Defeat Lust & Pornography The young superhero "Sparrow" with a flying kick.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 7 minute read

For Singles: How to Handle a Strong Sex Drive in a God-Honoring Way

Last Updated: January 12, 2024

Covenant Eyes exists to help people overcome porn. However, the battle against porn doesn’t start on your computer or smartphone. It begins in the desires of our hearts and the thoughts of our minds. In this article, Kristen outlines how single Christians can take their fight against porn to the next level by attacking lustful thoughts and desires.

With tears streaming down my face, I sat alone in my room. As a 22-year-old Christian single woman, I was battling against my flesh and the sexual temptations in my mind…again. I wanted to be pure. I wanted to fight against the lust in my life. I wanted to honor God. But it felt too hard. It felt almost impossible.

I’ve been married now for six years, but I was single for 24 years prior to that. I remember all too well the unfulfilled sexual desires that I had during that season of life. Moments of tears and struggle like the one above were normal for me. There were many times when I viewed my sex drive as a curse. I wished my desires would just go away altogether and then reappear when I got married.

I struggled with strong urges for sexual fulfillment.

As much as I wanted to throw in the towel and ditch God’s plan for sex, I decided to search God’s Word for hope and answers. Over time, God’s Word helped me understand that my sexual desires weren’t a curse, but a blessing. His word also reminded me that He would give me the grace to handle my desires until marriage happened—if it happened (2 Corinthians 12:9).

If you’re single right now, your sex drive might feel like a curse to you as well. I want to share with you some of the things that helped me handle my sexual desires as a single woman, and I hope they’re encouraging to you as well.

Related: More Than Single–Finding Purpose Beyond Porn

1. Understand God’s Design for Sex

God created sex and it’s a beautiful thing within the covenant of marriage. God also created us to be sexual beings with desires and longings for sexual intimacy. We are sexual beings from the moment we’re born. We don’t become sexual beings once we get married. However, God’s design for sex is good and beautiful only when enjoyed in the right context.

Is thinking about sex a sin?

Healthy sexual desires are not wrong or sinful. They’re actually 100% normal. It’s normal for you, as a single person, to look forward to and be excited about enjoying God’s gifts of sexual intimacy within marriage. However, these good desires can quickly become sinful if we turn them into lust, or use them with the wrong person at the wrong time.

God created sex to be a binding force between a husband and wife to unite them as one in marriage (Mark 10:8).

This covenantal seal also comes with intentional blessings such as physical pleasure and the opportunity to bring new life into the world.

What does the Bible say about urges?

As Christians, we must have a strong understanding of God’s holy design for sex if we’re going to handle our own sexual desires in the right way. I encourage you to read another post I wrote called “Why I Chose to Save Sex for Marriage” to help you build a strong biblical foundation.

2. Prepare for Battle

As a single person, your sexual desires may be a normal part of God’s design, but they can also be the largest area for temptation. The battle for purity is real, and it’s an intense one. We live in a culture that has totally perverted God’s design for sex and pressures us to “join in on the fun.”

Yes, the world tries to lure us into its perversion, but the battle for purity begins within the walls of our hearts. James 1:14 says, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”

Our heart is sinful and is constantly trying to carry us away and entice us towards lust.

We need to recognize our own bent toward sexual sin and prepare ourselves for this battle. We won’t win unless we’re proactively striving after holiness, purity, and a passion for God’s glory.

Related: The Best Way to Block Porn (It Isn’t What You Think)

The best place to start is by spending time worshipping the true and living God every day. Get in His word and allow His truth to transform your thinking. Pray every morning (and throughout the day) asking God to help you love His holiness more than you love yourself. Don’t let the battle of sexual temptation take you by surprise.

3. Make the Choice to Fight or Flee

As you live your daily life in the sinful world, you will undoubtedly come face-to-face with sexual temptation. For example, you might be innocently shopping for something online when a sensual ad pops up. You didn’t seek it out. You weren’t even looking for it. But there it is.

Or you may simply be trying to fall asleep one night when your mind is suddenly bombarded with sexual thoughts. You’re instantly tempted to dwell on these thoughts in your mind.

