Lately, I’ve been chatting with single girls – girls who are waiting till marriage to have sex and girls who are struggling to quit having sex and save it for marriage.
It’s been interesting listening to the pains and angst on each side;
On the one hand is the single woman wondering if folk sunderstand how hard it is to be chaste in today’s world.
She’s perplexed by the long wait, wonders if marriage is still a possibility and why wait for something that might never happen?
On the other hand is the single woman struggling to save sex for marriage. She feels like the only way to keep a relationship is to continue having sex. She loves God but longs for marriage and thinks she’s found “the one.”
I get both sides, I do.
I did not engage in sex outside of marriage, but I am having plenty of it inside marriage to understand the depths of sexual intimacy and how it knits two hearts together.
God created sex to bind two hearts in profound ways.
The cleaving is supposed to happen inside marriage but even outside of wedlock, it still binds – albeit in the wrong ways. (1 Corinthians 6:16)
I understand the struggle for the girls who are saving themselves for marriage.
I asked myself the same questions; “Does anyone understand that it’s harder to keep your legs together?”
“What am I supposed to do with my sex drive, besides hug pillows and bathroom walls?”
“Why does everyone focus on the “fallen/struggling” women and not a word to those that are doing it right?”
I had great mentors, incredible accountability, amazing friends and responsibility (busyness helps you stay away from trouble!) but I still had these questions.
Many of the women I talk to don’t have a safe place to discuss their struggles and fears.
I am not casting blame because we are responsible for developing these kinds of relationships. All I am saying is that not everyone has someone or someplace to share their struggles.
So today I want to encourage you if you fall into the two categories.
I also want to request you, the married woman, would you please please please pass this along to the singles you know?
One of the reasons I was strong and confident as a single girl was because I had a legion of married women in my life.
My mentor was not afraid to share straight-up encouragement about sex and married life.
Whenever you can or whenever an opportunity arises, I encourage you to speak to the singles in your life.
I know you need permission to speak to someone’s life, but would pray that God would make you a Titus 2 woman to someone?
Ask Him for the wisdom and courage and a heart for others.
1. To the single woman who is having sex to keep a man
I don’t know of a simpler way say this; but IT’S NOT WORTH IT!
I know it feels like he’s the only guy for you, like God will turn him around and your relationship will survive. And who knows, it might survive. But that’s not on you.
Right now, your greatest responsibility is to obey the still small voice, urging you to trust and holiness. 1 Corinthians 6:13 (NIV) says
The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
You are not your own. You belong to God, who loved you so much He died in your place.
You probably know that but we sure like to rationalize God’s voice. That’s what you are doing. He is as clear as the noonday sun but we act like we didn’t hear the first time He spoke.
So, He pursues us relentlessly.
You are in bed with a man who is not your husband and conviction bursts through the doors of your excuse-laden heart. You’ll be shopping for groceries, walking home, waiting for the bus, typing away at work, scrolling the internet..and God will find you.
He pursues us, not because he’s mad at us, or disappointed in us but because He loves us. He longs for us to live in fullness and abundance.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
A life free of shame, guilt, disappointment, fear, sin.
A man who loves God – truly loves God – will not lead you to sin.
A man who is submitted to God will not encourage you to perch near the edge of a cliff. He will lead you away from the cliff!
Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with a person who chooses to disobey God? A person who rationalizes, encourages and excuses sin?
This is the man you will submit to in marriage! If he can’t listen to God, what makes you think he will listen to you? What kind of marriage will you have?
The Bible says a house divided against itself cannot stand. Your marriage will be battlefield because you are not of the same mind. One person wants to obey God, the other doesn’t.
I am not saying the man cannot change. I am saying that’s up to him and you need to give him space to make that decision.
Gary Thomas says
“If you don’t witness character transformation before marriage, you’re foolish to expect it after marriage”
Marriage reveals more of who we are. If the person you are seeing likes to cut corners, play around, encourage unholiness, there’s more where that came from!
Your boyfriend might not like the fact that you want to stop having sex. And your basket is probably full of reasons too. But you have to make a decision – who will you serve, God or man? (Joshua 24:15)
Do you believe that God can restore you? Do you believe that He can give you a husband, a man after his own heart, in His time?
It comes down to trust. When we lack faith in God, when we haven’t fully surrendered to Him, we grab and run the show.
But God is saying “Give me the reins. Let me show you how much I love you. I have a good future for you, but you have to let go and allow me to be in charge.”
Sexual brokenness and bondage is often a symptom of other underlying issues.
And that’s a good reason to stop having sex because you can’t think straight if you have a man to pacify and medicate your issues.
I don’t know what wounds, hurts, fears, worries or misunderstanding about God you have. But God does. And He wants to make you whole.
It’s not about the sex, it’s about your heart. It’s not about rules and regulations, it’s about His extravagant grace, poured out for you.
Will you give Him a chance today?
2. To the chaste girl who feels alone and has no idea what to do with her sex drive
I feel you.
I hugged pillows, I cried into my bed, I clutched my bathroom walls, heat charged through my body when I really liked a guy (and he liked me back).
My biology and plumbing were very alive and active before I got married.
Why am I sharing this? Because I want you to know you are normal.
There’s nothing wrong with your longing to connect with someone intimately. God wired you that way, because it fulfills a purpose in marriage.
