Sexuality For Singles (Part D)

Adolescence 3 / Young Adulthood

So we have spent the last couple of articles talking about the adolescent phase of human sexuality and how that is an important phase of sexual development for young people as they need the development of not just their physical bodies, but also their sexual organs, or reproductive systems. In singleness, of course, the reproductive aspect of these systems is not being utilised. However, in marriage, the reproductive aspect is also not being utilised, and it then becomes a question of the other purposes of a person’s sexual organs outside of reproduction, and how this can be realised in singleness while maintaining sexual purity and a personal Christian faith.

In a marriage the sharing of each other’s physical bodies is an act of physical and spiritual intimacy that also involves God. In singleness, aside from the involvement of God in one’s everyday life, essentially one is sharing one’s body with oneself. In other words, the act of masturbation for a single person is a means of sexual expression and fulfilment because they don’t have another person in their life to share that physical intimacy with. Religious legalists and conservatives often charge that masturbation is purely a selfish act of physical pleasure and cannot be compared in any way with the act of sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife in holy matrimony. It is true that masturbation cannot be the same as sexual intercourse because it only involves one person, but in that act, the person is learning how to be intimate with his or her self. In the act of sexual intercourse between two people, each of these people is learning about what makes the other person tick at the time when they are sharing their bodies together in bed, and that is what constitutes physical intimacy between two marriage partners. Sexual intercourse between two marriage partners can also be a selfish act of physical pleasure for both of those people. So while masturbation could be purely about physical pleasure in a selfish way, it can also be a time where that person who is masturbating is learning how to be sexually fulfilled in the time of singleness and be prepared for being sexually fulfilled in a future marriage.

We’ve entitled this part both about adolescence and young adulthood because today’s focus is on the development of sexual maturity for a young person that will usually parallel the development of physical maturity. At the beginning of their adolescence they will have only the immature knowledge that their bodies need this physical pleasure through touching themselves and that will be about all they will be focusing on to start with. For the larger percentage who do not have a Christian faith, masturbation will end up having a sinful focus as it becomes consumed in sexual lust, adultery and pornography. However, for a godly teenage girl or boy, staying focused on the principles of their faith will eventually see masturbation become more about an awareness of sexual fulfilment of their physical bodies, in particular their sexual organs. It is important that this becomes a key focus of masturbation for singles as they need to be focused on something during masturbation and it absolutely cannot be another person because that would bring sexual sin (idolatry or adultery) into the situation. Sexual fulfilment is a Godly blessing for Christians to be able to achieve and when a single Christian young woman or young man is achieving sexual fulfilment in a godly way, which may encompass other activities apart from masturbation, they are worshipping their creator. Masturbation is an act of sexual fulfilment for a single person because it is a recognition that their sexual organs are designed, amongst other things, to produce pleasure when physically touched or caressed, which eventually leads to an orgasm. In the act of masturbation, the goal is not solely the achievement of that pleasure, but the recognition that the pleasure is the reward received for achieving the orgasm, which is the primary means of sexual fulfilment for a single person. It is important for a Christian single person to focus masturbation in the context of achieving this sexual fulfilment on the assumption that it is a legitimate godly desire of their personal life and that it is an expression of their sexuality that is wholly in accordance with the way they were created by God and are expressing their love for Him in acts of worship.

Sexuality For Singles (Part C)

Adolescence – 2

We’ve decided to write a second part on adolescence because this transition from childhood to adulthood is such a big thing, especially for a girl. Young innocence is replaced by a growing awareness of sexuality and what it means in the real world. For a Christian girl in particular there are the constant demands and pressures coming from males and from ungodly females, which add up to a significant influence and require wise choices and decisions to be made on a daily basis. The most important aspect of singleness for an adolescent Christian girl is being the owner of her body and asserting that ownership. A big part of that is to realise that she can affirm her body and all the weird and wonderful stages of development of different parts of her sexuality – both physically and in other ways – without needing to get that affirmation from any other person. The issue with complementarian theology is that it is overly focused on the assumption that a young woman should in some respects inhibit her sexual development because she can only be developed and validated by a man and only in the context of her marriage and family. They teach that essentially a woman’s body is the property of her husband and other demeaning / diminishing concepts that greatly limit a Christian woman’s ability to develop into the fullness of everything that she is capable of achieving as a feminine warrior of God.