What does the Bible say about sexual urges?

Sexual temptation comes in all shapes and sizes and often doesn’t give us a lot of warning.

When sexual temptations hit you have two options. You can either (A) Fight it, or (B) Flee from it.

A: Fight it. Fighting needs to happen when you can’t physically get away from it. 

You can’t physically escape a sexual thought in your head, so you need to choose to fight against it. You can’t escape driving through a city with sexualized billboards, but you can choose to fight it by not looking at them.

God will help you fight your temptations–you are not alone.

1 Corinthians 10:13 offers us that powerful promise: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

B. Flee from it. The next best way to fight it is to simply flee. 

This is a great option! This looks like you physically removing yourself from the temptation. If a movie turns south, turn it off. Don’t keep watching it. If your friends start talking about inappropriate things, leave the conversation. If that phone app is tempting you towards lust, get rid of it.

Don’t wait around hoping to be “strong enough.” Get away from the temptation. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

4. Make Victory Easier

Fighting the battle of lust in our hearts is already difficult without added temptation. I can’t encourage you enough to set yourself up for success by removing as much sexual temptation from your life as possible. This means pitching sexualized computer games, saying no to raunchy magazines like Cosmo, deleting impure or sensual phone apps, saying no to impure movies, turning off that sensual song, etc. You get the idea.

If you desire purity and holiness, you must battle for it. It doesn’t come naturally. Get rid of extra temptation and make victory easier to accomplish. Installing Screen Accountability through Covenant Eyes is always a great idea.

I pray those four points are helpful to you as you strive to handle your sexual desires in a God-honoring way.

I know it’s hard. I know it’s a battle. But with God’s help, and strategic planning on your part, you can steer your sexual desires in a God-honoring direction.


Editor’s note: We’ve received quite a few follow-up questions to this post. Here are a few more thoughts shared by someone who was single into his mid-30s.

How to Control Sexual Desires Before Marriage

Many Christian singles wish they could turn off sexual desire like a switch until it’s time for marriage. We can’t control our desires like that. However, the Bible teaches that truly liberating self-control comes through the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23). It’s also a discipline (2 Peter 1:6). As you practice what Kristen recommends, both fighting and fleeing, you will learn that sexual desires do not have to be overpowering. You can desire sex without being controlled by that desire.

How to Release Sexual Tension When You Are Single

A second question I often hear is, “What about sexual tension? Where can I find relief when I’m already aroused?” If you’re following God’s plan, then you will likely experience unresolved sexual tension at times. I certainly did.

However, turning to porn is not the answer! Instead, as you learn to discipline your mind to avoid dwelling on sexual thoughts and sexually tempting content, the tension will decrease. By the time I reached my 30s, I learned to discipline my eyes and to speak to an ally if I was struggling with lust. Consequently, I did not experience nearly as much sexual tension as I did in my 20s.


  1. Bill Schwan

    I have been married for more than three decades and for all that time e I have seen the expression singles need to find a healthy way to express their sexuality. Maybe I’m missing something, but what are those ways? No one ever goes the next step and says what they are. I am familiar with one way as I Am sure most singles feel there is one way to express that part of themselves. Before I got married that was the only way I ever imagined that could be expressed in a healthy way. So what are these ways that no one seems willing to explain?

    • DG

      I’m a 33 year old woman, never dated, and currently still single. I have struggled with masturbation since I was a teenager. After I talked to my mom about it and we prayed, I didn’t struggled so much for many years. But recently, the past couple years I have faced defeat after defeat. When I research biblical answers from teachers like Focused on the Family, I get mixed opinions. Of course, it’s something my flesh desires so I am constantly looking for loop holes although I know it’s wrong. I am tired of guilt and shame and violating God’s design. I’m at a loss…I don’t know what to do. I could really use a good mentor and accountability partner but one has been really hard to find.

    • Moriah Bowman

      Hi DG,

      Are you plugged into a church? I have found that it can be difficult to find a mentor if I am not actively part of a church. Many churches even have ministries devoted specifically to this!

