If I were God, I would give every woman a switch. When they were born, that switch would be in the off position, and when, and only when, they got married, I would flip it to on. That’s how I would have handled this whole sex drive thing. That’s also why I am not God.
I am not going to lie. Being single and squaring with sexual desire can result in quite a fair share of conflict. Inevitably, the desire for marriage, which can be innocent enough, leads to the desire for sex, which also can be innocent.
The problem comes when the God-given desire for sex leads to the tendency to lust. That’s the issue. That’s why I want a switch.
Young women e-mail me asking me how I do it. With much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. No, seriously, living the single life has its trials. Marriage is no cakewalk either. Life is no cakewalk. You ask me for easy, and I will point you to Heaven; that’s where it will get easy. Until then, whether married or not, we will battle sin, temptation, our flesh and its no-good rotten tendency to make our lives even more difficult. Having a husband, no matter how great he is, will not eliminate those battles.
In fact, learning how to cope with lust as a single woman would seem to be good preparation for contentment within marriage. Think about it.
I struggle with a tendency to cope with reality by turning to fantasy. It’s really the biggest thorn in my side right now. It isn’t even necessarily sexual fantasy but it can become that. Let’s say I do not square with that before I am married. When trials approach my marriage and attempt to shake my husband and I, my tendency will still be to run away to fantasy. This means the other half of the two that were supposed to be one will be left to fight this on his own. How sweet of me.
The same would be true as we learn to cope with our sex drives. Your sex drive is not a bad thing; it’s just your natural fleshly tendency to use it in a bad way. I desire sex. I think it’s good and God-honoring to desire sex. It is not, however, good and God-honoring to be obsessed with sex (after all, there is more to life, intimacy and relationships). It is also not good and God-honoring to act on that desire outside of its intended place.
There is a place for your sexuality, and your single years are proving grounds for priorities.
Sex will more than likely not be a top priority in your marriage– important? yes. Most important? No. In fact, if sex becomes a priority at the expense of all else, you will likely end up frustrated, hurt, confused and feeling rather used. How romantic.
Your priorities within a marriage are actually the same as your priorities as a single woman.
Number 1 is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
Number 2 is to love others just as much (actually probably more) than you love yourself. (addition mine)
That’s what Jesus said. Those are the most important commandments. The most important things you and I could do. They are not different for married women. What will be different is the people involved and the way that love is carried out. As a single woman, I love my family. I don’t need to provide for them; I don’t really need to help them, but I love them.
When God chooses to bless you with marriage, your commandments are the same, just now you are loving God and loving, honoring, and respecting your husband. Sex is part of that connection, not its own connection. It’s part of how you will love your husband. It is a physical manifestation of a bond that exists on a far deeper level.
So, if you do not have a husband now, how can you enjoy your sexuality purely?
Bingo! You can’t enjoy it. In fact, you shouldn’t even use it!
Then, what do we do with our sex drives as single women? We surrender them. We don’t bury them. We don’t abolish them. We don’t act on them. We surrender them to the hand and heart of a God who has a perfect plan and a perfect love for us. We work on loving Him more perfectly, and while there may not be a switch, there is, indeed, a door. When He opens that door, we have this hope: that what lies beyond will absolutely blow our minds.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
For an absolutely great resource on this topic, I recommend Eric Ludy’s book, Meet Mr. Smith: revolutionize the way you think about sex, purity, and romance. It was revolutionary in my own life, and I recommend it to every young woman with questions about sexuality and how to handle sex as a single/dating/engaged woman. It is just that good.1