There are some truths that are too precious to be discussed in hostile, worldly settings. Nobody dispenses his bodily affections indiscriminately. And I would argue that there is a pearl of great value, a pearl of emotional, spiritual, physical intimacy, which can only be placed in one container without being debased and ruined, and that is the strong, permanent velvet-lined case of marriage. The unique, personal sexual fulfillment in the permanence of marriage for those who have kept themselves pure is one of the best explanations for why God limited the gratification of sexual desires to marriage.
The implication of all this for the single person with average sexual desires is not easy. Even if a person gets married in his early twenties, he is confronted with a preceding decade of sexual stress. And for those who remain single, whether by choice or not, the problem of handling sexual desires continues much longer.
What help can we give to these people, among whom I include everybody from thirteen years on up who is unmarried and yet feels desires for sexual stimulation and gratification? My main burden for you in this category is that you glorify God in your bodies by keeping yourself free from any enslavement, except to God.
And in 1 Corinthians 6: That is the situation in the world today. In the name of sexual freedom, we are a nation enslaved to our sexual cravings.
If you want to know what a nation is hooked on, just observe what the media masters use to get and hold our attention. It sells movies, cars, furniture, clothes, booze, news, cigarettes, and sporting gear. Sex sells because we are a nation enslaved to the second, third, and fourth look at the body in the picture. But it shall not be so among you, because you have been set free from sin and are now enslaved to God.
Therefore, glorify God by keeping yourself free from the enslaving forces of the world. Ten Words of Counsel for Single People I have ten words of counsel for persons who are not married but who have to deal with sexual desires. Some of these have a masculine orientation because I know the male temptation firsthand but not the female.
Do not seek regular sexual gratification through masturbation — the stimulation of your own self to sexual orgasm or climax. Masturbation does not solve sexual pressure for very long, it tends to become habitual, it produces guilt, and it contradicts the God-given design of sexuality. Our bodies and desires were designed for the sexual union of persons, and masturbation contradicts that design. But perhaps worst of all, masturbation is inevitably accompanied and enabled by sexual fantasies in the mind which we would not allow ourselves in reality and so we become like the Pharisees: Do not seek sexual satisfaction through touching or being touched by another person, even if you stop short of sexual intercourse.
Everyone knows that intimate touching is the prelude and preparation for sexual intercourse, and therefore it belongs where that event belongs, namely, in marriage. God made us in such a way that if we try to turn that moment of touching into a personal, spiritual expression of love, we are not able to do it without making promises of faithfulness.
Implicit in our hearts at that moment is the statement: You may touch me because you have promised never to leave me nor forsake me. You may have me because you are me. We are so made that we cry out for permanence when giving away our most intimate gifts.
They belong in marriage. Avoid unnecessary sexual stimulation. To visit these crummy places is temptation enough. But the real test is what you do with the more legitimate sources of sexual stimulation. PG movies, Time magazine, the newspaper, television, drugstore magazine racks, rock music lyrics. In our society you cannot escape sexual stimulation, but you can refuse to seek it. And you can avoid it often when you see it coming. This is the great test of whether we are enslaved or free — can we say no to the slave driver in our bodies who wants us to keep on looking and keep on lusting.
When the stimulation comes and the desire starts to rise, perform a very conscious act of transfer onto Christ. I wish I had learned this much earlier in my life. I take it from your competitor, I purge it, and I direct it to you. Thank you for freeing me from the bondage of sin.
Pray that God would give you, in ever-increasing strength, a longing to know and love and obey him above all else. It is in prayer that we summon the divine help to produce in us that new desire for God.
The person who does not arm himself with the sword of the Spirit Ephesians 6: