Sex is a good thing. You might even get to have some, if you follow these steps:
1. Acknowledge that you’re messed up. You don’t do things that you should. You do things you shouldn’t. This is really hard, and the need for it never really ends, for me and for everybody else.
2. Admit that you can’t change yourself. No amount of New Year’s resolutions or task management software will solve the problems you’ve acknowledged in #1. This is also really hard, and I think the need for it never really ends, either.
3. Pray to Jesus. Thank him for his great love for you and for being sacrificed to cover your great need (since you can’t yourself). Then ask that he’d forgive you for all the stuff in #1, offering your whole life to him. It’s probably a good idea to do this last bit at least once a day too, to keep ourselves from holding the reins a bit too tightly.
4. By God’s great grace, stop being a selfish jerk. This is long, slow and painful. (And the need for it continues after you’re married.)
6. Ask God Almighty if one is a match for you. Consider what each of you know about God’s calling in your life and how you’re going to serve God and neighbors. If those don’t dovetail, it’s probably not right. If you do sense God’s “yes,” see #7.
7. Ask her to marry you.
If she says yes, continue to #8.
If she says no, repeat steps 4 to 7.
8. Get married.
9. Continue to cherish and nurture her, as the old vows say.
10. Have sex as often as you both want, until one of you dies or your sex drive drops into negative numbers.
If Waiting Is Driving You Crazy . . .
In all seriousness, it’s no secret that men are often driven by their sex drive. For Christian fellas, this often morphs into a “marriage drive.” And in that, I think some of you brothers need a bit of encouragement.
Focus on your character. Grow up, as a follower of Jesus. Take responsibility. Take initiative. Practice spiritual disciplines. Serve others. Be generous. Learn.
In the course of all that, you will meet women. And it’s pretty likely you’ll be attracted to a bunch of them. But ask yourself which of them is going to help you do the stuff on this list I just gave you. And how will you help her to be the person God made her to be?
Marriage should help you live life to the fullest and make each of you a better person. My wife and I wrote a book together, and in it I listed how wretched I’d be without her around:
I’d watch stand-up comedy for hours.
I’d eat pork rinds daily.
I’d never dust or clean the bathrooms.
I’d run around the world every year or so in a desperate attempt to break into disaster/war photojournalism.
I’d get into long funks of self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-destruction.
At a recent speaking engagement, I said, “My wife is the primary agent of my sanctification.” God uses her to make me a better man and more effective for good. I hope she would say something similar about me.
Dating, then, is finding that kind of person.
And the sex comes later.
 Contrary to what you may think, it is not a given that you should get married, and having sex is not essential to your masculinity or necessary for a fulfilling life. Consider 1 Corinthians 7 and other passages about our primary purpose—being single and celibate is good and helpful, though often difficult. Our churches need to acknowledge this and care well for one another.
 Please forget the myth of “The One.” There are a lot of people you could happily be married to. The important thing is that you and God choose no more than one and stick with the decision.
 This is just about the hardest thing in the whole world to do. You will need to give up a lot of your own goals and preferences. But it’s worth it.
 I’ve heard about research indicating that married people have more sex that is more satisfying than anyone else, including those “hooking up all the time.” (Granted, there are a lot of married couples with awful sex lives, but that’s a whole ’nother blog post.)
Image by twentyonehundred productions team member Matt Kirk.
It feels like eons ago (13 years) that I was dating, and honestly, I don’t look back fondly on that time—the tribulations of crushes and attempting to read men’s minds, the wasted conversational hours obsessing over who likes whom.