I read an article recently called Sexual Atheism which diagnoses our Christian single culture as sexual atheists and suggests that our state is due to a lack of love, fear and reverence for God. It was overall a well written article. And for the most part, true. If there is one area of our faith that we are most prone to separate from the rest, it is our sexuality. The author is right that by practicing sexual atheism we are saying that God can speak into some areas of our lives but not sex.

However… I have to acknowledge that the spiritual malaise of Christian dating goes a bit deeper than is suggested in the article and furthermore that I too nearly became one of those “sexual atheists”. I think the author is right that there is a huge demographic of Christian singles who purposefully exclude God from this area of their lives. They have grown so numb and so accustomed to their sexual sin that they have begun to accept it as a part of their lives instead of surrendering it to God in search of freedom. However, I feel like there is a huge demographic that is excluded in all of this. Those who see their sexual sin for what it is and want more than anything to honor God. They know what “the bible says”, what they “ought to do” and what is expected of them. And ultimately they love God and want more than anything to honor Him. But because of being taught a gospel based in works they have found themselves in a place of frustration, confusion and struggle regarding their sexuality. And that is who my heart breaks for when I read articles such as this. Exactly because it leaves little room for Jesus’ work in it all. It leaves little room for the transforming power of Grace. The author is right in saying that we have a crisis on our hands. But what he failed to acknowledge is that we are human…with real desires and longings for intimacy that have the potential to lead us into sin…but God died for that too. 

A while ago I wrote an article called Keeping Sex Complicated in which I explain the reason I am a 30 year old virgin. What I didn’t share in the article is my reason for writing it. That article was more of a letter to myself exactly because I was the person that I described above. And I found myself in the midst of more temptation than I had ever known in a relationship. I realized for the first time in my life, “because the bible says so” wasn’t a sufficient enough answer for me to be able to stick to my convictions. I realized all of the good sounding sermons and books were mere words in the moment of intense temptation. I realized if I was going to honor God in my sexuality and my singlehood something deeper had to happen in my heart. So I literally sat down and said, “alright God, I need you.” I prayed. I asked for His strength and I asked Him to teach me the value and meaning of sex. I brought my thoughts, my struggles, my frustrations, the reality of the temptations before Him and I said, “God, show me what sex means to you.”

…And He did. I wrote that article in a time of prayer. In a time of looking to scripture and realizing that legalism will never keep me pure. The wise words of authors and pastors and mentors in my life couldn’t do the work for me in maintaining sexual purity. The head knowledge wasn’t enough. Just knowing all of the scriptures and knowing the right answers wasn’t enough. Even my love for God wasn’t enough in and of itself until that love moved to action. I realized for the first time the only cure was a choice… choosing to love over choosing my flesh. A conscious choice. One that I soon realized is a choice that I will have to make literally everyday for the rest of my life. Not only in singlehood and dating relationships but even eventually in marriage and until death. 

I learned furthermore that sexual purity is a lot more than just keeping my virginity intact…or if you’re married, staying faithful to your spouse. I realized that God is not calling us just to “abstinence” or “fidelity”, He is calling us to lives of purity. Exactly because abstinence and fidelity are merely cosmetic fixes. If we make those our aim in and of themselves, we ultimately will fail. If however our aim is a pure heart before our Creator God, He will alone will give us the strength we need to stand above the temptation in our moment of weakness. What did David pray after he sinned with Bathseba? “Create in me a pure heart oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). Exactly because he saw the weight of His depravity first hand. He saw His ability to break the heart of His Father, the one He loved dearly. And His issue was not a lack of love for God, it was an impure heart. So He made the choice to choose God over His flesh. He pleaded for God’s forgiveness and sought the heart of His Father.

That is the call on the life of any believer whether single, dating or married. To choose God daily in this area of our lives. And when we struggle or mess up from time to time that we would not grow accustomed to the sin but that we would find ourselves on our knees, in repentance, crying out to God for His help and His strength. Because He alone is the one that is able to purify our hearts. It is our choice and His doing. He chose us first and is asking that we choose Him in return not just today but everyday for the rest of our lives. 

 

Mandy Dobbelmann

Founder and editor of Forte E Bello. Mandy is writer, singer/songwriter, and music teacher with a love for life, people, adventure and living simply. She is passionate about using her gift for writing and music to be a voice for change.

19 Comments

  1. Reply

    LyneeU.

    April 23, 2014

    Wow, wow, and wow. So beautifully written. It is a shame that so many, including myself, grew up believing in merit-based grace: that our works and avoidance of sin make us worthy of everlasting life. And then when we become enslaved to sins that we cannot seem to control, like sexual impurity, it causes many of us to sever our relationship with God in one way or another. But we are all sinners. There is nothing we can ever do to **earn** God’s grace. He is too perfect, and we are too imperfect. All we can do is open our arms, and accept His grace. And I believe that it becomes so much easier to make the right choices once we truly, wholeheartedly understand and embrace God’s grace. Because as long as there is even a small part of us that believes our actions will earn us His grace, we will build our faith in our own power, not His. On our own, without Him? We will never stop being vulnerable to becoming enslaved by our sin.
    Thank you for writing this.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 24, 2014

      So so true @LyneeU. Thanks so much for sharing. Agreed! Grace is so incredibly beautiful. I appreciated hearing your thoughts 🙂

  2. Reply

    brittanybarnett

    April 24, 2014

    Reblogged this on berbsie2011 and commented:
    So true

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 24, 2014

      Thanks for sharing @brittanybarnett. Glad it was a blessing.

  3. Reply

    Caleb Gallanger

    April 24, 2014

    An honest look, yes Honest, Amazing, and Perfectly written! “If our aim is a pure heart before our creator, he alone will give us the strength to stand above our temptation in our moment of weakness” So perfectly worded! Great Great Great post!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 24, 2014

      Thanks so much Caleb! 🙂

  4. Reply

    glowingscenes

    April 24, 2014

    Thank you for giving me another insight into our sexuality being for God just like everything else that we pray about. He’s interested in knowing every personal area of our lives and we shouldn’t be ashamed to tell him how we feel. Now I understand things better. Wanting to have a pure heart is what matters most.

    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

    God bless you Mandy!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 25, 2014

      Amen girl. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Reply

    j2kingsley

    April 25, 2014

    So true..Great Post!
    Purity is Power.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 25, 2014

      Thanks j2kingsley!

  6. Reply

    eternalexcellency

    April 26, 2014

    Reblogged this on kimberlyobrutse and commented:
    So true & beautifully written!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 26, 2014

      THanks @eternalexcellency

  7. Reply

    LoLee

    April 28, 2014

    i love this!!!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 30, 2014

      Thanks @LoLee

  8. Reply

    tiffanymaedavis

    April 30, 2014

    Love it!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      April 30, 2014

      Thanks Tiffany. I’m glad it was a blessing

  9. Reply

    Nicholas DeShaw

    November 13, 2014

    Hi Mandy,
    I really enjoy reading your blog and appreciate your insights. You certainly speak to our generation of Christians.

    I am wondering if you have ever heard of or studied Theology of the Body? It is a set of theological teachings that deal specifically with a lot of what you talk about in your blogs and I think you may find it useful and insightful.

    Thank you for what you do.

    In Christ,

    Nicholas D.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      November 17, 2014

      Thanks so much @Nicholas! Yes I have heard of Theology of the Body. A friend told me about it several months ago actually after reading my blog and suggested it. I read it and loved it!

      Thanks so much for writing in. God Bless!

      Mandy

LEAVE A COMMENT

RELATED POSTS