Will Marriage Fix My Sexual Desires?

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“But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry,
for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
– 1 Corinthians 7:9

Marriage is more than a fix for sexual desires.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul addresses marriage to the married, single, widowed and divorced adults. In light of the above passage, how can any person choose to be single with such a burning sinful desire of passion? Are singles strong enough to control their sexual desires?

Prominent speakers have suggested that to be single is in effect an open sin as it is nearly impossible to abstain from impure thoughts while single. The fallacy in this opinion is that married persons do not have such thoughts, which is clearly not the case. Divorces are often caused by infidelity originating from sinful thoughts. Marriage does not fix sin, only being Complete in Christ can help fight against sin nature.

God’s Word instructs us to be strong and bold. Sexual desires are controlled–but only with God at the center of a relationship. As a relationship develops, it is not always easy. But God will reward the couple who chooses to wait. Self-control seems to be a major part of the conversation happening in 1 Corinthians 7 as Paul wishes people to be single like himself but realizes that many are too weak to do so.

This goes along with the same conversation for singles with “the gift of singleness” spoken of in verse 7 of the same chapter. The idea is that no person is strong enough to control their sexual desires and if there were such a person, they would truly have this “gift” of singleness. Yet, control is not what we, as sinners, as humans, have.

We, at Table for One, believe marriage is more than a way to fix a sexual urge. It’s a lifetime commitment. It’s a sacred relationship centered on Christ. It is not just a way to correct sin, Christ died for our sins on the cross and rose again defeating the grave and overcoming this world. Therefore we need to value marriage for what it is, a covenant between two people and God until eternity.

In this conversation, Paul is almost suggesting with a bit of sarcasm or frustration that as a last resort, the very weak should just get married if they can’t control themselves. Paul is writing with all seriousness that marriage is important and has its place, but above all, is serving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind.

Marriage should be a calling to bond with another person, not a tool to fix sin.

Not an Option

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When is the last time you made something “Not an Option”? Truly, 100% said to yourself that under no circumstances will I ever ____. Everyone has things that are not options in their lives, such as the clothes worn to work or the food we choose to eat that may cause allergic reactions. Everyone makes choices everyday that make things “Not an Option” in their life.  Yet, somehow, we are still tripped by the same sins.

Jesus, at the Sermon on the Mount, told people to be radical in their actions in order stop from sinning. Though He was being figurative, He suggested it is better to lose a hand than to keep it and continue a life of sin (Matthew 5:29-30). It is better to not have a hand and live for God than to have two hands and not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Single adults have a lot of time alone and, in those alone times, it is easy to slip into temptations. For any of us to be obedient to the Word of God and follow Him, we have to make certain things in our lives “Not an Option.” Doing so will glorify the One who sent His only Son to die on a cross for our sins and allow us to live a life honoring to Him.

What things in your life do you need to make “Not an Option”? Addictions? Gossip with friends? Temptations? Some may think you can’t change or overcome the struggle. That is not the case!

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

God is on your side and will not let you be tempted, tested, or go through trials that you cannot have victory over! He loves you so much that He always gives an alternative for you to choose and make something “Not an Option.”

Lady Porn

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Ladies, don’t think you are immune to the trap of pornography. According to XXXChurch.com, 49% of women found pornography an acceptable way of expressing sexuality. Thirteen percent of women admit to viewing pornography at work and one of every three visitors to porn websites are women. Even worse, 34% of church-going women admit to looking at pornography.

This is not a conversation about whether a novel you might have read is a version of porn. No, this is a reality that graphic erotica is gripping females just as it does males, and the stats show this issue is on the rise.

Porn is a Lie.

In Romans 7, Paul talks about the desire to do good but still falling into sin, until the power of the cross takes over your life. As a single adult, you may think that looking at pornography is okay since you are not in a relationship. We have even heard singles say it is acceptable because they may never find someone and that is an outlet for them. But, Matthew 5:28 tells us that even looking at someone in lust is committing sin in our hearts.

Hebrews 12:4 says, ”In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” It is a sin, and yes, the Lord expects you to live a life free of pornography. Have you truly resisted in your fight with pornogrphy? To the point of shedding your own blood?

