I heard a story once about a young priest who decided to question to the oldest priest he knew. This elderly priest was over ninety years old. “Brother,” he asked, “when does the sexual urge finally disappear?” The old man thought about it for a while. The young priest thought the old man was trying to remember the age at which his sex drive went away. The old priest finally looked at him and said, “I guess it goes away about two days after you die.”
Men, I can relate with that story and with your struggle—it is my struggle too. I can tell you from personal experience that it is extremely hard for man to wait. Although there are exceptions, it seems that men generally have a higher sex drive than women. I can already tell you the “number 1 sin” that virtually all young men struggle with—sexual lust. Women would probably be horrified if they could somehow read our minds (even just for a few minutes).
You may be wondering why God designed us with such strong urges that we are forbidden to fulfill (outside of marriage). Sometimes it almost seems cruel.
A while back I was listening to a sermon by Mark Driscoll on the topic of Biblical sexuality. I also recently read the Gift of Pain. Both of these experiences have given me some fresh thoughts on this topic.
Men, our sex drive is actually a gift (if expressed properly). Notice that I did not say that sexual lust or sexual sin is a gift. Sexual sin is like many other sins–we take a natural urge and let it control us instead of letting God control us. All of us, for example, have a natural urge to eat. If that urge gets out of control, we will have unhealthy bodies. We all have a natural urge to preserve our physical life (its called self-preservation). If this gets out of focus, then we worry and do not trust God (Matthew 6:25-27).
Now, here’s why our sex drive is a gift:
Our sex drive ensures the survival of mankind. All the way back in Genesis, God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28). Not only did God command it, He gave us the physical desire to make it happen. If our sex drive disappeared, the human species would disappear along with it.
Our sex drive compels us to seek lifetime partners. The basic link between a man and a woman is physical. Adam was thrilled with Eve before she ever spoke a word (Genesis 2:23).
I am not saying that men court or marry just to have sex (yes, some men seek “girlfriends” for this reason, but these jerks should be avoided at all costs). I am not saying that marriage is only a physical or sexual connection. I am saying that if women were not attractive and desirable to us, we would be just as content spending our lives with other men. If we had no sex drive, the institution of marriage would die along with our species—we would not have any deep, inward compulsion to find a mate.
Let me give you an example to further explain my point. Most of us hope to find jobs that are enjoyable and give us psychological fulfillment. The reason we work, however, is really more basic than that: we work because we want to have food on the table. This basic physical drive is there underneath the psychological/spiritual needs (the need to accomplish, do something important, etc). This is not a perfect analogy, but I think you see the point.
Men, our sex drive is part of our basic “wiring” that God has given us. Without it, you would never try to overcome that nervousness of asking for a girl’s number or calling her for the first time. God is not asking you to ignore it or try to make it go away. He is only asking you to wait and express it within a lifetime marriage commitment.
You have two choices. You can deal with your sex drive God’s way, or you can take shortcuts. Another word for these shortcuts is lust. There are two primary shortcuts that men take:
Premarital Sex: Some men engage in premarital sex as a way to satisfy their sexual urges. This is a very dangerous shortcut for different reasons. First, there are all of the physical and emotional consequences that come with this behavior. Second, you remove the urgency to go find that “special someone” that you will spend the rest of your life with. By “satisfying” yourself temporarily, you sabotage your search for your future wife (see Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4).
Pornography: Pornography is often physical and emotional for men. Men look at these images for a “quick fix.” It can become addictive and lead to other problems (like imprinting). This cheap counterfeit also short-circuits your natural drive to go find true intimacy (see Matthew 5:28).
Men, let’s deal with our sexual urges the way God intended. Our sex drive is a gift, but it can be a curse if we misuse it or abuse it through lust. Give your life to Christ and let Him teach you self-control and discipline. Find the right woman and wait until you are married to experience sexual intimacy.
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the Lord.
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts satisfy you always.
May you always be captivated by her love.
This article is one of many you’ll find in my book: Basta LoveLife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions.
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