Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What to Do with Sexual Urges



"Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."  James 1: 13-15
"There's no repentance where a man can talk lightly of sin, much less where he speaks tenderly and lovingly of it."  Charles Spurgeon
"Because we are fallen beings, we believe we will find joy and pleasure not in obedience to God but in sin."  R. C. Sproul
"Sin is not only a series of actions, it is also an attitude that ignores the law of God."  Jerry Bridges
I think we tend to believe that if we desire something or feel the urge to engage in it, that it somehow makes it okay to indulge in.
This might be drugs for some people, drinking a few glasses of wine for another, engaging in masturbation, or viewing a few porn films.  It might be visiting a strip club and getting a lap dance, sleeping with a prostitute, giving in to the temptation of having "friends with benefits", or perusing the beach to get a free show of barely dressed men and women.  It might be viewing clothing web sites (where yes, some of the photos are quite racy) or watching the latest reality show on MTV or VH1 where perversity is sure to ensue.  It might even be watching documentaries about porn stars from previous years whose journey consisted of bad choices and whose life ultimately culminated in suicide because you find these sort of stories to be interesting.  It could be reading romance novels or reading Fifty Shades of Grey because you are curious what porn in the form of writing is like or looking forward to seeing the movie with the same title when it is in theatres because so many people are looking forward to it and it is a topic of discussion amongst some of the people you know.
Some people believe they can engage in masturbation and view porn at this point in their life because they assume it will help pacify their sexual cravings until they are married and can actually sleep with their spouse (as God calls believers who are unmarried to abstain from sexual immorality - First Thessalonians 4: 3).  They believe their obsession with porn will somehow go away once they say, "I do" at the wedding altar and this monstrous sin will never beckon them to return to it again simply because now they can have sex and this should satisfy them.  Your spouse, with all their natural flaws and insecurities cannot compete with airbrushed perfection on film where climax is always achieved, you are easily aroused, and having an orgasm is almost guaranteed.  FightTheNewDrug on Twitter has written, "Internet porn is superstimulous.  Endless novelty, hunting, seeking, pleasure, shock, arousal, etc. The furthest thing from real love and sex." & "Like gambling, porn gets you hooked on an elusive, unattainable fantasy."
With this in mind (and as we recall all the different looks, fetishes, acts, and genres of porn we have seen), why do we suppose having a spouse will automatically obliterate our desire for the extreme, the perfect, and the array of videos that enable arousal and aid in getting off?
Pornography really is a wicked invention because not only is it fake, but it trains our minds and bodies to respond to that which is truly unattainable.  Couple this with fantasy and masturbation, and addiction is sure to follow.  If we train our minds with hypersexualized images and graphic scenes of whatever sexual act or fetish we desire, it is not surprising at all that it becomes difficult to get aroused by our partner in person who happens to not be perfect, ready, willing, and able to meet our every sexual craving (which often becomes degrading, dark, and destructive).
Pornography is actually for cowards.  It provides an easy escape into a fake world of fantasy where you are worshipped, adored, pleased, and paid attention to as though life were all about gratifying your every sexual whim.
"Pornography distorts the way you see your world.  It makes you think the world is at your fingertips when you've got nothing at all."  DearPornAddicts on Twitter
"Viewing pornography is a delusional act.  It makes you have unrealistic expectations of yourself and others."  DearPornAddicts on Twitter
"Viewing pornography is a delusional act.  You're pretending to be a participant when you're merely isolated in a room."  DearPornAddicts on Twitter
Real sex with another person in the context of marriage requires sacrifice, time, effort, communication, transparency, openness, honesty, relationship, and the willingness to give and not just receive pleasure.  One could say it is the reward a married couple receives for seeking to build and maintain their relationship, grow together, and live life together.  As someone once said, "Sex is the wedding gift that God gives every married couple."  Apart from a committed and monogamous marriage covenant between one man and one woman, sexual acts become cheap, a worthless substitute, and are devoid of their beauty, meaning and being special.  Especially in porn.
"Intimacy is at the very heart of a growing marriage socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually."  Marriage Works! on Twitter
"Pornography turns you into an instant-gratification addict.  Human relationships are about openness, patience, and understanding."  DearPornAddicts on Twitter
"Lust wants women in general, or men in general. Love wants a particular person."  Timothy Keller
I have found though that addictions do not play nice, nor do they easily take no for an answer.  Rather, they are like the VeggieTales episode entitled, "LarryBoy & the Fib From Outer Space!" where Fib grows larger and larger until it one day is wreaking havoc and destruction in the lives of many and has become a dangerous threat.
Do we realize that porn consumption, fantasy, and self-gratification are sexual acts?  God did not say that viewing others have sex and pleasuring yourself as you fantasize "about your future spouse" would count as repentance since you aren't experiencing actual intercourse.
When God says to fight temptation, He didn't say it would be easy.  That is what makes it a fight.  If it were easy, it wouldn't be a struggle to say no.
If we think about the outcome of each individual choice to feed our flesh instead of starving our sin, and if we ponder the effects of our sin long-term on not only us and possibly our physical health, mental sanity, well-being, and those around us or our future marriages and children, we will soon realize that momentary pleasure is not worth long-term regret.
So what are we to do when we get the overwhelming craving to watch the latest film of our favorite porn star, desire to fantasize, and jack off?
Here are a few helpful steps in how to deal with this:
"In order to quit porn, you might have to cut bad people, bad places, & bad things out of your life.  Are you ready?"  XXXchurch
"Lay siege to your sins, and starve them out by keeping away the food and fuel which is their maintenance and life."  Richard Baxter
  • Monitor your thought life and don't allow your lustful thoughts to get carried away.  Stop them at the onset.  Fantasy will always result in self-gratification and possibly the aid of porn to get off.  "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord."  Hebrews 12: 14
  • "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."  Proverbs 4: 23  This might mean cutting off at the root any hint of sexual immorality and not giving yourself the freedom to watch just one YouTube parody or music video or that R-rated film you used to watch daily.  John Owen said, "Let no man pretend to fear sin that does not fear temptation also!  These two are too closely united to be separated.  He does not truly hate the fruit who delights in the root."
  • Use an accountability report and filtering service like Covenant Eyes on all your devices (sign up with my affiliate code here for the first month free)
  • Ask yourself before you sin if it would be worth not being with God forever (How horrific would that be if you happened to die in the midst of compulsive porn use and excessive masturbation)!
"But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God."  Ephesians 5: 3-5


Anonymous said...

I love my sin of indulgence far too much to say no at the best of times. It is truly a painstakingly difficult battle :(

Tyler Bryant said...

The part towards the bottom where you wrote to ask yourself whether committing that sin, unless thats mean't to happen as a scare tactic to keep from doing the sin, could imply that even a saved person would not be able to be with God forever if they sinned. But thats not the case, and I don't think you mean't to imply that. Loved the article and quotations in it.

Emma Joy said...

Sharon, being a Christian means we must honor God with our choices. Sin is pleasurable, yet it cannot be indulged in whenever we please if we are a follower of Christ. We will never be sinless, yet by God's help and being sanctified over time, we will sin less.

Emma Joy said...

Tyler, as believers and followers of Christ, we cannot willingly indulge in sin whenever we please with no thought of repentance. God calls us to be like Him and to walk in His ways. There must be a difference in how we live when compared to unbelievers who don't follow and know Jesus.

Everyone sins, yet the Christian should cooperate with God as He seeks to purge and refine them. We are to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4: 23), renew our minds (Romans 12: 2), fear, trust, and obey God and seek to be an example of Christ in all our ways. Read the book of First John.

I am glad you liked the article.

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