As a single adult male or female, one day you may find someone and enter into a relationship. Your choices as a single regarding lust and pornography will be an issue. Marriage does not fix lust and addiction to pornography.

It is a heart issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. If you need help with breaking this addiction, please visit xxxchurch.com for resources and internet-accountability tools. But, remember, there is NO internet accountability tool that can keep someone from finding pornography. But there is the strength of Christ to avoid seeking it.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

Take a stand in your heart and before God, then find an accountability partner to make it “Not an Option.” Make porn “Not an Option” in your life and walk in a new light, free from the darkness of pornography.

The Lie of Porn

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Porn is gripping, ruins marriages, is addictive, and while you are single will offer a lie that it is harmless since you are not in a relationship. Porn is not harmless. It affects women and men of all ages and according to xxxchurch.com 25% of all search requests in the US are pornography related and 34% of church going women admit to looking at pornography. 

Watch this video of a testimony from Nate Larkin to see how gripping porn can be and the effects it has on your life.

Hebrews 12:4 says “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Can anyone reading this say they have resisted looking at pornography to the point of shedding your own blood? In Romans 7 Paul talks about his desire to do good but still falling into sin, until the power of the cross takes over your life. As a single adult, you may think that you looking at pornography is ok since you are not in a relationship. We have even heard singles say it is acceptable because they may never find someone and that is an outlet for them. Matthew 5:28 tells us that even looking at someone in lust is committing sin in our hearts. Yes it is a sin, and yes the Lord expects you to live a life free of pornography. Have you truly resisted in your fight with pornography? To the point of shedding your own blood?

As a single adult male or female, one day you may find someone and enter into a relationship, your actions regarding lust and pornography will be an issue. Marriage does not fix lust and addiction to pornography. This is a heart issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. If you need help with breaking this addition, please visit xxxchurch.com for resources and internet accountability tools. Remember, there is NO internet accountability tool made that can keep you from finding pornography. You must make a stand before God and in your heart with an accountability partner to make it “Not an Option.” Make a stand today to make porn “Not an Option” in your life and walk in a new light free from the darkness of pornography.

End of the Rope with Addiction

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Do you ever feel torn between doing what you know is right, and then doing the wrong thing anyway? Choosing to continue in a sin that you should be able to be free of, yet you keep making the same mistake. We have some comforting words for you, the apostle Paul had this same struggle in Romans 7-8 regarding the Law. The Message translation Bible is not intended to be an everyday Bible, but what it is great at is expressing things in a new light with the same Biblical meaning. This could not be more true of this passage! Here are the phrases Paul uses in his struggle with sin.

  • I need something more!
  • I know the law and yet I can not keep it
  • Sin keeps sabotaging my best intentions
  • I obviously need help!
  • I have the will, but I can’t do it!
  • The moment I decide to do good, sin trips me up
  • I have tried everything and nothing helps, I am at the end of my rope

You should take time and read this entire chapter out loud and hear the urgency and distress in Paul’s voice. Go ahead, read it out loud.

Romans 7 Message Translation

Have you ever felt that way? When it comes to sin in your life like getting drunk, sex before marriage, drugs, lust, porn,and on and on? Have you been at the end of your rope with sin? Do you feel like there is nothing anyone can do for you? Well, there is great news! Romans 7:25-8:1-4.

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”

Struggle with your addictions and then give them all to God. Make a stand in your life for sin to be “Not an Option!” Have you reached the end of your rope with sin?

Do I expose my old life to share with others?

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A single wrote into us asking “I really need to help another person thru their addiction… in order to provide inspiration, I have to expose my prior self… I am trying my best to let Christ rule my life, and I think I am surrendering to Him… my question to you is, do I expose my prior life as an example to the other person at a possible expense for me losing, in others eyes, or do I just go on with what my heart tells me to do? Please pray on this matter with me as it could affect not just his future life, but mine as well…”

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

2 Corinthians 11:30

Dear friend, we can tell in your question that whatever the affliction you had in your past was a painful one and not an addiction you share with most people. It does seem, however, that you have connected with this person and the Lord is prompting you to share with them your pain so that God may be glorified. As Paul said above, if you are going to talk about anything, why not make it those things that expose us for what we truly are, weak and sinners.

