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How can a Christian control sexual urges/desires?

Question Posted Thursday September 18 2008, 1:51 am

How do Christians deal with what they consider inappropriate sexual urges? I am a teenage girl and I have desires that I know are wrong to fulfill until I am married, and because I am Christian and believe the word of God.

For example:

Desires for a person that a Christian is not married to.

Desires for a person who is not Christian.

Desires for a person who is of the same gender.

I understand that I cannot make the sexual urges suddenly go away since they have to do with hormones and maturing, but how can I keep them under control as a Christian? I love God and I do not want to disrespect Him or my body by giving into sexual desires in this inappropriate time.

I want to be the best Christian I can be and I know that means controlling myself when it comes to sexual activity. Are there ways to limit these desires to very infrequent times or are they something I cannot lessen no matter what?

I am also considering speaking to my pastor about this problem but I would like to know if that is appropriate to do in the first place.

Any advice is appreciated!

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noivious answered Monday January 7 2013, 12:21 am:
First and foremost before I answer your questions. I wanted to clarify with where I'm coming from first. I offer you only advice and what I have discovered during my walk with God. I am by no means perfect and I offer this only as what I know. I am Christian and I believe in it being a personal relationship with Jesus. With that being said:

1) Desire is a natural part of being human. God granted us this wonderful gift. It is not something we can control. Feelings are neither good nor bad they simply are. This is what I've learned from all my years of counciling and much work on my walk with God. So as for the answer to this question...desire alone is not controllable but what is, is what you do with it. How you chose to act on it.

I have much desire for the man I am currently courting. ((Mind you I don't agree with the world's view on "dating" and courting truly is what I'm doing. Courting is for marriage. I want to be married eventually.))

I am still learning on how to act with my desire for him. But the best I can say is I keep giving this desire to God and talking to him about it. And I also keep looking to God on how to answer what this desire seeks. Beyond that I try not to act out of this "condition". If I am sexually desiring my boyfriend I will ask him for space physically if I find myself struggling and unable to sit with God on it. When I get space I sit alone and pray. This has helped me more than anything else I've done.

While I don't have scripture to quote this is what I've done and has helped me greatly.

2) Desire again is not a bad thing. It is a gift. I believe however this falls under "boundaries". God commands us not to seek out non-believers as a spouse because this walk with God is so be unable to share what it means with someone who is suppose to be close to you emotionally and physically when your married is damaging. Your walk comes first before a boyfriend. And when you are married you and your spouses walk with God must come first...By doing this I believe the relationship will be healthy as long as you put God first. So with that being said, I'm sure there is scripture I could quote to back up what I'm saying but honestly my memory recall button is not working currently so I implore you if you have any questions or concerns to seek out the bible and look up what I'm saying.

So what do you do with the desire then with all that being said? I say the only wisdom I can think of...pray about it. Give it to God and seek out healthy trust worthy brothers and sisters in Christ with whom will help support you in your walk. And help you with not making decisions based on your desire...because that would be putting God second to what is best for you.

3) Pray, give this to God, speak with a trust worthy person who is strongly walking with God to help support you in not acting on the impulses of that desire. Ultimately I think it is not your fault that your body craves and that your feelings are there. But feeding this place can be unhealthy and take away from your walk with God.

Keep them under control? There is no such thing. Sexual desire is stronger than anything you or me or anybody can "control" All you can do is stick by your choices and keep nurturing your walk with God. And pray and keep giving up these places to him.

Limiting is not a bad thing. I think abstaining from porn, as it is already a unhealthy thing to begin with. I could give you examples as to why but I think it stands to reason it feeds a unhealthy place sexually that takes away from your walk with God.

I think you want to feed healthy places by turning to God and any unhealthy emotional places you should give to him. As who better to help you with this then God?

As for masturbation...I can say this much it can be addictive. But then anything on this planet can be addictive. What I can say is limiting this can be beneficial but I do not think it is sinful. There is no where in the bible that states it is a "sin". But as I said above addictions of any kind can be sinful and even this can be addictive. So I believe limiting...and if that doesn't work then stopping might be what you need.

Ultimately all we do should be to better our walk with God. I think we cannot look to an easy fix on desire as it is not easy by any means. This journey with God is more important to me than anything this world has to offer. So I implore you to sit with God and pray and read the bible.

I believe working on Healthy boundaries with other people is very much a positive aspect to helping with your walk with God.

What I always say is: Is this for me with my walk with God? Will this help me grow closer to God? And if it doesn't then I pray to God to help me with it as I'm not strong enough alone to combat whatever it is. And I ask God to give me clarity and to help me so that I can serve him first before anything in me or this world.