Whilst Christian egalitarianism has focused upon the equality of women as co heirs of the gospel and also as ministers of the message of Jesus, we haven’t really developed challenges to the complementarian view of sexuality and that’s certainly the focus of this blog. The major application that we focus on in this blog is that adolescence is an important time of sexual development for a young woman and that she can become complete in that development without any sense of obligation to any future husband or to preserve any aspect of her sexuality to be discovered and developed by such a person. In fact that developmental completeness in a time of singleness without the distraction of relating to any other person is essential for successful relationships in adulthood. It enables her to be confident about her own body and assertive about setting appropriate boundaries in relationships as she works to discover the relational journey that will lead her to be able to achieve relational goals matching her personal life objectives.

For an adolescent Christian girl, the development of her sexuality and her physical body during puberty can be a challenging time. We’re not going to cover all the specifics here but we feel in the sense of the Biblical message of redemption and affirmation of our humanity as very good. That doesn’t mean we are immune to sinful lusts and temptations, but we need to take an approach that recognises that God created us in the assumption that our bodies are made for good things and to worship God in everything we do. A part of that goodness is the fact that there are areas of our bodies that develop and become more sensitive to physical touch and other stimuli. The pleasure we get from touching and caressing these areas is akin to the pleasure from our other senses, is not inherently sinful when practised in moderation, and is not a sexual activity as long as it is not shared with another person. Hence we believe it is OK for single people to masturbate and that it is healthy to do this in moderation and that it can be used like other things in our bodies as an act of worship. This point has been abundantly covered elsewhere pointing out that this is a normal stage of sexual development and that we believe it is healthy and normal for all adolescents to learn to masturbate, as it gives them a physical release from pressures in their bodies, but in addition it also is a part of getting to know and understand their body’s physical reaction to being touched in these sensitive areas and being comfortable, if they get into a marriage in the future, with sharing these parts of their body with their spouse.

 

Sexuality For Singles (Part B)

Adolescence – 1

Childhood and adolescence are the beginning of our human experiences with sexuality. A percentage of children for various reasons will discover masturbation at a young age but will not have the knowledge or understanding to relate it to sexual things and it is best for parents to withhold the knowledge of sexual matters from their children until adolescence in such instances. Once the appropriate age is reached then children can be educated about what is happening in their bodies and be encouraged at that point to develop their sexuality in a healthy and godly way.

As we have made clear in some of our earlier articles, we believe that masturbation is  a healthy part of sexual development for Christians provided that it is not conducted in a sinful way, which mean that there is no lustful or impure intent in the activity. It is important that the Church in its teaching provides for the means for which adolescents have to deal with sexual pressures in their bodies which happen naturally as a result of the development of their bodies and that this means provides not for a healthy physical release but also a way of maintaining sexual purity while remaining single and in a worshipful relationship with God.

Singleness is a very important component of a godly life for those for which sexual purity can only be achieved in a context of celibacy, i.e. those who are unmarried. It is imperative that adolescents are equipped with the means to be able to remain single and sexually pure throughout this period until such a time as they are able to enter into a marriage relationship.

Whilst we generally think of adolescence as a fixed time period after which a young person is expected to have achieved maturity, the physical adolescence may run for a particular period regulated by a body clock, but for some people, their sexual adolescence may last for a longer period before maturity in this area is reached. This can be for various reasons and for Christians the end result may be a longer period of singleness before marriage.

Sexuality For Singles (Part A)

Introduction

Well it’s time to start a new series and that will be about sexuality for Christian singles. This draws upon our earlier writings a this site, but we aim to present the materials in a new way, possibly with some new content also. This is actually the second publishing of this article because I wanted to re-present it with new content

Singleness is an aspect of our relational / sexual journey that we all go through. For some of us it can just be a phase at the beginning of this journey. For others there can be multiple phases due to circumstances, whilst for a proportion it can be a lifelong experience. Singleness is important to the development of relational and sexual aspects of personal development in preparation for marriage if a single person chooses to marry. However we believe there is no automatic compulsion on any Christian man or woman to marry and for some Christians, they experience fulfillment in remaining celibate and single throughout life, but provision also needs to be made for those who find it necessary to remain single through their particular circumstances rather than by choice.

