A Love Letter to My Single Sisters
I had you on my mind early this morning while in prayer, and decided to take a moment to share my heart with you. You see, I was you 31 years ago, newly saved and taking baby steps in the Lord. One of the big trials of my Christian walk with God at that time had to do with being single. Before I came to Christ, I had been involved with men sexually. When we get the Holy Ghost, we come to the realization that sex outside of a marriage relationship is sinful. But just because we know this in our hearts doesn’t mean that our minds and bodies will respond in kind. I wanted to please God, but my hormones, plus my memories, plus the man that I had been involved with and a few others, were bent on enticing me to please them by having sex. Yes, I stumbled; there were a few times my flesh got the best of me. Of course I didn’t share my struggle with the sisters because I was afraid they would think I wasn’t really saved. I was too embarrassed to tell the pastor. I don’t even remember sharing my downfall with God except to cry out to him in fear that I would be punished, judged, or kicked out of the church.
Even those fears were not enough to deter my flesh from its desire – lust. My flesh desired sex. My flesh desired male attention. It desired, demanded to be satisfied. If my flesh had had its way, I would have fallen a whole lot more. In fact, I would have lived in a fallen state. And that is not what God intended for me.
So, what did I do? Did I get married? Well, yes I did, but not just for sex. Before there was a courtship or a wedding date, I had to prepare myself. The way I prepared myself was first by saying no. Not to the guy, no, we didn’t even let it get that far where I was in a predicament where I had to say yes or no to him. Oh no, the refusal had to start within me way before he and I got together. If I was going to live a life that was pleasing to God, I had to say no to me first - my fleshly carnal nature - and I had to mean it. Instead of me catering to my flesh, indulging it, giving it what it demanded, I had to command it to sit down and shut up. That’s right, I had to be ugly to myself. I could not afford to indulge my flesh. I did not have the luxury of catering to that weak part of me that loves and obsesses for what God hates.
Let me tell you what I learned about sexual impurity particularly before and outside of marriage. It has many faces – sex, oral sex, anal sex, self or partner masturbation, pornography, fetishes – all of these are considered fornication, lasciviousness, uncleanness and lewdness, which are works of the flesh detailed in Galatians 5:19-21. The flesh will tell you that if you’re not having “vaginal sex” it’s not really sex. My question is, if it’s not sex, then what is it, and why are my hormones so hyped to participate in any of those other “pseudo-sexual” behaviors? Your body is looking for the same feeling, the same results in each outcome. The fact is, the result is the same: You have still sinned before God. So, to have success in the area of sexual purity, you have to tell yourself no. Yes, you have to talk to yourself. You have to talk to your hormones. You have to talk to your body parts. All of these things can rage like an out of control fire, but God has equipped you with the power through the Holy Ghost to put the fire out. You, especially if you have the Holy Ghost, don’t have an excuse not to live holy, not to keep your temple clean, not to be a vessel that Christ is pleased to dwell in. You don’t have to pollute and poison your vessel with sexual impurity.
But you say, it’s hard! You are so right, my sister. Nobody said it is easy. But if you can’t learn to harness and refuse the flesh its desire, you’ll live for it for the rest of your life. You will be its slave. It will put the noose around your neck and lead you around like a donkey that goes and does whatever it commands. The more you let it have its way, the stronger it becomes.
One way to begin harnessing and commanding your flesh is through fasting. Fasting is considered a religious activity, but it also has health benefits. When you fast, you are saying no to the flesh’s desire for food, but the discipline that you achieve while going without food spills over into other parts of your life, including sexuality.
Also, sincere prayer is necessary in this area. Be honest with God when you can’t be honest with anyone else. God made you. He knows every intricate detail of your psychological, physiological, anatomical and spiritual makeup. Those hormones that rage, he put them there. That biological clock you feel ticking down inside you, he created it just so. He also created sex, but it was created for a particular purpose and reason – to be enjoyed between two married people and to procreate. Sex in the right setting is holy in God’s eyes. We are the ones who have made it unholy and dirty. We are the ones who pollute what God has created to be beautiful. So since he is the Creator of us and our sexuality, and since he knows the thoughts of our hearts, why not share the truth about ourselves with him and ask him for help?
At the same time, find a strong older, preferably married sister in the church that you can trust to confide in and make yourself accountable to her. Sex habits and addictions are real strongholds that have to be broken, and we can’t always do it alone. Most of us can’t. This strong sister will be someone who will not indulge or pamper you when you come whining to her about how hard it is. She will not be a guest at your pity party, in fact, she will crash it and send all your guests home. She will grab you by the hand, look you straight in the eye and make you mad, much the same way you should have made your flesh mad. She will also pray with you and for you. She will want you to be victorious and celebrate times that you triumphed over yourself or temptation.
