If you grew up in a conservative Christian home, you may not have discussed this much – if at all. For many women raised in the church, sexuality is a topic reserved for engagement and beyond. Prior to marriage, it may be discussed in a one-time “talk” focusing on biology and basics, but not much more.
Christianity has a history of uncertainty regarding sexual discussion. We aren’t sure how to talk about it, so we don’t talk about it all! Some families do talk about it, but only in negative terms.
We know that God has designed sex for marriage, but our sexuality exists long before marriage is on the horizon. How do we view our divinely created sexual design before we say “I do”?
This is a question I set out to answer as a single woman. I grew up around the “purity culture” – I wore a purity ring, didn’t date in high school, and truly believed in God’s standards for sexuality. But because I did not understand sexuality according to God – only according to rules – my view of sex was distorted by shame. This in turn led to secrecy and sexual sin, in an endless cycle that kept me in bondage for years.
Many, many Christian women have experienced this same cycle. But we can prevent more from falling into the Enemy’s trap of unbiblical sexuality by educating ourselves about God’s view of sex.
1. View Your Sexuality as Good
Your sexuality is first and foremost a good thing. If that shocks you, it’s probably because the general tone surrounding premarital sexuality (not to be confused with premarital sex) is negative. Women and men of the church are taught to avoid sex prior to marriage, but unless they are also taught why God created sex for marriage, what they hear is: “Sex is bad – avoid it!” Once married, this message is hard to overcome in the marital bed.
That’s why it’s so important to see your sexuality the way God Himself does – as a good and beautiful thing! Song of Solomon is a perfect example of God’s view of sexuality. In this small book, we see the glory and freedom of sexuality within God’s design. When the Bible talks about sex negatively, it is only when sexuality is connected to immorality (Ephesians 5:3, Galations 5:19, Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:18).
Sexuality, from our desires and to our biology, is not sinful in and of itself, but can be used for selfish, sinful purposes. An unbiblical view of sex – whether immoral or legalistic – dishonors God’s good design.
2. View Your Sexuality as Pure
Secondly, if you are a new creation in Christ, your sexuality is pure. This is not because of anything you have done or not done, but because Christ’s righteousness rests on you! This is why men and women who have sinned sexually can be completely redeemed and made new, as sexually pure as the person who goes to the altar a virgin. Repentance and God’s redemption pave the way to purity for those who have sexually sinned.
But even those who are virgins sometimes struggle to view their sexuality as pure. When sexuality is discussed only in negative contexts, it’s easy to associate it with guilt and shame – even when there is no reason for shame to exist! If you struggle with this view of sex, allow God to transform your mind.
Your sexuality is good and pure. He created it. He knows about it. And He wants you to celebrate it as part of His loving design!
3. View Your Sexuality as a Gift
Your sexuality is finally, a gift. If you’re struggling to manage sexual desires and waiting to meet a spouse, it may not always feel like a gift! But like anything in the Christian life, sexual desires serve to sanctify us into the image of Jesus.
When teaching women how to manage sexual desires in their single years, I frequently make an analogy to fasting. When we fast food, each hunger pain reminds us to pray, asking God to teach us how to hunger for Him in the same way we hunger for food. Our sexual desires can do the same! Each time you are overwhelmed by desire or impatience, use that opportunity to thank God for your sexual capability. In marriage, it will be beautiful reward! Ask Him to teach you through this difficulty and to allow you to use your sexuality for His glory.
Singleness and single sexuality are gift and trial both. Many times the gift comes by persevering through the trial!
But as you are faithful to God’s vision for your sexuality, allowing Him – not your past, not rules, and not negative misinterpretation – to dictate your view of sex, you will find the beauty of a God-designed sexuality.
Photography: JenniMarie Photography