Oh for the love. I have put this off for a very long time and actually told myself I would never, ever write on this topic for one reason: I have two teenagers who would be mortified. But they don’t read my blog and even if they do, I’m not about to say anything that would scar them for life. Fingers crossed.
I’ve been asked about this and I know enough divorced Christian women at this point that the topic comes up, frequently. And, I mean, come on, I’m writing a blog that focuses quite a bit on being divorced; not bringing it up was my elephant in the room.
So, what do we do about sex?
Tons of books have been written about this and I’m not about to cover the entire topic but I will tell you simply where I land.
I have not had sex in a long time. Like, awhile before my marriage officially ended. And I think it’s safe to say that I’m not going to have sex for another long time.
I will not have sex until I’m remarried. Which means, that if I don’t remarry, I will never again have sex.
And here’s why:
For Jesus’ sake, I will not be having sex before I get married again, even though Jesus isn’t my boyfriend. Because I believe the Bible is clear about this. (And not because God is mean, but because he loves us and wants what’s best for us.)
For my kids’ sake, because they are watching me live my life and they are watching the choices I make. I can’t say one thing to them and then go and do another.
For my future husband’s sake (if there is one), because I want to honor him.
For my sake, because I believe that sex intertwines two people together in really intimate ways and if you then go on and don’t get married, the pain that would come with giving your heart away like that would be just too much for me to bear. Plus, I want to start off my next potential marriage as healthily as I can, because I’ve got baggage from here to Mississippi and that would just add one huge load to it.
Is it hard to go without? Well, yes and no. Yes, in that I miss it; and yet, it’s not like a hundred guys have asked me out in the past year and I’ve had to bat them away and fight temptation back every day. I’ve had how many dates? Give me a sec…trying to count them all. Oh yeah, umm, three first dates. In twenty-three years. It’s sort of easy to not have sex when you’re not going on any second dates, let’s be honest.
Okay, so that’s about as deep as I’m willing to go on this topic. I’m sure a ton of people won’t agree with me, and I don’t really care; this is just the stand I’m taking, the line I’m drawing, and I feel comfortable with it and I plan to stick to it. Because my faith, my children, my future, and my emotional well-being mean too much to me not to.
Pardon me while I go throw up now.
If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here, or from working with me.
Thank You… As I weed out the wheat from the chaff.. It is an easy decision to make. Difficult to follow through if your hormones get in the way.. But, focused on Jesus and what God would have me do as a divorced Christian woman.. The decision to “honor my future mate” helps ME keep my focus.
So agree with you Elisabeth! I absolutely cannot imagine being intimate with anyone again, ever…if it’s in God’s plan I will but right now I just can’t imagine it. There are just too many implications of doing so outside of marriage…
I too have been dealing with this alot. I do completely agree with you. I have had to deal with it with men I date. I am floored by how many think it’s okay after divorce to have sex!! Like its a right to passage now! So I have not dated many men because of this. I let them know right away – it’s not going to happen till marriage for me period. And usually I don’t hear from them and if I do then I know he’s a good man who supports me in this. Like I always say, hang in there. Many touchy subjects but many good things being said here.
15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
AMEN! Way to go, Beth!
Standing with you in that decision!
First, I agree wholeheartedly with your position and commitment. I do believe the Bible is clear about when sex works best (only in marriage).
Secondly, it is much easier said that done. The test comes when you DO have someone that asks you to dinner and it is wonderful…then you spend more time and truly get to know and love him. That’s when the commitment to purity is most stretched.
I totally agree with you Lizzie, sex outside marriage is a sin. I am a 30 year old single lady and I have never been married and am waiting for The Lord to provide a husband one day. I have never had sex because i was taught at a tender age that sex outside marriage is sin and my prayer every day is for God to take me thru in the process of waiting. For the sake God, of my future husband and my children I decided to keep myself sexually pure. I want to be a testimony to my future family. To God be the glory. Thank you so much for that message
I agree 100%!! When I divorced I wasn’t a follower of Christ, and I did give myself over to someone and completely regret it! After coming to Christ about 2 years after my divorce I decided to save myself and decided that if a man was worth it, he would think I was worth the wait. Well, my husband now, I told him right out of the gate that sex was not even on the table — so if he wanted to move on he could. He already knew I was passionate for Christ (who I considered to be my husband during my single-time). My now husband’s comment to me “you will be worth the wait.” I was floored! I mean, for a man at the age we were to say that, piqued my interest. And of course, we waited (wasn’t easy!!) and I’m SO glad that we did.
Totally agree with you, Beth. It is God’s best for all involved.
Absolutely! So agree with that Elisabeth! I am separated but my Christian husband has just told me he wants a divorce on grounds of ‘mutual agreement’ – but it won’t be! So I have a lot of decisions ahead. One I have already made, is the same as yours though. Eventually I would hope to remarry, but if I don’t, yes that means no sex again, ever. Faith has a cost….
I am so thankful you posted this and impressed to see all the positive replies.
I like the post,and I am right there with you,I draw the line right where you do 🙂
I agree wholeheartedly. Stay strong.
I couldn’t agree with you more!
You are the woman Solomon was looking for!
“Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, which I am still seeking but have not found. I have found one man among a thousand, but I have not found a woman among all these.
