Sex, Singles, and the Spirit-filled Life

Wil LaVeist and Minister Pamela Bell discuss how single Christians can please God and explain the difference between aloneness and loneliness.

For a single Christian, what to do about sexual intimacy can be tough and confusing. You harbor physical urges that God gave to you, but to have sex outside of marriage is a sin. The church’s response has generally been pithy and poor – “Just say no”. Meanwhile, the enemy has seized the void by providing a counterfeit of the sexual love God intended. Through R-rated movies, raunchy music and advertising, we are inundated with it. What in the world is a single person supposed to do?

As a follow up to a previous column on sex within a marital context, Minister Pamela Bell of Serenity Pastoral Counseling & Consulting, offers advice for singles.

Minister Pamela Bell, founder of Serenity Pastoral Counseling and Consulting

Minister Bell recently hosted a Valentines Day engagement ceremony for her single clients in the Baltimore area. They celebrated their love affair with the Lord. The ceremony offered the participants an opportunity to renew their vows to God and to increase passion in their relationship with him throughout the year. “Being physically alone does not necessarily equal loneliness”, Bell said. The church needs to reclaim the truth that we are never alone when we are in relationship with God. Being single is actually an opportunity to turn your full attention to your relationship with God. Being married, in fact, can bring complications and opportunities to worship your mate instead of the Lord.

Bell, who has been married 26 years to the same man, says “God allows us to have mates to be able to show our love for him onto a living breathing human being. That mate presents a physical way for us to express our love for God. Whether you’re single or married, what we all have in common is an inseparable relationship with God.”

Humans are spirit first. We are made in the image of a triune God, who is spirit. Our physical bodies are vessels for us to journey on earth until it’s time to return to God. Certainly, we want to express ourselves physically with another human being, but the object of that expression is still God, Bell said. If you understand this, your single status is not a negative, it just means less distractions to God. “It might sound like a cop out to a single person, but a mate is not your source to fulfillment. God is our source,” Bell said.

Ok, that sounds good, but let’s keep this real. What do we tell the single person who is struggling with their sexuality? Bell said she counsels her clients based on what they reveal they are struggling with and yes, many people are struggling with issues such as pornography and fornication. “God gave us the ability to imagine and create,” Bell continued. “What we entertain in our minds is important because we are creators. Fantasizing about sexual acts that are against God’s will, creates sin in our lives and sin, whether it is physical or mental, causes us to turn away from God.”

Bell teaches her clients that they can master their bodies through physical exercise, eating healthy and getting proper rest. She also suggests, professional massage, meditation and relaxation techniques to release pent up tension in the body and of course there is prayer. “I often suggest that my clients start a private prayer journal in which they’re writing letters to God about their intimate thoughts and feelings,” Bell said. “David demonstrated the power of prayer journaling. He wrote about his struggles, desires and his victories in what has become the Psalms. He gives us a good example about being in a relationship with the Lord and God referred to David as a man after God’s own heart. We tend to keep our sexual frustrations separate from our relationship with the Lord but He made us and is not uncomfortable talking about sex. By keeping a journal, people can learn from their own experiences and in the future they can go back to that prayer journal and remind themselves that ‘this too shall pass.’”

About the author, Wil LaVeist

Wil LaVeist is an award-winning journalist, professional speaker, and author of Fired Up: 4 Steps to Overcoming a Crisis, Including Unemployment. Contact him at www.WILLAVEIST.com, and listen to The Wil LaVeist Show Wednesdays at Noon to 1 p.m. on 88.1 WHOV in Hampton, Virginia.
  1. This is a great article, well-written and timely. However, I do have to take issue with your idea about the composition of humanity. We are BODY FIRST. In Genesis 2, God took clay and breathed (“spirited”) into it, to make man. We may have no bodies for a time after we die, but we will spend all of eternity in bodies in the New Heavens and the New Earth, after everyone has been resurrected. Physical existence is not a sub-standard thing: it’s God’s idea! The notion of “spirit good, material bad” owes its roots to Plato, not the Bible.

  2. 1 corinthians 7:8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

    There is a difference between being lonely and single but people get them mixed up.I’m single but not lonely.I want to be single and get myself together before i try to find the right man because i want to attracted like minded people.I will focus on school and the lord,keeping busy is the best thing to do.What also works for me is when i feel tempted to do something i redirect my thoughts and go be around family to get my mind away from it.

  3. I am a single celibate Christian woman. There are times when I am fine with being single, then there are other times when I want a man in my life. I am tired of married people telling single Christians how we should be and what we should do. Why didn’t you stay single if being single is such a terrific opportunity? You have someone to hold you at night!! I’m sorry, but I’m on edge right now. Not in the mood for cute church talk. Chuch talk is not there when it’s cold at night and it wouldn’t help anyway.

    • Are you saying that you can’t learn anything from a trained certified counselor who counsels singles and married couples and who before she got married used to be single facing many of the same issues that you face now?

      • Of course I am not saying that. How did you read that in my comment? I am saying I am tired of married people telling single Christians how happy we should be. Eventhough I am generally happy and ever growing in intimacy with the Lord, I desire the same thing that married people desire and as a committed Christian I cannot, in peace, partake. I never said I can’t learn from certified or non-certified whatever the profession. If you have something beneficial to say then say it, but don’t put words in my mouth.

        • You wrote: “I am tired of married people telling single Christians how we should be and what we should do. Why didn’t you stay single if being single is such a terrific opportunity?” thought you were referring to the advice in the column. Sorry if I misread this.

  4. Pingback: Sex, Singles, and the Spirit-filled Life | The Revival Times

  5. Thanks for the mention of a post of mine. Nice post you have here. God bless.

  6. It is patriarchy that tells us the the sum of a women’s life and worth is getting married. A woman who rejects defining her life by a man is a woman who is truly free.

  7. First off, I appreciate this website. I love love love this post. There is no sugar-coating and Minister Bell delivers the message straight to the truth. People are struggling and the worst part about it is the fact they think they have to keep silent about it. We must share our struggles so we can share our victories!!! Please check out my blog http://irva83.blogspot.com/