Sex and the Single Mom by Jennifer Maggio

Yep, I’m going there. There’s no sense in pretending the subject does not exist, so… buckle up.

I recently came across a website that INFURIATED me. In fact, that is probably a serious understatement. Since my life’s passion is single moms, I am always researching single parent topics. I happened upon an article regarding sex and singles. I would not dare give you the name of the site, because I will not give them the satisfaction of multiple hits. But here is what the meat of the article said, loosely translated,

“My name is Sally. I am single. I have been for some time. I am also a Christian. I have been for some time. And I am sexually active. I have been for some time. God created sex. Sex is good. And since no normal human being would be able to abstain for any length of time anyway (and God really does not expect us to), I know God will forgive me. I’m going for it and you should do the same.”

The lengthy article sparked quite the controversy. I almost chimed in with the hundreds of other comments and voiced my outrage, but quickly knew that it would fall on deaf ears and she wrote that article (and many like it) for that exact reason.

80% of the country identifies themselves as Christian, so why is it that none of us talk about this subject? Christians follow God’s written word as their life’s instruction book – The Bible. The Bible is more than clear on its principles regarding sex.

1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does…” There are dozens and dozens of Scriptures that outline God’s word for how sex is supposed to happen. Sex is good. It IS right. But only within God’s plan for our lives.

This is not new news for most of us. We’ve heard it before. But have you ever wondered why God puts such a difficult “don’t” on our list? Have you ever thought, like the woman above, that this was a ridiculous measure for which no one could ever live up to? That ain’t right how God won’t let us have any fun, huh? Well let me tell you what “ain’t right”…

– Suicides among teen girls

– Sexually transmitted diseases affect millions

– AIDS in still an incurable disease

– Millions of babies have been killed through abortion, because moms cannot afford to or do not see how they could care for them.

– 50% of babies are born outside marriage today, which leads to single parenting. Single parenting among those under 25 is most often associated with lower income rates, higher high school drop out rates, suicide, depression, and abuse.

Those are the facts. (For exact citations, refer to The Church and the Single Mom by Jennifer Maggio). That does not even broach the subject of giving oneself over sexually to another and how the emotions tie in or the broken hearts that follow

Let me challenge you with this idea. As a parent, when we tell our 7-year-old not to play in the street, is it because we do not want him to have any fun playing kickball with his friends? Are we just plain ol’ mean parents? No, of course not. It is because we understand the potential danger that our precious seven-year-old could experience and we want to protect him — EVEN IF HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND WHY. The exact same is true for Christians. Our Heavenly Father does not want to hinder joy in our lives, but He does want to protect us from potential harm.

And before you decide that I am some rigid, unbending, beat-you-over-the-head-with-the-Bible, finger-pointing, judgemental Christian, let me stop you. I WAS some of those statistics. I was sexually active at thirteen, pregnant four times by nineteen, and dabbled in sexual promiscuity for years thereafter, living in poverty, depression, abuse, and more. I have lived it and seen first-hand the devastation it causes.

Today, as I work full-time with single parents, I have seen hundreds of young teens walk through the most difficult seasons of their lives because they did not wait. I’ve seen thousands of single moms struggle emotionally and financially, because they did not wait. I’ve seen the trickle affect that this one simple concept (or lack thereof) has had on our economy, emotional well-being, and spiritual growth.

And before my inbox is flooded with countless emails, let me be clear. Everyone has their list of issues they are working on. (I know I sure do). No one thing is greater than the other. I am not saying this is just a single parent problem, obviously, but my passion is for helping the single parent live a better life.

Before you embark on one more meaningless sexual relationship that could very well leave you more emotionally broken, more financially broken, and more spiritually broken, think about its effects and know that there is great freedom in simply waiting for the right one.

Jennifer Maggio is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on single parent issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who travels the country sharing her riveting story of homelessness, severe abuse, and multiple teen pregnancies. She has appeared on countless radio and television programs, and she is founder of the global nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

2016-10-17T16:13:21+00:00 August 5th, 2013|Jennifer Maggio|14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Stephanie Grey August 5, 2013 at 1:54 am - Reply

    You have made such a great point and hope Christians realize Gods Word comes first because He wants what is healthy and best for our lives. I left my abusive husband in 2009 and I chose to be celibate because it’s what God wants formy life. My ex also. cheated on me and he abused her also. I have such peace and God gives me strength each day. There is joy in serving God while I wait on Him . God bless!

