When someone confesses or is caught in an affair one of the first
things they say is something to this affect, “I didn’t mean it.” Or
“She/he meant nothing to me.” In other words they end up in a place they never wanted to be.
Most people don’t set out to cheat on their spouse. It all starts small. It begins with a thought that goes uncontested, perhaps even nurtured into a fantasy.
Those thoughts grow into an
attitude and then the attitude grows into a disposition. That disposition erodes boundaries and clouds our sense of right and wrong.
This is difficult for most men. Our DNA is pre-loaded with the strong
instinct to feel attraction and desire, yet life and morality demand
that we are able to control those instincts.
So how do we do that? For
the sake of our marriages, relationships, or just spiritual well-being, we need to be able to find the answer. You are in a battle against
sexual temptations and it’s important to win early. Here are 10 ways to
battle sexual temptation.
1. Avoid Tempting Situations
Winning early means staying away from traps. The last thing you want
to do is find yourself alone with the object of your unhealthy desires,
whether it is images or actual people. If contact with that person is a
must, then make sure it is always in a public space and others are
around. Set boundaries surrounding your phone, the computer, and TV.
Find a partner who is willing to help you with accountability.
2. Consider The Consequences
While pondering the object of your desire, also ponder the consequences of action. Is it going to help or hurt your marriage? How would your wife respond if she knew? Think about where your actions can lead and then imagine your wife finding out. Do you want to deal with the fallout? Always think of the end game. Where do you want to be? Are your thoughts and actions leading you there?
3. Avoid Pornography
Besides the obvious reasons that avoiding porn will help guard against lust, there are psychological reasons as well. Porn creates unrealistic expectations and desensitizes our minds towards our spouses. They
can’t possibly live up to what is viewed, and would we even want them to? This pushes the focus of your sexual desires outside of the home and can only lead to paths of destruction.
4. Use Social Media with Caution
There are many benefits of social media, but there are just as many
pitfalls. We are reunited with people from our past and introduced to
those who are new. Old sparks can be renewed or new ones can be lit. For
a married man, this can be extremely perilous. Always remain alert to
true intentions when using social media.
5. Question Your Intent
Most times, when our minds wander sexually, we aren’t really seeking
pure sex. We are seeking to replace something missing in our lives and
our relationships. It could also be that we are trying to distract
ourselves from dealing with something difficult. For each man, these things will be specific to his experiences. Figure out the root issue
and work to correct it.
6. Practice Sexual Intimacy
While there is no way to go back to how you felt when your
relationship was new, there are certainly plenty of ways to regain that
level of relational excitement. Improvinga communication, date nights, passionate kissing and thoughtful gestures are just a few examples. When our minds and hearts are occupied in the right place, sexual lust has little room to operate.
7. Consistent Prayer
Prayer is the act of communicating your thoughts, worries, hopes and
dreams to God. Lift up the desires you are feeling and ask for help. God
made you and knows you and can deliver you time and time again.
8. Choose Your Friends Wisely
When battling sexual temptation, there are plenty of people we can
find that will encourage and enable it. You can still be their friend,
but by all means, avoid joining them in their poor relational choices.
9. Keep High Standards
To be a gentleman is a choice. A very good choice, and this world
today needs many more. Despite the vast amount of temptations that life
throws our way, we should hold ourselves to the highest of moral
standards. Self-discipline in all areas of our life leads to positive
10. Redirect Your Passion
Rather than being controlled by untamed lust, direct that passion in
positive directions. Use that energy to brainstorm about ways you can
bless your wife. Perhaps focus on things that will make the world better
like volunteering at a homeless shelter. Coach a youth sports team.
Mentor troubled individuals.