      I will be praying that you are able to find a mentor or ally soon. Do not give up!
      Blessings,
      Moriah

  2. Tafadzwa Chipuriro you have well said and to my beloved friends in the Lord, there is hope. My rescue to this issue of masturbation started when I began to read God’s Word, Prayed and read other anointed books . I’m a single young guy whose sexual desire is high but I count it as a good thing.This my story for short. I never got to stop masturbating suddenly, but I never gave up studying God’s Word and praying along the line. So don’t think you can stop it all of a sudden,with time the desire reduces and with time it fades away. God’s Word truly liberates along side with prayers consistently. It took me months studying God’s word, (please take note: I fell several times during the process, but I never stopped studying) with time I gained wisdom on how to overcome temptations like masturbation. God’s word gave me wisdom and prayers gave me power to overcome this desire(it is real). That doesn’t mean I don’t have the sexual desire anymore, of course I’m a human being,but when it comes and at that point in time, God’s word is my defence and wisdom becomes my power. For you to overcome this issue of sexual immorality, you must of a necessity FEAR GOD. If you fear God, you will keep His words. In everything I disciplined myself, God’s grace helped me in all. You must choose to discipline yourself with God’s word, if you want to seriously stop this bad habits. I avoided all sexual contents, social media for sometime(a long time), prayed daily to God(this was my prayer;Power to live a righteous life, Might to overcome all trials and temptations, divine strength to sustain me living a righteous life, oh Lord God grant me), never ceased to keep studying God’ word even till now. Our world now is not helping at all, everything about sex and its contents are now being exposed, even to the extent you can personally download nudes. I do not encourage anyone who wishes to stop indulging in sexual immorality to watch porn and its related contents. I must warn you, porn leads to addiction and this addiction trapes you(this is not godly at all). The first thing to do to disengage from all sexual immorality is avoid watching porn. I beg you to stop. I write from my own personal experience. It’s been long now I masturbated and I’m telling you the ways I took to do that. So hate porns. Secondly I disconnected from friends who engaged in such acts, they won’t help you make progress. So change your environment by changing your friends. I got a wisdom from God, this is the wisdom, “it is a good thing to stay alone seeking God, than to mingle with bad friends and seek God, it will lead to nowhere” and another wisdom I got is “it is a better thing to keep good company and seek God. When you are down, they will lift you up”. So I acted on that. At that stage, before that time I use to masturbate every two days( 3 or 4 days in a week) and going about 2 to 3 times a day but it dropped to two days in a week( just for one time). I never stopped it suddenly, but there was a change along the process. Don’t hate yourself for this. You might feel guilty that’s okay. But don’t stop trying. I never settled for that 2 days still. I pressed on reading more of God’s word, I was also strengthed by reading other anointed spiritual books written by proven men of God. I read until I got to a point where I never masturbated again, anytime, anyday. I wish I could share that knowledge here but private conversation would have been better. There’s so much to know, so much to learn. Self control must be daily applied and above everything else, every battle starts from the mind. Your mind is your battlefield. With much Knowledge of God’s word, self control, discipline, prayers, you will win. My own weakness turned out to be my own testimony to strengthen others facing this. To all that has prayed to God for this to stop, God has not forsaken you. The love of God surpasses even the worst thing we can do. Don’t ever feel God has forgotten you. This is for those that are addicted to pornography, stop watching it. Stop. How best can I write this? It is a trap from the devil I must say. Stop, by all means stop. If you have to masturbate without it, do it. Learn to masturbate without it. But don’t stop there. Just as I have written from the beginning, you can’t stop it once, it takes time. So follow what I have written so far. Devote yourself to God and read books, seriously read books and greatly pray. To those that are not addicted, just stop looking at any sexual content that will arouse your sexual desire. Allow God’s wisdom to lead you and His power to sustain you. Read books and pray so much. Don’t stop praying, don’t stop studying, untill you are free from this, don’t stop. Remember do not think masturbation, replace it with the thoughts of God’s word. God Almighty our Father of great love and mercy see us through and by His Grace keep us and sustain us. Amen

  3. Tafadzwa Chipuriro

    That is helpful. If we feed ourselves with the word, keep it in our hearts and posesse wisdom from Jehovah to fight against any temptation, we will achieve a great deal. Consider checking out my website about obedience to the word of God, https://obedience.cw.center
    In whatever we do let’s know that the easiest way to apply for disaster is the refusal to follow instructions. Let us be obedient to the word of God and keep the teachings of Jesus Christ in our hearts.

