I have been a Christian for many years. I had been with a man once after I became a Christian, but I have been living a life of abstinence before and after that brief "living together" period. I have been bugged by sexual desires and fantasies when I am in love with a man, as I am presently. I confessed my obvious extra-marital sexual sin to God in prayer with our pastor’s wife. To keep my thoughts pure is a constant struggle. Would it be advisable to remain single and live a life of abstinence and dedication to God for the rest of my life and trust Him to deliver me from my physical desires, or may I hope and pray for a husband? My desire is to be married and to have children of my own, but could I or dare I, especially if the man whom I love has not been with a woman before?

"Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" (I Corinthians 7:1-9).

I am amazed that people reach the conclusion that they have no right to marriage because they have committed sexual sins in the past. The only group of people to whom marriage has been forbidden are those who broke their marriage covenant by having sex with someone outside their marriage (Matthew 19:9).

Even Paul's advice in I Corinthians 7 is tempered by "I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress--that it is good for a man to remain as he is" (I Corinthians 7:26). Paul advised remaining unmarried because of the current level of persecution, not because he thought it the best way to live life in general.

Somehow people think that denying themselves somehow makes them more holy. "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations-- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using--according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23). Marriage has been blessed by God (Matthew 19:4-6; Hebrews 13:4). Avoiding marriage doesn't make you more religious or righteous. Instead, the denial of your sexual desire simply sets you up for greater temptation by Satan to use those desires to violate the laws of God.

So find a godly man, commit yourself to each other for the rest of your lives, and "Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Marriage
Questions and Answers regarding Sexual Relations
Questions and Answers regarding Fornication