The biggest issue to date has been the failure of the Church at large to recognise singleness as a valid lifestyle choice for Christian believers and to properly provide for the spiritual wellbeing of single adult members in particular. Singleness is an issue that affects female church members more than males because there are generally a higher proportion of church members who are female than male, and because older female church members who experience some form of relationship termination are less likely to be interested in forming a new relationship.

Singleness  coupled with celibacy is particularly important as a spiritual discipline for evangelical Christians for whom sexual purity is especially significant and that is a part of the backdrop to this series of articles. The other important consideration is that, as sexuality is something to be celebrated, that as we have emphasised in some of our previous communications, the fact that such celebration is not just for married people, but it’s also for single people, is an important backdrop to these articles.

Well that’s our introduction to this series. Part B will be published tomorrow and it will look at the beginning of our sexual development, at adolescence, and how much that can contribute to sexual and relational development during that period of singleness.

Sexuality of Labour and Birth

This topic is rather interesting due to work done by Debra Pascali-Bonaro as detailed in her Orgasmic Birth website and publications. The basis of Pascali-Bonaro’s premise is that all stages of pregnancy, including birth, should be considered sexual acts by the pregnant mother. Her work is based on the natural birth movement but also compels us to consider the inevitability of labour and birth becoming sexual acts with the knowledge that some women do experience sexual pleasure during these activities, whether it is sought out or occurring spontaneously. Particularly in respect to the former, is there a role for sexual pleasure to be introduced into these stages of pregnancy, and this is something that our blog is certainly interested in exploring, as we believe that the entire journey of procreation in a mother’s life is something that is to be  explored and celebrated in the light of the fullness of female sexuality as God created it.

Angela Gallo’s advocacy of masturbation during labour is different, yet related to Pascali-Bonaro’s work. Gallo made use of the practice as part of her own natural birth in her desire to use more natural forms of pain relief.

Whilst Gallo, at least, comes across as a radical new age feminist, some of whose views are likely incompatible with evangelical Christian belief, we feel it’s instinctual for us on this site to open our minds to a more open viewpoint of God’s design of female sexuality through pregnancy and childbirth which doesn’t limit the sexual aspect to the beginning of the procreative journey. This is something we’ll explore a part of more fully in our next post.

Masturbation During Pregnancy

This is a topic we’ve touched on before. We are drawing information from some third party websites as well as offering some insights of our own. It has become a particular focus for us recently in supporting some pregnant women in our community.

Sex in the context of pregnancy isn’t solely limited to the act that began the pregnancy, and there is plenty of support for views that a healthy amount of sex during the pregnancy is quite beneficial. However a key challenge for pregnant mothers is maintaining enough sexual desire for the husband to have regular intercourse throughout pregnancy. It’s not particularly unusual for a pregnant wife to lose the desire for her husband whilst at the same time becoming increasingly horny due to changes in hormones, blood flow and other factors. During third trimester in particular, sexual intercourse can also become physically awkward due to the growing size of the pregnant belly. Some men can also lose physical desire for their wife during pregnancy. Because of these reasons, masturbation may become the preferable option for satisfying sexual desire consistently throughout the pregnancy. Because masturbation has other benefits that are of the type outlined in the MFC101 series, this article focuses primarily on masturbation rather than sexual intercourse.

The key benefits of masturbation during pregnancy are outlined below. It’s useful to remember that what is good for the mother is usually good for her baby as well, therefore masturbation can actually be positive for the baby’s development as well as helping her to overcome the various strains and struggles of those nine months.

  • Helps to reduce stress and increase relaxation after orgasm by releasing oxytocin
  • Increased orgasmic pleasure
  • Natural pain relief from morning sickness etc
  • Helps to make sleep easier due to release of endorphins and lowering blood pressure
  • Helps to strengthen pelvic floor for easier labour
  • Helps restores female sexuality and self image that can be damaged due to physical changes in appearance, size etc. A woman can feel sexy again when she can experience sexual pleasure and orgasm.

Masturbation has the advantage that it can be scheduled at any convenient time and is especially helpful for mothers who need to masturbate throughout the day rather than being limited by husband’s availability and stamina. Masturbation is also beneficial for the reasons outlined in our Masturbation For Christians 101 Series in the particular circumstances where a woman needs to reconnect herself with her own body or to have her own space to focus on her own issues, rather than sharing her body with her husband for the sexual encounter. During the six week post natal recovery period when sexual intercourse is medically proscribed, this is particularly important, as it is also a great opportunity for a woman to restore her personal sexual development after the challenges that have occurred during the pregnancy and birth.

