In this day and age, it is impossible to be in this world and not be affected by immoral sexuality in some way. Whether it’s your own personal lusts and temptations, or you’ve been affected by somebody close to you, sexual immorality is deeply entwined in our culture, and is almost impossible to keep out of our lives. That means that for most of us (men and women), we have been under attack as long as we can remember. That also means that you, like me, often feel hopeless as you try to withstand the constant barrage of images and lifestyles that culture says we can – and should – have.
As Christians, we know what we need to do. The Bible tells us that even if we look at a woman lustfully, we have committed adultery with her already in our hearts. But simply knowing what to do, and actually doing it are two totally different things. Sometimes they feel so far apart, they might as well be on two different planets. In different solar systems. In different galaxies. Hope is often hard to come by.
My goal in this blog is not to provide an easy fix for these deep rooted problems. That would be impossible. There is so much to say on these things that one or two posts is not going to do all that much. So I am going to devote a large part of this blog to these issues at large. In one respect, I want to write about my own experiences as they happen, and my thoughts and reactions to them. I don’t want to be fake or scripted. I will try to be truthful. I know that many men often feel alone in their temptations, or wonder if what they are experiencing is outside of the realm of what “normal men” with these temptations experience. Some of the best encouragement I have received is from talking with fellow Christian men about their experiences, and how their deepest struggles have often mirrored my own. So I hope to be encouraging to others in that respect.
In another respect, my goal is to give Biblical advice about how to respond to these temptations. In the many years that I have been struggling with these things, I have read many books and articles that try to help by putting band-aids on the symptoms that arise out of the lustful heart. Don’t get me wrong – there are practical things we can do to train ourselves in this fight. But they do nothing unless we are, at the same time, addressing the root of our problem, which is unbelief. The more we understand Christ’s sacrifice and believe His promises, and come to know Him and love Him because of it, the more our sinful desires will be replaced with righteous desires. Eventually, we, as men of God, will be able to say with total sincerity what the Psalmist says in Psalm 1: “His delight is in the law of the Lord.”
As I try to embark on this long and difficult journey with those reading, my very first bit of encouragement comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13. “No temptation as overtaken you that is not common to man.” This is a great help to all of those who think they are alone in their struggles. Mankind has experienced every temptation, which means that our fellow brothers have been tempted just as we have been. If we think we are alone in our lusts, we only need to look down the Church pew to see someone who has probably been tempted in similar ways.
But it’s not only our fellow believers that we can take comfort with. Our savior Jesus Christ was also fully man. He lived in the same world we do, and experienced the same temptations. And He overcame them. He kept all of the law perfectly, unlike us, so that we could be reconciled to God. We do not have to earn our salvation, and if you’re like me, you know that it’s impossible to do so. Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to meet us where we are, as sinful men in a sinful world. We don’t have to go it alone.