- Listen/ download: http://boundless.typepad.com/podcast/2009/07/078-boundless-podcast.html
- Blog post: http://www.boundlessline.org/2009/07/marrying-young-episode-78.html
Lisa Anderson: Opening up today’s inbox I have Candice joining me by phone. Hello Candice!
Candice Watters: Hi Lisa. Good to be back.
Lisa: Great to have you.
We’re going to be addressing a pretty interesting question today. It is about sex. I’m going to pause for two minutes so people who don’t know what sex is can look it up in the dictionary. And then we’ll go from there. Hopefully, you know—
Candice: What kind of people tell other people that Boundless suggested they do that?
Lisa: To look up sex?
Lisa: To Google it?
Candice: Don’t do that. Bad idea.
Lisa: Don’t Google it; just go ask your pastor.
Candice: There you go.
Lisa: Okay, well here is the question; it is from a female, as we will soon discover. She says:
I am a 24-year-old single Christian woman. The last year, I’ve really been desiring sex at times. I thought this was a little weird because I’ve always heard about guys strongly desiring this, not really girls. So something I’ve been doing lately is fantasising about having sex with my future husband on our wedding night. I’m not picturing any person in particular, just imagining what it will be like. I know it’s wrong to lust after someone, but I’m not really doing that, I don’t think. I’m imagining and fantasising about what it will be like, and I guess I’m just curious.
I’m a virgin and pretty innocent when it comes to sex, so it’s all very new to me. I guess I’m just wondering if imagining and fantasising about these things is wrong.
Candice: [Lets out a whoop] Okay Lisa, here we go. I think the first thing that comes to mind is all the people listening that would say, “That is totally impossible. How can you possibly fantasise about a non-existent person? How can you have lust that isn’t attached to a real person?” But I want to start by saying I can relate to that because I didn’t date very much when I was single and so this sounds familiar. It sounds implausible if you’ve never not dated a lot, but if you are one of the women listening who hasn’t had a boyfriend or maybe a boyfriend that you did anything more than hold his hand… It is possible to think about a generic sexual encounter.
That said, I want to go straight to the scriptures, because I think there’s so much information there that can help you. I don’t think this is a good idea; I think this is something you need to be very careful about, and here are a couple of reasons why. First of all, turning to Song of Solomon which is the most erotic book in the Bible, three times the writer of the Song says, “I charge you, do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” And I don’t think that means until you feel like it; it’s not the oh, I’m desiring it, so I’ll think about it now. It’s saying, “I understand the power of sexual longing; I understand the inflaming power,” and because of that you need to be very careful and not turn that on in yourself prematurely.
Now part of the problem here is that you’re… 24? Is she 24 Lisa?
Candice: So your body is now fully ready to be a wife, fully ready to be engaged sexually with a husband and fully ready to start having babies. And as most women know or will figure out, the intensity of your sexual desire has to do with the ebb and flow of your cycle. And so your body is basically saying, “Hey, I’m ready!” I would encourage you to turn your energy toward praying fervently about the possibility of getting married, rather than trying to figure this out as a solo act and try to satisfy yourself that way. Say, “God, my body is saying I’m ready and I’d like to be married and have a relationship with a man this way and hopefully be a mom.” The goal for the believer is to flesh that out in a very biblical marital context.
That sounds really tough, though, when you’re single and maybe there’s no guy on the scene. In that sense, which is a lot of where I spent my single years, I would say turn to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 that talks about living in the world but not waging war as the world does. Paul wrote “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” So that’s the advice I would give you. Just pray, “Lord help me to take every thought captive, to make all of my thinking and imagination obedient to Christ.”
And then turn to 2 Peter 1:3-4, where again we hear this encouragement about not fighting war and not waging battle the way the world does, but to ask God to give us His divine power. It says: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
I’m not saying the desire for honeymoon sex is evil. It’s not. But when you’re not engaged yet, it’s premature. And if you hang out there, in those lustful thoughts, they may start out generic and not be linked to a specific man, but it’s really hard to stay in that place. The tendency is to need more and more to feel satisfied. And so you’re at the beginning of a slippery slope of a corrupt path. And so just hang on to those promises in the word and pray for Christ’s power, the divine nature to help you overcome the potential corruption that comes from our evil desires.
Lisa: I think that’s good. I think the only thing I disagree with you on, Candice, is the first statement you made, and that’s that people will hear this and say that’s kind of implausible. I would guess that if I took probably 20 of my girlfriends who are single, they would all say, “Oh yeah, totally done it. Still do it.” Probably attributing it to people that they know. [Laughter] Probably they’re not doing it in a generic fashion, probably fantasising about specific people at times as well. So I think it’s a common thing.
I think this gets back to… you and I talked once before about the influence of magazines and films on this as well. When you open up a magazine in the supermarket and it’s like 10 tactics for great sex, you know, and a lot of women will say, “Well, maybe I should read it and keep it under my hat,” or something—
Lisa: Yeah, exactly—the whole “research” thing. So obviously that kind of flies in the face of what you were saying from a biblical standpoint.
Candice: As far as those magazines go, I’m a married woman now and I still don’t read those articles because they’re just full of the world’s way of thinking. And really, it’s like… that’s a whole other topic. But the story you write with your husband in your bedroom needs to be your story, and not influenced by what the people who write those magazines think.
Lisa: And most of what they say would involve like 12 years of extensive yoga practice too.
Candice: [Laughter] Who has time for that?
Lisa: There’s no way for that. Especially when you’re just standing in line checking your iPhone. So, I mean, there’s no time to get into that. [Laughter]
Candice: Keeping it real, Lisa.
Candice, it’s always great to have you as part of our inbox segment. You’re always weighing in with great advice, so thank you for doing that.
Candice: You are welcome; it’s always fun and I am glad to be able to be with you even if it’s only by phone.
Lisa: And you women out there and guys as well, write to us and tell us what you think about this topic: editor [at] boundless [dot] org, and give us your comments and your questions. As you can see, we take just about any questions.