Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sex and The Single Christian

What does it mean to be Christian and single? In the best case scenario, it means living a life devoted to God, going to church regularly, fellowshipping with your friends and being a good friend, daughter, brother, mother, father, etc. And - let's not forget that all-important caveat - being celibate. It's a not-so-well-kept secret, however, that most single Christians are not - celibate that is. Most of us seem to have 'periods' of celibacy - lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a few years and then find ourselves falling right back off the wagon for a (temporary) fix. I have had my seasons of celibacy, watched my friends in their seasons and seen celebrities proclaim they will enter marriage a 'virgin'. And, what do most of us have in common? We fail, fail and fail again. (And hats off to those who have been celibate, remain celibate or enter marriage as a virgin.)

Let's face it - once you have had sex (and enjoyed it), it's really, really hard to go back to that pre-knowledge state. Where sex was an idealized fantasy and you would find true love (or, at the very least - release) and it would all fade out into a pleasantly fuzzy happily ever after. And then you wake up.

Once you cross that line, you realize that you will never be the same. You feel a combination of remorse and (this is what always trips you up) curiosity. Was that as good as it gets? Or - wow, that was even better than I thought it would be! Should I try again to be celibate or does this mean it's over? Well, I didn't immediately go to Hell, so maybe....just maybe...I can get away with this.

And you do. Time and again. Until it almost becomes easier just to continue having sex than go through all the trauma of trying to give it up. To date someone and spend long sessions at his house or yours instead of having long walks in the park. To just stop thinking about it and put it up on the shelf of 'I'll deal with it...one day.' Just not today, right?

I am not here to preach to you, to tell you right from wrong or any of that stuff (and I'm sure you know all the same bible scriptures I do about remaining celibate). And the simple truth of the matter is that all Christians fall short in one way or another. We lie, we cheat, we are gluttons, we are judgmental - just take your pick. So, it's awfully hard to point the finger at someone else when we are not exactly shining examples of clean vessels ourselves. Sometimes I think a whole lot more good would be done in the Body of Christ if we were all just a little more understanding of one another instead of the way we are now. But I digress...

So, if the above describes you, do what we all find ourselves doing - pray. Ask for forgiveness. Learn from your mistakes. And maintain your relationship with God at all costs.

And you will be saved.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right on point with what you had to say. I am a christian, 19 years old and a virgin. I understand that some people do slip up and have sex before marriage. However this makes me feel so discouraged. If christians are doing what all the rest are doing then who am I supposed to be with. I have to be with someone that has the same belifs that I do and I thought I could find that with fellow christians. However that is not the case because that is one part of christianity that most christians chose to ignore. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who is waiting for marriage to have sex. Despite all that I know that the right thing will come to me for doing the right thing.

inlovewithmysavior said...

Ha! i'm 26 yrs and still a virgin. And very proud to say the least. BUT i do understand the struggles that some Christians face with sexual purity and trying to reconcile their relationship with God. I do have a problem with certain Christians that feel no remorse about their actions. I do agree with you that we all fall but i think we need to fix our thoughts are whatsoever things are pure, worthy of praise and admirable! Phil 4:8
anonymous, perserve!! stay strong!! You are not the only one waiting!! God has that sexually pure fellow for you! Jer 29:11

Miss Eagle said...

Good on you! What a great and thoughtful post on a tricky subject which the church does not like to talk about.

You were honest, inclusive of your own experience, and non-judgmental.

I am an older woman, a widow. We, I think, are in a more difficult situation. If you are in a situation like mine, after nearly three decades of marriage suddenly so many things of value are gone - including sex.

The Catholic saint, Francis de Sales, who did a lot of work with widows advised them never to think of those sexual moments with their husbands! Can you imagine!

I liked the way you talked about the difficulty - or impossibility - of going back to pre-knowledge. We are in a different time to-day where people live longer, with women usually outliving men. People are in better health, better educated and have access to technology including medications that impact our sexual lives.

But clever as we think we are, there are some things we never discuss. For instance, how often do we discuss the exploitative side of our natures, particularly within the sexual side of ourselves. Men - and women - are capable of exploiting others to feed their own sexual drives and pleasures. This exploitation can be quite civilised - but exploitation nonetheless. This should be more openly discussed so that people can be particularly aware of the realities and pitfalls of human relationships. Another thing that should be explained is that the best sex comes in a long relationship when partners get to understand one another better and communicate better. Forget the one night stands. The satisfaction level is as different as a three course gourmet meal and a fast food snack.

Finally, we have to recall that we are in a different time socially and intellectually. We have a lot of information about our psycho-sexual nature and the complexities therein. We know the heartbreak many people have faced and do face in this area of our beings.

Anonymous said...

@inlovewithmysavior, you sound like me about 8 years ago!! That's great that you have been able to stay strong this far, and I hope God will help you stay strong until you do find a good guy.

