Let's Talk About Sex
But first, let’s start with some Scripture.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 (NIV)
Alright, ladies, I’m going to start this conversation by talking about myself. I am a human. I have regrets, plenty of things I wish I hadn’t done. But I still have dreams and hopes of intimacy with my hopefully-existent husband. Desire. I have it. And pretty much every person on this planet experiences deeply-rooted relational and sexual desires.
That’s a good thing.
God gave us an incredible gift when He created our sexuality. He gave us a remarkable gift through the desire for intimacy with another person. These are good things, beautiful things, holy things.
So why is it that they are a point of tension within our faith? Why is it that they go from something lovely to something feared?
The enemy loves to distort God’s gifts to us. That’s why love can break our hearts, family can hurt us, and our bodies experience pain. Satan takes the holy things and projects his brokenness upon them. And man, does he absolutely adore doing that with sexual desire. He’s the one who likes to tell us that one step more won’t cause harm, that one more view won’t mess with our heads, that the red flags aren’t valid. He’s also the one behind the shame that you experience afterward. The enemy wants to infiltrate our sexuality so that we no longer see it as a gift but as a struggle. He wants it to control us, consume us, and ultimately break us. He wants to take that beautiful gift from our sweet Lord and turn it into a weapon.
But, my dear friends, the enemy can only wish for this. There is incredible power in the truth that he is incapable of making us do anything. He can shout in our ears and run around us and wave his hands but he cannot make us move.
I was reading Single, Dating, Engaged, Married by Ben Stuart this summer, and ran across this fascinating concept: stewarding desire. Ben explains that since desire is just like any other gift from God, it can be stewarded. And it can be stewarded well.
Stewardship simply means to take care of, to nurture, to care for in order for its betterment. When we steward desire, we aren’t ignoring it or denying it. We are acknowledging its existence, keeping it safe from the arrows of the enemy, and preparing it for further beauty.
It’s hard to think of what we could do to steward something as complex and seemingly intangible as our sexuality and hopes for intimacy (the emotional kind, not just physical!). And it’s hard to think of what that could mean, besides ignoring it or moving into a convent.
That verse at the beginning from Galatians gives everything we need to know. To steward desire or any gift, we need to walk by the Spirit.
This looks like using self-control, seeking peace, loving our neighbor, being patient with God’s timing, showing mercy, remaining joyful, pursuing what is good. Walking by the Spirit is simply incorporating the fruit of the Spirit into your life. And friends, suppression, and ignorance are not fruits of the Spirit. Ignoring your desires or denying their existence WILL NOT help you stay focused. They’ll just reappear at another time.
There’s a reason the fruits of the Spirit are so community-focused. We are not meant to walk alone, and we are certainly not meant to keep our struggles, hopes, and desires to ourselves. That’s why this blog is titled “Let’s Talk About Sex”. Because we need to talk about it. We need to find those other girls in our lives who will point us back to Jesus and back to stewardship in this area. We need to be able to find accountability for when we are trying to overcome our habits and old tendencies. We need to be able to tell our sisters when it’s hard for us to focus on our calling because we would rather focus on a relationship that gives us some form of emotional or physical fulfillment.
In high school, I had a terrible addiction to pornography. I was single, lonely, and quite frankly just wanted to feel something because I thought I was missing out. I was impatient. I was hurting. So I turned to porn. No matter how much I prayed about it, read my Bible, or set goals, I couldn’t kick it. One day, in desperation, I finally reached out to a friend. I told her how I was feeling, what I was doing, and that I didn’t know what to do. She became my accountability partner, and because of her support, I was able to overcome my addiction. And now, whenever I feel those old longings start to creep back in, I focus on others instead of myself. Whenever desire starts to feel out of control, I take that energy and put it to use within the field God has placed me.
When you’re struggling with desires to be emotionally intimate with a guy who isn’t good for you, go call your friend instead. Steward that desire. Build relationships with the people in your life who deeply need a friend. Don’t suppress. Don’t ignore. Don’t deny. Steward.
When you’re really wanting to take the clothes off again tomorrow night because it’s happened a few times before, text your friend. Make plans with her instead. Steward that desire. Have your sisters help you heal and help you better understand yourself in a safe environment. Let them cover you in prayer. Don’t ignore or deny. Don’t run into the arms of shame. Steward your desires so that you can experience them in God’s perfect timing.
So let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about our hopes and dreams. Let’s talk about our loneliness. Let’s admit what we want. And let’s build a community of sacred stewardship in which we hold each other accountable and encourage one another in the fruit of the Spirit.
Anna Leigh Mayfield // @adelightedmind
Hey, y’all! I’m Anna Leigh. I’m originally from north Georgia, but I’m now living in Cleveland, Tennessee. Besides Jesus, my loves include cats, Taylor Swift, and a good cup of tea. I spend much of my time outdoors or in coffee shops. Writing is a way I express best what is going on in my soul, and how I communicate what the Lord is doing in my life. One of my most favorite things is to walk alongside of other women and experience God’s grace together. The way I usually live out my faith is through relationships with other people – I’ve seen Jesus work so powerfully in community!