How to ABSTAIN from Sexual Sin

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Being ensnared in sexual sin is no small thing. Our world and culture belittle the significant value of sexual intimacy within marriage. Yet, our God still upholds the standard of purity and holiness regardless of how much Christian couples love each other or that they intend to get married one day. The price of continuing in sexual sin when we know better can require more than we ever thought we could pay—sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, binding emotional ties, etc. More than any of those, there’s the growing disconnect between God and us. Yet, there’s hope for those who desire to do better. If sexual sin has already impacted our relationships, we can learn to ABSTAIN from sexual sin:

A – Admit our sexual sins to God and other mature, godly Christians.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)

There’s release in confession even though it’s hard. We aren’t alone…God strategically places people in our lives to help us overcome.
It’s up to us to let go of our pride and get the help we need.

B – Be aware of our vulnerabilities.
“So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” (Acts 24:16)

If we are in sexual sin, there’s typically a trigger. It could be a longing to not be alone, it could be an emotional connection, it could be lust, etc. Being aware of our vulnerabilities helps us to take the next steps of protecting our hearts and minds.

S – Stop feeding our temptations when God makes a way to escape.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Because we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ—we have an exit route that He provides. Our responsibility is to take the route as often and as necessary as possible.

T – Take preventative measures from falling into sexual sin.
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14)

Some of us may need to take more preventive measures that may include relocation from a job or moving out of a home. It could be costly, inconvenient, and uncomfortable—yet, by putting Jesus first, we are being set free from the bondage of this sin.

A – Allow ourselves time and distance to heal from sexual sin.
“A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” (Ecclesiastes 3:5)

When we pull away, it allows us the opportunity to see ourselves outside the situation. We can see more clearly how continuing in sexual sin will drive a wedge in our relationship with God and hearing His voice.

I – Involve ourselves in Christian fellowship and service in our ministries and community.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

If we’ve broken off a relationship due to sexual sin, we will need to also fill our time with activities to grow our faith. As we serve and pray for others in our Christian community as well as unbelievers—we’re drawn to God’s greater purpose and plan for our lives.

N – Nurture the seed of faith that wants to change from the inside out.
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9)

As believers in Christ Jesus, we have the longing within us to have peace with God in our hearts. No Christian believer who engages in sexual sin has peace about it because He doesn’t allow us to be comfortable with our sin.

This is hard, especially if we’ve experienced the pleasures of sexual intimacy. However, nothing is too hard for God. Through the Holy Spirit, we have the strength to pull away. His grace is all sufficient to provide what we need when we can’t do it ourselves. He can bring together a couple engaging in sexual sin to repent and marry within His will rather than theirs. He can bring healing and deliverance for those who need to not marry and wait on God’s timing for the right person. We don’t have to settle for less than God’s best for us.


Dear Lord, I want to stop my sexual sin and instead walk in purity without guilt nor shame. Show me the way to pull away from sin and pull closer to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature

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