Married Women: Have We Forgotten Singleness?

Recently, I talked to a friend of mine who is in her late twenties and single. She has talked to several different women, married and not, and had one question during our conversation that really stood out to me. “Do married women just forget what it’s like to be single?”

Her question came up after a long discussion about whether or not masturbation was wrong. Several women have given her great advice on this matter, but there are many who immediately tag it as a sin and expect single women to deal with it. To paraphrase…“I mean of course it is a sin, right? I, as a married woman, certainly don’t have a problem with it and I only need to have sex every other week and I’m good.”

Obviously there are several things that do not help a single woman, struggling with masturbation. If you have a low sex drive to begin with, you probably never dealt with masturbation the way women like us do. Not only that, but a married woman is getting her needs met if communication is good with her husband. As married women, we really need to think about what our advice and answers are going to be to this single, sex saturated generation. You can’t just throw out the first answer that comes to mind, especially if it isn’t something you struggle with anymore (if you ever did).

Single women do not need us making them feel worse than they already do for their struggles. If a person is convicted by masturbation, by all means walk with them and encourage them, hold them accountable and confront them on it. But telling them they should just stop in a matter of fact way is extremely unhelpful. They already know they need to stop, otherwise why would they be coming to you with it? And most likely it is something they have been struggling with since they were younger and have tried over and over again to stop, failing and feeling miserable about it.

So what can you do? You can start by praying about these women and asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom. Every woman is different, and the words they need to hear the Lord speak through you are specific to them. There is no formulaic answer. As married women, we need to start stepping up our game in the way we disciple the single women that are asking for our help and wisdom.

And if you are a single woman and you don’t know who to go to with this, start praying! God will reveal it to you. You don’t have to talk to a married woman, but you should ask that God direct you to someone who has overcome. When you are in the midst of your sin, it is easy to believe there is no end in sight and you will just always fail in this way. But when you know someone who has made it past that infinite line, the hope that has always been there becomes more than a dream

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

–          Romans 15:13

Porn Within Movies

Pornography:  the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement.

My husband and I watched a movie the other day. It was an R-rated comedy and there were more than just crude jokes in this movie. It had two sexual scenes that lingered on women’s bare breasts. My husband looked away and I glanced over so that I could tell him if it was over or not.

Now, most people would argue that sex scenes in movies are not the same thing as pornography. I mean you aren’t watching people have sex and all you are seeing is breasts or butts. Based on the definition above though, I would beg to differ.

Anything intended to cause sexual excitement is pornography. But for women, especially married women, there is something that can be just as detrimental to viewing material that explicitly shows other women’s bodies.

After seeing this movie, I started to look at my own breasts with disgust and became slightly depressed with my own physical appearance. I mean how could my own breasts compete with the airbrushed, stimulated, perfectly angled and lighted breasts of women in the movies? I know all of this logically, but even so, subconsciously my mind goes there and I become dissatisfied. Thankfully, I have the Holy Spirit who told me to tell my husband immediately what was going through my head. My husband was able to encourage me and build me up and that was the end of it.

So, while I may not have been sexually stimulated by the sight (only because my husband takes good care of my physical needs) it was still harmful. Too often I think married women believe they are able to handle sexual scenes in movies better than their husbands can simply because most women aren’t as visually turned on. But while men might be more tempted to view more forms of porn and, in turn, sexually withdraw, women are tempted to look at themselves with disgust and sexually withdraw. Both are equally sinful.

What is my point? I think my point is that as wives, we need to stop allowing porn into our hearts. Whether it leads to the same outcome as our husband’s is not even the point. The point is that porn harms every single person that is touched by it. So whether the porn you are viewing is through videos, movies, models in magazines, or books, you need to strongly analyze the way you are treating your sex life and how those things are affecting it.

A good sex life is important for a good marriage. And while it certainly isn’t everything, it is very important. Anything you are consuming that causes you to view yourself as less desirable is not worth it. Anything that causes you to withdraw from your husband is sinful.

You may not be viewing porn as the world thinks of it, but I want to leave you with something that Jesus once said to the Pharisees who boasted about how they didn’t sin like other people did.