I don't know if this is exactly what you were looking for but it is the best I can offer from my own personal experience with my walk with God. I wish you the best in your walk and support you praying on this as well.

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Maxximiliann answered Sunday January 16 2011, 3:22 pm:
“If anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virginity, if that is past the bloom of youth, [...] Let them marry.” - 1 Corinthians 7: 36

Ideally, the simplest way for you to handle your situation is to marry someone who has the same intense and zealous faith in God you have. (God instructs us to avoid being unevenly 'yoked with an unbeliever' by marrying “only in the Lord”, in other words, by only marrying one who shares our same faith in God. “[W]hat portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? ”, he asks. (2 Corinthians 7: 14-18; 1 Corinthians 7:39) His point of view is clear. He does not look favourably upon those who are disloyal to him and marry someone who does not have true faith in Him.)

But, seeing as how you're not yet “past the bloom of youth” this really isn't an option for you right now. :D So what do you do in the meantime?

First off, keep things in perspective. Having sexual feelings is completely normal. You should not be beating yourself up at all for having them. They are not an indication of a lack of faith or a weak relationship with God. In fact, you can no more control your sexual urges than you can your feelings of hunger or thirst. These natural, biological feelings you were created with weren't designed to be “turned off” at will.

Your natural sexual impulses are nothing more than a gift from your Creator intended for you to enjoy exclusively with your husband within the bounds of a loving marriage. What you can control, however, is how you behave. Because you were created with Free Will, you ALWAYS have complete control over what you decide to do at any time.

With that said, here are some scriptural principles you can use to help you continue to be pleasing in the eyes of God:

“Flee from fornication.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Fornication, if you remember, comes from the Greek 'porneia' and is defined as “illicit sexual intercourse”. This includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals (bestiality), sexual intercourse with close relatives or sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman.

Because the counsel here is to “flee from fornication” it's obvious that you should do everything possible to avoid compromising situations, sexually stimulating materials of all kinds and even sexually charged conversations. “Let fornication and uncleanness of every sort [...] not even be mentioned among YOU” we're admonished in Ephesians 5: 3-4, “just as it befits holy people; neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming [...].” The warning is clear. Steer clear of anything, ANYTHING that can inflame your sexual passions.

Here's another helpful scriptural principle you can use:

“Deaden, therefore, YOUR body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. […] Strip off the old personality with its practices, and clothe yourselves with the new [personality], which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it,” - Colossians 3: 5, 9 &10

This means that you should, to the best of your ability, avoid all sexually stimulating material. This includes movies, photos, music, books, etc., etc. Basically, if it turns you on, you need to avoid consuming it.

This also means that you need to avoid any and all types of masturbation and other forms of sexual gratification. While many will tell you that there's nothing wrong with gratifying yourself, what they fail to mention is that those who habitually view pornographic material and then masturbate end up developing and suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Make no mistake, developing an obsessive-compulsive disorder will wreak havoc on your life and may very well take years of intense psychotherapy so that you can finally break free of it.

Don't misunderstand now. I'm not advising you to repress your sexual feelings. As I mentioned earlier, your sexual impulses are a natural biological function that were not designed to be “turned off”. Trying to repress them is an exercise in futility and will only leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated and very, very guilty. This is something you need to be very wary of because persistent feelings of excessive guilt can cause clinical Depression and that's not what God wants for you.

Everything I've shared with you so far is intended to help you minimize the intensity of your sexual impulses but this doesn't mean you'll never feel them especially now that your body is undergoing its transformation to its adult form. In time, the intensity of your sexual impulses should subside. That too is a natural function of your design.

So, what can you do on those rare occasions when your sexual impulses surge to overwhelm you?

It's simple. Distract yourself. Focus your mind's attention on something else.

It won't be easy at first but the more you practice, the easier it will become because your urges will be less intense each time and, more importantly, you'll have the self-control and self-discipline needed to behave correctly in the eyes of your Creator.

The fact is, as Christians, we've already been charged with THE most important responsibility we could possibly have. This is why 1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us to “[...] [B]ecome steadfast, unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord, knowing that YOUR labor is not in vain in connection with [the] Lord.

What responsibility am I referring to, you ask? Shortly after his resurrection, Jesus met with his disciples in Galilee and gave them the following task, “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded YOU.” (Matthew 28: 19, 20) And that they did. The Bible book of Acts details how they zealously sought willing ones to teach them all the things Jesus had taught them and how Jehovah God blessed them for their efforts. It wasn't easy but it was met with God's glowing approval.