The view of those around you should not be based on your perfection, but Christ’s perfection! While we cannot tell you what to do, we can only suggest that in sharing your past you are allowing God to use what Satan meant for destruction for His glory. Try not to hide behind the sins of your past as your future is built of those successes and missteps. We are praying for you!

Why Would God Allow Me to be Born Gay

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Every week, Table for One blogs generate questions. Recently, we’ve received questions about our stance on same-sex attraction and how or why God would even allow someone to have that struggle in our lives.

Our immediate response is to say that homosexuals are not alone in their battle with sin.

Every person ever born has a sin nature and is prone to sinful desires. Each one of us could ask God the same question: why was I born with sinful desires in my heart? Why do I have the desire to take someone’s life? To lie? To commit adultery? To gossip? To be a glutton? To be prideful?

To sum it up: “We are with you.”

We are all sinners. Same-sex attraction is not “special”, it does not warrant its own category of sinfulness or depravity. All fall short of the Glory of God. Being attracted to the same sex does not mean you have to act on it: just as gluttons have to choose not to eat and gossipers choose not to speak. It’s a choice to engage in sin, regardless of the debate about the source of those feelings.

No sin is so big that it cannot be overcome. You can have victory over this struggle like other struggles we all have. The point to remember is that victory does not necessarily mean having a heterosexual marriage and kids.

Victory is first and foremost an abiding relationship with Christ!

Christ died to release us from the bondage of our sinful desires. Our responsibility towards those who lead a gay lifestyle is not to try to “change” them, but to pray for them and share the gospel. Those who experience God’s grace and turn to Christ as Lord and Savior are released from the condemnation of sin. This does not mean the desires will cease to exist. We all know from life experience that the desire to sin never leaves us; but neither does Jesus Christ–He will never leave you or forsake you.

So we cling to Him daily and make HIM (not our desires or our lifestyle) the first priority in our lives. As we do this, He will stand beside us in the struggle and give us the power to live the life we were called to experience.

God loves strugglers.

Same-Sex Attraction Singles are in YOUR Church

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In the Christian community we often find “super sins” that the majority of believers find to be so offensive that they are unwilling to reach out to anyone who has committed them. Homosexuals are often placed in this category of “super sin.” Many believe that the person with such an open sin against God cannot know God while struggling with or acting on that sin. Are these sins really so offensive that one cannot find God or even be a Christian and commit them or have committed them in their past? Is the same-sex attraction lifestyle one that it is not worth reaching unless a person has fully turned from that life to enter the church? Table for One Ministries asserts that church members are quick to welcome drug addicts, alcoholics, adulterers, even murderers before openly welcoming homosexuals. We at Table for One could not disagree more with this attitude of focusing on one sin differently than others.

Denominations have compromised Biblical integrity, for the sake of love, in order to welcome the LGBT community in its doors. The church should not bend its moral mandates in order to be open to all styles of life and preach the Gospel of love with no refinement of becoming like Christ. Christ came so that every person may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Christ died for whoever would believe in him would have eternal life and not die (John 3:16). So, when Christ commissions the church to go and make disciples and baptize them, the church must reach out to the LGBT community for the sake of making disciples and baptizing them (Matthew 28:19-20).

But how does the church interpret those in the LGBT community who claim to have a relationship with Christ and still continue to practice homosexuality? Several Scripture passages inform followers of Christ that they are not to judge another person’s faith commitment, yet their faith commitment can be measured by their actions and keeping the Lord’s commands (1 John 5:3). We protest that a commitment to Christ is only judged by God. Every person walking through the doors of a church should be treated the same, as a sinner separated from God and that separation can only be healed through acceptance of Christ. For a church to truly embrace the LGBT community, it must embrace the idea of bringing any type of sinner into its church. Only then can a church reach out to that community and others in aspirations of the Holy Spirit changing their sinful behavior.

Lastly, it is our belief that the only way a homosexual will change their sin is with the Holy Spirit working in their lives. For that to happen, the church needs to provide a place for homosexuals to learn about the truth of God’s Word and allow the Spirit to speak into their lives for change.

