Phew! The cold season appears to be over at last. I have been looking forward to lots of sunshine. The cold nights were hard. My normal sleeping attire entailed wrapping up the whole body with layers of clothes; you could have mistaken me for an avocado that’s been wrapped up and kept in a dark place to ripen! There were many nights when I couldn’t even feel my toes and eventually did away with the sheets and duvet to enjoy the warmth of a good old woollen Raymond blanket. Hehehe!
Winter has its own unique challenges for single people. Since the nights are really cold, the temptation to seek some company, get cosy and have a warm night can hit its peak in July. The absence of companionship to beat the cold and loneliness is almost tangible. It is written that if two lie down together, they will keep warm. So how can one keep warm alone?
Coupling the desire for a solid and purposeful man with my freezing bedding caused my mind to travel towards a craving for intimacy aka sex. Let’s just say I kept asking God for extra doses of fresh grace to get me through, night after night.
Sex-related struggles have been a thorn in the flesh for many, bringing down even the mighty. The word of God is no longer the standard upon which sexual values are defined and we fail by inclining our ears to what we want to hear rather than by accepting the absolute truth. Modernity and civilisation haven’t made the struggles any easier.
It is easy to reason that since I had already sinned in my mind with thoughts of a sexual nature, I might as well have gone ahead and engaged in the physical act to beat the cold nights. It is God’s will that we should be sanctified, avoiding sexual immorality; each of us learning to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like pagans, who do not know God.
The Holy Spirit has been working overtime, rebuking and correcting me. Titus 2:11-12 has constantly reminded me of God’s grace that offers salvation to all people, teaching us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
God created physical intimacy for procreation, pleasure, and as an expression of love between a husband and his wife. When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. Sex within marriage carries blessings whereas the opposite will hurt us.
Considering I am not my own but was bought at a price, and that sexual sin grieves the Holy Spirit, I opted to embrace the July cold. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Carnal conjunction with anyone means we become one flesh, but who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in us, whom we have from God (1 Corinthians 6:17-20).
It is important that I present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. It is a voluntary act, a free-will offering that acknowledges the honour of God. Presenting my body as a living sacrifice means avoiding the sins that are committed with or against the body and yielding the members of my body as instruments of righteousness. A body devoted sincerely to God is a living sacrifice.
Faith is not a panacea or a magic potion to overcoming sexual sin; we need to submit to character re-alignment and practical application of God’s word. Fleeing from sin should be intentional. We should not use our bodies according to our own pleasure but according to His will and for His glory.
I have noticed some triggers that act as a catalyst to my loneliness, which could lead to sin: A simple WhatsApp text message with a winking emoji; a late-night call from a friend whose voice is deep and husky; a love song that takes me down memory lane, reminiscing about an evening walk with him as we watched the sunset… the list is endless.
Practical steps to fleeing sin can include avoiding it, keeping out of reach of the temptation, switching off the phone and avoiding night time pillow talk, replacing love songs with worship music, directing the eyes and mind to other things, having someone to walk with and hold us accountable, and when we awake in the wee hours of the night, talking to God and telling Him about our July plight!