Identity

Time for Great Sex!

MW Editor’s Note: You are going to want to stick around for the next few weeks. This is part one of a three-part series on the Warrior and Sex. Single or married, this series unpacks aspects of what God intends for sex.

From the day you were conceived, God knit you together in your mother’s womb. You are, according to Psalm 139, fearfully and wonderfully made. You are created by God with the anatomy you have to ultimately bring Him glory. Born male. Born female. You are an expression of God’s glory to the world around you. Despite what our culture says, that gender is a mindset, it is first and foremost biological. Your sexuality is core to your existence.  With that, as your body moves through its biological cycle from childhood to adulthood, your sexuality comes into full bloom, so to speak. Meaning, the sexual drive you have is a good thing. A God-thing.

Single Warrior Sexuality

As a warrior (ages 18-30), you have gone through those often tumultuous adolescent years where your body awakens from boy to manhood. Growth, body weight and muscles, pubic hair, and a deeper voice. As awkward as some of that can be, it is completely normal.  Some guys started puberty early, (age 10), while others are considered “late bloomers” (age 15+).  I was about 12 when I sprouted and changed. Hindsight tells me there would have been value in someone explaining such changes. Too much figuring things out on my own and listening to the middle school locker room talk confused this otherwise good kid. 

Statistically Speaking

Most guys, even those who love Jesus, fall into a sexual discovery phase that weaves pornography into a lust-driven pursuit of sexual expression. Depending on one’s personality, sex becomes a self-focused, self-gratifying foray in one’s bedroom or bathroom. For others, it includes flirtatious young women. Some guys lose their virginity in middle school, others in high school. Recent stats show that about 41% of high school youth have had sexual intercourse. The rate for porn use among young guys is about 90%. By the time they hit 18, many developing a habitual addiction.

Is this You?

If you are a single-warrior, statistically speaking, there is a high probability you are a porn user and sex for you is either a regular release or a way to get tethered into a lot of relationships. Yes, guys who love Jesus often find themselves in this situation. It speaks to more than what’s going on with their genitals. It’s a loud cry of the heart asking, yearning for identity, intimacy, and love. 

Jesus Was Sexually Alive!

In mentoring a host of young warrior-aged men who struggle with raging hormones, the conversations frequently circle to Jesus. “Jesus was 18 once. He was 21 like me and single. Are you saying Jesus had no sex drive and was never tempted to lust?”  I like what it says in Hebrews 4: 15  

For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

And in Luke 2:52

Jesus grew in wisdom, and stature (physically and sexually) and in favor with God and man.

Jesus experienced the full transition from boy to man. He went through the same sexual awakening that your body went through. He was tempted in every way, just like you and me, and yet didn’t sin. Meaning, when he was 18, and 21, and 24 and whatever age you might be as a single-warrior-aged man, he felt the full weight of hormones and the temptation to use his sexuality for self-gratification; but he didn’t. Biologically, that means his body had normal nocturnal emissions (aka wet dreams). Masturbation was not his way of handling his hormones or any stress life threw at him.  I say that from the perspective that virtually all masturbation is lust-driven. And, Jesus never acted on the temptation to lust.

Be Encouraged!

When I first heard that Jesus never sinned sexually, and (knowing I have, countless times), I was discouraged. “There’s no hope for me! I am doomed to this stronghold of tormented hormones and frustrating sexual habits.” Then, I heard something interesting about that verse in Hebrews 4:15. When it says Jesus was tempted just like us and without sin, I realized his ability to resist sin came from him being connected to his heavenly Father. God, in him, by the Holy Spirit, empowered Jesus to rise above temptation. And, that, my friend is where hope lives for the single-warrior!

Healthy Sexual Habits for the Single Warrior

I’m not going to boil a guy’s sexual life down to a formula, but I will say this;  If you follow in Jesus’ steps, relying on the Holy Spirit, you will have a healthy sex life as a single man. Every guy’s hormones are different. Some are raging, others are quietly flowing. Some triggers can “stir the pot”. Things like stress and anxiety. Being overwhelmed, tired. Eyes off of Jesus. I know, it all happens so quickly, but, here are some helpful things to get you back on track.

1. Thank God for your sexuality. Thank God your male genitals work. Thank God for hormones and desire. For erections. None of it is sinful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).

2. Recognize better ways to handle anxiety, stress, and loneliness. One evening, while packing for a mountain hiking trip, I was emotionally overwhelmed. The urge to masturbate was pressing in on me stronger than ever. I realized the stress of getting work off my mind and packing was weighing on me. I wanted release!  So, I paused, asked God to handle my stress; that the fallout of me masturbating would bring a boatload of other issues I’d later regret. Interestingly, a few hours later, as I zipped up my backpack, the thought of masturbating was totally off my radar. I give all the victory to Jesus.

3. Value accountability. I know, letting a trusted friend or mentor know you are tempted to act out sexually seems awkward. After all, what guy tells another guy his sexual struggles?  Answer. The man who wants a full-out victory in Christ. We were never created to go it alone. The greatest lie of the Enemy is you can handle this on your own. Even if you fall sexually, confession and repentance are two powerful tools against the Enemy.  As John Eldredge once said of young warrior men, “It’s OK to ask for help.”

4. Let semen flow. You read correctly!  God designed the male body to have nocturnal emissions (aka wet dreams). Depending on your hormone levels, if you repent and stop masturbating and having sex with others, your body will return to wet dreams. They are NOT sin. I am convinced Jesus had them. Much like God designed a woman with a monthly menstrual cycle, he designed men to have wet dreams. So, let it flow. Clean up. Change shorts and thank God your body works.

But, I want to get married!

I’m sure you do! I was a single warrior once, with a deep desire to marry. We’ll save that discussion for another time.  Coming soon!

Until then,

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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