Sex & Singleness

Single?… with THIS sex drive?

Surely You can’t be serious.

Ever have that moment with God?  I truly hate those moments.  They don’t have to be about singleness or sex.  They usually happen when we get the idea that God might ask us to change our plans for Him (how dare He).

You want me to be a what?

You want me to go where?

You want me to talk to her!?

You want me to share that?!

With all due respect, Oh Most High Holy, Sovereign, Eternal, Loving, Kind God, have You completely lost touch with my reality?  

 

 A couple weeks ago now I was traveling and listening to the radio.  On one of the stations a man and woman were debating abortion.  The man is pro-life.  The woman is pro-abortion.  Both are Catholics (in fact, she used to be a nun).  As she introduced herself and started to lay the groundwork for her side, she said this,

“Surely God would not want me to die without experiencing sexual love.”

 

I think some of us face that same dilemma, especially since we struggle with sexual sin.  We look at the facts and say, “Alright, God, here’s the deal.  This is a big struggle for me and I think You would agree with me that it doesn’t exactly make sense to give me this HUGE sex drive and then not provide a husband.  That seems a little unfair don’t You think?”

Need I remind you, selfishness is the root of most sin.

It’s the same stunt the snake pulled in the Garden.  “Would God really do that?  Did He really say that?  He couldn’t possibly mean that?”  He capitalized on our own selfishness to make it look like God is the one being selfish.  It worked, and it has continued working over the last couple thousand years.

This is a battle I fight often.  In times when I have put off nurturing my relationship with God, I get this little whisper in my heart.  There is nothing wrong with desire.  Sexual desire is good and God-honoring right up until the point I use it in a bad or dishonoring way.  Then I have a problem.

When I take my eyes off God and get frustrated and believe that He has it out for me and that He is just trying to torture me, I’m on a fast track back to where He rescued me from.

 

I am quickly approaching my twenty-seventh birthday.  My plan, when I entered my senior year of high school ten years ago, was to be married with two kids by now.  That was the plan- my plan, not His plan.

I tried to read all of the books about how to wait the right way, and had two qualms with them.  First, they were all written by married women.  Telling me it is worth the wait is not the same as telling me how to wait, and I don’t know that you are qualified to identify with my pain if you got married right out of high school.  Second, not one of them addressed the fact that women have sex drives.

Now, are there great Christian books out there about being a single Christian woman in her late-20s with a strong desire to be married?  Probably.  I just stopped looking for them, and this is why.

I owe my life to Christ.  Period.  

That life includes my sex drive.  He gave it to me and if He is choosing not to give me a means through which to express that, I have two choices.

I can keep following Him.

I can do things my own way.

The key to living single with a sex drive is to take it one day at a time.  He isn’t asking me to make it to 30 like this.  He is simply asking for me in this moment.  He is not asking me to have all the answers.  He is not asking me to stock up on purity that will last me a lifetime.  He is simply asking me to trust Him in this moment.

If you are single, this is a life He has called you to live for right now.  He promises to be with us, to help us through it.  He knows our struggles, the desires of our hearts and the things for which we long the most.  He also knows His plan for us.

In the end, we can rest assured that His love and plan for us are better than sex.

 

Does that mean He wants us all to be single?  No.  In fact, for a great read on this subject, pick up Elisabeth Elliot’s book, “Passion and Purity.”  She devotes whole sections to this idea of ‘has God called me to be single?’  Her basic point is that if you are single right in this moment, then you are supposed to be single in this moment.  Worrying about whether or not you are destined for singleness is not your job.

Too often we worry about the future.  I worry about whether I will still be single at 30.  Every January first, I map it all out thinking, “Ok, God, it needs to be this year or I won’t be able to have all of the kids I want.  Come on!  Where is he!?  Surely he will come this year!”

You know what our Abba says,

“Dear one, please just trust Me.”

 

Isn’t He worthy of our trust?  Isn’t the One who crossed Heaven and Earth to die for us worthy of our trust?  Isn’t the Lover of Our Soul worthy of our Trust?  When we live in His plan for the moment, we live in an attitude of surrender, even surrender of our most intimate desires.  It is a struggle, a sacrifice.  Is He not worthy?

