Sexuality can be a sensitive topic for singles. It can feel like a balancing act to wisely manage our God-given sexual natures, while abstaining from sex when unmarried. The subject of sex or sexuality often arises in our Latter-day Saint and larger Christian culture in reference to sexual sin, which can create fear. We may believe if we fear something, we will stay away from it and remain safe. But there is a fundamental problem with that strategy. First of all, our sexuality is a fundamental component of being human. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are sexual beings and have a powerful drive that reminds us of our fundamental desire to be partnered. It is innate. You can't have integrity, the condition of being "integrated," while fearing and even despising a large and fundamental part of yourself. You will begin to dis-integrate.
Because our sexuality serves our fundamental desire to be partnered, a rejection of the sexual part of our nature as "carnal, sensual, and devilish" can also disrupt our efforts to work toward marriage, or disrupt the marriage afterward. In too many cases, it does. The goal of dating is not eternal celibacy, it is eternal marriage! By that, I do not mean to suggest that you should have sexual relations before marriage. I simply suggest that living in constant fear of transgression does not serve your eternal goals. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). Living in perpetual fear is not the way away to avoid sin. Embracing the higher purposes of our sexuality is a far better way.
Much of the Christian world sees sexuality and the human body as corrupt and earthly, and a distraction from our spiritual nature. Some even believe that marriage is merely an outlet for sexual pressure to manage our base desires and keep us from sinning. But these doctrines are a corruption of the true doctrine that "the spirit and the body are the soul of man" (Doctrine & Covenants 88:15). The body, and the sexual sensations it is capable of, are powerful gifts for strengthening the bonds between husband and wife. Making love is a way of expressing feelings too deep for words to describe. Reserving the sexual part of ourselves only for our spouses is a way of sanctifying the celestial relationship above all other human loyalties. Alma writes, "See that ye bridle your passions that ye may be filled with love" (Alma 38:12). A bridle is the way we govern a horse. It is to control him--not to kill him. Bridling our sexual passions by reserving the full expression of them for marriage allows us to fill ourselves with love to bless our future marital partnership.
We encourage you to ask yourself whether fearing the sexual part of your nature and avoiding all temptation to "cross the line" serves the goal of becoming happily partnered and make any adjustments necessary to balance your sexual nature and cultivate a healthy sexual outlook.
Enjoy some healthy dialogue about sexuality during singleness in our featured podcast about balancing our sexual natures and our featured video about sexuality for singles, along with our featured short about taking charge of your life.
If you enjoy this letter, forward to a friend. Our goal is to support as many mid-singles and later-married couples as possible!
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