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Most Christians have been told all their lives that abstinence is the right thing to do and it’s the godly way to live. Many of us have stood up in church and taken the abstinence pledge, holding onto that promise closely. But the modern age we live in has challenged the way many Christians view sex before marriage. We live in a sex obsessed culture. For a lot of people, sex is no big deal. Purity and chastity seem to be virtues that have gone out of fashion. The crisis of values has led many young people to see sex as the center of their dating relationship. Many people believe it’s for fun and pleasure, but it doesn’t have to be confined to a committed marriage. In fact, a lot of people would tell you it’s ok to date as many people as you choose and sleep with as many people as you can. These are the messages and cues we receive from the media – in magazines, on TV and online. Despite the sex-obsessed culture we live in and the circumstances we may face, we should still value waiting, not on marriage, but on God.

Often times, people pursue God more when they’re single than they ever do when they’re in relationships. Concerns often change once a significant other is involved. When we are single, we are more worried about why they didn’t text back or why they chose to go out with friends rather than come over and watch Netflix. We care more about how they are feeling, how they are doing and trying to connect with them than we do on how our relationship with God is going and that is problematic. When we do this, we make relationships our idols.

When relationships become an idol, we set ourselves up for all sorts of trouble. We become obsessed with the joy and attention we get from the person we’re talking to. We end up in and out of different relationships every few weeks or months. We may want to have more of a relationship with God, but we become lost in the world and the people we pursue become the idol for us. We begin to lack focus. When that happens, our relationship with God suffers greatly all because we won’t cling to God and let Him heal us.

Too often, we are so obsessed with finding Mr. or Mrs. Right that we worship the idea of finding the one when we should be focused on finding God. Instead of worshipping the idea of marriage and missing out on all the amazing opportunities around you, you should be focusing on building a stronger relationship with God and those around you. Our singleness is a time for us to develop our relationship with God. When we chose to let go and no longer place our focus on people, that’s when God gives us peace. When we’re living apart from God and doing things our own way, we find ourselves going through the same mountain like the Israelites, having to retake the same tests because we don’t want to be obedient.

Luckily, the Bible has the answers. When you want to know what you should do in your particular situation, pick up your Bible. Memorize Bible verses in areas where you feel you need answers. If you feel that you’re obsessing over sex and chasing a whole bunch of people so that you can find a sense of wholeness, you need to stop right now. You will never be whole when you’re worshipping sex. That completeness you’re chasing for, that void to fill is God. You’ll never feel complete until you’re close to Him.

Many of us are quick to pick up our phones and call a friend or a parent for advice. Remember, if you want to know what to do, ask God. Be specific when you pray. He will show you what to do. You have to be open to hearing from Him by spending time in His Word and communicating with Him daily.

Knowing who the one is for us isn’t always easy. Deciding whom we’ll marry is one of the most important decisions we’ll ever make and will affect extensively the whole rest of your life. Given the magnitude of this decision, it’s only natural to want reassurance that what you’re doing is the right thing. The beautiful thing is that God does guide and direct our steps. The Bible tells us, “A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). When God wants to, He is capable of revealing exactly when and whom we should marry. While it is true that the Lord directs our steps, every person has to make that call based upon their own communication and relationship with God.

Growing in faith requires that we learn to hear God’s voice. However, it’s normal for our personal desire to cloud our ability to clearly hear God. When it comes to marriage, hearing God is difficult because it involves another person’s will. In time, situations will make it clear whether you indeed heard from God or following through with your own will. When God speaks, His promises come to pass. As you learn to hear God’s voice, it’s normal to think you heard God only to learn that you were mistaken.

Once it’s made clear that you made a mistake – and his or her being engaged to another person is a pretty good sign – then it’s time to move on. Holding on to a false hope will only hurt you, and keep you from potential matches that may be in store.

Sex and romance should never be your primary focus in life. Every decision we make shouldn’t be dictated by the prospect of marriage. Be patient. Love will come in time. When it comes to discovering God’s match for you, the best thing you can do is accept what God has for your life. Instead of asking the question, “Is this the one I should marry,” ask yourself if you are in God’s will. Worship God and all things will fall into place according to His will and purpose for your life.

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