Monday, November 04, 2019

Anonymous Asks (65)

“How can I satisfy my sexual needs and desires outside of marriage?”

This is certainly a loaded question. We need to be quite clear that there is one — and only one — legitimate Christian outlet for sexual energy: a Christian marriage. The apostle Paul is quite explicit about this. Marriage to a fellow believer is God’s remedy for the temptation toward sexual immorality of all sorts.

As stated, our question of the day can only be answered one way: You can’t. If that sounds a tad draconian, perhaps a little perspective is in order.

A Little Perspective

This world is full of Christian people, old and young, whose sexual desires are currently being frustrated or self-curtailed in some way or another. In some cases, there is little hope these perceived needs may ever be met or these intense desires given physical — or even verbal — expression.

Christians who have fallen in love with people who are already spoken for are living with unsatisfied sexual desire. Christians who love unsaved members of the opposite sex are living with unfulfilled needs. These are not rare creatures. Believing men or women with homosexual leanings who choose obedience to Christ and the scriptures over their urges are bound to find it tough sledding. Christians who were born less attractive than average or who have difficulty relating to others may long for attention they are unlikely to ever receive. Christian men and women whose partners are chronically ill or who have lost interest in sex regularly feel thwarted. Christians whose partners have abandoned them and are waiting hopefully for some kind of reconciliation or other resolution can be restless and frustrated. Older Christians whose partners have died may long for tenderness and affection without meeting anyone who can fill their emotional void. If you think sexual desire goes away at forty, fifty or sixty, think again.

Lots and lots of Christians long to satisfy sexual needs and desires ... and either don’t or can’t. Teens and twenty-somethings are far from alone in that. It is certainly better to marry than to burn, but sometimes we simply are not able to marry the person we really want to ... or perhaps anyone at all. That may be a conscious sacrifice, or it may be something imposed on us by our circumstances. Either way, it is very common and it is very real.

What to Do Then?

What can the Christian in such circumstances do then? Good question. The writers of scripture do not leave us without help in difficult situations:
  1. Resist the temptation to blame God. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” Recognize the source of the problem. Jesus is not in need of our forgiveness.
  2. Flee temptation. When smoldering, do not pour gasoline on the fire. The sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Stay away from people and situations that provoke sexual lust, and stay away from the many enablers who will counsel you to give expression to desires you already know are wrong.
  3. Fill your life with non-sexual expressions of Christian virtue. There may be no perfect earthly substitute for sexual desire, but an empty house is always in danger of being filled with the wrong things. Actively pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace instead. Get into the word of God, and get into helping others.
  4. Watch and pray. Temptation is always better managed with heavenly assistance. Just because you had a “good” week this week does not mean next week will be a breeze.
  5. Wait on the Lord. The fact that there is no way of satisfying a need today does not necessarily mean that will always be the case. “They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.” “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

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