I know your feelings and emotions can be a source of embarrassment. I was speaking somewhere and I asked the roomful of women “So, who wants to get married, someday?”
All the girls giggled but only a few raised their hands. I clarified “It’s not wrong to want to get married!” and more hands went up.
So often, our longings and deep desires as women are a source of embarrassment. We stuff emotions and pretend they don’t exist. We even “spiritualize” them. But that’s not healthy at all.
I am not saying we become slaves to our feelings…I am saying, accept the feelings are normal.
Get over the lie that there’s something wrong, dirty and unholy about your emotions and make-up as a woman. God created you the way you are..He gave you feelings and emotions! And He thought “it is very good”! (Genesis 1:31)
Yes, you are to be led of the spirit, not of the flesh. But being led of the spirit involves being honest about how we feel.
“Lord, I understand that I am fearful and wonderfully made. You created every part of me, including my sexuality. I am not a shock or an embarrassment to you. You made all of me. You are Lord over my whole life, every part of it. I understand you created sex for marriage. Therefore I believe I can live in such a way that is honoring to you”
You see when we don’t understand or accept that we are sexual beings, we get married and can’t switch on because we spent so many years embarrassed and in denial.
We struggle to see sexual intimacy in marriage as something wonderful and holy to be enjoyed.
And then when you experience challenges in marriage – because fulfilling sexual intimacy is a journey and skill we learn – you start to think marriage doesn’t work!
(I love how Sheila Gregoire explains the journey in this post, so make sure you head over there to read her thoughts)
So, on one hand you have this sex drive and the other hand you have to wait for it to be fulfilled.
How do you thrive in the now?
- There’s only one way I know of – and that’s to lean hard on the Holy Spirit and trust that God will keep you.
There’s no replacement for faith and trust in God. People who walk down the aisle pure (whether secondary or primary chastity) do so because God kept them.
Not because they were strong and able to stay away from temptation.
So fan your relationship with God. Keep Him first and you’ll begin to lose appetite for things that dishonor him.
The temptations will still come, but your heart will be sensitive and unwilling to sour your relationship with God.
Remember: the one who gave you a sex drive is well able to keep you, until marriage.
- God is also very practical.
He gave us a brain and will quicken our hearts to use that brain.
If you don’t want to wake up love before its time, you need to put certain measures in place to help you.
As as single girl, I was almost fanatical about my relationship with guys. And not just relationships, I was also vigilant about what I watched, what I listened to, who I hang out with. (and I still am because marriage doesn’t mean the end of purity!)
I stayed away from soap operas, romantic flicks and books and everything that had the potential to stir up my emotions. I wasn’t perfect at it, but I worked very hard to stay sane!
I did not date casually, if I went out with a guy (as in, one-on-one date) it was because I thought he could be ‘the one’. Otherwise I hang out in groups!
All dating was during the day and if at night, in very public well-lit places. I did not encourage physical contact and was clear about boundaries.
What am I saying?
If you are serious about chastity, or even a little bit serious about keeping your sanity, you must put some sort of boundaries in your life.
Many single women are crying about haywire desires while they do absolutely nothing to keep themselves together! If anything, their thoughts and actions fan the very flames they want cooled.
- Channel your energy towards something.
As a single person, you have opportunity, the freedom and margin to go hard after God and His purpose for your life.
Don’t be idle, because something will fill up that space.
Fill your life with other things – serve God, serve others, hang out with godly friends. If you feel alone and need a hug, find a sister to pray for and hug on!
To both of you;
Your reward in waiting is not a man. Yes, its my prayer that God will bless you with a husband.
But that’s all a man is, a blessing, not a reward. God is your everything. In fact a husband will “help” you need God in ways you never imagined!
Right now, you have to come to that place where you surrender everything to God – your desires, longings, life.
You need to come to that place where you can say
“your will, Lord, not mine. I want to get married someday but I want You more than I want a man. I’ll go wherever you send me, even if that’s the ministry of singlehood.”
Obviously if you have strong desires for marriage, you are not called to that ministry : ). I am just making a point – surrender everything.
I pray these thoughts encourage you. I pray you find hope, fullness, satisfaction, joy in Christ. Christ is truly our everything – “For in him we live and move and have our being.” – Acts 17:28
Question – How can I pray with you? Please email me and let me know. To the married, how else can we encourage the single people in our lives?
Ps. Remember to forward or share this article if you think it will bless someone! You can use the Social media share buttons on above and below the post.
Check out J Parker’s post – beautiful insights about about sex in marriage. If you know someone who is about to get married, please send it to them! Will sex in marriage be a let-down?
Also check out Sheila Gregoire’s post (which I mentioned in this post) – How do we help the young people have the right expectations about sex?
Update – Since writing this post I have received emails from singles and I feel I need to add this; Masturbation is not the way to deal with sexual desires in singehood. I know there’s all kinds of beliefs and teachings out there. But I want you to know that engaging in masturbation leads to more trouble, not victory. It’s not a release, it’s a trap. (Read this post, where Ernest shares his journey into and out of pornography and masturbation) I just want you to remember that God will help you with your feelings (remember He gave them to you!) as you surrender them to Him.
Romans 6:11-14 says “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
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