Imagine your best friend is about to date someone you know is a good person, but who's acted suspiciously in the past. What might scare you about their budding relationship? To what lengths would you go to lovingly support but protect your friend? Think about that for a moment. What would you do? What would you say?
Here's the thing: You are the suspicious person, and the friend in the story is your special other.
Even Your Best Intentions Will Fail
Even if you are like a signpost always pointing to Jesus, you are still the greatest threat to your relationship. That's the mindset you must have if you want to give your other what he or she needs most (instead of taking what you want now: sexual intimacy). I'm not talking about hating or abusing yourself. I'm talking about acknowledging that even your best intentions will fail when they're competing with the desires of your heart.
You are the greatest threat to your relationship.
Desires like wanting to get more physical than is appropriate.
Or talking in ways you shouldn't.
Or letting thoughts and feelings for your other displace your thoughts and feelings for Jesus.
Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with growing madly in love. That's the direction relationships should move. But this kind of crazy love needs to overflow out of your ultimate love and obedience to God.
Consider Yourself Your Own Worst Enemy
To consider yourself your own worst enemy prepares you to win the fights no one but you know exist. And it gets humbling really fast, because it requires an almost uncomfortable level of self-awareness. But getting humbled by your capacity for sin is a good thing. Because many of us think we can handle ourselves. I know that's what I thought.
And I was wrong.
There's a reason why God asks us if a person can carry fire and not get burned.
There's a reason why God asks us if a person can carry fire and not get burned (Proverbs 6:27-28). A reason why he doesn't merely tell us to be mindful of sexual immorality, but to run from it (1 Corinthians 6:18). A reason why he says we must put impurity to death (Colossians 3:5). A reason why he says the one who does what his flesh wants him to do will reap corruption (Galatians 6:8). A reason why he says our fleshly passions wage war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). A reason why he instructs us to leave no room for the flesh to do what it wants (Romans 13:14). A reason why he says the heart is deceitful above all things—and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9).
Why Purity is Worth the Fight
In guarding against sins of the body, you not only obey God but also:
We need to be aware of our sinful desires and act upon that awareness. Strategize for success. Look for ways to give our other what's needed most in moments when our hearts and bodies want something now.