• Mica Montana Gray

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Updated: 2 days ago

*post migrated from medium*


As I’ve been dating, one of the things I have been confronted with a lot is the question of sex. Although I’ve been a Christian for a while, and I know that scripture points towards having sex only within a marriage, I have always known in my heart that I didn’t believe in that principle. I never shared that with anyone, because I didn’t feel that I could have a conversation with my peers without it becoming a debate or a conversation in which they tried to change my mind. It was simply that my heart was not connected to the principle. I know for some people that doesn’t matter, what the scripture says is what the scripture says, but for me it’s important that the scripture and my heart are aligned and it’s important for me to understand the spirit of the scripture as well as the words. I never want to be someone that does things just because it’s the ‘Christian’ thing to do. My issue with the principle was partly due to the fact that I had a lot of sex in my pre-Christian life and I felt I had gotten to a point of wholeness and so didn’t need to wait for ‘marriage’, but mostly because I didn’t believe in marriage itself - but I've never felt that there was space in Christian settings to express this fully.


We know from living in this world that there are plenty of loveless marriages and plenty of loveless Christian marriages, so I have never really cared about the act of marriage either within faith or outside of it and I have never believed that marriage is a more moral context because of that. The titles have never mattered to me, what I have come to treasure above that is the love and the quality of relationship.


Even just typing the word marriage has so far felt somewhat incorrect because I feel it invokes images of ceremony and status, not of lifestyle or relationship. Instead of ‘until marriage’ I want to say ‘until you decide on and commit to your life person’ because marriage to me is the commitment to walk through life beside another person. It’s not a financial decision, though there are of course financial benefits. It’s not a tactical decision, though of course doing life with other people is better than doing life alone. I respect the people that decide to base their marriages on those principles, but for me it is the decision to share life, to partner with someone in business, in ministry, in joy, in sorrow, in transformation.


It is the commitment to push each other into the greatest spiritual development of Christ-likeness available. It is the commitment to recreate the eternal image and activity of God in the temporal world through your relationship, the commitment to create life, art, joy and to live purpose and to endure the darkest parts of the human condition with this other person, and to share the darkest parts of your own human condition in turn. It is to me a commitment to bear witness to an unfolding humanity that is not your own and it is a submission to a process of change and growth and challenge and humility and intimacy and sacrifice and love through that. It is the commitment to learn the art of loving and the art of being loved, and the commitment to do that in full view of the world. That’s what I think of when I think of what a marriage is, but that’s not necessarily what I have seen in my life.

For the past few years, my perspective has been ‘it doesn’t matter if I’m married or not as long as love is the foundation’. I knew that while I wasn’t going to have sex with just anyone, I would have sex with the next person that I walked into love with (because we ain’t that reckless just to fall in love around here) because that person would likely be the person I want to walk through life with and therefore likely the person I want to share the entirety of myself with.


When I started dating, one of the guys I was talking to said ‘It would be easier just to be friends because I don’t even know if Christians are allowed to kiss’ and I realised that my ideas regarding sex were too flimsy to stand on. There wouldn’t be any way for example, for me to properly communicate and set boundaries and expectations around sex in my relationships if I hadn’t actually decided on any, because for example, how would I or someone else really know when I’ve decided they’re my life person and that I want to commit to sharing life with them? — The concept of marriage and proposals is helpful for that.


I started to really seek out what the bible says about sex and sex before marriage and while I understood the passages, I knew that they would never be enough to hold me to conviction. I asked God in prayer ‘if it is really your heart for me to not have sex before I find and commit to my life person, help me to understand why I, Mica Gray should not’ and I began to talk about it with my friends — who were actually quite understanding and receptive.

Through this process and through prayer, God started to speak to me about the different ways that waiting until I’ve found my person and until I’m ready to commit to my person and them to me through marriage will benefit my life and my overall walk with God.

The most important thing God began to reveal to me was the benefit it wold have on my relationship. Waiting to have sex would help to build a strong foundation of friendship, respect and love for each other without any obfuscation by sex hormones and flesh memories. I love Jasmine Sullivan but God forbid I’m ever caught genuinely saying ‘My girls ask me what it is, I say it’s the D… and that’s why he gets all of my time because he puts it down’. It’s got to be the friendship and the love for me, and that foundation has to be strong. I think often about the kind of life I want to live and the generational patterns that I want to break, and if I’m serious about that then the foundations on which I build my romantic relationships has to be different.


Waiting also allows you to spend time learning someone as a person before you begin to learn them as a body. If I’m going to wait for marriage until I have sex with someone, the real of it is that I will be sexually active for a much longer time than I won’t be. God willing, I have a literal lifetime to learn and be learnt sexually, so there’s actually no immediate rush, which is quite exciting.


The other important thing God revealed to me is that waiting allows you to practise another aspect of sexual freedom: saying no. The way that women’s bodies and women’s sexuality has been policed throughout the years has meant that sexual liberation for women often looks like: ‘I have a sexual desire and I’m going to indulge it because I’m free’. There was a period of my life where I subscribed wholeheartedly to that, where sexual freedom looked like multiple friends with benefits and no strings attached engagement. There is however, freedom however in saying ‘I have a sexual desire but I’m not going to indulge it because doing so does not honour who I am’ or ‘I have a sexual desire but I want to engage it in a particular context that is sacred between myself and my person’. I believe in listening to our bodies and what our bodies are telling us, but there are also times to guide your body in its desires and its expressions because some expressions and desires aren’t genuine but are actually conditioning, and I think that’s something to be mindful and discerning of too. Sometimes you’re not actually experiencing a genuine sexual desire, you just watched a saucy sex scene in a movie and your being is responding.


I desire for my sexual expression to be born out of a genuine affection for someone rather than just out of my bodily urges. I know that we are sexual beings and have bodily urges, but for example, just wanting to orgasm isn’t the kind of heart that I want to engage in sex with. I understand that there will be times where that is what it is, but it’s not the sexual foundation that I want to build on in a relationship with someone else — I don’t want to just use another person to scratch an itch for example. I want to use sex as a vehicle for intimacy with another person.


There’s also of course the spiritual aspect, that sex is two bodies, two spirits coming together as one in representation of how God comes together with us. This is something I think I’ve known for a long time to a certain extent. I wrote the following poem a while ago which I feel highlights it:




If I were to re-write the poem now I would add a new stanza that says ‘now because I love God and I love someone else, God tells me that sex is the highest form of worship, between two people aiming to manifest Him on the earth’ — or something like that.


So, this is where I have landed, and I thank God for taking me through this process because now my heart is connected to the principle and I can say I believe in it. it’s hard, but the standard of life and relationship I am seeking both with a partner and with God is worth it. Through this God is teaching me about faithfulness, friendship, love, respect and so much more. The interesting thing however, is that while I’ve felt led by the spirit of God to decide against having sex before I find and commit to my life person, I also feel that the spirit of God is leading me to begin exploring my sexuality, which has felt like an interesting contradiction, but one that has been a beauty to explore anyway. This exploration is what I will share in part 2.

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