God created sex for fun.
At least, that’s what I was taught in High school – indirectly, of course, but nevertheless quite exhaustively. Religious Education was the class subject in which I learnt most of what I knew about sex as a teenager…and none of it was about Gods design for sex. We were being taught by our peers at the Catholic All-Girls Private School I attended, so understandably there was a slight misrepresentation of the sanctity of sex.
The offering of condoms, teaching of sexual positions, social pressure from peers and implicit messages I heard from the hip-hop music which held the greatest influence on my teenage mind, all had me “feening” for this sexual experience. Of course, my own sexual brokenness and lack of a healthy father-daughter relationship also contributed to my tendency to be at-risk of anti-social behaviour. All of these factors and the breaking up of one boyfriend because I couldn’t “give it to him,” led to my decision to “give it to” the next boyfriend and become sexually active at the age of seventeen- a late bloomer in comparison to my peers. A decision that would have me falling pregnant by the time I was 18 and still “out of wedlock.” But hey, if everyone is doing it, it must be okay right? If it FEELS GOOD, then why deny your body the pleasures it deserves?! After all, it is the twenty-first century…
But did it feel good all the time? Or did it make me feel like I had been used to meet the needs of another at the expense of my own dignity? Weren’t there times when he walked out of the room and I wondered if I was “good enough” to keep him coming back for more? Did I not use sex to manipulate a man into loving me when loving me should have been the passport he held before he even had access to my body?
See, love is patient, says the great “Love Chapter” of the Bible (1 Corinthians 13). Patience implies waiting well. It’s not just waiting but HOW you wait. It’s waiting with a knowing that “hope does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:5), which allows you to maintain peace and joy in the wait. If love is like that then wouldn’t it hold back on physical pleasure before meeting foundational emotional and spiritual needs? These days, we’re so quick to get physical and subsequently forfeit the important aspects of building healthy relationship foundations, like communication, understanding and connection at an emotional level.
This generation of Tinder users will never understand the value of love if they’re continually going to have a “quick fix” mentality when it comes to meeting their sexual needs.
So what is the threshold we need to pass before we enter into a sexual relationship? Is it a time period that you’re together with your boyfriend/girlfriend? Is it an age barrier you need to cross in order to be ready to make that next step? Is it a case of, “If it feels good or right, just do it?” Sometimes it feels like there’s a line we pass that gives us permission to be sexually active, and once we’ve passed that line or “threshold”, that we can do it whenever and with whomever we please.
We can be tempted to think, that the threshold we pass is our loss of virginity– “Well, I’ve already gone there, so it’s too late.” This is the lie that people who have been sexually abused often fall for. And this could be a valid argument for people like me who have been in a marriage relationship where maybe it didn’t start pure but you kept it monogamous, and now you’re single again. There’s that temptation to think that you’ve already crossed the threshold, so why stop now?
This is really the question I’m writing this blog to answer.
God’s design for the Sex threshold: The only threshold you cross in order to gain the right to someone else’s body, for yours and their sexual pleasure is…
(Drum roll please) …
The Wedding Threshold.
See, God created sex for marriage. Sex after divorce is the same as sex before marriage- you’re dwelling in the same realm of being outside of a covenant relationship and SEX is about covenant. Yes it is fun and yes it is about procreation but it’s also a display of an intimacy that He (the Creator of sex) desires to have with us. Sex is the most intimate you get to be with another soul. In the process of that physical act, there is a spiritual exchange of soul ties that signifies and seals the bond between two people. It’s an exposure of your vulnerability in exchange for another’s heart. When that significant other has proven they are worthy of your heart, (by committing to a life long covenant relationship with you-ie. marriage) THEN, and only then do they deserve the right to enter into your very being…which is what sex is ultimately about.
So even though I’m about to file for divorce from a 19 year marriage relationship that gave me the keys to have sexual relations with my husband, I will remain celibate until I enter into covenant relationship again. I’m setting myself up for the win this time. Whether or not I do ever return to the wedding threshold, I will keep my body pure for the Love of my life – who currently is and always will be, Jesus. He’s the One I live for and He requires that I die to fleshly desires- so I do, in the knowledge that He has my best interests at the centre of His heart.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matt 16:24-26
So how do you keep yourself “pure” and deny yourself once you’ve “tasted of” the pleasures of sex. These may seem like some cut and dry solutions (and everyone has their own issues they need to face) but here are some suggestions that work for me:
- Don’t go there in your mind and you won’t go there in your body.Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2You need to be on the offence AND on the defence when it comes to your mind. These verses show the direct correlation between the mind and the body. To keep your body sanctified, you have to keep your mind renewed. Keep your mind renewed in the Word of God, offensively and keep it protected from the influences of the world, defensively. Whether that be music or internet images, movies or conversations that get your mind “going there”, guard yourself from them! Not entertaining thoughts you know will lead you to sexual temptation will keep you from having to clean up the mess after the party has died.
2. Get a vision for your future.
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint Proverbs 29:!3 (ESV)
With vision you build restraints and boundaries around what you allow yourself to indulge in. The best kind of vision you can have is that one that prophetically tells you what your future holds. Knowing God’s pleasing and perfect will for your life constrains you to only allow things that will build into that future and not sabotage it. Even in the corporate world, vision must be followed by research and strategy. Do the same for your life. Research the effects of what you’re tempted to do and strategise ways to keep yourself pure. Informed decisions help you to choose well, date well and commit well.
3. Remember- It’s not just about you.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8
Not only do YOU reap what you sow, but your children will also reap what you sow. If you sow seeds of sexual immorality, they will be the ones who have to face your struggle. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for them. Set them up to win in the sexual war we wage by denying yourself the physical pleasures that try to pull you into their arena. In doing so, you’re giving your children the winning advantage.
4. Know your worth.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
This is your worth (whether you feel it or not). You ARE chosen, royal, holy and a special possession of God’s. You are worthy to be loved. When you embrace this, others will embrace it in you. A man/woman who truly loves you and values you as a human being will wait patiently for the wedding exchange of rings and promises before they try to get you into bed. You are worth someone’s wait!
5. Be secure in who you are before you worry about who’s you are.
I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 (KJV)
I’ve been on this “single” journey for just over a year and what I’ve had to do is to find out who I really am as an individual apart from being “a wife“. It’s easy having a companion to hide behind so you don’t have to face the reality of your own brokenness. Having my brokenness exposed in the safety of those who help me to process it, has helped me to heal and find my security in Christ. The beauty that comes out of those ashes is that once you are okay with the skin you’re in, and don’t have to rub up against someone else’s skin to get that sense of value, you will be ready to be a part of someone else’s world.
Two halves don’t make a whole, two wholes make a whole.
God will bring the right person to you when He knows that YOU know that you are ultimately HIS before you can be anyone else’s. In Him, there is a security and confidence that will allow you to live in a healthy relationship with another.
My single friend,
Sex is pleasurable for a moment but your self worth is measurable forever.
Measure it according to the scale of the One who created you. You are invaluable to Him. Once you know God’s standard for love, you won’t settle for an imitation version that only seeks his/her own pleasure. He was willing to give up His life for you because He loves you that much! Don’t place yourself on the scales of a person who will only temporarily be in your life. If your worth and value stems from your ability to “score” then you’ll never experience the true value that love will place on you.
True love yields great rewards.
So wait well.