Let’s Be Honest about Sexual Temptation

Let’s face it, the sexuality and sexual sin in this country is out of control.  The sexual sin in the church is rampant.  The sexual issues faced by pastors, leaders, missionaries and men in general is a problem.  Lots and lots and lots of men are addicted to pornography, including pastors.  Lots of men struggle with temptation and many are losing the fight.  We are bombarded, it’s on tv, billboards, magazines, ads and signs.  You can’t even walk down the street anymore without seeing more than you need to see.  Don’t even try to go to the mall these days.  I was a substitute teacher for 6 years and was constantly shocked by what passes for acceptable clothing (or lack there of) in our schools.  It’s out of control men.

Add insult to injury, porn is easy to find.  Most of us have found it by accident a time or two.  Try to type in a web-address and miss a letter, and BAM, porn.  There are viruses that put porn on your computer, emails with porn, and as any filters, blocks, firewalls and security systems we install, they keep finding ways to beat them.  I gave up and switched to Linux, cause no one write viruses for Linux.  It’s a madhouse, we all struggle.

This isn’t a new struggle, lust has been around as long as sin, and it’s a problem.  There are some great solutions that we have available to us, if we can overcome the first and probably the most dangerous sin of all, the sin that cast Lucifer out of heaven, our own pride.  We have to admit that we struggle, that we need help.

First step is to get a group of guys who you can be honest with, gut level, real life honest.  Guys who won’t sell you out, cut you down, leave you behind or condemn you.  The point is accountability and encouragement.  So much temptation loses power when we admit and confess it.   We need help from our brothers.

Step two, if you are married then you need to focus all your attention on your wife.  God gives us wives to help, support us, have a family, build a life and to enjoy all He intended sex to be.  Proverbs 5:18 and 19 specifically tell us to take pleasure in our wives and be satisfied with them, we must focus all our energy and desires specifically towards our wives.  She is our refuge our safe place in a world that seeks to sexually destroy us.  Men, we must also be the same for her, providing for her emotional and physical needs for connection and intimacy.  The world is full of counterfeits, it is hostile towards your marriage, and we must be aware of those things which seek to destroy.

Next is begin to pray for those you find tempting.  When you see a beautiful woman who is lacking in proper attire and you are drawn to lust, pray for her.  Pray that if she knows God, she will love Him more, if she has a husband, he will meet all her needs and if she lacks those things, she find’s God’s love and a Godly man to love her.  Pray that she realizes that her attire is a detriment to some men and that she would be more cautious with her wardrobe.  I find it difficult to lust after a woman you are praying for, and it helps your prayer life.  There are more than ample opportunities to pray.  Pray for models in pictures, actresses on TV, pray for every woman who may tempt you.  If you do have a strong temptation towards pornography, praying for the actresses may be hard, but it will sure take much of the enjoyment out of the viewing and help reduce the desire.

That brings me to my next point.  Pray against pornography.  It’s a huge, billion dollar industry.  It makes more money than every professional sports league combined.  It takes up a huge part of the internet, as well as print material, movies and films and software.  It’s a growing problem and becoming more acceptable.  The images depicted on TV would have been considered pornographic 20 years ago, and it’s getting worse.  We have to be open about the fact it’s out there, many struggle with it and is killing many spiritually.  It’s not going to just go away, we need to pray for each other, pray for our men and our husbands, fathers, pastors, friends and neighbors.  We know the damaging effects of pornography in marriages, lives, ministry and the impact it has on the brain.  It ruins people but it’s not going away.  Pray for one another, support and encourage one another.

Finally is the most obvious.  Stay away from it.  Filters and blocks, v-chips and parental controls.  If you have cable channels like HBO or Cinemax, get rid of them.  If you like movies, watch them on network TV, or find a place that sells edited movies that remove the sexual content.  Change habits, sometimes we have to stop going places.  If your favorite coffee shop also has you favorite sin, find a different coffee shop.  Have someone keep you accountable, but take the initiative.  Stay away from the stuff that seeks to capture and destroy you.

