Sanctity, Sex, and Singleness: A Conversation About the Unspoken Desires That Can Lead to Unhealthy Relationships
"I did not choose celibacy but rather celibacy was chosen for me... and I chose to be obedient... and wait."
Have you ever been putting a puzzle together and find two pieces that manage to fit together although not perfectly? After putting a couple of pieces together, you stand back, and while examining the printed design on each piece, you instantly know it's wrong. Not surprisingly, you knew just by looking at the unique design that they weren't a match from the start but you tried it anyway. Your curiosity wanted to see if they would indeed connect. So there you have it, two unique pieces with unique designs that neither blend nor complement the other. If you look closely you notice that although the pieces have been squeezed together a small gap remains. They don't fit together tight enough to completely close the gap. That's what relationships look like when we have "squeezed" our life together with someone who God has not designed to perfectly fit. The gaps then leave room for the enemy to slip in and create havoc in our lives.
As a single woman, I know all to well about how the desire for intimacy and marriage can sometimes lead you into the most unfulfilled and unhealthy relationships. When the need for companionship is seemingly not being met, we turn to another human being in hopes of them filling that void instead of God. We at times choose a mate who, although not always immediately apparent, is filled with empty spaces, an empty head, empty heart, empty hopes and dreams, empty emotions, or an empty spirit. News flash ladies... EMPTY CAN'T FILL EMPTY! Not only do we sometimes turn to others but we can end up developing unhealthy addictions, behaviors, and habits (drugs, alcohol, food, sex, the need for acceptance, etc.) within ourselves. We end up with damaging and emotional hang ups that can block us from growing spiritually.
As I have allowed God to peel back layers and speak to me around my own struggles with being single, I have met others who are in need of Him to do the same. There are a world of people who are secretly drowning in their singleness...struggling to keep their head above the waters. Choosing dead relationship after dead relationship and settling for less than God intended for them.
Can we just be real for a moment? It can truly be a struggle to remain sanctified and sane while journeying through this Christian life single. As I stated in the beginning, I did not choose celibacy, it was chosen for me by God, and I chose to be obedient and wait. It is only by God's grace that I have not lost my mind! There is no sense in pretending. We are all human! So let's just keep it real!
So the question is how do you wait? Let me share some of the things I have learned and still learning while I'm in the waiting room.
1) Learn to be content no matter what state you are in (Philippians 4:11). If you get engaged to be married, awesome! Send me an invitation to the wedding! But if God never sends you a spouse, can you accept it? What if you were just meant to be single? Singleness is a gift just like marriage.
2) Change your way of thinking and find something more beneficial to focus on (Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:2). Sometimes the things we think about the most become little idols on the throne of our hearts. Select a book of the Bible to study, take a class, join a small group, exercise, serve in a ministry, etc. Stay in your Word daily. It is the only sure thing that will transform your thinking.
3) Take control of your thoughts and what you allow to enter in your mind.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Proverbs 4:23). The battle starts in your mind! I would be lying if I said my thoughts are always pure. Yes, I do have those moments when my mind drifts off to thinking "what if" and my imagination goes a little too far left instead of right. I had to learn to guard my gates: eyes and ears. There are just some tv shows, movies, and music that I have to stay clear of. Know your triggers! Don't give the enemy anything he can use to trip you up! Guard your gates! When those thoughts do run through your mind replace them quickly with a more healthy thought or with scripture.
"Take control of your thoughts"
Revelation 12:11). If you having issues around sexual temptations, ungodly fantasies, emotional affairs, or just singleness in general, don't be ashamed to ask for help in dealing with these issues. Satan would love nothing more than to have you to believe that no one will understand or that people will judge you. He wants to keep you bound! When you open your mouth in confession it sets you free. Your deliverance is in your mouth! Speak it! Find an accountability partner who will pray with you as you seek God.
He cares for and loves us even when we feel we are unlovable. We can rest in the fact that we can always take our cares and concerns to Him. Spend time truly seeking His face through prayer, reading His word, and praise and worship.
If you are single and reading this then that means you are very much alive! So act like it! Don't die in your singleness. Learn to live while you are in it. If you go out on a couple of dates, great! If not, then take yourself out to dinner! Take yourself on vacation! Buy a diamond ring for yourself! Go ahead and celebrate! Celebrate while you wait!
Take this season of singleness to discover who you truly are in Christ and give your all to that which God has called you to. Seek God concerning any beneath the surface emotional areas that may need to be healed in your life. If God decides to bless you with a spouse you need to be whole and able to fully give your all in the relationship. I am not saying that our relationships are going to be 100 percent perfect, we are not perfect people. However, we serve a perfect God who knows exactly what we need.
Honestly speaking, it is my desire to someday be married. But in the meantime, I'll continue to focus on becoming healthy holistically for God and give Him my all as He continues to mold and shape me to be my husband's perfect fit if marriage is indeed what He desires for me. I know my husband will probably be everything I was not expecting or looking for yet undeniably everything I need.