Celebrating Female Sexuality
My husband and I made commitments to abstinence when we were in middle
school — seven years before we met. We made our decisions from the heart, but
also out of duty to what was right and expected of us. This promise was easy to
make at age 12, but combatting deep sexual desire wasn’t far behind. The
temptations grew with age and relationship.
Over the past few months, we have had several opportunities to share the
somewhat rare story of our abstinent lives leading to our marriage. Most
conversations end posing the questions “why” and
“how?” We both explain our elementary decisions with elementary
answers: “Because God says so.” But we have been discovering this answer isn’t
enough. Although it worked in our middle school minds, it doesn’t hold much
ground in our current culture where men and women are delaying marriage longer
In today’s article “Sexy Single Women,” author Mary Kassian does a
great job in explaining how a single woman can celebrate and live out her
The answer to why abstinence is important is rooted deeply in the answer to
why sex is important. We can’t fully understand abstinence until we fully
grasp why God created sex and what it stands for. “We can’t hope to get our
sexuality right until we get our theology right,” Kassian says.
The union of marriage was created to give us a tangible picture of Christ
and the church, to help us grip the commitment and unity involved in this bond.
Sex is much more than icing on the cake; Kassian calls it the definition of
Through sex a husband and wife affirm in the
private realm what has taken place in the public and heavenly realm… Sex bears
witness that God has made two one.
Sex is God’s way of sealing the deal, allowing for a deep intimacy, safe
only in the confines of marriage. Sex binds the union of man and wife.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure…” (Hebrews
13:4a). But here some beg the question of why only man and wife.
Kassian responds, “If unmarried individuals are physically intimate, they tell
a lie with their bodies. They testify that a covenant union has taken place,
when in fact it hasn’t.”
Sex within marriage is important because it is a picture of our union with
God. When we disrespect our purity and disgrace the definition of marriage, we
not only disgrace our bodies and the body of our partner, but we are using
God’s temple to outwardly disgrace Him and His covenant with us. “Flee from
sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but
whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (1
Kassian next introduces an idea that was new to me and one I wish I had
understood when I was single.
Singles have a unique role to play in telling the
story of Jesus. When, by your sexual chastity, you display the story of the
church faithfully waiting for her coming Groom, the whole community benefits.
Just as much as sex is a symbol, Kassian would argue that abstinence
portrays the same idea.
To manage your sex drive and delight in sexual
continence, you need to understand that sexual restraint is as much and as
valid of an expression of the meaning of sex as the sexual act itself.
What a great exploration into the “how” question of abstinence. When a single woman begins
to comprehend the significance of sex within marriage and abstinence outside of
marriage, making the right choices becomes less about rules and limits, but
about commitment and testimony. How we as women live out our sexuality tells a
story about what we believe to be true about our Savior. If we value these
gifts of God, both marriage and singleness, our actions will be an outpouring
of our love story with Him.
Married or single, we all possess the responsibility to tell this story and
to uphold our sexuality as the beautiful gift God created it to be.