  2. Brenna September 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    If more churches were willing to tackle this particular topic – and tackle it honestly rather than watering it down – maybe there wouldn’t be such a need in this country for single mom ministries to begin with – because there wouldn’t be so many teenage pregnancies, unwed mothers, and divorces due to sexual sin, at least within the church community. Prevention is the best medicine after all.

    And not only do we need to teach our young girls the value of waiting until marriage, we also need to teach them how to look for signs in the men they date that maybe he’s not a guy who’s going to stay in a marriage for the long haul.

    • TLSMSTAFF September 26, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      Hi Brenna, thanks for sharing your thoughts. We agree awareness of the issues you referenced should be addressed in church. At The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, we work with a number of pregnancy prevention and marriage-forever initiatives, as well as work to empower women to know their complete worth in Christ. However, saying that if the church taught more on the subject would eradicate the problem wouldn’t be a fair statement. In other words, if the church teaches against lying or stealing, does that mean there will no longer be liars or thieves? Of course not. We all fall short of God’s glory. At TLSM Ministries, we recognize that single parenthood does exist and that the 15 million women in our country who are parenting alone, for a variety of reasons, do need encouragement, fellowship, and connection to the local body of Christ.

  3. Ann-Gela January 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I am late in coming across this article and I realize that my comment may go unread. First, let me say thank you for this article. When i married my husband we were celibate until our wedding night. But, our marriage ended after he cheated, got the woman pregnant, and decided to leave our marriage to start a new family with the other woman. After my divorce, I was emotional and spiritually wounded. Therefore, I was fed up with the idea of celibacy, as it didn’t get me anywhere but a broken heart, etc. so, I got into a relationship and made the choice to be sexual out of rebellion. Needless to say, that was too a disaster. So, now I know better and realize that our times of “fun” in bed were not so fun that I raising a child alone.
    Second, Breana’s comment about single mom’s ministries. Her views reflect the views of many church-goers who feel that by ignoring single moms, you are not celebrating us sinful ladies who couldn’t keep our legs close or use a crystal ball to determine that our marriage would last forever. Of course, this is why many single moms do not attend church because they are made to feel “unworthy” and “disgusting”.

  4. Laura Connell January 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this! I have been a single mom for 4 years and celibate for almost that long (I became a Christian less than 2 years ago). Since I have abstained, my confidence has increased, my body image issues have dissolved and I have drawn closer to Christ. I know this is His perfect plan for me and I am delighted to avoid consequences like unplanned pregnancy, STDs and emotional ups and downs that would surely affect my children. I, too, thought at one time that abstinence was “impossible” but trust me it’s not. It is totally and completely worth it. I am so happy to be pure in Him!

  5. Joanna January 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Here we go, with the unwed mother guilt trip. I’m sorry I picked a sin that has visible ramifications (being a single parent). It would be easier to have lied or cheated, where the consequences (if any) would have been less conspicuous and fewer clicking tongues would be heard.

    To be honest, I am THANKFUL to have conceived, regardless of the circumstances. My child is still a gift. We don’t need anyone’s pity.

    There are women who wait, then marry and can’t conceive. Then there are women who wait … and never find someone. While I was still a sinner, God still gave me a gigantic blessing from it (my child). I’m now more motivated to follow God because I want to be a good mom.

  6. Amanda April 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you for writing this article. I think as a divorcee who came out of a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship, it was hard for me to say no when someone found me attractive- it became addictive after being ignored for half my life. I WISH the church I attended then had a single mom ministry. I needed it. I sought it, I wanted to say no- I wanted to be strong and be celibate. But for many years I failed. It’s easy to slip back into that role you play as the “wife”.
    Again- thank you for addressing this issue!! I wish more churches would give single moms(and dads) the tools and support we need in order to remain celibate.