“You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” – Matthew 23:26

I don’t mean to be harsh, but the truth isn’t always easy.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

–          Philippians 4:8

Mari R: My Battle With “Masturbation”

Submitted By: Mari R

Greetings and God bless! I feel honored (and a bit nervous) to have the privilege of fully sharing my story of my battle with “masturbation” for the first time. I added quotations around the word masturbation because God showed me that the struggle actually was a lot deeper than that.  My desire is that whosoever reads this will be greatly encouraged, and that through Jesus Christ we are more than conquerors.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”         – II Corinthians 12:7-10 (KJV)

Around the age of 10 years old, puberty came knocking at my door… almost knocking it down. I became what is affectionately known in the Hispanic community, “a woman.” I was quite aware of what it was because my mom gave me “the talk” beforehand, especially since I was, to her, showing signs that my period was coming. I guess ever since then, that’s when I began to really, and I mean really notice boys.

I grew up in a slightly dysfunctional, but an overall great family. I had a mom, dad, and one older brother who to this day, I am very close to. I praise God that I never underwent any kind of “exposure” to any sexual material at a young age, such as porn or even sexual abuse. My family and I were very open and could talk about everything – even sex. I knew what it was, and like many of you, I knew that it was meant for marriage. Why? I had no idea.

During my early adolescent years I became like almost every teenage girl; I loved fantasizing about the future such as having a “real” boyfriend, marriage, kids, etc. Though, it was during those times that those innocent fantasies became not so innocent. Sex started to be on my mind…constantly. I was curious, but that curiosity then later turned into actions. I remember the first time I masturbated (with my sexual fantasies) was at the age of 12 years old. I felt completely ashamed and dirty. I asked God for forgiveness immediately, but the guilt remained persistent. It wasn’t until I turned 14, that my addiction started. By that time, I still felt guilty, but slowly Satan persuaded me through “coming-of-age” teenage websites, that it’s “normal.” That all female humans need to explore their sexuality. That you can actually find techniques on how to do it. And so I did. I would read techniques on this “innocent” adolescent website. I eventually learned about my clitoris, vulva, g-spot, and etc. The stories on the site were graphic, and they only added to my sexual fantasies. By then, I was masturbating almost daily. I would make a quick prayer, and then get into my bed and masturbate. Ha! How horrible. The Holy Spirit definitely was not there with me.

At the age of 17, I REALLY dedicated my life to Christ. I prayed, fasted, read the Word, lead worship service, and helped with youth group. My addiction was pushed to the side, and I was on God’s team again. Until…it came back. The thoughts of sexual encounters, the unsatisfied urges. I feared that God would give me over to my lusts (Romans 1:24). But then something wonderful happened. I had met a wonderful guy, who so happens to be my husband of only 3 years so far. I thought that when I got married, that all those “urges” would disappear. That I can FINALLY be free from sin because I am “allowed” to have sex. I was wrong.

I had soon discovered that my amazing husband and I were not compatible sexually. My husband, although perfectly healthy in ALL ways, is less sexually driven than I am. Sure, I am content with it now, but in the beginning, it made me angry, sexually flustered, and bitter. I mean isn’t it always the man who wants more sex and who has to almost beg his wife for sex? Am I even normal? But the reality was, I was sick. Sick and completely depraved by my sin.

Then one night, after handling over my addiction to Christ, tears flooded my face. I told Him that I was sick of it. That my sin had distanced me far, far away from his presence. All the countless amount of times in the past of me pleading and almost fighting with God to remove my addiction, was always asked for the wrong reasons. I wanted it only for MY glory. I WANTED to feel good. I WANTED to be free. None of it was to allow God to show his grace and power in my life. Deep down, I had sincere intentions of honoring God with my body, but I was still selfish and sought my own desires. He then showed me that my addiction had an even bigger root. I actually struggled with discontentment. When my husband wasn’t “pleasing” me the way that I THOUGHT he should, I would “escape” into one of my fantasies which included a perfect life, with an even better sex partner. How pitiful.

Not only was I dishonoring my Heavenly Bridegroom, I was sinning against my earthly bridegroom. I was an adulterer in my mind (Matthew 5:8), lacked self-control, I was selfish, and a nagging wife. My husband has his flaws, but they are greatly outweighed by all of the wonderful qualities he possesses. One of the main ones being – patience. He knows my struggle and he sympathizes and prays for me. I seriously don’t deserve him.

So after that night, I began to renew my mind daily. Filling it with the Word of God and with prayer. The Lord lead me to read the 1st and 2nd book of Corinthians which happens to be loaded with verses about sexual sin. I allowed God to be my accountability partner. Every time I felt those desires coming again, I would let Him know, and his presence kept me safe. I truly learned what it is to be submissive, not only to my hubby, but most importantly, to Christ. I learned that my high sex drive is a PERFECT gift from Christ (James 1:17), but I needed to learn how to use it for His glory alone within my marriage.

