He (the Christian leader) said that anyone who has been involved sexually before probably needs to get married because there would be no way for them to control those desires since that door has been opened and can’t be closed?
I think that is a little extreme and wonder if that is what the leader actually meant. For example, we (who decide to place relationship with God and others as a higher priority than sexual pleasure) control our sexuality every day whether we are married or not. Also, marriage is not an antidote for sexual activity (especially potential addiction) of any stripe. Widowers, Widows, sometimes choose to remain celibate after their spouse has passed on and lead very content lives.
I could go on and on with examples of people with sexually active pasts who have been tremendous assets to the kingdom and lived content lives, but I think you get the point.
I wasn’t a sex addict but I had plenty of sex with plenty of people before becoming a Christian. I have lived a celibate life now for twenty years and have not had sex with another person during that entire time… and I haven’t gone crazy (was already kind of crazy though) and am completely content with the idea of a lifetime call to celibacy. My friend asks:
What difficulties have you had to overcome having had that door open and now living a celibate, single life?
I think it was more difficult when I first began living a celibate life. Before becoming a Christian I always, and I mean *always*, tied any form of intimacy or love to sexual activity. It was the only way I knew to express or receive love and intimacy. That’s why sex, while it felt good in the throes of passion … just being honest … at some point it always left me empty and brokenhearted.
Even so, when I began the journey of living a celibate life the lack of sexual activity was a very real type of “void” in my life that needed to be met with real practical answers and healthy ways to meet legitimate needs.
Since then I learned that there are many kinds of ways to express love and not just one kind of love either. I found CS Lewis’ book The Four Loves revolutionary to my life. It literally opened my eyes to the beauty of God’s creative intent for “love.” I also learned that God created healthy intimacy to be expressed in many kinds of ways as well. And while I sometimes long for sexual intimacy (of course in the bonds of marriage with a wife ) my relational needs are met through my Communion with God and the wide variety of relationships I have and have developed over the course of the past two decades. Sexual intimacy is not required to live a successful and content life. In fact, reserving that for marriage has stopped short circuiting true friendship, understanding, relational and spiritual intimacy.
Also, consider this … no one, in the history of the world, has ever died for lack of orgasm. I know shocking! … but true.
God created sexual activity in marriage to be a gift from one spouse to the other. A selfless, love-filled activity that isn’t so much about getting one’s needs met but wanting to be in union with their spouse: to know and be known by another human in the most intimate way. It is beautiful.
And while obviously different, my relationship with God is just as beautiful … transcendent even.
Self-control for the person with a sexually active past is possible and may also be a result of one of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in the scriptures. I’ve seen that be the case in my life.
A sexual past is not the determinant of our relational future.
If you have any questions or blog topic suggestions … please contact me.