In addition to all of the previously documented benefits, one that does specifically accrue to masturbation for a pregnant woman is the act of rubbing her belly, something that has been proven to specifically increase her sense of physical connection with and love of her unborn child. During masturbation, rubbing her pregnant belly can be very beneficial for increasing her arousal and pleasure, therefore being another situation in which the act of masturbation is actually physically beneficial for the baby.

In totality, everything that a mother does during pregnancy has to be considered for its ability to benefit and support her unborn child, and in terms of a godly mandate to lay down our lives in service of others, it is appropriate in a faith context to consider how the development of the baby can be enhanced by making this a greater priority than the mother’s own needs. Given that there are provable benefits to fetal development from masturbating during pregnancy, it is highly beneficial for a pregnant mother to focus her thoughts and prayers on “servicing her womb” or providing for her baby’s needs during masturbation, and this change of focus can make the act of masturbation that much more fulfilling to her, especially from a faith perspective.

We are considering at the moment whether to add another article or two in exploring this subject further to the MFC101 series, or perhaps a different series on procreation sexuality.

Recap – 2019/03

We feel now the Masturbation 101 series is over and it’s time to focus on more things to do with sex and sexuality in general. To that end, we will just recap on where the blog has been going since we started it six months ago. At that time, masturbation was the primary focus, and it is still very important, because masturbation has been such a grey area in the evangelical Church for a long long time, and significant numbers of Christians masturbate but feel they have to keep their practice secret or hidden away because of the stigmatisation of it in conservative theological circles.  Our approach to masturbation could best be summarised along the following lines:

  • Sex organs are body parts that are primarily intended for sexual stimulation and pleasure. This includes the parts that have dual roles related to procreation, because these uses are secondary.
  • These organs belong to the person whose body they are attached to and no-one else.
  • Since they do belong to the owner of the attached body, that owner can use them for whatever purpose they please. They can choose to share them with a matrimonial partner, or make use of them whilst single or alone.

Obviously all of the above is subject to the overriding consideration that all acts involving sex organs, like all human activities carried out by God’s people, must be carried out as an act of worship (for a godly purpose).

The problem for the Church at large is that much of our thinking on sexuality is derived from very conservative theology that often has a very limited concept of it. For example the ideas exist that sex is solely for the purpose of procreation, or that women do not have sexual desires at all and are solely created to be sexual playthings for their husbands. Singleness was also frowned upon and often stigmatised in churches. Most of these beliefs have no basis in fact within the Bible, and conservative teachers often quote general scriptures relating to sexual immorality without being able to show that they apply to these particular situations.

In this blog so far we have sought to show that masturbation is normal, harmless, healthy and even desirable for godly men and women to partake of in their ordinary daily lives. It will, of course, be a personal conviction of each believer by the Holy Spirit as to how to apply the concepts, particularly those outlined in the Masturbation 101 series, to their own situations. Our desire is to see Christians freed from false guilt and shame regarding their personal use of masturbation. We have particularly focused on ministering through intercessions to those who feel the need to masturbate several times per day (which can itself be healthy as long as there is no sin involved; as a rule of thumb, more than four times could be considered addictive). Obviously, people who are in this type of situation will struggle more than those who are able to get by with a frequency of several times per week, or several times per month.

The change in focus doesn’t mean we no longer see a need to address the issue of masturbation; far from it. But we now want to move on and address other relevant topics of Christian sexuality.

Masturbation For Christians 101 (Part G)

Sexual Affirmation

Like some of our other posts, this one is more about a specific theme rather than new revelation or content. As such we draw on concepts already explained and covered to some extent in the previous posts of this series, in order to address the particular theme.

Sexual affirmation is a concept that probably applies much more to women than men, primarily because women tend to have more body image problems impacting their sexuality, and because of the pressures our society puts upon them in relation to body image. It takes no time at all to understand these things can have an impact upon a woman’s personal sexuality in terms of self esteem and self image.