 
Tags:

6 comments

  1. I’d recommend “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred” by Carolyn McCulley. EXCELLENT book, not written by a married woman – she’s still single and in her late 40s by now, I believe. Not at all written with false promises or “prosperity-lite” thinking (that is, do this and God will bring you a spouse…).

    1. Thank you DrLizW! I just saw that the other day and wondered if it was worth the read. I may have to add it to my reading list!

  2. My then-boyfriend and I dated in my early-to-mid 20’s. We got engaged. We broke it off. I discovered my sex addiction and started recovery. Single. We stayed apart for much of my intense recovery, for which I am extremely grateful. At that point celibacy was a much easier route for sobriety. It wasn’t until I was well along the way of recovery that God gave him back to me. And it was a struggle to have a holy dating life and engagement. We didn’t marry until I was a month shy of 27, which (just like you) was WAY different from what I had planned out. But I truly cannot imagine doing the whole early recovery thing within a marriage. Sex is difficult enough without throwing active addiction into the mix.

    All that to say, while I’m not you and don’t understand exactly what you are feeling, I have walked a similar path. It’s hard. But so is marriage! 🙂

  3. “The key to living single with a sex drive is to take it one day at a time.”

    Yes–Matthew 6:34. Living with the sobering reality that–as deeply as I long for it–I may never be able to experience the joy and beauty of marital intimacy. This, knowing both Paul (1 Corinthians 7:9) and Jesus Himself’s (Matthew 19:12) acknowledgement that being single isn’t for everyone.

    “I tried to read all of the books about how to wait the right way, and had two qualms with them. First, they were all written by married women. Telling me it is worth the wait is not the same as telling me how to wait, and I don’t know that you are qualified to identify with my pain if you got married right out of high school. Second, not one of them addressed the fact that women have sex drives.”

    Too many scoops of “Take my advice; I don’t use it anyway” being splattered on plates in the “Christianese cafeteria” of life.

  4. I’m 32 and single. Been single for about 10 years. I can relate to the blog. But I can only count my singleness as a blessing during my recovery.

    Porn addiction has been in my life for 24 years and I’m finally just over 6 months sober. So I can’t imagine dating anyone right now, that would be too much temptation. I don’t need temptation right now.

    I have gone through seasons wondering if God is holding out on me. I’ve been angry at times about it. But I am trying to continue to remind me, that He is wooing me over. He wants to be my number one in my life. He is preparing me for my future spouse.

    I do know this, I do not want to go into a dating scenario with this baggage of porn. So I would rather be single and allow God to free me then watch Him provide the man for me.

    What is helpful with this blog post is knowing, we aren’t alone in our singleness. We have each other and God knows the desires of our hearts!

  5. One of the favorite things a dear friend once said to me (she really is a dear friend, though this comment qualified her as a “dear friend” in the “bless her heart” way of southern speak…) is “I never thought I’d get married”. Hmmm…saying this to a never married, never dated woman in her late 30s…by someone who, bless her heart, married at 19!!!!!!!!

    Similar frustrations included hearing from married women who don’t like sex… great, they get it and don’t want it, and I didn’t get it but wanted it (and also, I knew that if you are married and don’t enjoy sex, that’s something to work on figuring out why and addressing, instead of just “enduring” it and complaining about it!). Now, I appreciated the honesty of married friends who liked sex, but cautioned that it wasn’t anything like it was pictured in movies (regular or porn) – acknowledged it was important, but wasn’t everything. Because face it, when you don’t have something and want it, it can seem even bigger and more important to life than it really is.

    I did finally get married at 43, to the first man who ever asked me on a date. Didn’t see it coming. Very happy, though it was a tough and awkward first year of adjustment!

    I heard so many well-intended but horrible platitudes from people during my extended single years that I REFUSE to sit on my high horse and give an explanation as to why God gave me a husband after all those years…to so do would make me into Job’s oh so unhelpful friends (and look what happened to them) trying to explain what God was doing to Job, when they didn’t have a clue! All I know is that God was good in my extended singleness, and God is good in my marriage.