  7. dennise perri July 2, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Ashley…..I can so identify!!!!
    Thank you for being so hold in sharing yourstory.
    Mine is ssimilar. I still carry shame and guilt….but God is good….and I am thankful the He is a God of redemption.
    Single-parenthood is a very long and lonely road to walk down. The idea of someone desiring you after such a long time can be so overwhelming……that judgements definitely can get clouded.
    So glad this article showed up in my news feed on FB. Fantastic read.

  8. Onalise July 2, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for speaking the truth in love. What a great article!
    Blessings,

  9. Mom of 3 July 2, 2014 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Thank for posting. There is always going to be a need for the church to have singles ministries. One of the previous comments spoke about prevention, which is great. The Bible should be preached without being watered down, but whether or not abstinence is taught, there will always be single mothers. We live in a sinful society and single parent families need ministering to more than others.. A lot are unchurched because they are guilty b/c they feel like their marriage failed. Maybe they were never married at all. But as Christians, we should be loving these people and sharing Jesus. We know that our God is a father to the fatherless. But how will these children that are raised in single parent homes ever know that, if the church does not embrace and love their parents. This was a great article. Thanks again.

  10. Angie July 8, 2014 at 8:57 am - Reply

    I pray for your peace and your freedom from guilt and shame. I think you are harboring guilt and shame inwardly, therefore you see it reflected outwardly. We tend to wear the badge of a mistake much longer than we should. And when we commit a sexual sin, we turn ourselves into sexual zombies as punishment and repayment for the sin. So, as a woman who’s been there let me say this.
    1. Celibacy is great, but don’t commit to a live of aloneness out of punishment. Believe that you will love again and allow God to heal you so that love will find you! Quit believing that you Are some “bad girl” who deserves to be alone forever .
    2. As a single mom, I don’t see how driving 3 hours each way for church is a good or godly thing? You are spending gas, time, energy. I’m sure that wears you OUT! ( how do the kids behave for such a long drive, then sit through service?) Again, it seems like you are running from something, but that something is within (guilt & shame).
    Be free my sister in the name of Jesus! Walk with God and walk with your head held high! As soon as you Believe that you are worthy of respect, you will find others treating you as such, and/or you will find that you no longer care about the opinions of others.

  11. Denise July 23, 2014 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    I am a single mom who has been a single mom for over 13 years. I was celeibate for most of those years but have engaged in a sexual relationship over the past 4 or 5 years. it is ocasional but I would encourage anyone to wait. God was faithful to me the years past but I was so lonely and experienced the death of 4 imediate family members in a short span of time 2 of them very sudden and unexpected and I turned to him who has been my friend for 10 years. It is hard to walk away but each day God gives me the strength and one day soon I will be completely free. He s not a believer and I am which poses it own set of issues but I know God to be a faithful God in delivering me from the situation. Thanks for the platform to share!

  12. J August 10, 2015 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Thank you! I really needed this message! I have been struggling and resenting the fact that I am a single mom for a while. God Bless you and your family!

  13. Kristen Smith March 23, 2016 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    I just discovered this website and I feel so blessed to have read the above article! Thank you so much for being willing to shine a light on an issue that desperately needs to be addressed. So many single parents struggle with this very important topic. In fact, I have never met one that hasn’t, at one time or another. This would be including myself. The loneliness of trying to parent children alone can leave many women very vulnerable to sexually inappropriate relationships that only lead to more pain and heartbreak, whether if be with Christian or non-Christian men. A lot of single mothers just simply don’t have anyone to confide in when they have made a mistake or may have entered into a relationship that has started to cross the line sexually. So therefore they keep it all inside. Some may even start to pull away from church altogether as a result of it.

    I’m writing from the North Shore of Massachusetts, where we don’t have any ministries for single mothers.This is an issue that I have been working to address for years with our pastors and religious leaders.Believe it or not, with some of the wealthiest churches in Massachusetts, we also have some of the highest numbers of homeless women and children in the state, which of course is a separate issue altogether. However, I just wanted to thank you again for your article–I will be sharing it with others. Maybe on the facebook pages of some of our North Shore churches! I actually write a blog about this called homelessinmassachusetts.blogspot.com

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