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Sex is such a hot topic today. We’re inundated with it from every angle. Internet, magazines, discussions at the water cooler, billboards, television (and pretty much everything else) is all part of the day-to-day saturation with the subject. Even food is now marketed as sexy! But who are we kidding? Sex has been a hot topic since the beginning of time, hasn’t it? However, now, more than ever in human history, we have easy access. And don’t think for a moment that Satan hasn’t ran rampant with that luxury!
Admittedly, I started this article many times as I want to convey with honesty and accuracy my thoughts on the topic. Having worked with single moms’ ministries for over a decade, it is the one topic that I field the most questions on.
In my personal life, I have recently been confronted via social media, news, or personal conversations with bold lies that I want to unmask. They are as follows.
Lie 1: Monogamy in marriage is completely unachievable.
Lie 2: There are no good Christian men.
Lie 3: Because of God’s grace, it is okay to be single, saved, and sexin’ it.
Lie 4: Engaged and long-term couples have no reason to abstain, since they are getting married anyway.
In reading each one of these statements, even now, I can feel my face begin to turn red and my temper flare, as I become impassioned with the response, “Are you kidding me?!” I want to scream from the roof tops, “How dare you minimize the sanctity of marriage! How dare you term God’s grace as a permission slip to enslave yourselves!” But equally, I feel saddened. I feel saddened that people have embraced these views as truth. I feel saddened that the enemy has been successful in manipulating a generation. I feel saddened that likely the ones who say (or write) such views are hurting in this area and have no one to talk to or nowhere to turn, where they can be honest. And for many, they certainly feel that the church is no place for them.
Now, before you think this article is coming from a self-righteous finger-pointer, beware. I write from where I’ve lived – as a lost, broken, soul who desperately searched for validation in all the wrong places. I was the one citing similar statements, at one time in my life, as I sat in ignorance of the real ways that sexual immorality would rip me to shreds. So I write from a place of wisdom and compassion, not judgement and condemnation.
Don’t drink. Don’t do drugs. Don’t have sex outside marriage. Don’t hang out with that crowd. Don’t vote for that political party.
Perhaps the biggest problem we have, as Christians, is that we are really good at telling others what they shouldn’t do. We are really good at pointing out flaws, criticizing, staring at the planks in others’ eyes, or shoving a Scripture down someone’s throat as a weapon used to tear her heart to pieces, in hopes we may feel better about ourselves. And maybe, just maybe, we are in a moral crisis in our country, as a direct result of such behavior. Perhaps if we did a better job of loving people versus highlighting the err in their ways, we would have a generation willing to listen to God’s truth, instead of run from it. Perhaps if we focused on establishing a single mom’s ministry within our church instead of staring at the single mom with 5 kids from afar in the grocery line, she’d be more likely to come in, and hear about a God who loves her. So don’t think for a second that we don’t have a hand to play in the lies that are being told. It is far more likely that we do.
But the lies are lies, nonetheless. The slow acceptance that marriage is somehow dead and unnecessary for relationships is a lie. A monogamous, fun, faith-filled, passionate, marriage is possible. I am living proof. Christian men do exist. They aren’t all spoken for. Protection and life and peace and freedom can all be found in choosing to live a life free of sexual sin. In fact, my life is also living proof of the alternative. The lies that singles are being fed are that anything goes and no one is affected and life will be much richer if you opt in. Lies, lies, and more lies. The result? A generation of millennials who run from God, a nation full of singles who feel alone and unseen, and a rapidly-growing demographic of single mothers who wouldn’t dare step foot in a church. And it’s our fault.
The next time you want to engage in a war, be sure it isn’t in vain. We aren’t wrestling with each other. We shouldn’t be tearing each other down in this area (or any area for that matter). The best thing that any of us can do is care enough to listen, sit with someone who is struggling with the sole purpose of loving, not condemning, of hearing, not talking.
Single person, know that many of us care. Know that there is hope and restoration after a fall. Know that there is nothing that separates you from God’s love. Know that you are seen, loved, and valued. Know that there is a full, rich, life, even in the waiting for God’s future plan or spouse for you. And know that any of the lies referenced above are simply that – a lie. And those lies have come to steal your hope, kill your joy, and destroy your future. See it for exactly what it is.
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Jennifer Maggio is an author and speaker who travel the country sharing her story of homelessness, abuse, and single parenting. She is a mom to three children. She is author to four books and CEO of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is passionate about helping others find hope and healing through Christ’s love. For more info, visit www.jennifermaggio.com.