Sex and the Single Girl
by Today's Christian Woman
Sexual temptation takes on a different meaning when you're single. It's not just resisting the other man," it's resisting all men. But how do you obey God's command to save sex for marriage when society says, Go for it!"? Six single TCW readers offer survival secrets:
Following my divorce, I was celibate for four years, but then I became sexually active. After many painful mistakes, I sought forgiveness and prayed daily for the strength to live according to God's command (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Though it hasn't been easy, being celibate has deepened my experience of God's love. It's also improved my relationships with men. I now only date Christians who share similar boundaries to physical intimacy. Letting go of my expectation that a man can fulfill me in the way only God can allows me to see men not merely as potential marriage partners, but as brothers in Christ.
—Kathryn Steadman, Oregon
I had a terrible problem with sexual temptation until I asked God to change my attitude about sex. Titus 2:12 says God's grace teaches us to say "no" to worldly passions. When I truly experience the joy and peace that come from an intimate relationship with Jesus, I'm less tempted to jeopardize that by giving in to my sinful desires. I can honestly say now that my obedience to God is more important to me than my selfish desires.
—Carol Routh, North Carolina
It isn't easy to remain abstinent in our sex-crazy culture, but I've found a few strategies that help. First, I spend time daily with the source of love, God.
I don't wait until temptations become intense to turn to him, though I pray even more when they do. Next, I get regular exercise. I also invest my energy in other passionate pursuits—painting, making jewelry, writing poetry. These give me an outlet for passionate expression and keep my mind and body busy with constructive things.
—Jeanne Heiberg, New York
I became a Christian early in life so I've spent my whole life celibate.
When my emotions are precarious, I avoid romantic comedies, books, and television shows that can set off a hormonal reaction. And I avoid situations that might tempt me beyond what I can handle. For example, I know I can't have Internet access at home because it's nearly impossible to avoid all the pornographic influences there. (Yes, women can find themselves drawn to pornography, too.) One of the best things I can do for myself is shifting my focus from waiting on God to fulfill my sexual desires by giving me a husband to waiting on God to grow me into the woman he created me to be. He promises to grant the heart's desires of those who delight in him (Psalm 37:4).
—Annette Dancer, Colorado
Like most single women in their mid-20s, I long for that someone special.
To handle those urges, I surround myself with friends who understand my struggle and give me the help I need. We hold each other accountable for our actions. If I can't find one of them when I'm tempted, I pray like crazy the moment will pass, then remind myself God's promises never fail.
Since my divorce in 1992, there are times when my hormones rage almost out of control. But since the Bible tells us God wants to be our everything, each night when I crawl into bed, I talk to God as I would an earthly husband.
I tell him how my day went, what's bothering me, what's good, etc. Before I know it, I'm gently rocked to sleep in God's loving arms, no longer aware of my frustrations.
—Maoise L. Palmer, Missouri
Copyright © 2001 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian Woman magazine.
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