(BNC) by Joe Dukes — A young person asked in an open online forum how to resist sexual temptation and remain pure until marriage. This person identified himself as a 17-year-old member of the body of Christ.

Here is the advice I gave.

It is good to see young people trying to save themselves until marriage! When you finally do get married, this will make the relationship you have with your wife even more strong and special!

Here are a few tips:

1. Start your dates with a prayer. This helps focus your minds in the right direction. If you are tempted, pray again.

2. Read and study your Bible on a regular, often basis. Preferably every day! Remember, when Jesus was tempted, he resisted by saying, “It is written”. Even when Satan misused the scriptures to tempt Jesus, Jesus replied, “It is also written” Mt 4.1-11. Knowing the scriptures helped him resist temptation. David wrote, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You” Psa 119.11. You can’t wait until you are tempted and then try to learn the scriptures, but if you learn and apply the scriptures, it can help when you are tempted.

3. Do not stay up too late. When you are tired, your resolve to resist temptation is weakened. Go to bed on time.

4. Do not drink alcohol for the same reason. Studies show that even very small amounts of alcohol can effect your resolve to resist things you would not ordinarily do. This is true even before you begin to feel a “buzz”.

5. Choose entertainment wisely. If, for example, you go to a movie or watch a TV program that has a strong sexual theme, that idea is placed in your mind even before you are alone with your date.

6. Avoid places where you will be tempted. Example: you and your date should not be alone in her bedroom or somewhere totally alone. Spend your alone time in a public place, like a restaurant or a park. Remember, Joseph was alone in the house with Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him Gen 39.11.

7. If you are tempted somewhere, go somewhere else. Flee if you must. Remember what Joseph did? He ran away. He left. Sometimes the way to resist temptation is to escape!

8. Determine your ultimate goal. (Go to heaven.) Ask yourself if something you are tempted to do will help you achieve that goal or hinder it.

9. If you fall, get back up and get back on track! Do not let a stumble stop your progress!

10. Find someone you can trust to talk to. If you are having trouble with a temptation, tell that person and have them check on you daily to ask how you are doing with that temptation. (You can use code words if needed so they can ask in public places.) Have them ask you every day and when they ask, give them an honest answer. If you know you will be giving an accounting for your actions, it will make you less likely to give in to temptations. This has to be someone you can trust to be confidential and someone who will encourage you on the right path. (Perhaps a preacher, a relative, a school counselor if you are going to a Christian school, etc.)

I am glad to hear you are striving to do the right things! I will pray that you remain faithful!

Joe is an accountant living in central Alabama. “I just try to do my part,” he says.