The concept for this theme is pretty simple, and that’s that a person’s sexuality can benefit and prosper if that person has a high level of satisfaction with their own body image. We live in a society where for various reasons, we can have a high level of dissatisfaction with the shape of our bodies. There are some improvements we can implement in relation to weight control and fitness, but for some issues we have to accept that the physical appearance of a part of our body is not something that can be easily addressed without cosmetic surgery. Rather than go to such extreme lengths it is certainly beneficial to our general self esteem / self image to accept the way we are made and this acceptance will have positive impacts on our sexuality as well.

Sexual affirmation in a Christian context, then, is affirming that our bodies are beautifully and wonderfully made and that we can therefore accept that this physical beauty translates into sexual beauty in the eyes of God. The affirmation recognises the sexual beauty associated with different body parts and that they are parts that we can actually use to increase our sexual pleasure during a time of masturbation. We may find that some of these areas are erogenous zones that increase our arousal by being touched and caressed, and undeniably these actions when associated with the right words of affirmation, particularly when these words are focused on thanking God for our bodies, sexuality and the gift of sex.

Practising such affirmation at a time of masturbation is therefore a great way of becoming more personally comfortable with and accepting of some of our physical appearance features of our bodies, especially the most visible parts, and enjoying sexual pleasure from touching and caressing these physical features, while affirming this sexual pleasure and the value, worth and esteem that God puts on our physical bodies and that He created and holds in high esteem all of these personal features, is a great way of focusing on what is important in our lives to give us a healthy sexuality that will bless the rest of our lives greatly.

Masturbation For Christians 101 (Part F)

Sexual Development

In Part D of this series we made some reference to the use of masturbation for sexual development, and in this part we are going to expand on that concept further.

In Part E, the previous post of this series, we discussed at length sexual devotion. Sexual development is somewhat different, but we can see on looking through the discussion of sexual devotion, that it is a form of sexual development. It provides the opportunity for Christians to undertake sexual development in a time of devotion so that they can better serve other people around them with their sexuality.

Sexual development for most people begins at adolescence and is the time in which the use of masturbation should first be recognised as valuable in the lives of Christians. Although it is commonplace for pre-adolescent children to discover masturbation, they should not be placed in a position to have knowledge of the sexuality aspect of masturbation before reaching puberty. During adolescence, Christian teens  should be informed about the relevance of masturbation to their lives of faith as well as being educated on the need to abstain from other forms of sexual activity and live lives of sexual purity in preparation for a continuous faith journey into adulthood. What we need to ensure is being attended to properly is the overall sex education message that is being taught to Christian youth, whether it comes from the church, parents or a Christian or secular education provider. Dropping purity programmes based on complementarian theology is a big step in the right direction. As our Christian youth grow in their faith and tackle the challenges of sexual development along with everything else that they experience on their transition to adulthood, they will be much better equipped than they have been with purity programmes in understanding their sexual development and how it fits into godliness and the quest for sexual purity.

Sexual development is something all Christians should make use of in their everyday lives. Singles (including adolescents) need it because they need to maintain sexual purity whilst at the same time being prepared to serve others relationally with their sexuality in a way that is appropriate for each situation. The most appropriate example is of course marriage, for those who are able to enter into it, which is the majority. However for those who are in the position of remaining single for an extended period of time, for whatever reason, then their sexual development remains ongoing and relevant to other relationships in their lives. For married couples, sexual development is also important for maintaining healthy relational sexuality for their marriage and also the service of others whether in a shared or individual capacity. We have talked in Parts C and D previously about the need for women and men to practice a regular form of sexual therapy in their lives in order to reclaim their core faith objectives of godly sexuality and sexual purity from the pressures created by our highly sexualised societies. This is a kind of sexual development and would basically involve “repossessing” sexual ownership of the relevant body parts that people feel most pressured or shamed in relation to. We suggest specific steps to be undertaken in such a process would include receiving personal sexual pleasure from touching, stroking or caressing those body parts, simultaneously speaking words of blessing and ownership over the sexual aspects of these parts and the right to possess these parts exclusively for one’s own sexual pleasure, and renouncing body shaming or attempts by other people to possess or misuse the body parts for their own sexual gratification. We would expect this type of sexual development to be undertaken in an individual time of devotion, because godly sexuality first and foremost involves the recognition that each Christian believer owns their sexuality in the same way as they own other aspects of their body and are individually responsible and accountable before God for it, at a higher level than responsibility or accountability to anyone else. This concept was explored more fully in Part E of this series on sexual devotion.