It’s a war out there men, and the enemy is letting us destroy ourselves.  Pray for each other, pray for men and be encouraging.  Support and help other men, after all you are not immune to the temptation of lust.  If you don’t have a problem with porn, I guarantee someone you know does.  It’s time for us to build a community of help and support and take action.  The porn industry, the peddling of lust and lies will destroy the church if the men of God won’t take action.  No more hiding, no more pride and shame.  What we need is repentance and restoration.

Comments

  1. says

    Great post. One of the books I wrote in the Philippines included stories of those who had fallen into temptation. Readers were surprised with how many of the stories came from those who had grown up in church.

  2. Chris says

    Thank you for this Dan. You don’t hear of too many men that are praying against pornography and it is needed so much! Pornography destroys families and destroys the blessings that God has for us. Thank you.

  3. dr. james willingham says

    One of the big problems with sexual temptation, in addition to today’s present flood of porn on the internet and on tv, is the subliminal seduction advertising techniques that were used for years to sell products.(cf. The Clam Plate Orgy). Just think every ad, practically, involved sexual imagery below the conscious level. To illustrate, the author of Clam Plate Orgy and three other men sat down in a noted chain restaurant one day, and all four ordered clams. One fellow said, “Why did I order clams? I hate clams.” The other three responded in a similar fashion: they were no fans of clams either. The author of the book took a place mat from the table (a paper disposable mat) home, put it under a microscope (it was a retouched photo of a plate of clams) What he found was that it was a picture of human figures entertwined in an orgy. He began checking other ads for fast foods, pop foods, even the regular foods in the supermarkets, and he found many used such techniques. After all, they usually employed ad agencies where the artists were trained in such techniques and incorporated them in their ads. A student in one of the churches I served told about the psychology text that he studied to learn the techniques and how to use them. Not all were sexual. For example, he told me about the word death being hidden in tobacco ads for many of the tobacco products, appealing to the users with a death wish. And then the author of clam plate orgy told about the most successful liquor ad and its ….o well, back to the sex.

    For more than 80 years, Americans have been subjected to such subliminal ads involving sex, and it is practically a 24/7 exposure in viewing tv (yes, I have seen subliminal ads for beer for college students), magazines, calendars, newspaper ads, ad fliers, etc. Practically, from rising in the morning until an individual goes to bed, that person is exposed to an endless barrage of sexual stimuli designed to appeal to the unconscious or subconscious part of his or her makeup. Such being the case, is it any wonder that our people have a problem with sexual control and temptation?

    Purity is what the Bible recommends, commends, and demands with good reason. It also indicates that it has its place in life, in marriage, and that it is not just for procreation, but for the renewal of the couple, the renewal that comes from the most intense expression of affection and love for one another, the secret of a real family with ties that bind gently and tenderly. Someone has well said, “Husbands love your wives; it is the greatest thing you can do for your children.”

  4. says

    We also have a culture that says sex and sexuality is all about our pleasure and gratification. It has become all self focused instead of that which bonds a husband and wife, produces a family, which in turn builds the community. It’s not just about me and what I want and what I get out of it.

  5. says

    I realize that this post was geared towards men/pastors in regards to pornography, but please keep in mind that the number of women trapped in the grip of pornography is growing. I have seen recent studies stating that nearly 20% of women look at pornography regularly. Those same studies also indicate that women are less likely to admit that addiction than men are, indicating that the true number is higher. It is great to give advice to men who are struggling with this addiction, but we must not pretend as if it is a man only problem.

  6. Jeff says

    Thanks for this post, Dan. Prayer is such a powerful weapon in the war against lust. It should be an obvious resource, but we neglect it so much. I thought it was a good idea to pray against the porn industry at large. I’ve prayed for the women for whom I’ve lusted — that they would be saved and that God would rescue, bless, and restore them. I do, however, find it hard to pray for them without recalling visuals that tempt me to lust again. Jesus taught us to pray for deliverance from evil. It helps me to list specific types of evil (i.e. pornography and lust) from which I need daily deliverance. We should take all the practical measures available to us, but do we also earnestly pray for deliverance? At times I haven’t.