and some screws missing from her brain though she was a savvy businesswoman. I told you guys, I don’t make this stuff up! That’s when Jason called me, “Ty, I don’t know how I got myself in this mess! I consider myself to be an intelligent, God-fearing man and to get caught up in this kind of mess and so quickly, is disturbing!”
I empathized with Jason and I emphatically told him, “You made a mistake, bad judgment on your part. You walked right into the persuasion of her seductive lure…and I know, with a Christian woman; you were caught off guard because you didn’t think you had to have your guard up when someone is wearing that title but now you need to repent and close the door on this relationship. I want you to honestly ask yourself where you failed at, learn from the mistakes and the things that you saw, the flags you ignored or justified, because I can promise you, there were flags. You’re not a man that casually dates. You haven’t dated a lot of women but all the details you just told me on the phone, I know all the signs were there that this was a woman that you should have never been involved with. She is emotionally disheveled and has not allowed the Lord to heal her and she wants you to be a band-aid. Mark my words, she’s gonna come back. She’s going to try to persuade you to still consider making her your wife. She’ll try to use other baits and traps to get to you, conjure up opportunities for you to meet and talk but I beseech you by the mercies of God, don’t fall for it. Repent and move on!” And just as sure as I am a clone of my daddy, she came slithering back like a snake trying to get him to have sex with her again! This is what happens when Delilah gets saved but not delivered. Jason stuck to his decision and did not allow her back into his life.
Then there’s Kim and Billy. They attended the same church; though a large church, they managed to bump into one another in passing after the 11 am service in the lobby and he introduced himself and the next thing you know, they ended up in a “five year dating and having sex relationship” where Kim had half of her wardrobe at his apartment and treated his house like her second home. I don’t know who brought it up, but going into their sixth year of dating they ended up at the intersection of make a decision about where this relationship is going or turn left on “go our separate ways.” So Billy proposed to Kim and they began planning for a wedding and started going to premarital counseling at their church. They didn’t even get through an ounce of premarital counseling before the sessions revealed that they were no more compatible than Kermit and Miss Piggy. If only they had gone to premarital counseling before Kim had gone around their church showing off her shiny ring that she now had to take off and give back to Billy. I know; you want me to answer your question. Heck, I don’t know what Billy did to the ring: sold it, pond it, or proposed to another woman! Oh, you’re other question; does that mean your relationship won’t survive? Hold on a hot second; I’m getting to that.
Now where was I going before you interrupted me? Oh, yeah; so as I was saying…I was sitting on the phone with David and Tamela Mann (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion, Meet The Browns) and they began to tell me about the early days of their relationship. They were young, very much in love, shacking up and having sex. One Sunday morning while sitting in church during a service, David turned to Tamela right while their pastor was preaching and said, “Let’s get married. Right now!” Tamela looked back at David like he was crazy but knew from the look on his face that he was more serious than a heart attack. Before their pastor could even seal the “Amen” on the benediction, David pulled Tamela right up to that altar and told their pastor that they wanted him to marry them, right now! An instant wedding! No invitations, no sizing up for a dress or tux, no wedding cake, no bridesmaids in blue chiffon dresses, and no flower girl; just an instant decision and a made-up-mind that they were no longer going to live in sin.
David said, “Ty, we were living the title of your book, “Single, Saved & Having Relations; I meant, having sex. Hahahahaha! Seriously though, we were Christians going to church, living in sin but expecting God to bless our relationship. That day in church, I said, ‘enough is enough!’ With no more excuses, I made a decision to do what was right and married Tamela, right then and there!” Now lean in and glue your eyes real tight because his next statement is my favorite part. David went on to say, “Now we had been having sex all this time and it was good but when we went up to that altar and got married, we went home that day and made love! The sex was soooooo good that afterwards it felt like I had rolled over and had a spiritual cigarette! Hahahahaha! It was intoxicating good! Because when you do right by God, He’ll multiply the pleasure! We thought we were having sex while we were sinning, naw! Having sex the right way, God’s way, is the real pleasure!” David had me crying laughing on that phone but that story blessed me real good. Though David and Tamela didn’t start off right, they made a decision in the middle of wrong to do what was right and more than twenty-two years later, they are still happily married and have one of the most successful careers in media, music, movies and entertainment today!