I am 32 and still a virgin, but just barely!! In thought and spirit, I'm not. I'm currently dating a non-Christian. Yes, I know it's wrong--it's just so hard to be at this age and have pretty much NO Christian men who have ever in my life been interested in me, and when there is someone as lovely and as good a friend as my current boyfriend, one starts questioning how strictly to interpret those 2 NT passages that talk about not being with non-Christians. But it does make it that much harder to be chaste, because we have different standards for what is "right" and "wrong."

I'm so thankful that God is a God of forgiveness, and I keep praying that he will lead me to the right path. Because, yeah, it was a lot nicer to be a virgin who didn't know what she was missing than one who does. It's comforting to read about other people's struggles. Being single, and I say this as having been single for probably 30 out of my 32 years, with a total of 4 relationships--only one with a nominal Christian, is not easy at ALL...

angel said...

Its been three years since you first wrote this article, but it is right on the MONEY.

If you're a virgin, stay a virgin....wait

If you're not a virgin and you're dating...go into the dating scene with some boundaries already set up so that you don't crash and burn...

-Group Date
-Visit each other at a friends house
-Never visit each other's houses alone
-Don't have a long courtship

God made sex beautiful and absolutely great and fulfilling....don't let it be consumed with guilt and thoughts of "i messed up"....

Go into the dating scene knowing I need to have boundaries....and then don't cross them...

Fredric said...

A rather insightful post, I must say. You'll like my case for monogamy (my scientific reason to choose one mate or none at all).

http://eccentricfredric.blogspot.com/2009/08/case-for-monogamy.html

Anonymous said...

I JUST came across this article! How great! I wish I was surrounded by more people like you, the support of other Christians is vital if one wishes to stick to this vow of chastity. I am not a virgin, I waited until my college years and then threw it all away due to complete frustration with being "good" rather than temptation....I have paid the price for my discretions, and I am now proud to claim one year of re-committed abstinence. Sex feels great, but NOTHING feels better than pleasing God with a commitment to wait! Stay strong all. You are in my prayers.

Aleina said...

If you are a single than no need to be singles any more, Are you looking for a dating partner or a friend to date with ? Try it there on a free online dating site a good site among the best free dating sites.

viagra online said...

More and more young people lose their virginity at a very young age, perhaps because it takes advice from their parents

matt said...

what about masturbation, do celibate christians count that as sex

Anonymous said...

Im a Christian a boy Im 19 and im also a virgin.It is so difficult being that way as there are so many girls that want to have sex. I dont know if I can stay virgin much longer :(

Anonymous said...

Christian boy, that's 19:-). God told me to tell you to be strong. Sometimes we get the meaning of strength confused because the world has misleads, and misconstrue God's view of true strength. Strength is having the ability not to give in to sin. Remember ANYONE CAN SIN. But the ones of great strength are those who are not willing to sin no matter what because of their love for Christ. Yeah we all do fall short of the glory but take my advice having sex before marraige is opening up pandora's box. And trust me its hard to close that box.:-) I will keep you lifted in my prayers and everyone else who is struggling as I am.

Anonymous said...

Hey I am 35 yr old female and amazingly still a virgin. It has not been easy and yes I masturbate and yes this is a sin. Women often do not admit this, but they do do it, but it is not as common in women. Secularly I am almost at my sexual peak. It is not easy trust me. Finding your spiritual equal is complex when the ratio of women to men in the church is something like 4 females:1 male- this is a world wide phenomena. God knows this however, what it is like for me , what it is like for you all. Often someone who is similar in age is not in maturity. i have thought a lot about being equally yoked. In many ways i have pursued God, taken some serious risks, giving up jobs and my life 2-3 times for God to go to the mission field. In some ways I am glad I am not married, but I would just love some male single Christian friends to do stuff with, they are few it seems at my age. I know a lot of single Christian woman of my age, and they all struggle. Often being side-lined by "the married's" in the church. Sometimes i find people who are married pretend to know what it is like. That really bugs me. Biblically it is better to be single than to be married, remember Paul in the NT?? Why? because you are free, when God says go you can go...

Anonymous said...

Hi!i'm to read this article. I'm 22yrs and still a virgin but i have a problem of thinking about sex all the time and this makes me doubt my virginity somethings because of JESUS said ("But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."matt5:28).i have done everything i can to stop it because me sad and thank GOD that is reducing.initially it used to stimulate my body but now it doesn't.
GOD bless u.

Anonymous said...

I was doing some searching online regarding Christian women keeping their thoughts pure, because at this time, my thought become infiltrated by sexual desires! I know that it is wrong, but oh, how hard it is to keep those thoughts away. I try to think on things lovely, pure, etc. (Phil. 4:8), but to no avail. These things override that. Please keep me in prayers, because I do not want to go back to that life....trying to live for GOD only. GOODBYE satan!

Anonymous said...

Dont know how old this thread is..

im a divorced christian lady, just broken up with my christian boyfreind, the main issue seemed to be that we werent having sex, we were both married before so this was for both of us our first christian relationship without it, i tried to stay strong but for him, he couldnt cope.... is this normal?... are there still christian males over 40 that want to do the right thing and leave it for marriage or am i kidding myself?