“Sexual health for singles? What are you talking about?” you may be asking. “Aren’t we Christian singles supposed to be staying out of bed?”
Well, yes, God does tell us to stay away from unmarried sex, and for good reasons. He is concerned for our sexual safety, even though we are single.
He doesn’t just tell us how to think about sex before marriage. He helps us hold the attitudes toward our sexuality that will maximize our sexual healthiness. He wants us to have a lifelong, active, vibrant sex life. (Once we are married.)
Biblical Sexuality 101
Understand that sexuality, both healthy and unhealthy, is discussed throughout the Bible. The Scriptures offer plenty of examples of those who did it wrong.
Let’s just start with the original blueprint for sex.
When the Lord created the first humans in Genesis chapter 1, He made them distinctly and physically male and female. He even built our sexuality into us at the cellular level. Any biologist or lab technician, for instance, can tell if the human cells they’re looking at are from a biological male or female.
God created marriage between one man and one woman for life as the ideal, and as the only safeguard for our hearts and our bodies to thrive sexually. Such a biblical marriage is sanctioned by the Lord and provides the strongest context for sexual safety and fulfillment. Sexual pleasure is always heightened in the context of a sanctioned, safe relationship, formed by a covenant that, despite trials and challenges, feels like heaven on earth.
He understands that sometimes spouses become hard-hearted or cheat, so He permitted divorce. It was not heaven’s intention for divorce to end marriages and hurt families.
When You Add Sex to Your Dating Life
When we go outside of God’s sanctions to form our own sexual unions, we get ourselves into trouble on every level.
At the point that sex becomes part of our dating life, we become emotionally, psychologically and spiritually connected to our partner with an extreme bond that was meant to keep only married couples together.
If we stay together, we often stop focusing on non-sexual, self-controlled ways to connect with our partner. Our time together revolves around sex and becomes the feel-good focus with the by-product of guilt and shame.
If we break up, the other person has retained a part of our shrinking hearts as well as the virginity that we won’t be able to give exclusively to the one we will finally marry.
Either way, illicit sex becomes spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and possibly physically unhealthy for us.
Insecurities from Sex
When we engage in sex outside of the freedom within marriage, we also don’t have the security of knowing whether our partners love us for who we are or they’re just using us to make themselves feel good.
The love of Christ constrains us to respect the other person and do what is best for them, not use them (Romans 5:5). He calls us to a mindset and lifestyle of purity, not just technical abstinence (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). Making out, oral sex or anal sex don’t lead a couple to purity.
God has strong words for the person who uses someone else for his/her own sexual gratification. He calls it defrauding (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Physical Consequences of Unbiblical Sex
STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) destroy our bodies. They’re certainly not healthy. And they are occurring are at an all-time high.
Conviction from the Holy Spirit within, along with guilt and shame from having to hide our sins from others, also destroy our bodies through stress.
Hormones like cortisol are elevated when we are under stress. The body does not distinguish the source of stress — guilt, shame, bad traffic; it’s all the same to our poor little overworked adrenal glands — and causes our increased cortisol levels to produce a number of unwanted effects. These include:
- Slowing metabolism.
- Anxiety, depression and headaches.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Digestive problems.
- Memory and concentration problems.
- Bone loss.
- Suppressed immunity.
- Higher blood pressure.
- Insulin resistance.
- Decreased libido (think: the last thing I want when I want to get married).
All the way around, unrighteous sex is bad for our bodies after the physical pleasure subsides. God designed it that way.