3 Ways You Can Be Single and Sexual

Even if you're not having sex, you're still a sexual being.

A core aspect of our sexuality is the yearning to be known and to share intimately with another person. Yes, that is expressed in its fullness in marriage. Yet, my sexuality as a woman deeply impacts how I relate to others outside the bedroom. Your longing to nurture, to connect, to share, and to trust another person wholly are all aspects of God’s image expressed in your femininity and sexuality.

Sexuality Teaches Us About God

Ephesians 5:31–32 alludes to the fact that sex within marriage is a holy metaphor that points to the spiritual mystery of God’s covenant love for us. Throughout Scripture, sex is used to express aspects of God’s covenant and the degree of intimacy he has with his people. This means that married men and women should be learning mysteries of God as they experience sex together. I believe singles can also understand something deeper about God through their sexuality. Jesus talked about how we will mourn and long for the Bridegroom when he is not with us. We will ache for his presence and have deep longings that are unmet. Singles definitely get this!

When I read the expressions of spiritual longing expressed in some of the psalms, I can’t help but think of a single woman yearning for true intimacy. Here are a few examples:

O God, you are my God;

I earnestly search for you.

My soul thirsts for you;

my whole body longs for you

in this parched and weary land

where there is no water. (Pasalm 63:1)

I long, yes, I faint with longing

to enter the courts of the LORD.

With my whole being, body and soul,

I will shout joyfully to the living God. (Psalm 84:2)

The Struggle for Sexual Purity Isn’t Just for Singles

Married and single women have a lot more in common than they realize. I think we do each other a great disservice when we compartmentalize sexual conversations to single and married women. Do you know that many married women struggle with sexual frustration and temptations?

I’ve met with many young men and women who think that their struggle to stay pure would end with a wedding ceremony. Wrong! Sexual purity is a battle throughout adulthood. It simply takes a different form in marriage.

Your married friends are free to have sex, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling with porn, unmet desires, images from the past, extramarital flirtations, and conflict over sex in marriage.

Why is this important for you to know as a single? Because it helps you understand that your sexuality is not about an “on-off” switch called marriage. It means understanding that being an adult sexual woman is part of God’s design for you as one who bares the image of Christ. I don’t fully understand it—it’s a mystery, but it’s still a reality.

Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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May 25

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