Monday, August 15, 2011
How are Christian singles to view sex?
Well there's a week-starting topic! We came across an article titled "Sex Everywhere" written by Candice Watters of Focus on the Family's Boundless Webzine. Candice answers a single's inquiry about how we are to think about sex, since it is a huge part of our culture. Her advice is suitable for marrieds folks, too:
DEAR BOUNDLESS ANSWERS
What is the proper, God-honoring way to think about sex? I'm not talking fantasizing. I mean more in the fact that it's everywhere, so it obviously is thought about. And of course with the goal of marriage, you think of your future and again it pops into your head.
Thanks for writing and asking about what’s overly obvious in our culture — sex — where it’s both everything and nothing. It’s everything in the way it’s been held up as an idol to worship and nothing in the way it’s been pulled down to trivial entertainment. And it’s not just singles who struggle to know how to think about sex in that environment. All believers, single and married, face the dilemma. How do you think rightly about sex, and how do you avoid thinking wrongly about it, when it’s both overblown and undervalued?
As ubiquitous as sexual images and themes are in our culture, the most obvious occurrences are distant from what God had in mind when He created us male and female, and told us to be fruitful and multiply. His design for sex, as explained in Genesis and reinforced throughout the Scriptures, is the one-flesh union between husband and wife within the covenant of life-long marriage. That’s rarely reflected on TV and movies, music or books, magazines or websites.
The biggest problem is two-fold: It isn’t just that the sex we see all around us is contrary to and violates God’s design, but also that it can stir us up and tempt us to want to have it in that contrary way. And as you’ve wisely noticed, how we think about it has everything to do with how we end up acting on it; “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
How you think about sex while single will set patterns for how you think about it once married. That’s important because it’s just as sinful to think lustfully before marriage as it is after. The ability to have sex legitimately doesn’t eliminate the temptation to sin sexually. Developing the spiritual muscles of self-control, of guarding your thought-life, will be a tremendous blessing to your spouse and will help guard your marriage.
It’s not that you can’t think sexual thoughts about your spouse – on the contrary. It’s just that thinking sexually about a specific person to whom you’re joined by covenant is starkly different from the sorts of random, generic, hormonal thoughts that assault the mind during racy TV commercials and steamy romance movies and novels (not to mention pornography). The former takes you out of yourself for the benefit of the other. The latter is all about self-gratification.
So what to do about the assault of sex day-to-day: There’s a lot you can avoid by using media discernment, and that’s a powerful and empowering tool. (See www.pluggedin.com for more on this.) But like black birds that plague a farmer’s near-ripe crop, sexual images will swoop down at points unexpected and beyond your control. It’s in these moments that we’re dependent on the Holy Spirit’s promptings to look away, walk away, or in some cases – like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife – to run away. This pattern of flight flows from a heart that desires purity, to “be holy,” as God said, “because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16, Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2). CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article.