How To UNfornicate
Am I saying that you need to go and get married? No; but what I am saying is that if you are not prepared for marriage or have the capacity to sustain a marriage right now, you need to at least make a decision that you will no longer engage in sexual sin. You need to stop having sex, right now! If you continue to have sex you will ultimately destroy the relationship. You’re expecting God to bless your relationship but you don’t want to bless Him with an obedient life. If you want your relationship to have any hope for survival then you need to take your hands off each other and let God put His hands on the relationship. If you truly care and the love the person you’re dating, if you want to honor God with your life and to have Him bless your relationship, then you need to stop having sex, right now! Put a complete end to it; no sexual favors, no foreplay, no sleepovers, no sex at all!
I know, it may not be an easy thing but it’s the right thing. Once you begin introducing sex in the relationship it makes it hard on the relationship when you have to stop. You’ve opened Pandora’s Box and it’s hard to close it back and this can put a strain on the relationship when you now have to refrain. This is a delicate situation and like a garment that has special care instructions, you can’t just throw it in the washing machine, you have to Dry Clean it ONLY. What does that mean? That means that the relationship is fragile and weakened and you’re going to have to take special measures to repair it, strengthen and maintain it. Can the relationship be repaired? Absolutely; you may feel like it’s too late, “why should I stop, what difference would it make, I’ve already messed up.” Just because you initiated the relationship in sexual error does not mean that God cannot or will not restore the relationship. Just like David and Tamela, I’ve seen many sexually broken and ill-developed relationships turned around and now extravagantly flourishing. When you build the relationship on sex, you have nothing but that. But when you put sex on the back burner so that you can see what’s really behind the smoke and the fire, you can determine if you have a real relationship, one that you can truly build on or if the sheets are actually covering up what you haven’t been able to see. Once Angela took away the sex, she saw the true colors of Terry; he was only there for the sex. When Jason began having sex with that unhealed “Delilah,” he couldn’t see that she was spiritually unstable, emotionally toxic and needy. Once he stopped having sex with her he began to see who she really was; her behavior even amplified, revealing that the shout in the church aisle was an emotional facade. When Kim and Billy started going to premarital counseling, they saw that the only thing that they had in common was that they carried the same King James Bible, loved the same steak restaurant, and the glue from the sex was scarcely holding their artificial relationship together.
You need to detox and go on a sexual fast. I know that may feel like you’re putting the relationship at a halt or stopping it, but you’re actually moving it forward. The relationship is sustaining itself off the temporary, artificial chemical high of sex and lust. You have two problems on your hand: sex outside of marriage is not lovemaking; your relationship lacks love’s true essence, so by default it is lust driven and lust won’t stop until it destroys. (James 1:15) Essentially, you’re relationship is silently dying. When you detox from sex, you untangle lust from you and you pull the relationship off “sex support.” Similar to life support, sex is the only thing keeping the relationship alive, only it’s a false heartbeat; it’s not feeding the relationship life, it’s feeding it death. But when you take it off sex support, the relationship can now breathe on its own and become wholesome because you can build a solid foundation by developing healthier ways in feeding the needs of the relationship than by sex. Because of the sex, you have not been able to fully develop key components of a relationship and true intimacy for a deeper and more meaningful connection. Making a decision to now refrain from sex will allow you to fully focus on building a new solid foundation, giving you an opportunity to discover new depths of the relationships that was obscured and covered up. You will come to trust one another knowing that sex is not what’s keeping the relationship and that you have a greater commitment and love for one another outside of sex. You will then eliminate the guilt that’s holding you and the relationship down and can begin allowing the relationship to please God so that He can ultimately bless it.