But, you can't teach others what you don't know, right? So, before you can become a masterful teacher, you first have to be a diligent student. Have you read the Bible in its entirety, from beginning to end? If not, why not set aside 5 minutes each day to do so? By making a habit out of reading from the Bible every day, not only will you learn amazing things about God you've never known before but you'll be waayy too busy to be bothered by any kind of intrusive thoughts.

In fact, why not pray about this? This has always been a ready resource for all those looking to please God and lead happy, fulfilled lives. “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.” Paul was inspired to write once. (Phillipians 4:13)

Remember, God “is not far off from each one of us”. (Acts 17:27) If you make every effort to learn about and love him “with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind”, he will stay by your side, “[f]or, as regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.” (Matthew 22: 36-38; 2 Chronicles 16:9)


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mischi answered Wednesday December 29 2010, 5:42 pm:
Answer to question 1:
As a single Christian, I personally don't think anything is wrong with dating, but if you are to date then you have to ensure the other person is equally in strong faith as you or more so. It won't do well for you to date someone who struggles with the same problems you do and is weaker in faith than you because bad things can and will happen. I speak from my own experiences.

Answer to question 2:
Well I've been studying the bible and I personally believe that you shouldn't date someone who is not a Christian, regardless of how strong you think your faith is. It is something I've come to realize myself. Although people of this world, and note I said Of this WORLD will say that it's discriminatory, but it is instructed in the Bible countless times. God told Israel not to affiliate with the people who were outside of their race, the people of the land. We see how Solomon took for himself many wives and turned away from God. This is what God is trying to prevent. Also, in 2nd Corinthians 6:14 it is explicitly said not to be "yoked" with unbelievers, that is not to date or be married to them. Im sorry I don have scripture ref for the other examples.

Answer to question 3:
I don't really have much of an answer for this, but I know it is a difficult struggle. Try to avoid the temptations as much as possible and pray to God for the rest.

All in all, it's good that so many people have answered this question for you and I hope that you have spoken to your pastor about it and that he has given you, with reference to the bible, the answers you seek. I am also looking for answers to similar questions :). As for most of the answers, I noticed no one gave scripture references so you could seek answers in the Bible where the truth is. I suggest that you do that. The Solomon ref is in 2Kings, but I dont recall where exactly. Also, I personally believe masturbation is a sin bcuz of its addictive qualities and how it can cause you to think and act. I pray for wisdom for both of us on this journey and I hope you have gotten your answers within the time you wrote this 3 years ago and the time I have answered. God bless! :)

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lostplotman answered Wednesday September 24 2008, 6:49 am:
well as i see it, God gave you these feelings of love for a reason. he also said that the workld was ours to use for what ever we wanted. did he not tell us to reproduce? there is nothing to say that if you love the person that you should hide it forever. love is something you cant control. im sorry but He loves us all equally and if you repent then your saved. simple as that. dont feed him crap like "you must control it or u burn in hell" silly person lol. you wont burn in hell as long as you say "Lord im sorry for all my sins"

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sizzlinmandolin answered Saturday September 20 2008, 1:39 pm:
First off, I'm Christian and have been all my life. I think that people tend to take sexual desires much more seriously than other desires. It's also a sin to be jealous. It's a sin to be greedy, lazy, or proud of yourself. The thing is, we can't control having our desires. God gave you your desires. What you can control is whether or not you give in to your desires. That's what God cares about. He gave you your desires, He made you, and He loves you with or without them. It's only going to make you unhappy if you attempt to be completely sinless. Only Jesus lived without sin and only Jesus could live without sin. Do what you can, but remember that it's not going to go away. After a few years it will be easier to deal with and it won't feel like such a big part of your life. It's tough being a good Christian in this day and age. The best thing you can do is just stick to your values. Don't let your desires make your decisions. From your question, it looks like you're doing a pretty good job with this already. It's awesome that you believe in staying pure until you get married. Don't let that slip away from you. Intercourse is not there for pleasure, it's there to make babies, which is really special to God. You can still get forgiveness for it, like anything else, but choosing not to participate in it shows a lot of strength of character. I don't think that this is an inappropriate thing to talk to your pastor about. If you're close, it could be very helpful for you. He or she could probably help put your mind at ease. I wish you the best of luck and remember that you can't live your life without sin. Control the sins that you can control and pray for forgiveness for the ones that you can't. Jesus made it so that you can be forgiven! :)

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WittyUsernameHere answered Friday September 19 2008, 4:11 am:

A preface: I grew up Catholic. With the kind of parents who would have kicked me out if they found out I was having sex (I'm a guy).

I don't buy into half the rules about sex and everything else in Christianity. The way I see it, premarital sex used to be a very bad idea because there was no birth control. Having children born to unwed couples constantly was a potential source of difficulty.

