Some Thoughts on Singleness and Sexuality
Let’s take a look at some hard questions!
- “As single women, we aren’t even allowed to talk about our sexuality!” *
- “Christian leaders assume that our sexuality is like a faucet that you only turn on when you get married.” *
- “Where do I put my sexuality, if I’m not having sex?” *
- “How can God expect us not to have sexual expression, for so long, or ever? How do we walk this out?!”
- “The world encourages us to ‘own’ our sexuality; to celebrate our sexuality however we want. The world encourages us to express our sexuality in singleness, to express yourself; to pursue ‘release’, either with a partner or by yourself. I’ve been criticized for being celibate, and told that it’s unhealthy!”
- “How do I lull to sleep what was awakened? Once you had sex and found it to be enjoyable (as it was designed to be) and then stop to be obedient to God, how can you not really want it again?”
- “The Bible says that “it’s better to marry than to burn with lust” (1 Cor. 7:9). I’m ready to marry but there’s no guy yet…. What is God’s answer in this moment?”
- “In times of loneliness and sexual desire… what is the road God has for us to walk?
- “So, you’re indefinitely single, and your body is capable of orgasming, why would you not? And how?! How do you manage your sex drive in singleness?”
- “Each of us was created with a gift of sexuality. God created us, man and woman. How to steward this gift of sexuality?”
Can we understand why God created humans as sexual beings yet places some in very long periods of singleness? And what can we do with your sexual desires? How to live abundantly while mastering your sex drive?
One extremely important reason for abstaining from sex during singleness is to learn to manage your sex drive. Abstinence is a time during which you can train yourself to be in control of your sex drive – that your sex drive would not drive you.
An uncontrolled, unmanaged, unbridled sex drive is perhaps one of the most catastrophic forces.
A myth that many Christians believe is that everything in their sexuality will be worked out once they get married. But the truth is that everything you are now is exactly the same as you will be on the wedding night and onward until you begin to make some difficult choices.
If you, as a single, have uncontrollable sexual urges and you’re just gritting your teeth and bearing it, thinking that your ‘salvation’ will come on the wedding night, beware! Uncontrolled, unmanaged, unbridled sex drives in singleness continue into marriage and can manifest in catastrophic situations such as infidelity or non-consensual sex with your spouse.
Your singleness is a time to rein in your sexual drive as we should rein in all parts of our bodies (our tongues, etc.), in self-control and submitted to the lordship of Jesus (Romans 6:12). Think it’s impossible? We have a Perfect example of One who went before us in victory. Jesus was single throughout His life on earth and never sinned, and went a step further: was utterly complete, lacking nothing.
Purity is mastering your sex drive so that it NEVER comes before honoring another human being.
- “I used to be led by lust until I learned my own value and the value of men. That was when I learned that it was dishonoring to both me and them to use them for my own lust.”
- Lust leads us to put our own sexual desires first. It leads us to put our own sexual wants above the other person – to treat the other person as an object to get our sexual wants met.
- Lustful sexual desire is self-serving. Sexual desire controlled by lust might choose sex over honoring another human. Lustful sexual desire is impatient.
- Pure sexual desire is not self-seeking. It is motivated out of love. Loving another AS you love yourself. Not loving that person less than you love yourself. Pure sexual desire is patient. Pure sexual desire honors others. In marriage, pure sexual desire honors your spouse.
Sex drive is part of our biology, is God-given, therefore is good. Sex is created by God. Sex in the context God created it is pure and good. Sex is meant as an expression of intimacy. Sexual intimacy is an expression of two becoming one in a marriage commitment and must be built on a foundation of emotional intimacy.
- I don’t want to get married for sex. With the teaching that we wait for sex until marriage can unintentionally create in us the pent-up desire: ‘I want to get married for sex’. I don’t want someone to marry me for sex! That is also objectifying me as a sexual vestibule. Likewise, I don’t want that to be my primary desire for marriage.
- I want to get married beneath the fruit of self-control; beneath the fruit of contentment of a carefully tended riverbank of my desire. Sexual desire flows through us, sometimes at more intense pace than other times. It’s part of our wonderful, God-ordained design. May my desire be a peacefully flowing stream with well-tended riverbanks, not an overflowing dam-busting whitecap gusher.
- All married people know that the actual time spent having sex is like 0.1% of marriage. I want to marry for 99% other things besides sexual desire. Likewise, I want to be married for 99% other reasons – that our love be based on other things.
If the idea of marriage came from God’s heart, then it makes sense that He is more than able to fulfill the desires for marriage that come from our hearts.
If the idea for marriage came from God’s heart, and these desires for companionship, to be desired, and to be cared for are God-given desires, then of course God is more than able to fulfill these desires. In whatever way that looks.
Marriage is a beautiful thing from God. But so is singleness. I feel that I am able to love better now that I’ve had this time of intentional singleness finding all I need in Him. Before, I thought that guys were the only source of this type of love and my heart was continuously thirsting for this. I find now that my heart is full, grounded, and secure. And on days where my heart is feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed with desires, I know that all I need to do is sit at the feet of Jesus to find that peace again.
Singles do not lack a single necessary thing, more specifically, singles do not have access to less love in their lives than married people. Jesus’ love for each of us is actually MORE than we have need for.
Quote from The Gospel Coalition:
Many who are presently single will one day marry. Others will remain single throughout their lives. But no Christian is single forever. Human marriage reflects the marriage God wants to enjoy with his people forever. The Bible speaks of Jesus as the bridegroom who will one day return to take his bride, the church, to be with him in the perfect new creation. On that day all pain will disappear, including the pain of a difficult marriage or singleness. God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and a great shout will be heard: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 7:17; 19:7).
After we had spoken about heaven, an elderly single lady said to me, “I can’t wait for my wedding day!” We should all share the same hope. And we can already experience something of that intimate marriage with Christ here on earth by the work of the Spirit in our lives. Human relationships do matter, but none is nearly as important as our eternal relationship with Jesus.**
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