On the other hand, when you remove sex from the relationship you may find that the only thing that was holding or keeping you together was the sexual chemistry and you may not have much more in common or concrete to hold it together. Without sex, you’re forced to see the relationship for what it is and that may be terrifying for some of you because you may be afraid of what you might discover. You now put pressure on the relationship to reveal itself, its strength and its true colors. You force what’s concealed to expose itself because without sex and chemicals blinding you everything that was obscured gets a searchlight illuminating on it. Once the chemical high is taken away and you’re sexually sober, you may wake up and realize, “what in the world was I doing with him/her?!” They may have fatal flaws or a crooked nose that you didn’t notice. Well, leaving someone because they have a crooked nose is stupid and that can be repaired, but when the person you’re in a relationship has fatal flaws then you can’t put plastic surgery on it and think that the relationship will look or be good. Many times a relationship can’t survive without sex because that’s the only thing that was holding the relationship together, like Kim and William. That may be a hard pill for some of you to swallow, but the truth can medicate you if you simply swallow it. Will your relationship end after you make the decision to stop having sex? If it’s the only thing holding it together it most probably will. And if that’s the case, then it was in your best interest to stop having sex. And if the relationship proves itself to be strong without it, then it was to your advantage as well to stop having sex. It’s a win-win, my friend.
One of my dearest friends, Jillian, began dating her tall, athletic, basketball playing boyfriend, Robert. They were having major sex like they had a license to drive it for two years straight, when all of sudden Robert gets saved and becomes a born again Christian and cuts all access; he roadblocks every entrance to sex in the relationship. Jill wasn’t having it! She didn’t want to stop but Robert was serious about his salvation. I love how Mike Murdock says it, “If you met God and nothing changed in your life, then you met an imposter!” Well, Robert met the Lord and did a 360! He made a separation between sin and anything that would come between him and God! Every time Jill would try to get him to have sex, as much as his body wanted it, he empathically told Jill, “NO!” Jill told me that she kept trying and trying and trying, but Robert wouldn’t budge! He told Jill, “I have given my life and my body to the Lord. I’m not going to have sex with you again unless you’re my wife. I love you, but I love God more!” Now that’s sexy.com! I don’t care what you or your cousin says, that is attractive! They went the next two years, NO SEX! I’m not kidding you! After rocking and rolling in the hay for two years, Robert puts a firm restriction on sex and they began focusing on building a sure, solid foundation for the next two years. Jill and Robert have been happily married now for fifteen years and counting! I will not pretend and lead you on to think that this will be an easy walk in the park. You will face some challenges, your decision will be tested but I know you can do this! Keep God at the center of your relationship and you could end up with a love story even greater than Jillian and Robert’s or David and Tamela’s, but more importantly in right standing with the Lord and pleasing your Father’s heart.
If you are currently in a relationship and you are having sex, what now?
First things first! You must stop having sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend and repent. Stopping and repenting are simultaneously and they are one in the same; do both quickly! Should you ever sin, you must be quick to repent and get in right-standing with God or you will be miserable and your spirit will be heavy until you do1 and satan’s ultimate goal is get you to prolong repentance in attempt to get you so far out there that you never return to the Lord. Oftentimes people will do just as Adam did and will run and play hide and seek. When Adam fell victim to satan’s ploy of temptation, he ran from God and hid.
“At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves. Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. The Lord God called to Adam, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”2
Shame always accompanies sin and rebellion against God, and so does satan’s condemnation. He will condemn you and cause you to think that God won’t forgive you and that you’ve messed up too badly for His forgiveness, but there is nothing that you have done or ever will do that will keep God’s love and grace from you so you must not allow it to keep you from receiving it. Ask God for forgiveness, receive it, and then make a clean break away from all and any sexual activity. No “half-sex,” necking on the couch, nothing! There’s no such thing on God’s part to half-forgive you, so then there’s no half-repenting on your part. Repentance means that you are turning completely away from sin and going in the opposite direction of absolute purity. Repent and receive God’s forgiveness so that He can restore you. Ok, so let’s do it, right now: “Lord God, I repent and renounce sexual sin in my life. I forsake and abandon every form of sexual immorality and I surrender my body back to you for healing, restoration and a pure and holy place for You to live in. I release shame and guilt and I accept Your unending love and forgiveness, in Jesus name, amen.” And just like that! Forgiven and in right-standing with God!