Some in the LGBT community who attend church will be those who professed Christ at a young age and still do. It is then the Church’s place to do what Christ has instructed–make disciples of each and every person within the church. It is the hope of any minister that those in their ministry will turn from sin and draw closer to Christ. Dealing with homosexuality is no different; the same prayer should be offered–that the person will turn from their sin and follow closer to Christ. The difference in this approach is to not isolate one specific sin which would only isolate the person. Giving the same grace to every sinner, no matter the sin, allows an environment for the Holy Spirit to work in all people’s lives to draw nearer to Christ.

So what do you think? How can the church be a place where those struggling with same-sex attraction can feel welcome to walk through the doors and hear the Word of God?

Just Stop Sinning

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We encounter many conversations with single adults and the issue of sin comes up often. Everyone deals with sin–we are in a broken and fallen world. Not everyone, though, deals with sin the same. This is a look at two different stories of dealing with sin.

 

“I can’t be expected to stop sinning”

Jared arrived at school ready to study to be a pastor. He is 31, single, and feels called to be a minister. He is very driven and well read in theology and history of the church. While speaking to one of our ministers, he starts talking about his struggles with addiction and says, “It’s not like we can be expected to stop sinning” and continues on to talk about when a friend had asked him to do just that. He argued we were all fallen people in need of grace, to stop sinning is impossible, and it should be expected that all sin is a struggle not something to be conquered.

 

“I can stop sinning, at least with my actions”

Allen was looking for a church home and decided to give a church down the street a try. They  had a singles ministry, and the Sunday he attended the issue was on sin and choosing to turn from sin. Allen was taken aback. He had struggled for years with addiction, admitting he had  good and bad seasons in how he dealt with it. No one had ever told him to simply stop sinning. The idea was so foreign to him, he decided to give this “not sinning thing” a try.

 

It really is as easy as stopping your actions of sinning.

Jared lives in a world where sin is not something he really tries to stop, but only fights off from time to time. Allen now lives in a reality where he may not be able to control all his thoughts, but his actions have been controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Bondage vs Freedom.

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  –Hebrews 12:4

Actions speak louder than words, and that is true of our relationship with God and dealing with sin. Our actions need to reflect our repentant hearts for forgiveness and grace. There are methods and books (especially God’s Word) to help each person find their way to stop acting out on a sin. The key is that as mature believers, we seek those paths and find ways to stop acting on our sin, even if we can not control our thoughts and urges.

The payment for all sin is death. Christ paid that debt in full for everyone. However, the consequences of every sin are different. We urge you to take a stand. Make sin in your life Not an Option and experience the freedom from bondage.

Do you think it is possible to have a mindset to stop sinning in certain areas of your life, particularly with your actions?

A Biblical View of Masturbation

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Recently on ask.fm Table for One Ministries was asked, “Is their a Biblical view on masturbation? Is it ever, okay?” Well, that’s a question that could have a volume of responses. So we are going to do our best to respond to the main theme of this question: Does the Bible have a stance about masturbation?

No. The Bible does not reference masturbation. Matthew 5:28 does talk about lusting in ones heart and often masterbation acompanies these thoughts.  It does reference “seed” but never in the context of the question presented. However, it is assumed that many times in the Bible where prostitutes are mentioned that masturbation was happening, and since the fall of man, living in a sinful world, it is an issue. The Bible does however speak about sin, addiction, and turning to the Lord in your area of weakness.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Hebrews 12:4

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Romans 7:7-25

As awkward as the topic is, masturbation is a big issue singles face. Is it okay? Can I really stop? What if I never get married? All of these questions and more arise as singles fight against that which Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 7:9 when speaking of “burning with passion.” Having a sexual drive is not a 100% reason to get married. In fact, if you read all of Chapter 7, Paul is almost sarcastic in words about getting married to fix your “passion” problem. Reading further in Chapter 10, Paul says:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

You will not be tempted beyond what you can bear as a Christ-follower. There is always a way out. Masturbation is not a necessity, it is a means to an end. The final judgment of whether it is a sin or not lies between you and God. If it is an addiction or something that stands between you and God, it is a sin.

So to our anonymous question-asker, we hope this gives some Biblical grounds related to the issues of masturbation. Always remember the greatest commandment: Love God, Love Others. Make sure everything you do aligns with that core commandment.