Avoiding Sexual Temptation


My mother is a brilliant woman. She never subscribed to the “build a wall between family and society” theory when it came to raising her children. She wanted to fill us with good things so when we met the world, we couldn’t be filled up with the bad stuff. She always took the opportunity to take media messages and make teachable moments out of them for us.

For example, The J Geils Band released the song, “Centerfold” in 1981, a song about a sweet high school girl who later became a magazine centerfold. The radio stations played it incessantly. I graduated high school that year and it was the perfect opportunity for my Mom to talk to me about the song’s message in light of my Catholic beliefs and morals. I will never forget her saying, “Think about how the actions of this girl posing in the magazine affected the boy who thought she was an ‘angel’ and remember that your actions have an affect on people.”

My mother’s guidance was priceless and a lifesaver as I became an adult. It grounded me on a firm foundation. I, like you, went out to face a world where the sensationalism of sex has saturated our every day lives. Drive down your street and you see inappropriately dressed people. Get out to the city and every billboard, every bus stop, every corner has some type of sex for sale. Go to a party, go to a movie, watch the ballgame on TV, and sex is always there.

But sex is good, right?
Yes, within the context of marriage. Sexual intimacy bonds spouses together and creates new life. The problem is, sex outside of marriage eliminates both of those “goods.” Sex then becomes an act of lust; an inordinate desire for something that is good. Henry Fairlie, the well-known British journalist and social critic said: “Lust is not interested in its partners; all it is interested is in pleasure.”
No one in the mainstream media wants you to think about this, they just want you to join the crowd. Jump in, the water’s warm!
So the hard part is being single and trying to live the virtue of chastity in thought, word, and deed, especially if you are divorced. If you are divorced and single, your body is already used to physical intimacy and that can be difficult to curb. Many people believe being chaste and single is patently impossible, but it’s not. So how are you expected to avoid sexual temptations in a world saturated with sex?
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way that I hope will help you:
  • Have a purpose for being on the internet: One of the key ways to stumble into Surfing the Internetsexual temptation is surfing the internet without a purpose. The traps are set and if you don’t have a goal to accomplish and are just looking for ways to entertain yourself, look out! Make a pledge to yourself that whenever you get on the internet, you will have a purpose… logging in to Catholic Match to view your matches, going to your internet banking site to pay bills, whatever it may be. You can avoid a great deal of sexual temptation in this one step.
  • Discuss your desire to remain chaste with your dates: Be as upfront as possible and and as soon as possible. Then, avoid places and situations where the temptations will be.
  • Commit to chaste speech: Words can be just as dangerous when it comes to sexual temptations. Eliminate all questionable language from your speech. Walk away or change the subject when someone tells an off-color joke. Let your speech reflect the goodness and beauty of life, not the depravity of humanity.
  • Dress appropriately: I can’t stress enough how important this is and it’s not just about the men who may be watching. Women watch, too. This issue always gets me in trouble with some of my readers but that’s okay. Too much skin revealed can be the slippery slope someone else crashes on.
  • Say a quick prayer: When you’re faced with a temptation head on utter a brief prayer. My favorite is “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.” Quick, easy, and effective.
  • Frequent the Sacrament of Confession: The Sacrament of Confession fortifies you with the graces you need to be stronger next time you’re faced with a temptation. The more frequently you receive this sacrament, the more sensitive your conscience becomes.
All the good single Catholics complain that there are no other good single Catholics left out there… Here’s your opportunity to prove them wrong!



  1. Mary-791000 July 26, 2014 Reply

    I laughed out loud when I read your comment about the song “Centerfold.” I graduated from high school in 1984, and just recently, that song came on the car radio, so I had a talk with my 20 year old son about its content and meaning. He has heard it many times before, but he never fully understood the lyrics. I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I listened to that song in high school….at dances, at football games, at the roller skating rink, and just on the radio in general. It’s a shame that we all became numb to it and saw it as just a fun memory from our teenage years. Thank you, Lisa, for keeping your columns so “real” and connected to the average person…..something we can all relate to. I may sound old-fashioned, but I am really scared about the upcoming movie “50 Shades of Grey.” If our country isn’t in enough moral decay as it is, where are we going to be after Valentine’s Day 2015??! Keep up the great work!

  2. Graciela-1032977 January 13, 2014 Reply

    That’s really good articles, God bless every one!

  3. Carlos-876737 July 12, 2012 Reply

    Thank you! That’s very good advice. God bless you :0)

  4. Jimmy G. July 6, 2012 Reply

    Will definitely give it a try. Will keep these tips in my head.

  5. teng N. July 5, 2012 Reply

    Nice, everything you wrote is right. Amen.

  6. Ron-26907 July 5, 2012 Reply

    Good Article

  7. Tara-539245 July 2, 2012 Reply

    Thanks, Lisa. Very well-written and inspiring.

  8. Marissa-529206 July 1, 2012 Reply

    Wow! It took me years to learn those tricks….I always thought it was one of those “hard things to do!” But it really doesn’t have to be if you are careful. Be careful about what you expose yourself to and your thoughts and how you dress. I’m much more careful now about how I dress, I don’t want to be the girl to make it EASIER for a guy to sin! This is a great post and has my complete backing. And you know what? When I’m single, really the thing I miss most isn’t the kissing…..it’s really the holding hands and the emotional support of having another person behind you. It’s definitely worth it to make sure your mind doesn’t get clouded with the physical side of things.

  9. Justin-870784 July 1, 2012 Reply

    I love this blog. Thank you! I always need encouragement because people around me do not think the same so here is where I get my help!

    • Michelle-1003676 October 7, 2013 Reply

      I understand you Justin, I lived in the US, for a year and my american friends where like ” What? you have not had sex yet? You are missing out in your life”

      I am glad that I am 25 and still a virgin. Cheers to virginity!!

  10. Dominic-864113 July 1, 2012 Reply

    How do us Catholics know it was a snake or an apple it could have been a pomegrante and a salamander bending a branch over without talking.
    Its on a television knowledgable show.
    AFTER MARRIAGE Sex, and Intercourse is a relationship thing and between two lovers by GOD from GOD of GOD who gives couples the pleasure of enjoying it rightousely spiritually and gracefully beautifully

  11. William-611023 July 1, 2012 Reply

    Amen!!! Good job Lisa, keep it up… You couldn’t be more right 🙂 Thank you, William 🙂

    • Lisa-727959 July 1, 2012 Reply

      Thank you, William! God bless and best wishes for your success at CM 🙂

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