Sexual development for married couples can in addition to times of sexual devotion as individuals, encompass marital relational development in the shared duties of a husband and wife, for example in the maintenance of the marriage itself, parenthood and family life. Both spouses must ensure they have times of private sexual devotion to reflect the state of their sexuality against God’s perfect reality and continue to develop at a personal level in order to be able to bring their best into the marriage and all other relationships around them. Sexual development undertaken prior to marriage is very important for the marriage to go smoothly. There are many examples where people have not been prepared sexually for marriage and do not have the knowledge of how their body functions sexually, who then find it difficult to relate in a healthy and productive way within the marriage. This can include where there has been sexual trauma in their lives prior to marriage. This especially is a problem where the sex instruction given in the single period of a spouse’s life conveys a negative view of sexuality, such as when it is based on purity culture. It can be very difficult for a wife who has received such a teaching with its very negative shaming view of female sexuality to be able to respond appropriately sexually in marriage. However, Linda Kay Klein in her book “Pure” detailed some personal healing journeys undertaken by herself and friends escaping purity movement teachings, and although Klein now worships at a liberal church, we found some of the accounts extremely moving and easy to relate to inasmuch as they described processes of sexual development similar to the ones we have attempted to document in this series. The fact being that those processes were much delayed until such a time as the participants had managed to repudiate the negative teachings they were given, even if they had had to leave the church to do so.

There is one more issue that we will tack in here that is appropriate to sexual development and that is clothing choices. We believe that in the egalitarian spirit, that men and women’s clothing styles should be equivalent. It is inconsistent with the rest of the principles we have stated to insist that women must be buttoned up to the nines and have next to no skin visible when men are able to go out on the beach wearing only briefs. We are not going to use that as an example of how everyone should be able to dress on a beach but we have simply used it to highlight the double standards that traditionally have existed with clothing. Learning about a preference for the type of clothing worn (for example if a woman prefers to wear a skirt or pants, and whether she prefers to wear a bra or not) is something for each Christian believer to determine as part of their own sexual development.


To summarise Part F, it is important for all Christians to focus on sexual development throughout their lives, and find personal private time regularly in sexual devotion to address any development issues. Sexual development for Christians should commence at adolescence and be appropriately addressed in sex education and church teachings to enable all believers to be suitably prepared for the development of significant relationships in their lives and the possible phases of adult life that they will encounter. Sexual development is important as part of preparation for marriage.

Masturbation For Christians 101 (Part E)

Sexual Devotion

Sexual devotion is something we have talked about and alluded to in the previous parts of this series. It’s essentially bringing the gift of sexuality into a devotional time with God and surrendering our sexuality to Him. It’s a complete different way of looking at what we use our sexuality for. It’s not to say that traditional expressions of sexuality within a Christian context are completely invalid, but it is to say that the theology behind traditional Christian views of sexuality has needed reconsideration, and when that reconsideration has taken place, godly sexuality looks different than it used to.

The traditional view of male and female sexuality in the Church has been guided by patriarchy. This has been well known in society and society has influenced the Church. The predominating theology in the church for centuries, amid much controversy relating to specific interpretations and counter-interpretations of particular Bible verses, is something we know today as “complementarianism”. This essentially says that there are specific gender-based roles for male and female Christians, and in particular, leadership roles all over the church and in the family home are predominantly reserved for males. Complementarianism also teaches a sexuality that essentially implies that the primary purpose of a female is to meet a male’s sexual needs. Males are considered to be out of control and unable to moderate their sex drives, and women are made wholly responsible for men’s sexual actions, so women are the ones who are the most pressured to remain sexually pure and are even told they are not supposed to have sexual desires or drives. This has driven the development of extreme sexual purity culture that is primarily targeted at women, with little attention given to applying the same standards to men.

Christian Egalitarianism begins, on the other hand, with core assumptions that men and women are more or less equal both in gender roles and in church leadership. From that comes a more equal view of what sexuality is about. Even if we stick with the assumption that males are still going to be primarily interested in meeting and establishing sexually intimate relationships with women, it does open up possibilities for women being able to sit in roles where they can have a sexuality that is not focused exclusively on marriage. Women are a lot better than us guys at living devoted single lives. One of the key assumptions that has come across from complementarianism is that every young person is going to marry. Those who don’t are made to feel like outcasts, and few churches have developed effective programs to support single adults.

