Is It Wrong to Think About Sex if You’re Not Married?

    In my ministry to young women, I often receive emails from those struggling to understand sex from a biblical perspective. One question I hear on a weekly basis has to do with thinking about sex, whether in general or with a future spouse. Is it wrong to think about such things if you’re not there yet? That’s what today’s post seeks to answer!

    Sex is created by God, and as such is good in and of itself. But sex in a fallen, sinful world has been twisted away from God’s original intention for it. Followers of Christ have a specific call to honor God with our sexuality. This includes how we think about our sexuality. Following are three questions to ask when entertaining thoughts about sex.


    How Are You Thinking About It?

    How we think about sex matters, because how we think determines how we act. If you think about sex as dirty or gross, you will take that attitude with you into marriage. If you think about sex as irresistible or place it on a pedestal of desire, you will struggle to maintain purity before marriage.

    It’s not wrong to educate yourself about how your body works and what sex is, but do so appropriately and with honor for God’s design. If studying sex causes you to think about it in an addictive, dishonorable way, commit your thoughts to the Lord and take time away from studying the topic.

    Our minds and bodies are integrally connected, and in marriage, that makes sex awesome! But before marriage, we must be careful to guard our minds and keep our thoughts about sex directed toward holiness.


    How Often Are You Thinking About It?

    Secondly, how often do you think about sex and sex-related topics? If this happens several times a day for you, it’s worth asking why it is so central to your thought process. Remember: What we think about affects how we act. It also affects how we look at the opposite gender, and how we respond to them. If your mind spends most of the day thinking about sexual topics, it’s difficult to see the opposite gender objectively with that same attitude of honor mentioned in the previous point.

    If you find yourself continually thinking about sex, use each thought as a reminder to pray to the Lord about your sexuality. Commit it back to Him (He designed it!), thank Him for His design and ask Him to help you steward your sexuality in an honorable way until it comes time to use it.


    Why Are You Thinking About It?

    Finally, why are you thinking about sex? It’s not wrong, but is it appropriate for the time of your life? Are you thinking about it too much? Sometimes we think about sex as a retreat from reality. This is not a good habit to form, because we should be going to Christ for comfort—not to distractions.

    The next time a sexual thought pops into your head, evaluate your motives. Where did it come from? To what is it related? Is there a pattern of when and why you think about sex? Identifying the answers to these questions will help you keep your thoughts honorable toward your own sexuality and others’.

    If you find yourself consistently struggling with sexual thoughts, find a trusted mentor or parent you can talk to about this. Ask them to help you navigate this struggle. Most women who struggle with sexual shame do so because they think they are alone—and you are NOT alone! By bringing your struggle to light, you can get the help and freedom you need.

    For more resources on understanding sexuality, visit Phylicia’s blog.

    Phylicia Masonheimer
    Phylicia Masonheimer
    Phylicia Masonheimer is an author and speaker teaching women how to discern what is true, discuss the deep stuff, and accomplish God's will for their specific lives. She holds a B.S. in Religion from Liberty University, where she met her husband, Josh, and now lives in northern Michigan with her two daughters, Adeline and Geneva.


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