Keep in mind that the flesh is just one element in your battle for deliverance from sexual sin. The next element is the devil. Because he will send a “fine” man your way just to make you fall. Or, he will revive an old flame in order to pull you back into your old life. At times, there may seem like men are coming out of the wood work, and they all got you on their minds. They are giving you attention. You see them at work or at school, and they tell you how good you smell or how good you look, and how beautiful your hair is. And your body just ties itself up in knots, wanting more and more of that attention you are getting. Let me give you a heads up: if he is telling you all these things, he is not sincere. He is after one thing, and it’s not your pretty smile. If he propositions you for sex – no matter how pretty and romantic he may make it sound in order not to insult your sensitivities – he has crossed the line. Not only has he disrespected you, he has disrespected the God in you. And there are all types of guys – there’s the smooth talker, and the passive aggressive and the man who is so unhappy with his wife at home that he wants you to feel sorry for him. There are those who will get you in bed with them emotionally long before you commit fornication with him, because he knows if he can get your heart, he can get every other part of you.
Women of God must have standards. When the devil sends this pile of poop wrapped in attractive wrapping paper your way, remember the end result before you see the end: heart break, deception, mistreatment, degradation, disrespect, not to mention physical problems such as sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and a wife or girlfriend that just might go upside your head. God has made you a princess, His princess, but this joker is bent on using you like you are a whore. And yes, maybe that’s what you were and that’s what you did before you got saved, but old things have passed away. Remember, you do not belong to yourself anymore. Christ purchased you with his blood. Remember, your body is the temple of a holy God, don’t pollute it. Remember, your body does not belong to you anymore, and it certainly doesn’t belong to men who cannot or will not control their lust. That goes double for brothers in the church. Help him out by telling him up front you are not what he may think you are, and you belong to God. Don’t hold back on sharing the Word of God with him – no I said that too nicely – tell him what the Bible says about adulterers and fornicators, that they will burn in the lake of fire forever. That is not your destiny; that is not what God saved you for. It is after you say no that you will feel stronger in Christ, and the devil will leave you alone – for a season.
Thirdly, there’s the world that tries to have input into our lives and the decisions we make. When you subject yourself to sexually charged books, television shows, internet sites and music, you put yourself in a place where you will compromise holiness. You see, God saved you and then He called you to be set apart for him and him alone. That’s what holiness is – being dedicated, consecrated, set apart for God. When you indulge in sexually impure actions of others you are hurting yourself. Images, dreams and fantasies fill your mind that seem all but impossible to get rid of. You have the right and the power to remove these from your life. You do not need the struggle. I know you think you are strong and all that, but even strong soldiers fall. No one is unconquerable. God has given you a bright future and a hope that supercedes anyone or anything this world has to offer.
So yes, after you’ve said “no” to self, you need to keep saying “no” to flesh, the man the devil sends, and worldly attractions. You mean so much to the Christ in you. You should mean that much to yourself. Preserve the body he is inhabiting. Exchange it for eternal life.
Now, I know you think that you can fall into sexual sin, call it making a mistake, and then still live for God. Because he forgives us when we confess, right? The scripture says that. It also says “be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he shall reap. If he sows to the flesh, he shall reap corruption. If he sows to the spirit, he shall reap life everlasting.” ( ) You keep sowing the seeds of sexual sin in your garden of life and you will reap the weeds of death and damnation. In other words, if you don’t turn from sin in repentance, you will not be saved. Quit lying to yourself. Your flesh, the carnal nature, is God’s enemy. As long as you let it rule your life, you and God can’t be friends.
I know you expected this to be a warm and fuzzy letter of encouragement that makes you feel good about yourself and that everything is going to be alright. I would much prefer to send you that kind of letter, but you are my sister in Christ. I have a responsibility of loving you and being truthful with you without condemning you. I’ve been where you are. Don’t let that which is priceless to Christ – your sanctification and purity – be trampled on like a beautiful diamond in a hog pen stinking and covered in mud. Save yourself first of all for your Lord, and then for the man that he will send you who will respect you and love you like the priceless jewel that you are. The man who God sends you will be tempted, but he will remember that God has called you both to holiness, and there is a time when the two of you can satisfy your longings for love. He will save you and himself for that time – marriage.
Well, I have to go now. I want you to know that you are in my prayers, because I want to see you make it. God is with you, He’s as close as the mention of his name in every situation. He loves you just that much.
And yes, everything will be alright. . .
Your Sister in Christ
By Jane Ward
About: Jane Ward has been involved in ministry for 30 years. Most recently she became director at a pregnancy resource center. Jane is an author, publisher, teacher, whose passion is to connect with young women in order to share Jesus Christ with them and empower them to the abundant life Christ has made available for them. "Abundant life starts within through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It manifests itself outwardly through godly character."Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List