Single. People say it like it ‘s a dirty word, like you are damaged goods or something. Single can be hard at times. Single can be lonely. And while there may be damage involved, YOU are not damaged goods. You are very valuable. And yet, as singles, we often give our value away in search of the feeling of being valued. Let’s talk about sex!
Churches have come a long way when it comes to ministering to singles and single parent families, but there are times when it feels like no one truly understands the struggle and like church is designed for those married with children while the rest of us smile, pretend we’ve got it all together, and try to figure out exactly where and how we fit.
As singles we face a lot of challenges, but the one no one seems to want to address is sex. And when they do finally address it, it is so watered down you aren’t even sure that it was even talked about. It’s almost as it they are afraid talking about it might encourage the sin. God sure wasn’t afraid of talking about it. He put Song of Solomon right smack in the middle of the Bible, and the subject matter there is off the cuff!!!
Here’s the deal, if we are gonna be real about ministering to singles, especially those who have already been to the S buffet, and helping them navigate these murky waters successfully, we are going to have to quit tip toeing around the subject and talk about sex. We cannot pretend that they aren’t struggling with issues in this area just because they are in church or in a Christian singles group, and we can’t be effective in ministry if we are not confronting this issue head on and giving them the tools they need to be successful.
Sex is very real. The desire for sex is very powerful. The longing for that type of intimacy or just raw passion will keep you up all night and frustrate the daylights out of you. It doesn’t take a rest just because you are single. It doesn’t skip town just because you got divorced. And it feels like the longer it goes unmet, the stronger the desire gets. To think that Satan won’t target you with this sin because you are a Christian is a joke! All the more reason he will target you, and all the more reason we need to be talking about this.
Well meaning friends will tell you to be sure to date Christian men/women, and this is great advice, but it is not foolproof. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve often been shown more respect and honesty from men outside the church. The men (and women) in church come packing scripture and seemingly godly wisdom to tempt and manipulate you. You’ll hear them say things like, “God made us physical beings. He gave us our sexual desires. He knows our needs. He understands we are only humans. Sex is natural. Sex is fun. God wants us to be happy and have fun. Sex is from God.” There is no way I am the only woman out there who has heard these lines from Christian men.
You can’t deny, everything they said is truth. But just like the serpent twisted the truth when he tempted Eve, this is twisted truth intended to manipulate. No, I did not just call men snakes. It’s not just men playing the manipulation game. Women are doing it too. They’ll send the risque selfie. Honey, do you REALLY think you are the only one sending him scandalous pictures?! They’ll send the over-the-top flirtatious text followed by one that says, “oops! Did I say that?! Lol ;)” Or they’ll “have just one more drink” and blame it on the alcohol. Once you’ve crossed the line, the guy will say something like, “We fell into sin. I was weak. I’m sorry. We need to just put it under the blood, receive His grace, accept His forgiveness and let it go.” (PLEASE, NO ONE start singing that song!) Or if its the girl, she is likely struggling with a respect issue. You led her into sin. Sure, she let you, but…she’ll play nice, be friendly, and totally give you the brush off. These are CHRISTIAN men and women I am talking about. How do I know. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. I’ve been there, and I am quite certain, as much as Satan would like to shame me into thinking I am the only one and keep me feeling condemned, I am not the only one. I can tell you this, it takes two to tango, so I can’t be the only one.
We can continue this game and it’s feel good sexual moments followed by the beat down of guilt and condemnation and having to hide it from the church, or we can get real with God and deal with it.
We can start right now… 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us God’s will is for us to be sanctified. To avoid sexual immorality and learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like those who don’t know God. ..and in this matter, NO ONE should wrong or take advantage of another person. So there you go right there, this game of manipulating and using each other…God’s not ok with that AT all.
You can play games and make excuses, but you are not fooling God. Yes, He knows your loneliness, your pain, your guilt. He understands your desire for passion and intimacy. He understands your need for validation and acceptance and He loves you right where you are. Yes, His grace will cover your sin EVERY TIME, but He wants so much more for you. He doesn’t tell us to avoid sexual immorality to be a killjoy. He knows things we don’t. He ALWAYS has a reason for asking us to do something and usually it is because it will hinder us from receiving His very best.
The Bible makes it very clear that we are not to use grace as an occasion to sin. There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible where we are given permission to hang up our salvation while we roll in the sheets for the night then cash in that grace card the next morning. Christ did not die to provide us a way to sin. He died to free us from the slavery of sin and it’s consequences. Romans 6 tells us we are dead to sin, no longer to be slaves to sin. And in verse 21 we are asked, “What benefit did you reap from the things you are now ashamed of?” Romans 12 tells us we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to the Lord – doing so is our spiritual act of worship.