So ladies, if any of you struggle in this area, there IS freedom. Like the verse quoted in the beginning of my story, I believe that this struggle is a “thorn on my side,” but by the Grace of God I am FREE. After that night, those thoughts about my alter-ego life supernaturally disappeared. That doesn’t mean that those thoughts don’t try to appear again. Satan is like a roaring lion, looking to whom to devour, and when he sees that you’re free indeed, he tries even harder to attack. I will not allow the enemy to make me think that I am not free if I happen to slip-up again, because rather than running away from God, I run TO Him.

I tried my best to keep this 9 year battle as short as possible, but I close with this:

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” I Corinthians 10:12-13

If you would like to share your own testimony feel free to let me know by sending me a comment below or emailing me at mtorik89@gmail.com and I will respect your anonymity.

This is Sydney’s story!

Simply Sex(uality)

I was recently published in an online magazine for 17-22 year old single women (On My Own Now). Check it out! Thoughts? Feelings? Reactions?

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Time to Admit it: Women Like Porn Too by Sydney Clark (pg. 10)

Some girls when they are craving emotional intimacy from males go straight to guys. They jump from one boyfriend to the next and fill that void in their life with make-out sessions and erotic sexual behaviors. I wasn’t one of those girls. I found a much more subtle and unnoticeable (or so I thought) way of filling this void in my life—or more precisely, it found me…READ MORE

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Walking in Freedom – Part II

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;” – Romans 8:5-6

As I said in a previous entry, I believe that if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are free. And that freedom is complete regardless of where you stand in life. You don’t have to clean up your life first to become free. If you did, it wouldn’t be called grace.

But then we get into the more complicated area of freedom. I think there may be two different freedoms that we try to lump into one. We are freed from death and our sins are covered by the greatness of Jesus, but are we free from sin? I think that depends on what your mindset is.

Too often, we end up focusing solely on our own issues; on our own problems and how messed up we are. We are free, so why are we still sinning? Instead of focusing on the one who set us free and seeking His wisdom and the things above, we focus on ourselves and the things we are doing wrong.

We will not live in accordance with the Spirit until we set our minds on Jesus. So, if we are focusing on our own fleshly desires, we will never be set free in the way we are hoping for. But if, even while we are sinners, we choose to set our minds on Jesus, things will start to change for us. We will begin to only desire the things we are choosing to set our minds on. We will no longer desire the things that our sinful nature will always desire.

We cannot clean ourselves up first. We cannot stop living in our sinful ways before we decide to focus our minds on the Word and the things of Jesus. It is impossible. But through Him, everything is possible.

Perhaps if we all chose to focus on the goodness of our creator more often than the wretchedness of ourselves, we would find ourselves in a place of righteousness and holiness that we never dreamed to achieve.

Walking in Freedom

“You want to know how I think you are free from sin? When you are no longer running away from God because of your sin, but coming to God and drawing closer to him; that is how you know you are free from sin.” – my friend Angela

This piece of advice helped me get out of my ditch. Before I had been climbing one side only to fall back down to the bottom and I never felt like I was really getting anywhere in my spiritual walk because of my sin. I realized that by running from God, I was negating all of the victories God had given me and placing myself at the bottom again. Progress could not be made. I was not allowing it.

Not everyone out there views masturbation as a sin. And I won’t go into that in this particular entry, but for me there was no question about it. It was not beneficial to my walk with Jesus and I felt the effects of that long before anyone ever told me that it was or wasn’t a sin. I needed freedom.

But even with my friend’s advice I still wondered sometimes if I was really free. Yes, I was no longer running from God, but it wasn’t like I was never tempted from that day on let alone never gave in to my temptations. I gave in. There were more victories than losses and I was coming to Jesus with my failures, but I still felt a little bit discouraged.

Would I ever stop failing?

I spoke to one of my pastors about this subject of freedom and what he told me finally gave me some real peace of mind.

When I talked to him, I hadn’t struggled with masturbation for quite some time, but I was still wrestling with the idea of what freedom really meant. It couldn’t just be running to God with your sin instead of away, could it? There had to be some kind of change in your life, right? There had to be some kind of difference!

I had it backwards though.

“The truth: In Jesus we are free. You were free long before you felt free, because you belonged to Jesus. Walking in freedom is different than being free. You were free; the prison doors were opened. You need to believe what already has happened to you.” – Pastor

In Romans 6 and 8, Paul talks about freedom quite a bit, but this verse stuck out to me in particular.

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”  – Romans 6:22

My pastor was right. I had always been set free. I just needed to accept my freedom. Only then could I reap the benefits of being made holy.

So simple, but yet so difficult.