If you’re a Christian and you’ve been in church, you’ve probably heard the message “sex is for marriage.” But you’re not married right now. So what are you supposed to do with your sexual drives? What if you’ve “messed up?” If you’re struggling with sex and intimacy as single Christian, you’re not alone.
To begin, let me apologize to you as a single Christian on behalf of the “church.” The modern body of Christ, in general, has done a grave disservice to unmarried people by idolizing marriage. You may have gotten the idea that, to God, somehow marriage is “better.” You’re somehow a second-class follower of Jesus if you’re single. Singleness has often been portrayed as nothing more than a “waiting room” for marriage.
That’s so not true!
Was Jesus in a “waiting room” when He was here on earth? The most Fully Alive human being ever to walk this earth was never married, never had sex. Marriage is not the goal of the Christian life.
But that doesn’t yet answer the question about what you’re supposed to do with your own sexuality as a single Christian.
Your Need for Intimacy
God created you with the need, desire, and capacity for intimacy. That’s part of how you are made in the image of God! Contemporary culture, and even many in the church, would have you think that this means sex. But sex and intimacy are not the same.
If you’ve been married previously or know married people well, you may realize that intimacy and sex is not guaranteed in marriage! And today’s culture makes it easier than ever to experience sex without marriage – or intimacy.
But you still need intimacy.
Maybe you want to get married but don’t see any good prospects. Or you don’t want to ever get married because of the troubled marriages you’ve seen. Perhaps because of what’s happened to you or what you’ve done you don’t think a healthy marriage could ever be an option for you. So if you’re not married, what are you supposed to do about sex? Or intimacy?
In trying to satisfy your need for intimacy you’ve responded in ways that have been hurtful. And the enemy loves to exploit your need for intimacy to drive you to all sorts of destructive behaviors and beliefs.
That may be porn, friends with benefits, serial hookups, living together without marriage, or a host of other “options.” But it can also be walling off of your heart to any intimacy, any real relationships. And sexual trauma is almost universal; you’ve almost certainly been harmed sexually in some way or many ways.
Lonely, ashamed, isolated, addicted, frustrated, angry, bitter, hurting – whether 1% or 99% of your experience, you’re affected.
And you need a change.
Your Sexual Story
You didn’t wake up one day and decide to have “issues” around sex. Stuff happened to you. And then you responded. It’s often hard if not impossible to determine where someone else’s “fault” ends and yours begins. But that’s not really the question, anyway.
Jesus is not so much concerned with portioning out blame as He is with inviting you into a journey of transformation.
And that begins with addressing your sexual story. Things like:
- When and how did you first learn about sex?
- What did you see modeled growing up when it comes to sex, sexuality, and intimacy?
- Are there ways in which you have been sexually harmed?
- If you are wanting sex, what are the “under the surface” needs you are trying to get filled?
- What feelings do you have around sex, sexuality, intimacy? Do you believe those feelings line up with what God intended?
- How have you dealt with issues such as shame, anger, or entitlement around sex?
- What religious messages have you heard around sex? Do you believe those messages line up with what God intended?
And there’s one question that may be the most important:
How are you addressing your need for intimacy right now?
It’s no harder for Jesus to deal with your sexual “stuff” than any other problem you have. When He was here on earth He addressed sexual issues with honesty and compassion. He’s not saying, “Get your act together, and then we’ll talk.” Instead, He’s inviting you to invite Him into your story.
And that can change everything.
And I’m inviting you to join me in our new Sexpectations online course. There you will address your sexual story with honesty and compassion, find the transformation and healing you need, and then write the next chapter with hope – including what it means to find real intimacy.
Come join me in the online Sexpectations course today.
Your Turn: As a single Christian, are you struggling with issues around sex and intimacy? How are you addressing your need for intimacy? Leave a comment below.
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