Does the Bible really tell singles to “wait?”

“Waiting” is one of those words which we use in a number of ways:

  •    *  Time spent in inactivity in anticipation of a desired result.
  •    *  Time wasted when only one bank teller window is open and there are 20 people in line.
  •    *  Having to sit through three red lights because of road construction.
  •    *  For the single person, time spent preparing for marriage as the only desired goal – and being disappointed by God’s timing – or by looooooooooooooong-term or permanent earthly singleness.
  •    *  In a dating situation, abstaining from mutual close physical activity which is inappropriate in singleness, appropriate in marriage.

Sound familiar?  I think most of us think of “waiting” as wasted time.  And, for the single, a great many might consider “waiting” for marriage as an outdated notion thought up by killjoys.  Our culture has been relentlessly pushing “if it feels good, it must be good,” messages for so many years that even some Christians of all ages have adopted that thought pattern.

“God can’t really expect us to live out expectations written to a totally different age and society can He?”

“He wouldn’t give us one of the strongest pleasures known to mankind and then put equally strong restrictions for its usage – and expect us to obey them – would He?”

Well, yes!  the use of unlawful sexual activity for lustful purposes is condemned from Genesis to Revelation – for the unmarried and the married!

While it is true that verses relating to unmarried folks throughout scripture do not use the words “wait” or ‘be celibate,” that is certainly the understanding.  Words used are ones like “flee immorality,” “don’t commit adultery,” behave decently” [in terms of sexual morality], “there must not even be a hint of . . .” and “honor the marriage bed.” ♥

So, what about ‘waiting?”  Once again, I cannot find that Scripture tells unmarried folks to spend time waiting for marriage, or even to assume that is his promise for our lives.  We do, however, have clear indication of what the object of our waiting should be!

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.  I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”  (Psalm 130:5-6)

So, how does this help when physical desires threaten to overtake us and we are tempted to chew the upholstery off the sofa if we cannot express them?  Oh how I wish I could give 4 easy and effective steps to victory in the lust area!  I CAN say that God’s restrictions are meant to spare us the pain of guilt and shame which comes as a result of carelessly and hastily sharing the most intimate parts of our bodies and souls with the opposite sex.  He wants to spare us from the complications and heartbreak pregnancies outside of marriage cause.  He wants to spare us the fear and consequences of STDs.  He wants us to understand the “two becoming one” in the covenant of marriage alone.  (Mark 10:8)

I CAN also say that God listens with understanding when we holler at Him a bit.  He’s not surprised by anything, by the way.  We don’t need to pretty up any language for His ears.  So, pray, pray, pray, run, flee, talk to an accountability friend, AND realize that as strong as our passions and urges are, they do not last forever!

“I have the right to do anything” you say–but not everything is beneficial.  “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything. . . Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own, you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your bodies.  (I Corinthians 6:12,, 18-20)

♥  I Corinthians 6:18; Exodus, 20:14; Romans 13:13; Ephesians 5:3; Hebrews 13:4.  All Scripture quotes – NIV.



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