Brace yourself. Also, this is a bit scattered, mostly because it’s just musings and I decided to publish rather than edit and re-edit ad nauseam. Any feedback would be most appreciated!
Hormonal birth control separated sex from procreation for essentially the first time ever, in a way that older barrier methods didn’t, in the minds of an entire culture, and it changed the way that several successive generations viewed the human desire for intimacy. And when the (inevitable?) rise in (public/unhidden, at least) promiscuity began after the so-called sexual revolution, unfortunately, many churches and Christians, rather than simply saying what the Scriptures say, demonized sex outright, and failed to teach young people that the desire for intimacy is normal and good and right and purposeful, designed by God in part to to encourage marriage, the only safe haven for both sexual intimacy and children. (Of course, some churches and Christians and professing Christians had always demonized sex, ever since dear old Augustine forgot that denigrating the physical was Plato’s idea, not God’s.)
So now, post birth control, post sexual revolution, sex, marriage, and children are spoken of, even in the church, as three completely separate things with three completely separate sets of attendant sin issues, rather than as God made them — inextricably connected.
What’s the point for us? Well, in my experience, often unmarried Christians will see their desire for sexual intimacy as purely sinful, and unrelated to either marriage or child-bearing. So they’ll go along in their single years thinking they’re terrible people for having strong desires, and often, alas! in their despair over their own apparently incorrigible lust, toying with sinful outlets for those desires.
Instead, all unmarried people with a desire for intimacy should thank God for that good desire, praying toward and seeking the comfort of marriage and the blessing of children all the while.