The Siren Song of Our Time
Just like the Siren’s Song in Greek mythology lured sailors to their death, the alluring call of sexual temptation relentlessly entices men and women to their spiritual death.
A Powerful Force
Sexual temptation is one of the biggest things I dealt with when I became single again. As a formerly married man with a healthy sex drive accustomed to regular sex, being single was hard. I have a feeling I am not alone in this. The scriptures, a lifetime of anecdotes, and scientific research back me up here.
The sex drive is one of, if not the most powerful of our human instincts. People, especially men, will ignore hunger, thirst, or sleep to first satisfy their sexual urge. As far as we know this has always been, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. The Apostle Paul wrote about temptation as being, as the KJV translates it, “such as is common to man.”
And it is indeed common. In fact, don’t count on it ever going away, even if you get married. Having a lifetime sexual partner does not mean sexual temptation will somehow disappear. The best thing to do is to learn to deal with it now while you are single.
See Sexual Temptation as the Enemy
‘God delivers us from our enemies, but He cannot deliver us from our friends.’ -René Monet (my pastor)
The first and most important step in overcoming sexual temptation is to see it as the enemy. See it as the evil, destructive thing it is. If you continue to see it as a minor nuisance or something that is okay to dabble in occasionally, you will eventually give in to it.
I cannot emphasize this enough – if you are going to stand in the time of sexual temptation, you must first see it as the enemy. And with this enemy, there is no room for compromise.
Don’t Give Yourself the Opportunity
One good strategy is to not give yourself the opportunity to fail. Don’t put yourself in a position where you can act on your impulses. Put appropriate guardrails in place. These impulses have brought down stronger people than you.
Yes, it would be great to once and for all become perfect and live impervious to temptation. But, until that happens, you need to have prudent guardrails in place to keep you from doing the things your urges say you need, but your conscience says are wrong. Decide beforehand what you will do. If you wait until you are in a sexually tempting situation to decide what you will do, you have already lost the battle.
In Case of Emergency – RUN!
’11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.’ Genesis 39: 11-2 NIV
Even if you properly prepare, carefully plan, and consciously avoid tempting situations, you can still find yourself in circumstances that test your limits. The best advice I have if you find yourself in that position – do like Joseph did – RUN!
When his boss’s wife came on to him, *DANGER*DANGER*DANGER* – he did the godliest thing possible at that moment. He fled, made tracks, r-u-n-n-o-f-t, bolted, high tailed it, skedaddled – in other words, he promptly removed himself from possible disaster.
Be sure to put that tool in your emergency kit and break it out when necessary. Any good strategist will tell you, there is no shame in a well-timed, strategic retreat. Be wise enough to know when you need to withdraw and regroup.
Don’t Feed Your Mind Sexual Thoughts
I am reminded of two experiments. There was an experiment where people were divided into two groups. One was told to think about a white bear and one was told not to think about a white bear. After a five-minute period, both groups were told they could think about anything they wished. Guess which group thought more about a white bear.
In another experiment, people were divided into three groups. One group was told to think about chocolate. One was told not to think about chocolate. And in one group, chocolate was not mentioned. In the second phase of the experiment, guess which group ate the most chocolate.
In both cases, when people were told not to think about something there was a rebound effect and they thought about it more. So obviously, trying not to think about sex is counterproductive. Instead, it would be better to fill your mind with other things.
Here, I will defer to the apostle Paul’s considerable wisdom – think on things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, good, and praiseworthy. Fill your mind and spirit with so much good that there is no room for the impure.
If on the other hand, you feed your mind a diet of songs, movies, videos, and conversation about inappropriate sex, you’re just greasing the skids. Your fall is inevitable.
Don’t Be Over Confident.
I strongly believe one of the reasons I was able to avoid indulging in my sexual fantasies was that I knew I was capable of doing so. Among people who desire to remain sexually pure, the people most likely to fall are the ones who think they never will. Because they think they are strong enough to never fall, they do not put strong guardrails in place to protect themselves. I, on the contrary, knew how vulnerable I was, so, I put measures in place to keep myself out of trouble.
The safest route is to assume that in the right circumstances you will mess up. Then, make sure that it is not possible for you to end up in those circumstances. And if you do somehow end up in a tempting situation, have a plan of action in place that you can fall back on.
Questions For You
So, how about you? Is sexual purity important to you?
What is the most effective way you have found to deal with sexual pressures?
Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!
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