Last updated: 13 Aug 2019
Sexual purity is an area of challenge for most singles. This is because the desire for sex is normal, and God has restricted sexual intercourse to a marriage union between a man and a woman.
Therefore, it is important that the single person learns how to deal with desire for sex without gratification.
I also find that sexual purity is hard to define. Is it only the abstinence from intercourse with an opposite sex?
What about masturbation? What about sexual fantasies?
Is the indulgence of these other forms of gratification considered sexual immorality?
Is a single who masturbates to avoid fornication living a sexually pure life?
I can’t see how an attempt at differentiating these other forms of gratification is going to help or alter the purpose and content of this article.
I rather find that the tips are the same, whether you are dealing with fornication or masturbation or other types of sexual perversion.
Just for the record, I believe that masturbation is sin. The Bible prescribes either self-control or marriage for the single (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).
If you are struggling with masturbation, it’s almost impossible to overcome if you don’t believe it is wrong.
Sexual purity is a conscious pursuit. It is not effortless. You have to consciously take steps to guard against falling into temptation.
There are many Christian singles who fornicate, not because they premeditated the sin. They were just caught off-guard, and found sin irresistible. There was no resolve to flee.
The following points are not going to take away your desire for sex. But they will help you in your resolve and willingness to exercise self-control.
I want to encourage you by saying that sexual purity is possible. God commands it.
John Piper of Desiring God says, “Sexual purity is less burdensome to those who hold God’s honor above everything else.”
The reason you practice abstinence as a single is not because you are waiting for marriage.
It is not because you are afraid of sexually transmissible infections or unwanted pregnancy.
It is not because you fear being caught and shamed.
It is because sexual purity is a command from God.
It is honor to the Lord when you obey his commands. That’s the same reason that will cause you to be faithful in marriage.
Your body is the temple of God’s Spirit. It is worship unto the Lord to live a sexually pure life. Every other advice is trumped by this particular reason for abstinence.
If you choose to live for God, you’ll find his grace always available. Like Joseph, in the midst of temptation, you’ll be able to say, “How can I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).
You’ll be able to leave your coat in the hands of the seductive man or woman and to flee from the scene of temptation.
There were excuses Joseph could have given; advantages he could have benefited from, if he gave in to sin. But he chose God’s honor. It was all about God.
That was Joseph, an Old Covenant man. What more of you and I today, who are indwelt by God’s Spirit?
Can we comfortably fornicate or masturbate knowing fully well that the Holy Spirit is right there with us? I doubt.
Choose to honor God by living in obedience to His word in every area including sexual purity.
Worship God with your body.
When you spend time with God, the influence of that presence reduces the appeal of sin in your life. It is nearly impossible to walk with God and live in sin.
This means you find sexual purity less burdensome, because you've developed a consciousness of God through constant fellowship with Him.
Cultivate the habit of spending ample time in the presence of God.
That’s biblical advice (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).
Of course, this implies that you must be ready for marriage. Sexual desire alone does not qualify the single for marriage.
Financially, spiritually, and psychologically, you must be prepared to take up your responsibilities as a spouse and parent.
If you are not yet ready, you have to continue practicing self-control.
One reason why there’s a lot of looseness today is because few people are fanatical about what is right. Premarital and extramarital sexual relations have become so common place that they’ve lost their ugliness. They are just excused with a wave of the hand.
That decreases the resolve of many to stand firmly for sexual purity.
Pornography has it tight grip on the lives of millions, including Christians.
The airwaves, the screen, the internet, literature and music that are popular today are usually sexually explicit.
Unfortunately, they are not harmless as we think.
Take a stand. The purity of your mental faculties is as important as the purity of your body.
Filter what you watch, read or listen. Don’t fill
your mind with garbage that can’t help you to win in the day of
Consider all that filthy content as temptation in
itself, tempting you to visualize immorality and consequently provoke
feelings in you that you can’t gratify without sinning against God.
fanatical about sexual purity will also include your friendships,
whether platonic or romantic. The Bible says bad company corrupts good
morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Don’t keep company with those who don’t value your standards, especially if the person claims to be a believer (1 Corinthians 5:11). Their negligence in upholding sexual purity will influence you negatively.
If you are in a dating relationship, check this other article. Purity in Christian Dating
Not every single who fornicates does so because of a desire for sex. They may be filling another need, an underlying problem that has not been dealt with appropriately.
For example, singles suffering with depression, feelings of worthlessness or low self-esteem are more likely to fall into sexual sin when the opportunity presents itself, because the sin appeals to their desire for true love and acceptance.
I find that God’s grace and love is a panacea. It heals depression. It delivers from inferiority and feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.
Knowing God’s love for you will produce a sense of worth in you that is independent of who you are naturally or what might have happened to you in the past.
You will begin to value yourself as God’s child and temple of the Holy Spirit. That makes you look at sexual sin as truly sinful and abominable before the Lord.
Take your Bible, and pick out verses such as 1 John 3:1-3, 1 John 4:7-21,Romans 8:28-39, and many others. Meditate on them until they begin to change the image of how you see yourself to how much God loves and cherishes you.
Believe that God loves you, yes you. Continually preach that message to yourself. That is life-changing.
God’s Word is powerful. When you store it in your heart, like the psalmist, you will not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).
In the heat of temptation, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, will remind you of the Word and give you encouragement to obey it.
Recommended resource: Bible Verses for Sexual Purity
He’s always with you, ready to help you overcome. Don’t struggle alone. Don’t depend on sheer determination only.
Ask God to help you honor him with your body.
When you seek God’s help, during temptation you will find that it’s almost impossible to yield to sin.
Sexual purity is possible. It is God’s command.
He knows the challenges
you are facing as a single in this area. If you seek to honor him and
depend on him for strength, it would cease to be a burden. You will love
living that way.
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Janet is passionate about encouraging the pursuit of intimacy with God, and a purpose-driven life. When she's not writing, she's reading or watching videos on YouTube or cooking African Dishes.