1 Corinthians 6 is probably my favorite on the subject. It tells us in verses 12-20 the body IS NOT MEANT for sexual immorality. Your body is a member of Christ Himself, the temple of the Holy spirit. We are told to flee sexual immorality. It is a sin we commit against our own bodies. No wonder we are sick, tired, and just plain worn out.
BUT, the verses just before this, 9-11 are very interesting. These verses say that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, but we aren’t wicked. We are Christians. We’ve accepted Christ as our Savior. We are forgiven. Verse 9 continues – Don’t be deceived!! Neither the sexually immoral, the idolators, the adulterers, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders…will inherit the kingdom of God. But what about forgiveness? What about grace? Well, it continues – that’s what some of you WERE, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified. Are we living this way?
But let’s go back to this kingdom of God. What exactly does that mean? According to Strong’s Concordance (which I’m not the best at using) it is of the royal power of Jesus or the power and authority of royalty. To inherit is to receive the portion allotted to you. And when talking about the “things of God” it is the counsels, interests, and things due to Him. So when it says we will not inherit the Kingdom of God, it is not referring to heaven, but to the counsel of God, the interests of God, the power of Jesus that is given to us as Christians. When we are operating in sexual immorality, we cannot receive any of that. We don’t get that portion that has been allotted to us. What happens to it? Is it given to someone else like in the parable of the talents? I don’t want someone else having the portion of the power of Jesus that has been allotted to me. I don’t want to miss out on God’s counsel. But I don’t get it if I chose to continue in sexual sin. This world is not one I want to try to navigate outside of Jesus and the authority He has provided for me through the Holy Spirit. I want to operate in the fullness of His kingdom.
Colossians tells us to put to death those things that belong to our earthy nature – sexual immorality, lust, impurity, evil desires, etc. God is serious about this issue. He hits it in almost every one of Paul’s letters.
Listen, we have to stop putting the cart before the horse. The man/woman God has for you will not lead you into temptation. God’s best will not come clothed in sin. Relationships cannot be based on sex, and sex isn’t to be played with. Sexual desires, interests, and abilities will eventually fade and you are left with just the person. Sex comes with STD’s. And the one no one wants to talk about is feelings. You keep playing with sex and someone is gonna develop feelings. Someone will get angry. Someone will get hurt. Friendships will be destroyed. Is it worth it. What benefit did you reap from the things you are now ashamed of? And forget about asking God to bless the sin so it won’t be sin anymore. He doesn’t work that way. 1 Corinthians 7:19 tells us keeping Gods commands is what counts.
God does have a beautiful love buffet with all of it’s passions and fruits prepared for you. On your way to the buffet, don’t keep stopping of at McDonald’s. Sure the fries are great, but not compared to the prime rib or the sweet juicy souffle’ God has for you. And if you continue to stop at the McDonald’s, you will be full by the time you get to the buffet. You will have had enough. You’ll find that you are too jaded and bitter. You’ve allowed yourself to be hurt too many times to open up and trust. Or you’ve used and hurt too many to truly believe in you or them.
You know what, you may fall. But don’t look for opportunity to fall. If you know when he kisses you like that it weakens all of your defenses, don’t let him kiss you like that. He knows what he’s doing. He wants to weaken you. He wants to pound his chest of manhood. GREAT! Sign the papers and you can pound away…But remember, the man God has for you will be a GODLY ROCK, not a godly version of what you have had in the past.
If you know it makes him crazy and gets his motor running when you dress that way, then have enough respect for him, yourself, and God to not dress that way. Be in control of your own actions.
1 Corinthians 4 tells us the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power. You can walk in here and talk the talk all day long, but are you walking the walk? Maybe you are fooling a few people or a lot. Maybe you are fooling yourself. But you are not fooling God. It is time to get real with God. It’s time to do business with Him in this area. It’s time to come clean. 1 John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We are also told in James 5:16 to confess to each other and pray for each other and we will be healed. He wants us whole and healed in this area. Now, this is just my opinion, but I firmly believe, women should confess to women and men to men. Give no place to the devil.
Sin separates you from God. It hinders you from hearing Him, knowing His counsel, and receiving the portion of His power allotted to you. You are His beloved and the apple of His eye. He loves you so much. He knew you before you were born. He has numbered the hairs on your head and He has bottled your tears. He hears every prayer, every cry, and He does not withhold any good thing from you, but we have to do it His way. He is after our hearts and He will continue to pursue us until we catch Him. He is worthy of nothing less than total surrender. We are worthy of nothing less than total surrender…. it is time to let go in this area of sexual sin and give it all to God. He will not reject you.