Now just as it is possible for women to lead devoted lives of singleness, it is equally possible for Christian men to do so as well. So put the focus on singleness together and where does that leave sexuality? Well, like other aspects of a single person’s life, their sexuality can also be refocused into their relationship with God. That means we have to allow that there are means that single people can surrender and devote the gift of sexuality back to God, and to that end, there has to be an effective means of expressing genital sexuality for singles. The basic premise of this entire blog is that such a means exists, and that the purposes of the different body parts which respond to sexual arousal can be considered to be, first and foremost, for the development of healthy personal sexuality, which is of greater and higher importance than sexuality expressed in a sexually intimate relationship (i.e. marriage). This dovetails very neatly with our relational priorities in our faith. We put God at No.1 position in our lives, if we have a spouse they come in at No.2, and then other priorities such as work, ministry, friends etc come below that. This hierarchy in relation to our faith is very important to allow us to ensure we are effectively equipped to serve and minister to the people in the No.2 and lower positions, by calling on the God who is No.1 in our lives to give us what we need to make everything else work.

So in the same way as in other aspects of our faith life, we are equipped in our sexuality by submitting it to God who is the most important in our lives, the one we can go to in order to be able to serve people lower in the hierarchy. And we believe herein that God’s people can be fully equipped in all aspects of their sexuality by spending time in what we are referring to here as sexual devotion. This starts from the assumption just mentioned above, in relation to body parts that produce sexual arousal when stimulated. For example, in both male and female, bare skin is one of our biggest sexually erogenous zones, and apart from the genitals themselves, other areas of male and female bodies such as lips, breasts, nipples, buttocks and thighs are more sensitive to physical contact and generate increased levels of sexual excitement when stimulated. The concept of sexual devotion, the title of this post, essentially comes from the idea that spending time experiencing sexual pleasure and focusing it on building one’s personal relationship with God provides the basic for development of a healthy God-focused sexuality that then can, as in other aspects of relationship in the lives of believers, be used in a more healthy and selfless way to serve others.

We wrote previously that masturbation is often prescribed as a sex therapy solution and that it can have application at a personal level for Christians, not just because they may have experienced sexual trauma that requires to be healed, but because they are constantly under pressure in society (especially women) in relation to physical aspects of their sexuality such as appearance and performance, and therefore applying the principles of sexual therapy is an important priority for both male and female Christians in order to maintain personal sexual purity and integrity. The new ideas expressed in this post take that concept further, and postulate that Christians need to focus on personal sexual devotion as a proactive strategy. In other words, we aren’t using these techniques as a reaction to what is happening around us in society. Instead, we make personal sexual devotion in our relationship with God a part of the No.1 priority in our lives, and then refocus every other aspect of our physical sexuality accordingly. This is how we focus other aspects of our daily lives of faith as God’s people.

Sexual devotion is easy enough to understand and practice. It means that we should be setting aside regular time in our daily or weekly schedule to submit our physical sexuality directly to God and allow us to express our feelings about our sexuality to Him as an act of worship, allowing us time to listen for His response to us in these times, just as we do at other devotional times in our walk of faith. These times will prove to be invaluable for all believers in developing a healthy understanding of their physical sexuality from a faith based perspective and the relevance of it to other aspects of their day to day lives and ability to serve those around them. The primary act of service would usually be to the No.2 person in their lives (a husband or wife) both in terms of sexual intimacy and in being considerate and respectful of each other’s sexual needs. Below that, the main relevant area of service is generally in being considerate and respectful of others by expressing appropriate attitudes such as maintaining healthy physical boundaries when working with others. This may also extend into ministry where so involved. There will of course be those who are single who do not have a husband or wife in their lives, and therefore their sexual devotion times are the only opportunity they have for sexual expression in their lives. For these people, they may obviously choose to spend more time in sexual devotion than for married people who have to give adequate time and consideration to their spouse.


We summarise this post therefore by postulating that the most important role of our physical sexuality is to devote it in worship to God in times of sexual devotion to Him and that this aspect of physical sexuality is more important than being in sexual relationship in marriage. Good healthy marriage sexual relationship and respectful sexual attitudes to others are naturally rooted in healthy sexuality which in turn is established in sexual devotion by using our physical body parts first and foremost in the times of sexual devotion in worship and surrender to God.