The goal of most single Christian men is to find a good Christian woman who not only loves Jesus Christ, but also shares his same vision – who is willing to step on the mission field with him. This is a woman that he’s not only physically and emotionally attracted to, but also a person he can also see himself growing old with. While many Christian men are hoping to find their dream wife, statistics show that men are spending a great percentage of their lives single. More and more men are choosing to delay marriage. According to U.S. Census records, in 1960, the median age at first marriage for a man was just under 23. Now, it’s at a current high of over 27. This prolonged period of singleness presents a series of challenges for Christian men as they seek to live for the glory of Jesus Christ.
Scripture teaches us that marriage is a covenant that establishes a relationship between a man and a woman that have no natural obligations to each other, but who voluntarily take on the permanent obligations and commitments of a family relationship. In marriage, two individuals become related in union, and become one flesh, developing a relationship that is so close, intimate and permanent. To form this kind of covenant relationship is part of what it means to be created in the image of God. Just as Christ is united to His people in such a way that He is the head, and the church is His body, God created us to reflect His image as we relate to one person in a one-flesh union. It’s also important to understand that to become one flesh doesn’t mean to become one person. A husband and wife are still two distinct people. However, it does mean as a result of this union, a husband now relates to his wife as if she were part of his own body, caring for and protecting her as he would care for and protect himself.
When it comes to sex and the single man, the Bible teaches that sex should not be experienced outside of marriage. Following the Bible’s instruction is becoming a bigger problem not only because people are marrying later, but also because people are valuing marriage less and less. Despite this, the biblical teaching to reserve sexual intimacy for marriage is still relevant for today’s Christian man. The fullness of sexual expression was created to be expressed only within the covenant of marriage. Regardless of our culture’s emphasis on “casual sex,” sexual intercourse is a powerful emotional and spiritual bonding that will always have implications; there is no such thing as casual sex. While God commands us to save sexual intimacy for marriage, our sexuality is something that will always be there even when sex isn’t part of our life. We spend so much time talking about the physical act of sex, we ignore the fact that it’s our sexuality that drives us into relationship, makes us desire marriage and expresses our desire to be known, protected, heard and understood. Our sexuality drives our longing to be vulnerable, soul to soul with another person, and our longing to be known by God. As a single Christian man, your sexuality serves a purpose.
Your sexuality draws you into relationship. We spend so much time focusing on the act of sex that we forget that sexuality is about intimacy and relationship. A key aspect of sexuality is the desire to share intimately with another person. While this is expressed in the fullness of marriage, your sexuality as a man deeply impacts how you relate to others. You have a longing to connect, to share and to trust another person wholly. These are all aspects of God’s image expressed in your sexuality.
One way you can do this is by guarding your mind. Our culture is so sex-saturated. Porn can be accessed not only on every computer, but also on every mobile device. Sex is everywhere on TV and movies, and even in our advertisements. Sex is everywhere. The Song of Solomon warns us not to awaken love before it's time.
The next way you can honor goal and also validate your longings for intimacy is by channeling your desire for intimacy in healthy ways. Intimacy doesn’t mean sex. Many men and women who struggle with sexual temptation are really longing for intimacy. The feeling to be known, cherished and valued. Yes, we have hormones and sexual longings, but these are not nearly as powerful as our drive for intimacy. The physical act of sex, while beautiful as an expression of intimacy is a cheap replacement for it. Our society sabotages intimacy while promoting casual sex as a substitute. No amount of sex, whether real or imagined can replace intimacy.
Christian men should continue to seek marriage, but intimacy should be the greater goal. Your sexuality and your longings should remind you that you are created for relationship – intimate relationships with others and with Him. Instead of focusing on the act of sex, focus on building up intimacy in your relationships. Everything will eventually fall into place.