For some single women, the term “godly sexuality” may seem like an oxymoron. Perhaps you’re someone who was taught to believe that the only way to have a godly sexuality was to not have sex at all. But of course, we know this can’t be true, since God is the creator of sex and he made it for us to enjoy so that we could learn something about him. Or perhaps you’re a woman who is keenly aware of your sexuality and are bombarded day-in-day-out with temptations to lust, masturbate, and have sex, all the while desiring in your heart to remain chaste until marriage. None of you are having sex, but are obeying God by abstaining from sex until marriage. Your big question may be, “What does it mean to have godly sexuality as a single/dating person?”
Here are a couple pointers:
Don’t suppress your sexuality. Because you can’t have sex yet, a self-defense mechanism may be to ignore your sexuality, suppress it, or call it names (bad, gross, unimportant). But remember that sex is a gift from God. How do you treat a gift from someone you love? You cherish it, nurture it, and use it properly. Keep reminding yourself that God had big plans when he instilled sexual feelings in the heart of every person.
Be aware of your sexuality. Do you ever feel warm and tingly during a particularly romantic movie? That’s a sexual experience. Have you ever experienced a pleasant sensation, centered around your vagina, while in a warm shower or snuggled in bed? That’s a sexual experience. Have you ever spent time day-dreaming a scenario that leaves your heart beating and your panties a little wet? That’s a sexual experience. God made you this way, so you don’t have to feel guilty or scared, but learn and practice how to control these feelings so that you are never mastered by them. Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to understand and skillfully handle your sexuality. It’s not a sin to be turned on, that’s just a natural part of being a sexual being. Sexual sin occurs when you step outside of God’s guidelines for sex. For example, lust (imagining and desiring to have sex with someone that you’re not married to), fornication (having sex before marriage), and adultery (having sex with someone who is married).
Thank God for your sexuality. One healthy way of processing your sexuality or a sexual experience (feeling turned on, being tempted to lust, etc.) is to thank God that you have these feelings. Your sexuality is what enables you to participate in the intimacy of sexual union—something created as a metaphor that speaks to the Your sexuality is a sacred charge, an enormous responsibility, and at times a burden that you bear that you can use to glorify God in your obedience, submission, and, if you one day get married, through your enjoyment of his good gift.
Turn to God for satisfaction. When a man and a woman come together during sex and become one person, this represents something beautiful about the nature of the Trinity and the intimate communion that God is inviting you into. However, God offers the real deal—an invitation into the community of the Trinity—to every believer, wedded or not. You can experience ultimate intimacy and joy through a relationship with God, something that sex will never give you. The Message paraphrases Jonah 2:8 by saying, “Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds, walk away from their only true love.” Sex is a shadow of the relationship that is already available to you. Whoever you are, whatever stage in life you find yourself, turn to God, your only true love.
(Image above from a Claire Pettibone shoot for Nouveau Magazine)