Saturday, February 20, 2016

Healthy Sex Satisfies and Counterfeits Don't

I recently wrote the following to a friend:

... While singleness can be very rough for people, trying to deal with sexual desire through the means of pornography, masturbation, prostitutes, erotica, strip clubs, massage parlors, or any other counterfeit will only inflame lust, keep people in an isolated experience of getting nowhere, and will cause lust to become out of control. It will not help your sex life, that's for sure. It will train your body to respond to a variety of looks and experiences, causing your attractions and what you find arousing to become out of control to the degree that even if or when you meet a woman to marry, you won't be as excited about your sexual relationship in the context of marriage as you might now assume. I believe pornography and any form of sexual sin had outside of the context of marriage breeds low self-esteem, warped ideas and desires, and steals from future intimacy with a spouse.

Something the Lord has taught me that to be honest I was very stubborn about learning for a long time was that for sex to even reach its full potential, it must be had in the context of marriage where both the man and woman constantly work on themselves, are fully devoted to God, and continually put work into their relationship. Healthy, satisfying sex entails good communication, a relationship that began with God as the foundation, the willingness to apologize (one sign of a healthy relationship), share honestly what is on each partner's heart, and the willingness to remain pure in thought so that when the husband and wife are intimate, there are no whores in the realm of imagination taking away from the pleasurable experience in the marriage bed. I think people often view sex as mere pleasure and think that for it to be had often in a wild manner will bring true satisfaction, and this just isn't the case. I know there is a great difference with being intimate in a committed relationship compared to engaging in sexual acts in a fling sort of relationship. Again, for sex to satisfy as God intended, it must be had in the context He made it for -- marriage.

I had been stubborn for quite sometime in thinking that sex was everything, yet during times of singleness I would turn to counterfeits to try and pacify my lusts, not realizing that lust truly is insatiable and to awaken it before its time (in marriage) will only leave us scarred and hungry for more. When people view porn and masturbate, they get caught up in an isolated world of their own imagination. They train their bodies to become aroused outside of a real relationship and this is very dangerous because real relationships entail disagreements sometimes and fatigue, being sick or being lazy. Real relationships require investing in another human being's life and saying to them by your everyday words and actions that you are committed to them in sickness and in health, in times of plenty of sexual activity and other times (such as pregnancy or traveling for work), that you are willing to wait and remain pure for the sake of honoring your marriage commitment.

One reason...that sex in any form (even with ourselves through self-gratification) outside of marriage is wrong is because it prevents us from having self-control and practicing the discipline of taking our thoughts captive. It makes us more apt to cheating when we finally do get a spouse because we will have trained ourselves to crave orgasm and will be used to having our fix to the degree that if our spouse were sick or out of town or whatever the reason might be that sex is put on hold for a time, we will think it's fine to indulge in fantasy or masturbation or porn use or visiting strip clubs or chat rooms or whatever the means since we were so used to doing so during our years of singleness.

Please also keep in mind that for the sake of your future wife (not to mention obeying God and walking in integrity), you must find healthy coping mechanisms NOW before marriage or even before dating. You must learn NOW to set boundaries with sin and to avoid temptation so that you can be the servant leader, spiritual leader, and honest man of God your wife will need you to be.

It's sort of like having plans to run a 10 mile marathon in the future. If you want to succeed at this and be healthy enough to accomplish it, if you want to not have trouble breathing or for your body to not hurt during that run, if you want to be able to finish the race with confidence and vigor, then you must begin preparing NOW for what is to come. It won't be enough to be sporadic in your times of exercise now (no matter how dedicated you are in those moments). Exercise needs to become a lifestyle -- a way of living that you incorporate into your day to day life -- so that you will be healthy enough to run 10 miles in the marathon with ease (not to mention the added benefits of having more energy, looking and feeling your best, and avoiding health issues). But if you want to succeed in this endeavor, you must also change the way you eat now and find ways to not be a lazy person anymore. You must begin taking the right vitamins and getting the proper amount of sleep, and drinking the needed amount of water for your body weight this very that you will not only accomplish running 10 miles in a marathon and have fun with it, but you will have made all the necessary changes in each aspect of your life that will better ensure being an all around healthy individual from now on.

Compare this to marriage and preparing now, and repenting now, and making lifestyle changes now, and learning to deal with stress in a healthy way now...and you'll see that to have a Christ-centered marriage then and to have the ability to love and serve your future wife then, you must begin having a Christ-centered life now and learn how to love and serve others now. Jesus must become your highest priority and the reason you live now so that He can be exalted and work in your marriage then. You must begin praying for your future wife now (don't pray anything sexual though because then it keeps your lust alive as you anticipate future times of pleasure with her and after becoming aroused, you will automatically masturbate or seek out porn or a prostitute, etc. since sex has been on your mind).

Our minds are very powerful. Evidence of this is how someone who has dwelt on everything bad about themselves or constantly compared themselves to others might try to commit suicide or turn to self-injury. Or someone who allows their eyes and mind to wander with visuals and fantasy will end up masturbating or viewing porn. Or someone who dwells on hate or envy will end up despising the person or people they are thinking about. Or our lives and our problems seeming so much worse than they actually are the more we think about them and complain or compare.



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