Updated: Feb 23, 2020
"Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
Many times, people will talk about waiting; waiting for the right person, keeping yourself pure (sexually and mentally), etc, but nobody ever addresses how to handle the passions and fires going through your body in that season of waiting. They tell you to wait but they don't tell you how to handle some of the biggest struggles of the wait; Unfulfilled (sexual) passions and desires. What to do with the fire inside of you. The fire could be sexual or even emotional. What do you do about them?
Before we get into it, i'll like to address something that many people who aren't single do all the time. And that is;
Over Simplifying The Struggle of Singles
Apostle Paul says in the scripture above, if you can't control yourself, get married. Period. But the question is, is it that easy to get married? Many people think like this. "Go and get married." "Why aren't you married?" They make it seem like there is a store that you can go in and pick the right person once you are tired of waiting.
Truth of the matter is, It's not easy to find the right person.
People who are married always try to give advice and make it seem like it's that easy. For example, they'll say stuff like "Try to go out, go to new places, put yourself out there, go on dates, do this, do that, etc." It seems easy in theory but it is not. There isn't a designated "place" where you can go and meet the right person. You can go to a place frequented by plenty of singles and still not find anyone. And then end up meeting the right person at the most random place. You can do the "right thing" and someone is turned off by that. And you can do the "wrong thing" and someone is turned on by that. There is no formula and it can be frustrating when people try to make it seem like it's so easy when it's not.
Another thing is this, many times, people tell singles not to settle and wait for the right one. They also tell you NOT TO SIN (aka don't have sex). But they never talk about the struggle of waiting. They tell you what NOT to do. They say don't settle. Don't have sex outside of marriage, But they never talk about HOW to navigate the struggles that come from choosing not to do those things. They don't tell you how to navigate through those things. And they certainly don't tell you what to do about the things you are feeling in your body. They just tell you, "If you do this this or that, you'll meet the right person". As if it's that simple.
But Here's My Advice to the Singles: Develop within you the right passions. Replace the bad things you are feeling with something good. If you are constantly thinking about sex, find a positive distraction. Keep yourself busy. That void needs to be filled so fill it with something positive. Develop right passions and right habits. Also, don't do anything outside of your values just because you are trying to find a spouse. Be led by God on how to go about it but don't go too far out of your comfort zone if you don't feel led to do so. God can drop the right person on your doorstep. So don't trip. You're okay.
Now, on to how to control your passions;
1. Contain Your Passions in the Right Place
In the scriptures above, Paul, the Author, describes sexual desires and passions like fire inside your body. And fire in itself is purifying so Paul is saying that there's nothing wrong with those passions you feel. But when those passions become misplaced, or used in the wrong way, it can cause great destruction.
If you're gonna make a fire, make sure its in a place with boundaries, that can contain the fire. The same fire that comes from your fireplace at home and warms you up is the same fire that sets a whole forest on fire. Its just all about containment. You have to find the right place for the passion. A place that can contain it, and the place God designed for this is a committed intimate marriage relationship with a husband and wife.
When you are having sex outside of marriage, you're spreading fires and passions that cannot be contained and in the process, you'll get burned trying to get warm.
Be realistic and know that doing it with just anybody will have consequences. If you visualize and see your urges and passions like a fire, it'll be easy for you to contain them and wait for the right person, rather than spread that fire.
2. Control Your Thought Life
You can't just let your thoughts go crazy because that's how those passions and fires are build. For example, if you open a gas tank and just let gas flow without any care, any little fire ignited will set that entire building and beyond on fire. Be careful what you let sit in in your mind. If you are having issues controlling those thoughts, seek help. Speak to someone about it. I mean if you found out there was a gas leak in your house, you'd get someone to fix it ASAP because that's extremely dangerous. It is the same thing with the negative thoughts you ruminate on everyday. All those sexual, obsessive thoughts, etc. Control them. Don't let those fantasies run wild in your head. I know it is not easy but Its for your own good.
Also, do not fan the flames of discontentment and lust. DEVELOP the Fruit of the Spirit, which one of them is SELF-CONTROL.
Practice self-control. You're not alone. The Holy Spirit is there to help you.
3. Mind What You Watch
Be careful the things you watch because those things will build false realities and false standards in your mind. You'll be looking for aspects in a potential spouse that doesn't even exist. Standards that are unattainable. Women watching all these romantic shows and movies and expecting the man to be like that. Men getting their standard of beauty from women that are airbrushed and photo shopped in magazines and other inappropriate outlets like Porn and more. Stop exposing yourself to those things. They corrupt your mind. Stop fanning those negative ideologies.
Fight fire (your passions) with Fire (The Word of God, prayers, the Holy Spirit).
Get your standards from the Word of God. And RENEW your mind EVERYDAY with the Word of God.
Be faithful in the place God has placed you and be about His business. When God is the center of your passion, your life will burn but it won't burn up. And when you are in His will, He will place you in a marriage with a passion that will never burn out. That's His will for you. He wants you to have all those things, with the right person, in the confines of a marriage. And He will fan those flames Himself.
Our God is a Consuming Fire. So when you are consumed with the wrong fires, get more consumed with the right fires.
Ask God to set you on fire with a purpose that will keep you consumed so that you won't have time to focus on your desire for somebody else.
When you are on fire for God, it consumes every other negative desire in you. Focus on Him. Set your eyes on Him.