Thursday, October 12, 2017

Should I be having sex?

Should I be having sex?  

Should I be having sex?  God's word, purity, marriage, single, christian faithNo.  If you are single, sisters, the answer is simply “No.”  

No, if you are in your teens and your health teachers explain that abstinence is an unhealthy, old-fashioned, unrealistic idea. 

No, if you are in your 20s and engaged or considering moving in with your boyfriend.

No, if you are in your 30 or 40s and still single or single again.

No, if you are 50s or 60s or older and left alone by a spouse's death.  

To the unmarried God simply says, “No.”

(If this list doesn’t apply to you, sweet sister, because you are married, I really encourage you to go read the YES! side of this post written by my friend Angela at the Dilligent Woman.)

I know that this “No!” sounds harsh or even prudish to those used to the world’s morals.  

To young followers, both those raised in Christian homes and those who have just now come to know the Lord, this may even seem impossible. And to be honest the Christian world has been so distracted in recent years with other kinds of sexual sin that we have more than a little bit of a double standard.  We have roundly condemned homosexuality without emphasizing that ALL sex outside of marriage is forbidden.  We have complained loudly at some of the consequences of the “sexual revolution” without going back and emphasizing again not just to young people but to all Christians that sexual purity is a powerful part of the ethics of holiness.  

Sexual Purity

What does sexual purity mean?   To be sexually pure means to allow God, not our flesh or our culture, to dictate to us about our sexuality.  It means that we dig into the Bible and see what God really has to say and then commit to His way over our way.  

And what does God say? 

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:19-24).

Immorality, sensuality, carousing and so on are "deeds of the flesh." If the old fashioned language is making you uncertain, is a great help clarifying with words like unchastity, lewdness, sexual misconduct, and contamination.  Outside of the “one man/one woman forever” formula of a godly marriage, sex, which our culture takes so casually, is forbidden to the Christian.

These verses are more than a simple prohibition. God intends us to inherit His Kingdom, to be people of His Spirit.  People who have self-control.  People who are good-who do what's right even when it's really hard.  People who put what's good for others over what's good for themselves.  People who can say, "No."

People like Joseph. After turning down his master's wife's invitation to her bed over and over again, she caught him in a private moment.  When he LITERALLY ran away from her, she accused him of attempted rape.  Joseph was willing to put his life on the line to put Potiphar’s good above his own, to put honor above desire (Genesis 39).  Joseph had the self-control his brothers lacked, and it let God work good through him. There is a reason that Paul contrasts the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians; Joseph’s virtues allowed him to avoid sin and bring life to the entire land of Egypt.  For comparison his brother’s lack of virtue and subsequent immorality brought disaster for themselves and others (Genesis 38-Judah and his sons, Genesis 35:22 and Chronicles 5:1-the fall of Rueben).

How are we supposed to bear this? God says...

The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it" (Matthew 19:10-12).

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).

But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan (1 Timothy 5:11-15).

For some being single and celibate (what Jesus calls "making oneself a eunuch for the kingdom") is more difficult than for others. It can be such a challenge that Paul strongly encouraged young widows to marry again rather than "follow Satan."  

I have to admit that as a young person dating and engaged I found it a miserable burden to bear.  But from meeting my husband to getting married was a span of just 18 months.  It may seem undue haste to you, but trust me, better to marry than burn!  Ladies, please take Paul's advice seriously and...  

*Don't date until you are preparing to marry. 
*Don't date someone you wouldn't marry.  
*Don't increase your temptation by dating for years and years. 

Is it really that big a deal?  God says...

Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:13-20).

God says that our bodies belong to Him.  We are one by one the place where the Holy Spirit dwells, temples of God walking around on earth. We cannot, we must not pretend that we are our own. The image here is powerful.  We are part of Christ.  Can we be a part of Him and also “one flesh” with just anybody else?  Nope.  When we do, we are sinning not only against God and the man we were with, Paul says we are sinning against our own bodies.  We devalue the image of God by being one with someone we're not married to.  We desecrate the temple of God with the unholy.

When we commit to following Christ, we know that we are picking up our crosses--denying self, flesh and desire for a different master.  We know that we put everything, including our most intimate self and relationships in His hands.  He tells us that we are to be people of the Spirit and the kingdom who have put aside the deeds of the flesh.  He tells us that if we find this too hard to deal with we need to marry.  He tells us that we are His sanctuary, His holy temple and that we debase ourselves and shame Him when we have sex outside of marriage.  

Kingdom Ethics 

Should I be having sex?  God's word, purity, marriage, single, christian faith
Ladies, our culture has taught us that our body is our own, our actions effect no one but ourselves, and our relationships should make us happy.  God’s word proves this false.  To the hook-up culture He says “No!” Our body is His to be given only in the covenant of marriage. To the lie that our sexual ethic impacts only ourselves, God says, “No!” Our desire to be unselfish, to have self-control, to do good even to our own harm is a matter of our whole community’s health! To the idea that we can be “spiritual” and behave according to our basest instincts, God says, “No!” We either walk in step with the Spirit or in slavery to the flesh. 

The question of whether or not any woman single or married should be having sex is a question of kingdom ethics.  It’s not some old fashioned mores or  hide-bound tradition.  It isn’t an effort to keep women down but to hold us and our Christian brothers to the same standard of honor.  We must be people of virtue, people who walk in the Spirit regardless of our gender, our age, or our marital status.  


PS.  Remember if you are married, check out the sister post at the Diligent Woman for details about how allowing God to dictate your sexuality is played out in your marriage bed!  And if you enjoyed this post, you can click through here to get email updates about new posts!


  1. preach, sister! (and you have!) great post.

  2. As the Single Woman's Cheerleader, I've written quite a bit on this subject. My latest post combines both yes and no. Would love it if you'd check it out. I agree with you, 100% NO to singles and an absolute yes to those married. Have lots of sex with your spouse and enjoy it.

  3. I love that post! And the reality of following God because we love and want to obey Him not because we feel we are assured of a great sex life is such a great point!!!