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want-sexDear Panting Friend,

I get it. I can remember my years of longing for sexual fulfillment.

But I also have the perspective of being almost 25 years past my honeymoon night.

However, I’d like to direct your attention to the perspective of someone who lived his entire life without “sexual fulfillment.” That might be the perspective that could do you the most good right now.

“It’s better to marry than to burn with passion.”
1 Cor 7:9b

If you’ve heard that scripture at all, you’ve probably heard it addressed specifically to couples who are burning with passion for each other, but the truth is this: the Apostle Paul, who penned these words, wasn’t only talking to couples.

Regardless of your age, gender, or dating status, if you’re single and you’re burning with sexual passion, this scripture is talking to YOU!

However, if you wait until you’re in a serious relationship before you pay attention to this verse you will have waited too long.

Why? Because Paul is trying to tell us that a lack of self-control over your sex drive is an indicator that you should get married – not an indicator of who you should marry.

Let make this as clear as I can: If someone is struggling (or failing) in their fight against sexual temptation with someone they’re dating, that does not necessarily mean they should marry that person.

Of course, you should be sexually attracted to the person you marry, but for most of us, if we made sexual attraction our guide in relationships, it will not lead us to marriage. It will lead us into madness. And because of that very reality, Paul encourages all unmarried folks who find controlling their sex drive a major challenge to pursue marriage.

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.”  1 Cor 7:2-3

Not just Burning. Burning Down!

But where are we today?

Our entire culture is burning with sexual passion. And I’m not even talking about those crazy heathens joining the Sexual Lifestyle of the Month Club.

The real issue is the millions of men and women in the church who love Jesus. And porn.

Add to that, the hundreds of thousands who claim to keep God’s word, but do not keep the marriage bed pure, choosing instead to…

  • Hook up
  • Cohabitate
  • Or engage in “extra sexual activities” (you know, messing around, but not actually doing the deed that can lead to baby-making).

In short, the large majority of us are basically cheating on marriage: before, inside and after; even if only in our minds. Which Jesus seem to think a sin as great as adultery.

And the sad result of the church’s failure to stand for sexual purity within its walls, is it’s impotence to say anything of the sexual immorality that surrounds it. Much less do anything about it.

Let Sexual Desire Drive You!

That said, my goal isn’t to bash our culture or the church. It’s to encourage you!

Well it is, if you’re single and burning with passion. To you, Paul, the consummate bachelor for Jesus, says if your hormones are raging out of control you ought to pursue marriage.

Now two quick caveats, before we put this piece to bed:

1: Marriage will not bring an end to sexual temptation, nor magically teach you self-control.

This is especially true if you’ve developed the habit of indulging sexual temptation. The law of the harvest tells us we will reap what we sow. But, regardless of our best intentions and effort, many of us may struggle with sexual temptation our whole lives. Whether we marry or not. Whether we’re called to marriage or not.

However, we must remember: sexual desire wasn’t a result of the fall, it was part of God’s original design, a gift to compel us to pursue, and then empower us to enjoy, the wonderful gift of oneness (which sexual intimacy was meant to both represent and facilitate).

As I wrote in, How Porn is Keeping Men from Marriage, a guest post for Covenant Eyes:

“If you believe God made sex exclusively for marriage, and you feel the urge to enjoy it, then the healthiest response to your sex drive would be to pursue the maturity and stability necessary for loving and cherishing the woman with whom you could enjoy the sacredness of sex.”

Sexual longing isn’t a dirty little secret you have to hide, it was given to you by God for your good and His glory. That likely means leading you into marriage. It definitely means leading you into greater dependence on Him. So start there.

2: Marriage is the best reason to wait for sex, but sex is the worst reason to get married.

If my prayers have been answered, you’re beginning to suspect that your powerful sexual urges may mean marriage is in your future, but if all you want is the sex, I urge you not to get married.

Because marriage isn’t about sex, which means that sexual longing isn’t sufficient reason to pursue marriage.

Then what is?

That, my wise individual, is precisely what you need to figure out! This is what our culture has lost! In all of our preoccupation with our gonads (either trying to tame them or being enslaved by them), we have lost a vision for marriage!

I mean, honestly, if guilt-free sex is all marriage is good for, why not just dispense with the guilt and get right to the sex. (And, that clearly has become the attitude of many in the church today.)

But marriage is so much more than that! It is so much bigger than sex, or a $26K party (i.e. wedding), or a Disney-like “happily ever after.” And when you begin to grasp what the true glory of marriage was meant to be, you may find it helps you put your sexual longing in its proper place.

Are you inwardly panting for sex like a Golden Retriever for a tennis ball? I don’t mean just wanting it, but going “tail-wagging” crazy over it. And not just going crazy, but falling into sin time and time again; with lust, sexual fantasy, porn and other seemingly uncontrollable sexual impulses.






But before that, you should GET READY!

And that’s why Future Marriage University exists, to empower you to prepare for your future marriage like a successful career: intentionally, intelligently and IN ADVANCE!

Again, I encourage you to begin with vision, so as a next step, I suggest the men read this post. For the ladies, check this one out.

After that, visit our hot topic page dedicated to relationships. And if there’s anything else we can do to help you or your church or school, get in touch with us on our contact page.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better?  And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!