My husband and I waited until marriage. And now sex is one of the primary reasons I struggle to stay married to him. There is a very serious problem sexually that I’m unprepared to accept for the rest of my life. Waiting for marriage was the honorable and good thing to do, but for me, it means never experiencing sexual satisfaction (he says he’s just fine… Sigh). It’s a difficult road and I fight the bitterness daily.
There are other issues of course, but if for some reason my marriage does not survive I will never marry or have sex again. The risk is too great and the emotional pain is unbearable.
One of my questions would be what do you think about masturbation? I’m thinking that you are saying sex is the penetrative kind…. and oral sex. Anything beyond kissing, I think, and maybe that depends on the kind of kissing. First base? Maybe I’m the only one wondering exactly what the boundaries should be. I’ve struggled with boundaries and dating my entire life, I think.
Awesome Elizabeth! Way to go standing up for the truth of God’s word! The results from doing things his way are definitely worth it!!!
I agree completely with every point made! Thank you for sharing this with us. You bless me greatly!
What about masturbation or sex toys? Don’t you have intense longings because you’ve been “awakened?”before you have sex For the first time you never yearn For it the same way you do after you’ve had a taste in marriage. For me, the pain physically hurts for periods of time and at first I tried to ignore it and think of other things but lately, after a whole year without sex I’ve been touching myself. It actually fixes the problem temporarily but it kind of makes the craving stronger. I told myself I would not do it anymore but on days it hurts really bad down there if I don’t I just do it a little bit. It’s so difficult to go from a woman who was used to having sex three times a day to suddenly being celibate. My body is still not understanding after all this time.
My arms ache to hold a precious baby against my breasts that ache for tiny lips to suckle mother’s milk. At least a few days a month during my fertile cycle, the same time my body cries out for sex in the worst way is about the same time my empty womb weeps bitterly for being forgotten and abandoned as all my peers raise their darlings and I get older and older, closer to that time that it will be too late. Sometimes I think I should just get pregnant before it’s too late. I really hate biology and the way it makes my emotional female body crazy every month.
Anonymous- totally in same boat with you. Hormones and biological clock (among divorce and host of other concurrent trials, health issues etc.) are causing a midlife crisis for me. I am slowly feeling like I need to releasing my desires of ever having children to the Lord. Its a grieving process and a heartbreaking reality. Very difficuly part is finding many people who share commonality at same stage in life. Majority of women who lose husbands still have somewhat of a family to keep them going. Of course I hear “be glad you dont have kids since divorcing” often, from well intentioned folks but that is little consolation. No one can judge someone elses deep hurts without walking a mile in their shoes. At same time those well meaning parents dont realize most days I would trade my quiet house, uneventful schedule and celibacy for their running all over, stressed out with kids activities, noisy houses and family meals etc. And they say how it would be nice to have days alone. :/
Anonymous 1 and 2 — As a young, single woman with a profound desire for marriage and children one day, I hear the pain behind your words. I cannot even imagine the anguish you are going through and my sincere prayer for you is that the Lord will meet you at your point of need. May He reveal Himself and His love to you both in ways you would have never thought possible.
From the last two commenters, I believe this article from Juli Slattery would be very helpful: http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2014/may/masturbation-is-it-always-sin.html. She is very realistic and biblical in that respect, I believe.
Thank you, Elizabeth, I so agree with you. For me, it’s been about 13 years since the last time I had sex, but I don’t miss it. I didn’t feel loved so it was only physical intimacy without any meaning. I do miss being held, holding hands, having an arm around me. I miss the companionship/friendship. I appreciate your openness and willing to risk sharing on such a personal topic. It’s encouraging to see that so many agree with you.
I tried to on this Saturday, but the devils of cyberspace interferred. Lol! I am so grateful you go to the hard topics. I’ve been analyzing this issue for myself. Realized I’m 41, but a teenager in the sense of dating: to date or not?, to date if I don’t want to marry again?, is God calling me to singleness? And i have a very promiscuous past. I’ve not had an adult dating relatiinship without sex. Daunting to face dating with knowing I need to guard my purity. For the same reason you have decided to: because I love Jesus.
Elizabeth, thank you for your courage in addressing this necessary, difficult and, yes, embarrassing topic. I don’t know why as Christian women we struggle to talk to each other about these things, but I know that it leaves many single women feeling isolated and lost. I wasn’t accountable during my “single again” phase because although I lamented how much I missed the physical part of my marriage, I had no friends who could really relate or fully grasp what that felt like. There were so many platitudes offered, I wanted to scream!!! So, even though I knew it was wrong to get involved sexually, I simply had no clue how else to cope with the intense feelings of longing and “skin hunger” that I was left with (all the while dealing with the grief and loss). I wrote about this in a blog post recently http://www.fromdustbeautifulthings.com/learning-trust-midst-chaos/ although what I didn’t say was that eventually I prayed that if necessary God would take away my sexual desire (temporarily, I desperately hoped) and He knew that’s what I was asking.
I’m so thankful for His faithfulness, and the way He picks us up when we stumble, sometimes again and again……. I once heard Sy Rogers speak about how demoralised we can get when we make the same mistakes over and over again, seemingly unable to learn, but God knows how many times we need to make these mistakes before we “get it” and He sees each one as “one less time” we’ll need to make that same mistake. I have clung to those beautiful words ever since.
I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and so appreciate your willingness to talk about what most people either don’t understand or don’t want to acknowledge. Thank you!
Totally agree with you!!