Purity & FreedomSex & Singleness

Sex Obsession or Sex Drive?

I just finished up a series of posts detailing the ‘warning’ signs of a pornography addiction.  One of those being an obsession with sex.  A great question was asked about the difference.

What is the difference between a ‘normal’ sex drive and sinful sexual obsession?

As I thought about that question this week, I realized that this really is the $64,000 question.  It is a form of a question many recovering addicts ask themselves.  It is the question many youth groups, pastors and parents avoid because it is hard to answer:

How do we promote a healthy sexuality in a sexually perverse world?  Is it even safe to open that Pandora’s box or is the risk not worth the knowledge?

Sex itself is not evil.  Sex is part of our lives.  It is something that was an original part of creation.  Sex existed before the perversions of sex existed.  It existed before shame.  It existed in perfectness, so it is good and is a part of a Christian’s life.  Still we live in an overly-sexualized world, with hardcore violent pornography available for free, with erotica on the best-sellers list.  The tendency would be to put blinders on everyone and plug their ears and pretend we don’t know why our reproductive systems were created, but that does not help.  In fact, that’s one of the approaches that can instigate a pornography addiction.

What does sex look like when it has been redeemed?

It’s a deep question, maybe too deep for me to even have a sufficient answer.  I am experienced, but not an expert by any means.  To answer that question, I can only tap into my own experiences and the truth of God’s Word.

Depraved Sexuality 

1.  Sex is not a part, it is a purpose.  For someone dealing with an incorrect view of sexuality, it is more than just a drive or a part of their lives, it is a pillar of their very existence.  The ultimate end of life is sex.  It fills their minds, their conversations, their journals.

2.  It is drawn to crudeness.  A depraved sexuality enjoys crude humor.  Even if only inwardly, it laughs at dirty jokes.  Its ears perk to any raunchy juicy details and seems entertained by the sexual sins and escapades of others.

3.  It thrives in darkness.  Usually, this is a slinky, slithering sexuality.  It is not the five year old asking mom why boys and girls are different.  This is the person who decides to ‘research’ on their own.  The one who secretely scans medical texts, encyclopedias and magazines looking for information.  She talks openly with close friends or secretely with people of questionable reputation.  Yet, in public settings, mention of sex may make her uncomfortable.

4.  It objectifies.  A depraved sexuality rips the soul out of people, making them only bodies.  Men are ‘hot’ and the object of obsession. 

5.  It solicits.  A depraved sexuality can often manifest as a promiscuity of heart.  Maybe the young woman is too afraid to actually go all the way with a man, but she will enjoy wearing clothes that fit just right in just the right places.  She won’t mind if her shirt drops a little low in the front or it her skirt is a bit too short.  She desires sexual attention. 

In short, a Depraved Sexuality pursues sex, and in doing so surrenders to selfish desires without concern of others or of God.

A Redeemed Sexuality

1. Acknowledges God’s Plan and Control Over Sex.  Sex was God’s idea- through and through.  He created it for reproductive purposes, obviously, then He threw in some chemicals and jazzed it up for us in order for two to become one.  Humans experience sex unlike any other animal.  A sexual union between humans is something sacred and special, and our sex drives exist to drive us toward that union.  They are not bad, but they are not the center of our existence– God is.

2. It is drawn toward excellence.  A redeemed sex drive is one full of hope and anticipation and trust in God’s goodness.  It desires the best and is therefore turned off by crude humor or listening to the debauchery of others.

3.  It grows in the light.  Obviously, sex is not something you openly discuss with everyone and their great grandmother.  It is a very personal topic and, as such, carries some degree of hesitation and discernment.  Lack of either is indicative of somebody who is promiscuous, but a redeemed sexuality will appreciate open, God-honoring discussion of sex and purity.  It desires purity and purity grows in truth.  It will seek out accountability to remain pure.

4. It honors others.  In actions, words, and attire a redeemed sexuality seeks to protect those around it.  This is more than just upholding a dress code enforced by a family or church.  This is a genuine concern for the purity and integrity of others. 

In short, a redeemed sexuality pursues purity, and in doing so, surrenders everything- heart, body, soul and sex drive- to his loving plan and purpose.



  1. Oh boy this is convicting.
    How does one get a redeemed sex drive?
    It’s like I have to completely rewire my brain for how I think about sex.

    1. Yes! That’s why we so desperately need His grace. On our own, we can’t change it, but when we let Him into that part of our lives and draw near to His heart, He changes it for us.

  2. Wonderful. Thank you for this post.

    I would add that sexual obsession demands and/or seeks to control, manipulate, satisfy in an ‘entitled’ way.

    I think the contrast to that is honoring a *relationship* and what sex is supposed to be for a marriage in God’s plan.

    Sex obsession is selfish; Godly sexuality is focused on a whole of a relationship, not individual, personal gratification at the expense of another.

    I LOVE your thought on honoring the purity and integrity of others.

    Thank you for all you are doing. Your blog is on our blog list. I’m glad I had the need to update our list because it gave me a chance to come visit again. It’d been a while.

    Keep up the great work. I hope to be linking to this post in an upcoming post.

  3. Yes; living in the tension between God-given desires for sexual intimacy and sensuality and yet not being able to express and enjoy them is a very frustrating and difficult place to be. 🙁 Then add in the world’s daily bombardment and deceitful flaunting of what sex isn’t and was never meant to be…