By Rhonda Stoppe, Crosswalk.com
Sex binds a man and woman together in covenant relationship. If you study covenant in Scripture, you’ll learn that whenever a covenant is made it’s accompanied with a sign of that promise. And most often the cutting of covenant involved passing through flesh.
For example, when God passed through the pieces of flesh as a sign of His covenant with Abraham and his descendants.
As a sign of our covenant with Christ, we remember in communion the pierced flesh, body and blood of Jesus. In the same way, the sign of the marriage covenant is the passing through the flesh––intercourse. So, sex outside of the bonds of covenant is a mockery to God’s intended plan.
God’s plan for sex is to knit two people together to become one.
Should Single Parents Have Sex?
The short biblical answer is, no. But this isn’t just God’s mandate for single parents, He commands all people to walk in sexual purity. Not because He’s a cosmic killjoy but rather a loving Father protecting His children from Satan’s schemes.
When our kids were teens my husband’s zeal to help them guard their purity reminded me of how our Heavenly Father lovingly sets up boundaries for our protection too. When you come to believe that God’s ways are best, wholeheartedly surrender to Christ, and faithfully follow His plan for your life you’ll be on the right path to a life without regrets, consequences or shame.
If anger is your reaction to being told God doesn’t want you to have sex before marriage, please consider Paul’s chastisement and warning to the Corinthians after learning of their immorality (see 1 Corinthians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 13:5).
As a single parent it may be tempting to think God’s forgotten you, but nothing could be further from the truth. Be encouraged by this promise:
Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
on those who hope in His steadfast love. Psalm 33:18
What Does the Bible Say about Sex?
The Bible teaches that God intends for one man and one woman to enter into the covenant of marriage. And the sign of that covenant is intercourse––consummating the two to become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Listen to this insight from Malachi 2:14-15:
“…She is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did He not make them one with a portion of the Spirit in their union?”
If you give your body to someone with whom you're not in covenant, you give away a piece of yourself in a way God never intended. In His great love for you He set up ways to protect you from a fragmented heart.
Don’t wrongly believe that God is the great cosmic prude who doesn’t want you to enjoy great sex. Quite the opposite is true. The best sex is enjoyed within marriage when you can trust your covenant partner.
As a single parent, with God on your side, consider a few reasons why He lovingly wants you to abstain from sex outside of marriage:
1. God Wants You to Be Spirit-led
If you’re a Christ-follower there’s more at stake than just concern over STD’s or your kid discovering you’re having sex. As a Believer you’ve been given the Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13).
Think of it, God’s Spirit helping you make daily life decisions. The Spirit-led parent is equipped with God’s wisdom to guide your children toward a no regrets life. No sin is worth losing that discernment.
And, if it’s God’s will for you to marry, His Spirit will help you evaluate who would be a good spouse––and parent to your child. How cool is that?
Sadly, single parents who become physically involved rely only on feelings when making life decisions––including choosing a spouse and stepparent for their child.
Choosing a spouse based upon your own intuition may feel right at the time, but it often leads to regret. Many people regretfully miss red flags in a relationship because they slept together before marriage.
Even when culture says otherwise, remember obedience brings God’s blessing, protection, wisdom and peace.
2. He Wants Your Passion for Christ to Be Unquenchable
Think of a time when your zeal for Christ was the driving force in your life. What a wonderful way to live as a Believer. This is the abundant life to which we’re called. God wants you to live in the center of His will so that your passion for Christ is unquenchable and undeniable.
Sin quenches the Spirit’s work in your heart and renders you ineffective for the cause of Christ. Too many Christians settle for mediocrity because they don’t recognize how unconfessed sin has stolen their joy and makes them apathetic.
Because of sin Believers exchange effectual fervent prayer lives and zeal to turn the world upside down with the gospel of peace. Entrust yourself to Jesus and He’ll fan the flames of the Spirit to ignite in you an unquenchable passion for Christ’s purpose for your life.
3. He Wants You to Be an Example to Your Child
Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). This means the mantra, “Do as I say, not as I do” isn’t an effective way to parent.
If you want to train your kids to remain sexually pure, let it begin with you. Don’t think you can sneak around because at some point they’ll figure it out. Then your hypocrisy will likely send them into rebellion against whatever biblical morality you’ve been attempting to teach them.
Culture is convinced that abstinence is impossible. Your kids will learn from teachers, television and media that biblical morality is an unreasonable expectation.
Your purity is a powerful testimony to your kids that not only is it reasonable to abstain, but it’s also the way to experience God’s true peace, joy and blessing.
Boundless a singles ministry with Focus on the Family sheds this light:
To be so intimate and vulnerable
with someone you’ve not pledged
your faithfulness to in marriage isn’t safe.
God knew this and gave us a better way.
Casual sex is anything but casual. It comes with burdens, shame and quenches the Spirit’s work in your life. Exchanging sin for all that God plans to do through your obedient life will steal from you God’s blessing and protection, and derail you away from the plans He has for you (see Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10).
When you live in obedience, God will do exceedingly, and abundantly more than you could ever imagine through your life for His Kingdom and His glory. Wait on the Lord and find courage in this promise,“No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
For more catch this Boundless interview: Real Romance for Singles with Rhonda Stoppe.
Rhonda Stoppeis the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women build no regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist.
She’s committed to fulfill the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you're visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhondais the author of 6 booksand appears on numerous radio programs including: Focus on the Family, Family Life Today andDr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, & hosts The No Regrets Hour.She’s an evangelist and speaker at women’s events, College Women’s Chapel, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and Homeschool Conventions. Sharing the gospel at her NoRegretsWoman Conferenceis her sweet spot. Rhonda is a regular contributor for Crosswalk and many other magazines.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who for 20 years has pastored First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and 10 grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com
Bonus: For encouragement watch: Real Life Romance–The Single Parent’s Club
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/YakobchukOlena