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Defeat Lust & Pornography 3 minute read

Why won’t God take my sexual desire away?

Last Updated: February 21, 2014

My name is Patricia Weerakoon, and I am a Christian sexologist. After 23 years in the University of Sydney, I retired from my academic position as director of a graduate program in sexual health to bring my twin passions together: God and Sex.

What better place to start than with sexual desire. Let’s look at a real life problem.

A letter from Harry, a 20-year-old single male: “I find it so hard to control my desires. I wish God would just take it away—at least till he sends me the girl I am to marry.”

take my sexual desire away

What is sexual desire?

Sexual desire (sex drive, libido) is a testosterone fuelled drive deep in the emotional system of our brain. It is powered by a cocktail of neurochemicals (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Sexual desire is a drive—an urge for sex. It is a fairly non-specific appetite, and we can appease it with a variety of sexual activities, from fantasy to intercourse and masturbation.

It kicks in at puberty. There’s no getting away from it. And, since the testosterone levels in boys are about ten times higher than girls, boys do have a higher sex drive.

This is the main reason Harry is all turned on: it’s biological.

In our teens and early twenties, we have a unique brain situation: bubbling sexuality with low control. This is because the cognitive decision making frontal and parietal cerebral cortex matures at a much slower rate than the emotional sexual parts of the brain. The control systems don’t complete till the mid-twenties. The teen brain is very much still under construction for adult life.

So 20-year-old Harry, like most other guys his age, struggles with this disjunction.

What turns our desire on?

Once testosterone sets the scene, the stimulus that turns on sexual desire varies from one individual to another. In the rapidly developing teen brain, stuff that is fed into it will determine what turns a person on sexually. The nerve cells at this age are in an active state of establishing connections, wiring and rewiring.

Pornography will set up Pornified circuits. In a young man it will lead to his seeing women as sexual commodities. Turned on by the super-sexualized images, his spiking desire will crave for the rapid and instant orgasmic high of masturbation. He has pushed down his still developing control mechanisms. A voluptuous body and the hint of lace lingerie send his desire chemicals raging. Maybe this is Harry?

Is it any wonder that the apostle Paul advises the Philippians (4:8): “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Harry would do well to follow this.

Why doesn’t God just ‘take it away’?

Sex and the sex drive (or desire) is part of our created body. In Genesis 1 and 2 we read that we humans are created male and female and together given the command to procreate and fill the earth. Procreation needs sexual intercourse. And sexual desire kicks off the sexual response of arousal and consummation.

We need sexual desire. God made it powerful for a purpose. Sexual desire will make Harry look for a woman whom he could marry in that wonderful one-flesh-naked-and-no-shame relationship (Genesis 2:24-25).

But sex comes with a handle-with-care warning. We are warned repeatedly by the lover in the Song of Songs (2:7; 3:5; 8:4), “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” Watch out, she says, there is an appropriate time, place, and person. Harry needs to learn to control his sexual impulses till the appropriate time and place—marriage.

Marriage is the place for sexual intimacy. But we need to realize that marriage is more than sex. Marriage will bring a male and female into a relationship of one-flesh sexual intimacy; but sex as every other part of marriage will have thrilling highs and deep frustrating lows. Every couple needs to watch out for the temptation to idolize sex and marriage.

Waiting for a ‘soul mate’

Finally, Harry seems to be waiting for God to send him that special person to marry. The Bible gives us a couple of conditions for finding a marriage partner. Make sure your spouse is a Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14), of the opposite sex, and not a close relative.

Finding someone sexually attractive is one motivation to marry them. It shouldn’t be the only motivation—it should be coordinated with other desires, like wanting to care for them and bring up a family with them. But sexual desire is part of the “package” that motivates us to seek marriage in general, and marriage to one person in particular.

Today’s society is highly sexual, but postpones marriage. Puberty’s happening earlier and earlier, marriage later and later. So there’s this long time gap of feeling desire and not being able to consummate it in marriage.

God calls us to surrender our desires. It’s part of building Christian character and walking by the Spirit. We should view the challenge of managing our sexual desires as an opportunity to develop godly, healthy character and habits that please God and our good for us and the people around us: love God and neighbor.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/14511253@N04/4411497087

. . . .

Patricia WeerakoonPatricia Weerakoon is a medical doctor turned Sexologist and Writer. She is an evangelical Christian. She is married to Vasantha. Her son Kamal is a Presbyterian minister. As a Sexologist she has translated her passion to bring good holistic sexual health to all people into practical sex education, sex research and sex therapy.

  1. Dylan

    I am a 21 year old male. How do I handle my sexual lust problem if I do not want to get married? I notice a lot of people talking about saving themselves for marriage or “that one special person that God will bring to them”, but I have yet to see anyone talk about those of us who do not want to get married. I feel like our culture has made being in a sexual relationship (or, in the culture of the American Church, being married) too important. Paul, and the Gospel according to Matthew, make it clear that you do not have to be married to live a fulfilled life, and that it might even be better for me to remain single so that I can allocate more of my resources to serving God. I have chosen to lead a single life in order to focus on building my relationship with God and my community’s relationship with God. But I still have strong sexual urges and they cause great inconvenience to me, such as spending a lot of time masturbating and sometimes chatting erotically with people through online games. I want to love God and reveal my love for him through my lifestyle, but I feel like a failure to him in that department on a daily basis. Every day. How then should I handle this predicament in a Biblical manner?

    • Samantha Groll

      Hi Dylan,
      Thanks for sharing! That is a wonderful question, and you’re absolutely right: a lot of undue emphases is placed on sex in our culture, and on marriage in our churches. You don’t have to be married to be a whole person; God doesn’t love you any more or less as a single than He does as part of a couple, and you don’t have to have sex to be a whole person either. I would recommend starting with our ebook for singles. You may also find “Hobbies and Habbits” useful. An important thing to remember is that despite the fact that marriage and sex are extremely visible in our culture, you are not alone in your decision to remain single and serve God that way.

      I hope these resources help and that you find the answers you’re looking for!

      Blessings,
      Samantha

  2. Betty Best

    Hi Hunter, I am almost 80. I was widowed in my 40s.
    I’m not at all like your wife, I am just the opposite!
    I am understanding how you may feel. I have not heard of many women like me, so don’t really know how to curb the drives. Some kinds of exercise help, But not a lot. Am praying for your wife to “wake up and have some fun”
    MAY THE LORD GOD BLESS YOU IN EVERY💕 Way! ! ! 😉😁🎶

  3. DAVID BEAZLEY

    God created us by his design and purpose.Does he not want a relationship with us all on a personal and individual basis? Does he want us to trust him with all the problems we are powerless over?Is your God not big enough to handle all your needs?How is your relationship to him? are you wanting to fill your spirit or your ego? Is your ego demanding it be filled and are you thereby creating a Obsession that you can’t get rid of on your own? Have you come to God with it? Have you turned sincerely and begin to fill your spirit up first? Turn to God and fill that void with his love,get to know him better,redouble your efforts if need be,pray and meditate and wait for the answer to the lesson for your heart.If you believe you are Gods child then start Acting like it !

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