  4. Banzai

    Agree with comment above. I’m 36, female, never had sex because growing up in the church taught me to think it was a sin. Yes, I put my career ahead of my personal life and didn’t have much sexual interest until my late 20s. Now there aren’t any Christian men left, nevermind Christian men who are still virgins, or who would be OK with me wanting to wait until marriage.

    I feel I wasted my life and now I’ll be single forever. I have strong sexual desires now. Does a loving God really want me to struggle with this for the rest of my life? Because I’m gonna. I admit I came on here looking for an excuse, looking for someone to tell me it’s OK to sleep with the man who is showing interest in me now. He won’t wait. So I read this, and now feel I must tell him no, and he’ll go away, as they all do. And I remain alone.

  5. Eric

    These are my recommended resources for people struggling in this area.

    Whatever–Michael Houellebecq
    The Elementary Particles-Michel Houellebecq
    Platform–Michel Houellebecq
    (All of Houellebecq’s books are great but those are the best places to start)

    Sexual Utopia In Power- F Roger Devlin
    Has Marriage For Love Failed? – Pascal Bruckner

  6. Anonymous

    Excellent question. I really wish i had an answer for that one. But unfortunately the women today are a lot different from the past making love very hard to find for so many of us single guys now.

  7. Thank you so much for this article, it was very honest and true. God bless you.

  8. Eric

    Anyone who thinks that praying and reading the Bible is the remedy for sexual desire just doesn’t get it. Desire for sexual intimacy is specifically a desire for an embodied intimacy. Praying and Bible reading is contemplation. Sexual activity is embodied action. Totally opposite categories.

    Reading through all these comments is kind of saddening. Something clearly isn’t working if this many people are struggling over this. It just isn’t natural or just to mandate that every unmarried person act like they’re asexual. It all sounds so reasonable when you’re a teenager and you think that you’ll get married in a couple years. When you’re 30 and still aren’t married then it begins to ring hollow. It’s time for the Church to reassess things.

    • Kay Bruner

      Thanks, Eric. I think you’re right: purity culture with its disdain for the body has failed the church in every way. It’s definitely time for new understandings of healthy sexuality.

  9. womanofgod88

    Hi. I’m 29 years old and I have been saved for about 9 years. I haven’t had sexual intercourse for about the same amount of years. I have made other mistakes outside of that and still have my struggles from time to time and have sincerely repented of it. God created sex for a reason. I think of it as a form of worship from the Lord between a man and a woman when they get married. It’s glorifying him and not your flesh when it’s in a marriage. When you have it outside of marriage it brings no glory or honor to him just your own sinful and selfish desire to do things your way. There is nothing wrong with having that desire. God gave it to us for a reason. It’s a matter of what we do with those desires he gave us that will still respect ourselves and God and still give him glory in and through that. Self control is important in a marriage. If you can’t manage yes if you are in the position to get married, meaning you are taking those steps are in the process of marrying someone and you are struggling and you and God are on one accord with this choice… by all means get married. It is better to marry than burn with lust. That’s what Paul was talking about in the Bible. He didn’t mean get married just to have sex. But if you and your soon to be spouse are struggling it’s better to be safe than to continue to burn with that desire and not continue in sin. God is able to do the supernatural in our ways we view things. We aren’t able .. or we can’t live without.. God is able he understands our needs. But we are let God be dominion over our sexual desires so he can carry us through even during those hard times. God knows our NEEDS. What we TRULY NEED. And if it’s in alignment with his will he will make it happen in his timing. This is including a spouse. God will send the right person in his timing not ours. If it is his will. The one thing I have continue to learn about God is that he knows what’s best for us. And his timing is the always the best timing. He knows and he understands. Peace ✌🏿

    • Kamzy

      Sex is not worship. If sex was worship it would have been a good thing to do in church or in heaven. Nothing that defiles will enter heaven. There are gods that are worshipped with sex but not our God.

