How to Control Sexual Desire before Marriage

Is it wrong to have sexual desires before marriage?

Absolutely not! God created physical attraction as an exciting part of romantic relationship.

God created sex to be a healthy part of the marriage relationship. He designed it to be a bonding experience between a man and woman that connects them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The trick is to keep it under control until the right time. The natural progression of love is for it to be expressed physically at some point.

However, God designed physical touch between a man and woman to be the catalyst for sexual intimacy and restraining the desire for sex until marriage is challenging!  

RELATED: 12 stages of physical intimacy

How do Christians control sexual urges?

God promises that in every temptation there is a way of escape. Part of that escape in this situation is thinking ahead and planning. There are ways you can safeguard yourself from falling into temptation.

Surrender your sexual desires to God

God knows how to manage your desires and keep them under control. Give Him permission to be in charge of them.

“When our wills are completely surrendered to obeying God, our actions will be completely in line with God’s will.” [i]

God has all the power you need to keep you from falling into sexual sin. You tap into that power by being willing to let go and let God have complete control of all that you are – including your sexual desires.

Pray for more of the Holy Spirit – one of the fruits is self-control.

Don’t feed your sexual desires

What you think about, you are, so be careful what music you listen to, what movies you watch, the novels you read, and, of course, avoid pornography. What you program your mind with, you become.

Choose to scroll past the Instagram pictures, avoid movies that portray sex. “Make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14). And this absolutely includes pornography.

Guard against day dreaming

When you fantasize about what you would like to do with your partner or fiancé you set yourself up to fall into temptation. And thinking it is as good as doing it (Matthew 5:28).

Stop sexual thoughts in your mind. Avoid reading anything related to physical intimacy within marriage prematurely.

Make some off limits rules for your bodies

And it’s not just about kissing.

Decide together where your “no-go zones” are and respect them. For example,

  • No hands under each other’s clothes.
  • Shoulder to mid-thigh is off-limits or anything covered by underwear.
  • Avoid stroking or massaging of the back, neck, arms, hair, or face. (This won’t be the same for everyone so make rules that apply to you.)

Avoid being alone for long periods of time

 Will-power is strongest in the morning, weakest at night. Don’t put yourself in a position to be tempted. Plan not to be in situations where you’re alone late at night.

Guard your conversation

Don’t talk about your future physical relationship. It’s natural to look forward to making love once you are married, but there’ll be plenty of time to talk about it once you are married.  

Focus on spiritual, emotional, and relational intimacy

Until you get married focus on getting to know God better as a couple. Grow your emotional intimacy by understanding each other better, and build your relational intimacy by developing a deep friendship.

Save the physical intimacy for the right time.

Sex is not a casual thing. It is the highest form of expression that you can give another person of your romantic love for him or her. To spend a thing of such high value casually or unwisely would be foolish.

God made sex a treasured gift, that’s why He cautions us to guard it and save it for marriage. If He had made sex to be yuck we wouldn’t be tempted to enjoy it, but then it wouldn’t be much of a gift either!  

For those who are thinking, “It’s too late for me. I’ve already gone too far.” God is the God who forgives and restores. When we confess our sins, He forgives and cleanses us (1 John 1:9). Pursue that forgiveness and restoration and don’t believe the lie that it’s too late for you.

What are you as a couple going to do to maintain your sexual standards?  

[i] Before You Get Engaged, 154, David Gudgel, Brent Gudgel, with Danielle Fitch

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has three grown kids and is married to her best friend, Richard. She started this website as a platform to help families, and specifically women, to take control of their lives and grow themselves spiritually, mentally & emotionally, and to discover their God-given purpose and live it out with confidence. She is a trained Life Coach and has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). She is a certified SYMBIS (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts) facilitator. She lives in sunny South Africa.


  1. Zonke Ngodwane | 16th Aug 19

    I would love to ask you more questions related to this topic

    • Jenny | 28th Aug 19

      I’m so sorry – I only saw this now, Zonke! Use the contact page on the website and send us a message so we can arrange to chat!

  2. The 12 Stages of Physical Intimacy and Why You Should Progress Through Them Slowly - Love More to Live | 16th Nov 21

    […] RELATED: How to keep sexual desire under control […]

  3. Esther | 3rd Jun 24

    I have more questions about this topic. Is it possible to chat with you?

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