In a world searching for the latest and best ways to have sex, virginity has become an embarrassment.

This is to be expected in a society that preaches pleasure, but not in the church where virtue is assumed but not taught. Books abound on sex for married Christians, but little exists (which is not simplistic and insulting to anyone of average intelligence and normal desires) for the unmarried Christian. After all, people reason, what is there to write about abstaining? Sex is seen as a fulfillment; virginity, as a vacuum.

But it had better be more than that, especially for us single women who, Parade magazine claims, outnumber marriageable men by 7.3 million in the United States. And most of the available ones are not in church. So unless we disobey God outright by marrying a non-Christian, let’s face it: many of us will never marry.

I’ve yet to hear this fact bluntly stated at any singles seminar I’ve ever attended. The thought of celibacy frightens us, and we avoid it. Single women store up treasures in a hope chest. Single men squirrel away dollars for a house or condo. Well-meaning friends tell us to believe God for a mate. But God doesn’t promise us that we will ever marry. He promises us himself.

But who is really teaching us how to know this God of immeasureable tenderness and gentleness who can help us, especially at night when many lonely singles experience the claw-down-the-walls variety of sexual temptations? Although God is not afraid to talk to us about sex, most people in the church are. I feel that most married couples presume that singles live some magical, sexless existence. The subject isn’t even brought up until, say, two months after marriage.

Church, wake up. Your average single Christian is quite sexually ...

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