How to control our sexual urges is a really good, important question—and not just for teenagers! We all face sexual temptations and emotions that threaten to control us if we don't figure out how to make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And, yes, it's really difficult, especially when you have hormones and emotions flowing through you, seemingly unchecked.
Let's start with sex. Sex is not sinful, nor is the desire for sex. God created sex for men and women. It is a gift that gives life by producing children. It acts as a bonding agent between a husband and wife. Sex helps marriages to start and stay strong because when a husband and wife join with one other through sexual expression, a special one-flesh connection is formed, and that bond is nearly unbreakable. When people who are not married to one another have sexual relations, that one-flesh connection harms them rather than bringing them together. Let me explain what I mean...
Have you ever used superglue to repair a broken object and accidentally superglued your fingers together? It nearly impossible to pull those fingers apart without ripping the skin off one or both fingers. It's that tight!
Sex creates a similar bond in the heart. A bond this tight is awesome when you're married to that person for the rest of your life. When a person chooses to have sex with someone other than their spouse, however, there is a coming apart that happens when the sex is over. Those two souls that were briefly glued together now rip apart, leaving both partners damaged. When someone has multiple sexual partners in casual sex relationships, it doesn't take long before that person begins to feel broken, no longer whole, because their heart has been ripped apart so many times.
Sometimes we think God doesn't want us to have sex outside of marriage because He doesn't want us to enjoy ourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth! The Bible says that God gives His children good gifts (Matthew 7:11) and withholds nothing good from them (Psalm 84:11). God loves us too much to allow us to be ripped apart by the effects of sex outside of its godly design. In other words, just like a parent would tell their child "no" to touching a hot stove or playing in the middle of a busy street, for fear of them being terribly hurt, God tells us "no" to sex before marriage because He knows that temporary fun will ultimately hurt us terribly.
Sexual sin is one of the most damaging sins, because it is a sin against our own selves. We often feel worthless and ashamed when confronted with our sexual sin, and God wants to protect us from that. When it comes to sex within marriage, however, God is freely giving and happy for us to enjoy the gift He has provided for married couples (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).
Even if we understand that sex is meant for marriage, that doesn't automatically stop our hormones from going berserk or keep sexual desires from growing within. We all still face strong desires and temptations of a sexual nature sometimes. But what should we do with those feelings and desires when they arise? Here are a few things that help me focus on righteousness and stay on God's path:
Remember, being tempted by sexual sin is not sinful. Facing temptation is a part of life, for even Jesus was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 4:15). What we DO with that temptation is what determines if we have sinned. With practice and God's help, you CAN overcome those sexual temptations!
Even if we understand that sex is meant for marriage, that doesn't automatically stop our hormones or keep sexual desires in check. Be prepared for those temptations by growing in your relationship with God through prayer and reading His Word; looking for God's escape routes—and running for them (1 Corinthians 10:13); taking control of your thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5) and choosing not to dwell on sexual fantasies (Matthew 5:28; Philippians 4:8); and spending time doing things that express your true self in a way that honors God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Rhonda is an author, wife, mother, and mentor. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in English and Religious studies. She loves studying God’s Word for truth and wisdom and uses it as a compass and roadmap for her own spiritual journey. Rhonda believes in sharing the Good News and the hope found in Biblical truths with others. She uses her writing and mentoring opportunities (often with a pinch of humor) to do just that.