I was a virgin until I was 22 years old and entered into a 10-month relationship with a college classmate. When that relationship ended, I gave my life to Christ and returned to celibacy. Now, I’m 42, have never been married, am still celibate, and finding it increasingly difficult to maintain sexual integrity.
My own mother makes things worse because she is always telling me to “go find someone you have feelings for and do it,” after all, “God knows we’re not perfect.” But Romans 6:1 warns me not to sin more so that God’s grace may abound more. And the Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 7:9 that if one burns with lust, get married. Well, I’m on fire and God has not sent me a man. I don’t even care about having kids; I just want companionship. Consequently, I’ve spent the past two decades praying that He either sends me a godly, marriage-minded man (who I’m physically attracted to, has a job, and doesn’t drink or do drugs) or that God shuts down my hormones entirely so that I’m asexual. Seriously.
For the record, before the COVID lockdowns, I was active in the church and have been since becoming a Christian 20 years ago. Even during the worst times of my life, I volunteered. I also traveled when I could afford it, so it’s not a matter of “putting myself out there.” Moreover, I cook at home several times a week, have excellent hygiene, and only have about 15 pounds left to lose. I’m no supermodel, but I work with what I’ve got. I say all of this because I have no idea why I’m still single. Is it because of my political leanings? (I’m a conservative.) My race? (I’m black and have always been willing to date interracially.) That I don’t wear short skirts/dresses and stilettos? (I prefer ankle-length hemlines, kitten heels, flats, sneakers, and jeans.)
I honestly don’t know why I’m writing to you, but I hope that you reply anyway.
—Frustrated Single Celibate, Maryland
Dear Frustrated Single Celibate,
I think it is commendable that you have remained true to your principles in a day and age when chastity is not valued—and is even scorned. I think this demonstrates integrity that a future husband would really value.
I also think that when we allow physical urges to guide us to go against our values, this can lead to feelings of failure, lack of self-worth, and depression. Conversely, when we overcome physical temptation, our will becomes stronger and we are more capable of carrying forth our mission in life.
But it sounds like this is has been going on for a while and you are more than ready for a husband!
Have you tried signing up for any Christian dating sites?
Your politics and race might deter some men but certainly not the one you want to be with so I would not worry about this.
Regarding dress and possible other shortfalls, I would recommend you take a look at the book “Fascinating Womanhood.” This book was published by a Christian wife and mother in the 1960s and in it she outlines qualities that make a wife fascinating—mysterious and attractive—to her husband and secure his genuine love. The book also points out common ways in which women unconsciously push their husbands away. She also wrote a version for unmarried women called “The Fascinating Girl,” which I have not read but might also be helpful in your situation. One of the issues she discusses is dress and has recommendations for how to be modest but also feminine (stilettos and miniskirts are definitely not required!).
Also a thought about children: Even if you don’t want your own, how would you feel about marrying a man who has children? If you are willing to be a stepmother this might open up your dating field but if the thought of children in the mix does not appeal or you are unsure, it would be good to be very honest about this.
Lastly, until you find him, I suggest not watching or reading romantic scenes as this kind of imagery will probably make your present situation more difficult.
I’m a young, stay-at-home mom, living far away from my family in Europe. It often gets very hard and lonely not having family support around or to have grandparents for my son. Please what you would advise to overcome loneliness and create a loving home for my son even though it’s exhausting and lonely at times. Thank you!
Engela P., New York
Caring for a young child all day can certainly be lonely, especially this year during lockdown restrictions, and video calls with family don’t replace their actual presence.
One idea to allow grandparents to interact with your young son is to them send photos of his books so they can read to him. This way, he will not be focused on the screen and you can have 10–15 minutes of kid-free time to get something done or just relax.
I would also suggest spending time with friends and as much (and safely) you can while still keeping things at home in balance. It might help if you combine visits with some sort of household chore such as mending.
Also, I would try getting outdoors at least twice a day even if the second time is not very long. This is good for your state of mind, and as young boys thrive on vigorous physical play, it can help your son maintain good behavior. You may need to encourage him to do something really physical such as running as fast as he can to a certain point, rolling down a hill, playing ball, or biking. Setting a goal and admiring his efforts can make this a lot of fun for him, as you see him test his limits and become more skilled. You don’t need to do this for overly long, 15 minutes may be enough.
Also outdoors, if there are any physical chores such as hauling or digging, let him do as much as he can. And noticing what is taking place in the natural world can be an engaging and quieter outdoor activity after he’s burned off some energy.
Another thing to consider is maintaining a hobby or two, including ones that can be done in the presence of your son, such as knitting or baking. Hobbies can give you something to look forward to. You could also combine this with activities to connect with family, such as making gifts or writing letters.
Community service can also be an uplifting way to spend your time.
I also recommend creating a structure to your day that includes times you focus solely on him. This can really help keep things operating when you feel lonely and not fully present. Celebrating holidays with traditions from your childhood can help lend a structure to the year and also give you something to look forward to.
And lastly, it might help to create daily affirmations that remind you of what an important job you are doing.
Do you have a family or relationship question for our advice columnist, Dear June? Send it to DearJune@EpochTimes.com or Attn: Dear June, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001.
June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.