I just thought I should use a tantalising title... wink ;-) no not really.
Okay I mentioned in one of my past posts (here) that I was going to talk more about abstaining. At the beginning of our relationship, Mr had told me that he would respect my decision to wait until we were married before having sex. I was really pleased that he was supportive and willing to help me. We both had a duty to help the other person to stay pure. At the time, both of us hadn't had very long abstinence relationships, so we didn't know what lay in store for us. We just started and let things take their course. As time went on though, we realised we had to come up with ideas on how we would not to get tempted to take things too far. As you know, it is one heck of a slippery road to keep your body under control when you are in a loving relationship.
I remember attending a few singles' seminars. No matter what topics are discussed, whenever there is a question and answer session, the question of "how far should you go before marriage?" always comes up. And whenever the topic of physical stuff in relationships comes up, there is usually a hot debate. Some people think everything you do is fine, as long as you don't have sex. Some people think even kissing is wrong. And then there are people like me who are in-between. So what's the verdict? Can we hug? Kiss? Make out? There are still no definitive answers. For me, I thought kissing was okay, but we just had to be very careful not to get carried away.
The first year of our relationship was great. I was learning and discovering so much that we didn't get too physical, nothing more than hugs and kisses. I was learning to trust Mr too, and I really respect him for not pushing me to go further than I wanted to. After we got engaged, it seemed things got much harder. We had been going out hugging and kissing for a year and naturally our bodies wanted more. At first we ignored it. But it became more and more obvious to us that we had to do something, otherwise we would slip. So we tried everything. We limited the number of time we saw each other each week. Nope, that didn't help. We decided not to visit each other at home. Well that didn't work too cos we could still hang out in his car or at the cinema. We stopped seeing other on weekends, and saw each other at weekdays. Still had issues with controlling our body's desires.
At the end of the day, we had to come to our own decision. So in a moment of "wisdom" we decided we would stop kissing. Maybe that would give us some relief. Well it did last us a couple of months. It was good to go back to basics again like before we started going out. And it was like rediscovering that we had things to do and stuff to talk about. Those months were great! Did it last long? Hmmm... a bit. We kissed twice in three months. But then held on for a few more months. Eventually we gave up and actually prayed to God to help us cos we couldn't resist the temptations on our own strength alone anymore. This is where some Bible passages came in handy: Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT. So now when my friends ask me now how we managed to stay three years without sex, I just say it was God that helped us.
Oh I must add that my mentors helped me a great deal too. Every once in a while, they would call me to ask how our relationship was progressing and then reiterate about the benefits of remaining pure before marriage. That often encouraged me. One of my uncles also had a girlfriend for 10 YEARS before they got married. When they told me they abstained for that long, my jaw dropped. And then I thought, if they can do it, then so can I. It still wasn't easy, but it made me feel more positive about achieving it.