Here are 4 reasons God is not taking away your desire for sex during your season of singleness.
1. God Will Not Remove Your Desire for Sex Because He Uses Unmet Desires to Reveal His Will for Us
Asking God to take away your sexual desire is like asking God to take away your ability to feel hungry when you lack food. Feeling hungry is not a bad thing. It is a sign you were made to eat food. Your hunger pains are not the problem. Your lack of food is. Likewise, feeling a sexual desire is not a bad thing. It is a sign that God made you to have sex in marriage one day. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:13, “‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food’—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
As Paul explains in the following chapter (1 Corinthians 7), you can honor the Lord with your body by having sex in marriage. You wouldn’t ask God to take away your hunger pains. Rather, you would ask God to give you some food. Likewise, asking God to remove your sexual desire is not always the best prayer. Rather, you should spend more time asking God to give you the opportunity to use your sexual desire in the way God created you to – in marriage. Sex in marriage glorifies God. 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 states:
I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
In regards to these biblical directives, notice too what John Calvin said when teaching on the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” in his famous work called Institutes of the Christian Religion:
And let no man tell me (as many in the present day do) that he can do all things, God helping! The help of God is present with those only who walk in his ways (Ps 91:14), that is, in his calling . . . Let no man rashly despise matrimony as a thing useless or superfluous to him; let no man long for celibacy unless he is able to dispense with the married state. . . And since there are many on whom this blessing is conferred only for a time, let everyone, in abstaining from marriage, do it so long as he is fit to endure celibacy. If he has not the power of subduing his passion, let him understand that the Lord has made it obligatory on him to marry. . . And let not a man flatter himself, that because he abstains from the outward act he cannot be accused of unchastity. His mind may in the meantime be inwardly inflamed with lust. For Paul’s definition of chastity is purity of the mind, combined with purity of body.”
The point is, God will not remove your desire for sex if God is calling you to pursue marriage one day. God will only remove your sexual desire if he has called you to live a life of singleness.
2. God Will Not Remove Your Desire for Sex Because God Uses Unmet Desires to Develop Us
God is not denying your request. God is developing your character. Romans 5:3-5 explains:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
God has a purpose for everything in our lives, including in our delayed desires. For example, if you never learn to control your sexual desires in singleness you will not be able to control them in marriage one day either. Yes, sex is made for marriage, but even in marriage you still need self-control to properly use your sexual desire. Getting married does not eradicate the sin nature in you. So even in marriage your sin nature will want you to use your sexual desires improperly. Notice the process of learning that Paul points out in Philippians 4:11-13. It states:
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Paul’s not saying that it is good for him to be hungry. Rather he is saying that even when he is hungry he has learned how to still honor the Lord through Christ. Likewise, when it comes to your sexual desires, you should pursue marriage when the time is right. But even in singleness God will give you the ability to honor him with your body while you wait to honor him with your body in marriage through sex one day. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 promises:
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
3. God Will Not Remove Your Desire for Sex Because God Uses Unmet Desires to Motivate Us to Pursue His Will
In point 1 we talked about God revealing his will to us. But here we are talking about God motivating you to pursue that will. If God removed your desire for sex in singleness, you would remain single forever because you would lack healthy motivation. I’m not saying that you should pursue marriage to just have sex. But sex and romance and relationships are all connected. So if God removed these types of desires from you, you would lose the motivation to seek marriage.
One the of the most underrated ways in which God’s sovereignty can be seen in our lives is when it comes to the motivations and desires each of us have. For example, in God’s sovereignty, he has arranged for me to make this video right now. But to accomplish his will, he first gave me a motive to enjoy writing and studying. Other people do not enjoy writing and studying like I do, so making a video like this for them would be very hard and God is not calling them to do that. Likewise, God has not given me a desire to lead children’s ministry or manage lots of people or be an accountant to manage the financial records for a church. But there are other individuals where God has given them a desire and a motive to actually want to do these types of things. None of us chose to have these desires. We just all follow the desires God has given us and then God accomplishes what he wants.
My point is, you did not choose to have a desire for sex. Rather, God gave you that desire because he wants you to pursue marriage. If God removed your desire for sex and marriage you would not be able to follow his will for you.
On a side note, this principle only works when it comes to biblical desires like marriage. You cannot claim that even sinful desires are from God thus you must follow that desire. Sinful desires come because of the fall of man and because we all have a sin nature.
For example, in Proverbs 5 we are taught to resist the lure of adultery but to pursue sexual pleasure in marriage. In Proverbs 5:15 it states, “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.” God gave you the thirst so you might drink water from your own cistern in marriage. The flesh can use the thirst to commit adultery. But God gives us sexual desires so we are motivated to have sex in marriage. Proverbs 5:18 adds, “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”
The point is, God will not remove your desire for sex because God will use that desire to motivate you to pursue his will for you.
4. God Will Not Remove Your Desire for Sex Because God’s Grace Is Sufficient
Now I want to clarify myself here because many of you may be thinking that I’m saying that a sexual desire is a guarantee you will be married one day. But this would not match real life because as we all know there are many people with a sexual desire who want to be married but who never will get married.
So I do not believe that the Bible is saying that a sexual desire is a sign you will for sure get married. But I do believe the Bible is saying that a sexual desire is a sign that you should pursue getting married. How that pursuit of marriage will turn out – only God knows. But it seems clear that a sexual desire is a healthy sign you should seek to be married unless you can control that sexual desire and not sin by falling to sexual temptation.
But that leaves us with the question, “Why would God not let you get married if he is not going to take away your desire for sex?” This reminds me of the difficult situation Paul found himself in with his thorn in the flesh. Despite the many theories, we don’t know what the thorn was because the Bible doesn’t say. I believe God left this a mystery on purpose because your thorn will be different than Paul’s thorn but God’s answer is the same to us all when a thorn is not removed from us.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 states, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” So why is God not taking away your desire for sex?
Because his grace is sufficient.
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