So you were supposed to be married and committed to family before having sex.

Anyway, you have your beliefs, I have mine, but thats not the question here.

Desires are part of life. Desires are biological. Your body reacting to the conscious or unconscious recognition of someone as a possible mate based on whatever criteria you have.

These don't go away. Even priests and ministers and such have these desires (though I think only priests are disallowed a family and thus a normal viable outlet)They aren't going anywhere, and you aren't going to be able to just make them go away until a convenient time.

My first suggestion would be masturbate, but I have no clue if you'd consider that disrespect or not, or what have you. Masturbation is the most common healthy, normal outlet for sexual desire that you don't want to involve others in.

It allows you release without any of the risks or issues associated with sex.

Other than that, occupy yourself. Get a book, put on a movie, play a game, go outside. Physical activity is good, often times if you tire yourself out you don't have the energy to be horny. Go ride a bike, jog, roller blade, or play a sport or something.

Though, you should be warned. Humans build up what is called "sexual tension"

That is, we have desires that grow with not addressed. Hunger and sex are two examples. This means that the longer you go without some kind of release, the stronger the urges get.

Usually this results in dreams about sex and midnight orgasms. If you've heard jokes about guys with "wet dreams" its usually because they aren't getting laid and aren't masturbating. Women do it too, you just don't leave as much evidence.

A build up of sexual tension is going to bleed over into the rest of your life.

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solidadvice4teens answered Thursday September 18 2008, 8:25 pm:
Contrary to what you may have been told God never abandons anyone. If your relationship with him is rock solid now that's how it will be regardless of when and why you choose to have sex. I know that will rile some people up but it's the truth. Your bond is a personal one and nothing breaks that.

Do your best to live under the principals you believe but realize should you act on urges that it doesn't mean you're headed for eternal damnation. You KNOW how to be responsible and not be reckless already follow what your inner voice and gut tells you about sexual activity.

Having desires to be with someone (presumably single) that you haven't married is NORMAL. It's FINE to date outside your faith. I mean if the right person came along for you would you walk away if they didn't share your religion? That would be wrong.

Dating someone who isn't Christian wont change the fact that you are and that you're following what you believe. In fact it's discrimination otherwise and that's not what your teachings are at all.

Same sex desires are likely curiosity more than anything else at this stage. A lot of teens think about it when figuring out their identity and who they are.

Sexual urges are normal in everyone. As long as you are responsible and deal with them appropriately you're fine. There's nothing at all wrong with masturbation regardless of faith as it's basically universal with teens. 90% of males do and 77% of females of all ages based on statistics. It's better for you to deal with urges that way than you having sex with random people.

Trying to limit such desires are futile as you have no control over your hormones and the messages they send your brain. You can however, choose how to act or decide not to follow them. You're the one in control. You can talk to your pastor but shouldn't need to.

Believe me they hear everything and will find this rather tame compared to other explosive secrets they may keep from other people who approach them. None of this is disrespecting God either.

Another thing I urge you do is talk to your parents about religion and dealing with your hormones. They've been there and I'm sure your mother or an older adult female can reassure you it's okay to respond to these urges responsible or tell yourself not to.

Although embarrassing you might want to ask your pastor or parents about self-pleasure and urges and how not to give in to desires to have sex. They'll help you see whether this makes you any less Christian. In my eyes, you're fine and just have to trust yourself to make sound decisions about what you think is right.

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triquetra answered Thursday September 18 2008, 4:58 pm:
Well, let's get one things straight first: not all Christians 'deal' with their sexual urges. On the contrary, they live life to the full whilst still following the word of God.

Being attracted to somebody is something which is incredibly natural and still something incredibly hard to control. When you love somebody (like real, real love), then it is so hard to put those emotions aside and put God first, because then you either loose the one whom you love forever, or you lessen you connection with God slightly. You can't lessen what you feel for others, they're just there. You can't really control as to how you feel about somebody: you either love 'em as a friend or more than that or you just don't.

You can still be a good Christian, but let yourself live life first. You've got complete control over whether you want to have sex or not, it's completely up to you. You can have a boyfriend as well.

The problem is, is that if you want to get married, you've got to live out your emotions to the full. Nowadays, you've got to have the same love which the person who loves you has got and the more difficult bit is finding somebody who thinks along the same lines as you do. Most unfortunately for some, the 21st century isn't exactly the easiest century to be a good christian with all that goes on around us everyday.

I don't think that talking to your pastor will help in anyway more than what I've just written. But you can still talk to him and see what he says: his word over mine.

I hope this helped,

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