Unfortunately the reality is that we live in a sexually charged world. Sex is plastered everywhere, and there isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t see ads, TV shows, news headlines or other media filled with sexual themes. As Christians, how do we handle living in such a sexually chaotic society?
Sexuality generates a lot of pain, confusion and heartache for many Christians. Some people may be carrying personal secrets they are afraid to share with others, while some don’t think of sex as a big deal at all. Most Christian’s sources haven’t been very helpful in answering the deep questions that women are asking about sex. In Dr. Juli Slattery’s book, “Sex and the Single Girl,” she dives into what the Bible has to really say about the topic. Based on her book, here are the truths that God wants us to understand about being single, Christian and sexual.
Connecting Your Sexuality to Your Spirituality
Dr. Slattery points out that one of the most important realities from God is that He doesn’t want you to separate your spirituality and sexuality. Whether you are single or married, having sex or choosing to stay abstinent, your sexuality is inseparable from your faith. Our culture encourages us to explore sexually as a way of finding and expressing who you are, but God wants you to think about it in terms of whose you are. Do you choose to belong to God?
Over and over again, society tells you that your sexual choices don’t matter. Most people have bought into the idea that what you do sexually is as trivial as what car you drive. But sex is never just about sex. Our sexual opinions and choices reveal something much deeper about us and our relationship to God.
If you are like many single Christian women, you have constructed a wall between your desires, shame and temptations because they seem like a total disconnect from your longing to know and please God. Your confusion and hidden pain related to sex are inseparable from your relationship with God and you can’t compartmentalize them into two separate groups. God cares about all of who you are, even the “sexual” you.
Instead of being discouraged and confused because you don’t have it all figured out, take it as an invitation to connect with God on a deeper level. God is inviting you to trust Him with your sexuality; no matter how broken this area of your life may feel. By accepting His call, you can begin to develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord.
Living With Sexual Integrity
Dr. Slattery gives a guideline on how we as Christians can live with sexual integrity the way God intended. First, we have to begin with the truth that humans are sexual beings. Even if you have never had sex, you are still a sexual person and are so by God’s design. He intentionally created you a female with the physical and biochemical properties of sexuality. This means that you have a longing for intimacy, relationships and physical pleasure. God didn’t give us the need for intimacy so it could be isolated or shamed. No, instead God made it so we have a desire to share our hearts, soul and body with another person. Underneath your sexuality is the drive and desire to be known and loved. God created you as a sexual being so that you might understand what it means to long, to desire and to crave intimate oneness. Ultimately, your greatest need for intimacy is to know the God who created you.
Your sexuality is tied into who you are as a rational and spiritual women, as God designed. However going a step further, God’s design was for you to live with sexual integrity. Integrity means “the state of being whole and undivided.” Dr. Slattery then states that to live with sexual integrity means that your sexuality is representative of who you are as a Christian woman. When you live with sexual integrity, your sexual choices are a consistent expression of your relational and spiritual commitments.
You make choices about your sexuality everyday – what to look at, what to think about, how much of your heart and body to give away, and how to deal with your sexual past. Broken sexuality is expressed by single and married women when their sexual choices don’t match up to their commitment to follow the Lord. If Jesus is your Savior, your body (including your sexuality) no longer belongs to you but should be used for God’s glory. As a follower of Christ, you cannot pick and choose which areas to surrender to God. Either He is the Lord of your life, or He is not. This is so crucial to understand.
Women often ask what they should do if they’ve already messed up in the area of sexuality. Even though we cannot erase the past, Jesus offers us a way forward. Jesus came to redeem us in our sin and heal our brokenness. You might know firsthand the tangled mess of sexual sin and how devastating it can be when it is outside of God’s design. However, God invites you to healing and redemption though Jesus.
In Genesis God tells Cain, “sin is [always] crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Temptation is going to come to you and it’s important to prepare for it. We fight a daily battle to pursue holiness because Satan is always trying to bring us down. Your desire to express your sexuality isn’t a bad thing, but Satan twists that desire and presents you with shortcuts. These counterfeits may appear to meet the longings of your heart, but you will only end up feeling hurt, rejected and shamed. Every women is vulnerable to counterfeit intimacy. Sex before marriage, fantasies, and pornography are just a few of the ways that we can fall into the trap.
There are a few strategies to help you fight temptation, Dr. Slattery points out. First, you must stop flirting with sin. For example, you may not get naked with a man, but you let him put his hands on you. While you think you might have things under control, you are getting closer to the edge of your morals and values. At any time the temptation can be overwhelming and break you. Secondly, you can put on the armor of God. This means preparing for spiritual battle by building a strong foundation with God, having open lines of communication with Him, and fully understanding His teachings. Then, when confronted with temptation, you will feel powerful in your ability to stand your ground. Lastly, you don’t want to leave yourself spiritually isolated. Fighting off temptation is easier when you have other Christians to help you along. Find other single women who you can trust, and have open discussions about how you want to live with sexual integrity in the face of sin.Building a Relationship With God
Choosing to live with sexual integrity can draw you into a deeper relationship with God. Yet, there are still barriers to making that a reality. Every woman has had barriers between herself and God, and the main message of the Bible is God’s plan and desire to break down those walls that stand between Him and His children. He wants an intimate relationship with you no matter what past sins you have committed. Demolish these strongholds! Know that God made you to be a sexual person, and as a single Christian you can embrace that by having an intimate relationship with Him until you have found the soulmate God has created for you.
For more answers about sexuality and faith, Dr. Juli Slattery’s book “Sex and the Single Girl” can be found on Amazon for purchase.