Cold, wintery weather and the Christmas holidays, a deadly duo for Christian singles, are here in full swing.

You stay bundled up in layers of warm winter clothes and wish for someone romantic to kiss while you warm up your car alone under foggy windows. You long to go to Christmas parties with your romantic someone… to go out to a dressy dinner with your romantic someone… to walk through a festive neighborhood display of fun Christmas lights and hold hands with your romantic someone.

Instead, cute little couples all bundled up, giggling and holding hands everywhere you look, make you want to sigh, throw up, or at least tell them to save their PDAs for the car.

You come home and it’s lonely, even if you have a roommate. The cat, perched asleep on your armrest, doesn’t count. You plop down on your couch to consume another dinner alone. Thoughts start drifting your way like It’s so cold outside… it sure would be nice to have a boyfriend/girlfriend to cuddle up with while watching a movie and drinking some hot chocolate…

or We could just sleep together. I’m tired of going to bed alone under cold sheets.

Cuffing season is a real thing for many. It gets singles yearning for a romantic someone to connect with physically during the long, cold wintery season. The search starts in October; the relationships formed then tend to wear off by spring.

If you, like many other singles, want to get married, that’s a reasonable desire. It just gets challenging to survive cuffing season celibate.

There is a lot of worldly advice out there that you can indulge in and stumble spiritually; Prov. 14:12-14.

Here are some tips I pulled together to help my Christian sisters and brothers avoid the pitfalls of falling into yet another cultural romantic phenomenon.

1) Know yourself and your triggers. Is it seeing couples together that bug you the most, or is it going to bed alone? Be embarrassingly honest with yourself and with the Lord about your desires. Read in Psalms how raw God’s people were with Him. There’s no need to be offended at others’ blessings, when the Lord is waiting and ready to hear your heart, help you deal with your triggers, and give you a life of your own; Psalm 37:3-5.

2) Reaffirm your identity in Christ. You don’t belong to yourself, you belong to the Lord; 1 Corinthians 3:16-18 and 6:18-20. However, you are responsible for how you treat all aspects of your temple. That includes your sexual organs, of which the biggest one is your brain. Fill your mind with things that meet the criteria of Psalm 101:3, 119:37, and Philippians 4:8, not romance novels, the Hallmark Channel, or porn.

3) Recognize where temptation comes from. Satan wants to make sure we stay highly aware of what we’re missing so he can urge us to chase it down. Your temptation doesn’t come from your crush, it comes from the evil one. You notice James 4:7 says that we are to “resist the devil,” not “resist temptation”?

4) Warm up your living space. I’m not just talking about getting a room heater, a fluffy soft, cuddly blanket, or flannel pj’s and sheets. Go to sleep in front of a blazing fireplace—alone or with some friends of the same gender. Have a slumber party, not a pity party! If you don’t have photos of family and friends in your living space or bedroom, put some up to stir up positive memories and warm your heart; Hebrews 3:13.

5) Get busy physically: If you used to work out, get back in the game. If you are working out, get off your plateau. If you have never worked out and don’t really want to get into it, you can still be physically active. You can deliberately park your car farther from the grocery store entrance, walk around the mall an extra round or two, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. This is called sublimating your sexual energy into helpful outlets so it doesn’t pool in your body and make you go looking for cuffing partners; 1 Tim. 4:8.

6) Get busy serving in ministry. Fellowshipping with other believers while serving may help alleviate some of the distractions and loneliness that fuel a secret desire for cuffing; Eph. 2:10.

7) Lean more heavily than usual on your community of Christian friends for fun and fellowship. Stay busy having clean fun with your Christian friends this winter; Prov. 27:17 and 18:24. Start filling up your calendar and make plans for next week, next year, next spring, and next summer. I’ve got activities scheduled into next May already!

8) Remind yourself that cuffing season is only a season. Seasons were meant to pass, and this season, too, shall pass; Eccl. 3:1 and 2 Cor. 4:7-8. S/he who endures to the end, shall be “saved” from more shame and guilt; Matt. 24:13.

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