Now it’s time to have the brave, grown up conversation with the person you’re dating. You need to let them know how important this means to you and that you are making a decision to refrain from having sex to focus on building a true and meaningful relationship without hindering you both from making a clear, conscious and heartfelt decision about the direction and development of your relationship. And then you pause and wait for their response. If they leave, then celebrate; you don’t want anyone that is going to stand in the way of you living right with God. If they negotiate with you and try to talk you out of celibate relationship, then you’re forced to make a decision between them and God; that is not even a hard decision because no one is even worthy. If they breathe out a huge sigh and say, “Whew, it’s gonna be hard, but what do we need to do,” then blow a kiss to your Heavenly Father and get ready to upgrade your relationship!
Now let me warn you upfront, in the beginning you’ll get withdrawal symptoms and may feel like you’re going to die if you two don’t have sex! I promise you, you won’t die! The only thing dying is your flesh; you’re killing it and your flesh is going to have a fit once you decide that you will not give in to it! But by the end of this book, you’re going to be inviting me over for dinner for some southern fried chicken to thank me when you come to realize the freedom and the real pleasure you experience doing relationships God’s way, without the sexual sin.
Both of you will have to want to be pure. You both must be willing to change and make a firm decision that for the relationship to move forward both of you have to be committed to sexual purity in the relationship. You want to stop, but he/she doesn’t? If your boyfriend or girlfriend does not want to stop or refuses, or does not have the same commitment or conviction as you, you will have a battle on your hands. In hindsight, there are some of you in a relationship that you would have never entered had you known the principles in this book and understood God’s plan for relationships. Many of you right now are in relationships with someone that you know is not on the same path, not interested in going in the same direction and have no desire to live sexually pure: leave now. You must make the tough decision to end the relationship and walk away. Yes, you’re going to have to make some difficult decisions that many often fail to make to achieve the kind of love you’re looking for and to get to extreme levels in your relationship with God, but somebody has to live completely for God and it might as well be you and I!
If your relationship was more than sex, you will know. If you really loved one another, then the absence of sex will confirm that all the more by both of your willingness to fight for the relationship. If you love one another, then that love will become stronger as a result of you both committing to doing the right thing to please the Lord so that He can bless your relationship.
Seek counseling and began putting the microscope on the relationship. Analyze and examine the relationship’s true foundation. Ask the hard questions, be honest with yourself and ensure that you’re not holding on to something that feels good or you’re simply together because of the sexual soul ties. If your relationship is going to survive it has to be built on something above sex. Seek to find the answers as to what really substantiates and authenticates the relationship and what is valuable about it.
After reaffirming your commitment to sexual purity, structure a new plan to safeguard the relationship and reestablish boundaries that work. Implementing chapters like Bodyguard or Better To Marry can dramatically increase the chances of your relationship evolving into one that will last and bring honor to God. I also strongly encourage you to get a copy of my other book, Single, Saved, and Having Sex: A 30-Day Guide To Celibacywhere I show you, step-by-step, how to live in sexual purity within thirty days. With everything in me, I know that God can deliver you and empower you to live sexually pure. ♥
Prayer: Dear Father God, I pray for my brother or sister who may be facing a tough decision in their relationship. Enlighten their understanding of your plan for relationships and the power they access when they make the bold decision to live sexually pure. I ask that You give them the ability to push pass their flesh and comfort zone to do what is right and pleasing unto You. Give them the strength and the fortitude to tap into the power of Your Sprit to do Your will concerning them and their relationship, in Jesus name, Amen.
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