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

5 Reasons to Read “Sex Is Not The Problem, Lust Is”

I recently decided to read the book by Joshua Harris called “Sex Is Not The Problem, Lust Is.” I actually really appreciated the things he wrote and agreed with nearly everything he said in it.

I was surprised that we were in such agreement seeing as Josh also wrote the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” which got a lot of negative feedback from people I know and love. After reading his other book, I might reconsider reading his opinions on dating just to decide for myself whether or not they are worthwhile.  If any of you have read his dating book and have opinions on it, I would love to hear what you thought!

I hope to be writing more and have several ideas, but as you all know life sometimes gets crazy busy. I do have several ideas though and plan on posting more in the weeks to come! And, of course, if any of you have ideas or questions, I would really appreciate it if you would let me know! It gives me more to think on even if you happen to disagree!

For now, I would really recommend that any of you who may have questions regarding masturbation or an addiction to pornography read this book about lust. Joshua Harris makes extremely good points and here are a few of the things that I really appreciated about it:

1. He never gets too graphic when describing scenarios. Authors that give more detail than necessary often cause those of us who already struggle with lust to use what is supposed to be helpful to fuel lustful desires.

2. There is a whole chapter on masturbation, and it is extremely helpful. Again, not too graphic but enough detail to know exactly what he is talking about. It is not often that I have been able to find books that dedicate a whole chapter to this topic and I actually agree with everything that is said and the way it is discussed.

3. Everything he says points you back to Jesus and to His Word. There is a whole section in the book that has key scripture verses specific to dealing with lust for you to quote and store up in your heart for times of temptation.

4. It is not extremely long (192 pages) and is a very easy read. I have found that a lot of spiritual books will be longer than necessary and just repeating the same concept over and over with nothing new added in the mix. Joshua Harris repeats the gospel and the need for Jesus often, but adds something in every chapter.

5. It is so worth it for anyone who deals with lust in their lives, whether single, dating, or married (so, basically everyone).

The only thing that I found myself disagreeing  with Josh on was the small section about how guys and girls should interact in male/female relationships. He encouraged everyone to engage more in more in relationships with the opposite sex in order to be good brothers and sisters to one another, but didn’t specify what that would look like. I just think it could be dangerous for those who don’t have good boundaries with the opposite sex and it could encourage lust rather than prevent it. It definitely doesn’t detract from the book in its entirety though, and that is just my personal view on that.

I hope you will consider purchasing or borrowing this book from a friend or the library. Trust me, it will be worth the read!

If you want to purchase it you can get it either on Amazon or Christianbook.com.

Images

Sex with an actual person, that is right there with you, is a mysterious and wondrous thing. This post is directed more towards those who are married, but I do believe single people could benefit from it as well.

One thing I have noticed since getting married is that it takes a lot of practice to bring my husband and I’s sexual experiences together back into my mind. I have to fight my way to get to that place. And that is the place I want to be. Why? Because if I don’t fight to focus on him, then I will focus on something else whether I like it or not.

It is horrifying to me how easily my heart can stray, but it also reminds me of just how weak I really am.

I only have answers and theories on some of the questions I am about to ask. But perhaps it will give us all pause, examining what images we really are letting into our minds and how it can affect our future.

Why do pornographic images and scenes that I viewed years and years ago brand themselves in my memory, fighting to push to the surface, when I can’t even remember how old I was for most of the momentous points of my childhood?

Why is it that I find it so much easier to focus on other people having sex than my husband and I?

I do have an answer to that one. And I think it applies to most all women in this day and age. Viewing pornography can subconsciously start to become your ideal of what a woman should look like. Most women struggle with self-image in some form or another, so it is easier to think about someone else in place of ourselves than to think of ourselves. The self we so often criticize and pick at. The self that we don’t view as perfect.

Why is it that I remember other people’s experiences better than my own?

I have thought about this a lot. It truly is awful how the images I have filled my mind with in the past seem like they may never truly go away. I will always have to be on my guard. I can never take it back. What I can do is fill my mind with other things that I choose to think on instead.

Have you ever prayed during sex? I do. If you haven’t and you struggle with images that shouldn’t be there, then pray. There is no better cure.

As to why I have a difficult time remembering my own experiences, it is actually a beautiful conclusion that I have come to. Each sexual experience you have with your husband is new and entirely different than the last. Our bodies are continually changing, making each experience as different as you want it to be. It also leaves no room for you to hold on to a past that you can never go back to. The inability to remember a sexual encounter in such vividity is a blessing in disguise. God willing, I will never live in the past, but enjoy the present with my husband.

Instead I will focus my mind on what seems to be an ever-shifting image of my husband. I am not dependent on specific memories to be “in the mood”. The mood is created as we go.

Images. What images are you holding on to?

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

–          Philippians 4:8 (NLT)