      I feel our sexual struggles are personal, each person will have to discover his or her own strength through them. Just as personal as our sexual struggles are, even solutions are personal. There is no universal solution for everyone’s sexual struggles, we all have to learn ourselves through them and find what God wants us to know about ourselves through it all.

      Fight on, feel frustrated, feel ashamed but never give up until you find what that best solution is that works for you. I’m not saying when you find it you shouldn’t share, you should share. There is a lot that other people will learn from your experience.

  10. Favour

    Thank you so much ma , I really appreciate this post , first of all for sharing your own personal expfaverience it encourages me a lot knowing that someone as passed through what am struggling with. And the counsel you gave are really powerful and insightful , thank you so much ma ( Kristen Clark ) ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related in Defeat Lust & Pornography

Editor's Picks

A young man with bowed head praying over his Bible.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Killing the Dragon: My Struggle With Sexual Sin

The war that I have been waging against my flesh has been…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

An open drawer with a phone in it.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Making This One Simple Sacrifice Will Help You Eliminate Porn

Sometimes the answers to our questions are simpler than we would like.…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A father teaching the Bible to his teenage son.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

God’s Grace Set Me Free From Pornography

I had never had capabilities on any device (to my knowledge) to…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Reading Romance Novels: Is It Porn?

I encountered an influencer who shared a few verses on what the…

5 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A man praying outside on a park bench.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Pride and Porn: The Risk of Overestimating Your Willpower

These days, we’re often told to believe in ourselves, build our self-esteem,…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Teenage boy using the computer alone.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Not a Single Person in the World Knew About My Addiction

Everyone has heard pornography called an addiction, but not everyone understands what…

2 minute read

Read Post

Related in Defeat Lust & Pornography

A young man with bowed head praying over his Bible.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Killing the Dragon: My Struggle With Sexual Sin

The war that I have been waging against my flesh has been…

The war that I have been waging against my flesh has been going on for around six years now. The story of how that war began and how I came to faith in Jesus Christ…

4 minute read

0 comments

An open drawer with a phone in it.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Making This One Simple Sacrifice Will Help You Eliminate Porn

Sometimes the answers to our questions are simpler than we would like.…

Sometimes the answers to our questions are simpler than we would like. When I’m eating ice cream and cake late at night and begin googling “secrets to getting lean and jacked fast,” I’m looking for…

4 minute read

0 comments

A father teaching the Bible to his teenage son.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

God’s Grace Set Me Free From Pornography

I had never had capabilities on any device (to my knowledge) to…

I had never had capabilities on any device (to my knowledge) to look up pornography until I was 16 years old, when my parents, younger brother, and I moved to the Middle East. Because of…

4 minute read

0 comments

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Reading Romance Novels: Is It Porn?

I encountered an influencer who shared a few verses on what the…

I encountered an influencer who shared a few verses on what the Bible tells us we should turn away from. She brought several verses to her followers’ attention, including Hebrews 13:4. “Marriage should be honored…

5 minute read

0 comments

A man praying outside on a park bench.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Pride and Porn: The Risk of Overestimating Your Willpower

These days, we’re often told to believe in ourselves, build our self-esteem,…

These days, we’re often told to believe in ourselves, build our self-esteem, and take pride in our abilities and accomplishments. But this pride might be what undermines our ability to deal with deeply ingrained struggles—like…

4 minute read

0 comments

Teenage boy using the computer alone.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Not a Single Person in the World Knew About My Addiction

Everyone has heard pornography called an addiction, but not everyone understands what…

Everyone has heard pornography called an addiction, but not everyone understands what that means. It’s not like a substance addiction, where you start to feel physical effects. It’s not like a sugar addiction, where you…

2 minute read

0 comments