Sex, sexual images, sexuality, sexual innuendo, sexual conversation and sexual slang have so saturated our society that most of us are used to it. Very few of us are “shockable” any more. Very few of us realize how comfortable we have become with conversation or movies about sex. So many of us are unaware of how fascinated and hungry we are for sexuality.
Addicted may be the word- maybe too strong of a word, but definitely a reality. The problem is sexuality in our time has become amoral- meaning there are no moral values attached to the messages and images. It has become normal and neutral in our culture.
This week the news is full of the release of the movie “50 shades of Grey”, to be released on Valentines Day. It’s based on a book that critics described as “dull”, yet the book sold 100 million copies. Why would a dull book capture the interest of 100,000,000 people? Very simply- sexual fascination and maybe even addiction!
I urge you NOT to see this movie, or any other movie with sexually explicit themes or scenes.
In the true sense of addiction, many people are not really addicted, but they show addictive behaviors towards sexuality. Are you aware how much sexuality circulates in your mind? Are you aware that what the mind incubates, the will begins to emulate? Frankly, thoughts eventually become actions and words.
Human beings function quite simply. Appetite is normal. It is defined as “a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food”. Appetite is a normal human characteristic.
However, taste is acquired. To be hungry for food is basic to human existence. But to be hungry for rice, or cake, coke or coffee is an acquired taste.
Appetite for human intimacy with the opposite sex is a God-given thing. It was created by God and it is honestly very normal. If there were no attractions between the sexes, there would likely not be a human race in existence!
But…intimacy has become perverted and sexualized so that all intimacy and all relationships revolve around some form of sexuality. Love has been redefined as a sexual act. The normal human appetite for intimacy between the sexes, which involves, giving, mutual respect, care and consideration has been twisted into pleasure, self satisfaction, seduction, and manipulation.
At this point, normal intimacy morphs into a deadly compulsion that we call lust. Lust is an acquired taste. Lust makes no one happy, satisfies no one, destroys all relationships, prevents normal human interaction and leads to perversion.
I’ve heard that this movie “50 Shades of Grey” involves a twisted type of sexuality with whips and chains etc. What normal, God-loving human being would be attracted to this barbaric, evil form of human intimacy?
Recently I have come across several links in my news feed to watch the trailers of this movie. Now, why would I want to do that? Just because a trailer is available or an image is only one click away, why would I want to watch that?
Some folks have naively defended the amoral media by saying things like, “I don’t particularly like watching this stuff. However, if it is really a part of the story line, I don’t mind.” Tell me, what is the difference? Story line or not- it is immoral and plants seeds of lust and immorality into your mind and spirit.
If I am attracted to these images, even to the story line of illicit sexuality between two unmarried persons, it would only indicate that I have a mind full of sex. If my appetite for normal human relationship has gone astray and has developed a taste for what is perverted, twisted and destructive, then that is lust. Then I should say goodbye to a normal, happy life!!
Lets take a moment and see how the brain works.
There is a substance in your brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move towards them.
Studies have found that viewing pornography or sexually explicit matter stimulates the brains pleasure centers much like taking drugs. Exposing the mind to constant sexual stimulation activates the pleasure center of the brain, thus making it that much easier to look again and again and again…slowly leading us towards addiction. Yet things like pornography actually shut down other sections of the brain. When we continually go there, we can actually become addicted to feelings of sexual arousal just like any other form of addiction.
Unfortunately, relationships eventually become defined by the pleasure they bring. Selfishness prevails and what God intended as normal becomes twisted and abnormal.
This makes it almost impossible to live in the real world with real people.
Sexuality becomes much like a drug. As with drugs, you never have enough, and you always need more.
The problem is that in this sinful world we live in, many of us have minds full of sex. Many people have uncontrolled appetites for more and more sexual experiences. This is not normal! And this is totally destructive to true human intimacy. It will kill your relationships. It actually makes it difficult to relate to the opposite sex in a healthy way.
Take your mind back!
I want to challenge you to take control of your mind. If you want real meaningful relationships in your future, you have no choice but to stop the addictive behavior.
I will give you a few simple steps in this process, but don’t think for a moment this is easy. When we have lived a long while with passive minds, the reclaiming of our thoughts is the battle of the ages.
1. Redefine normal
Normal has an absolute value. For a Christian who follows Jesus, normal sexual relationship is completely confined to the person you are married to, in thought, in emotion, in behavior and conversation. There is no other normal acceptable sexual relationship is God’s book. You cannot address what is wrong if you do not first define what it right.
2. Make a commitment to restrict your life to what is normal.
There is no sin in finding a person of the opposite sex as attractive. Without this attraction we would never be motivated to connect. It’s the second look, the fantasy based in lust, that twists everything. It creates shame and actually prevents you from engaging a normal relationship.
Bob Sorge’s book entitled “A Covenant With My Eyes” should be read by everyone wishing God’s normal for their lives.
3. Take responsibly for your thoughts.
Get a grip on what you are watching, looking at and listening to. This is tough. Breaking addiction is tough. Change is tough. Everything that goes in through the “eye gate” or “ear gate” works its way into the soul.
4. Identify your vulnerable times.
When do you struggle the most? Make a plan in advance how to deal with those times. Build a support network of people who will help you and be honest to warn you when you’re on dangerous ground.
I have gone off sugar a few times in my life. In fact I occasionally go on a sugar free diet for a few weeks simply to break my human addiction to sugar. It’s good for my health.
Here’s the hard part. It takes 10-14 days to stop craving sugar. It is an addiction- try it and you will see how much you crave sugar.
Sexual addiction is kind of like that. It is much more of an addiction than most people will admit. You may be a sex addict. Just consider how much you think about it. How naturally you justify it. How easily you go to it. How often you watch movies with sex scenes and don’t fast forward or walk out of the theater or turn off the television. You sit there and watch, and you conscience becomes dull. There you have it; some level of addiction.
There is no way to prevent the consequences of wrong sexual behaviors. They are like seeds planted that will produce fruit. But you can stop the planting and reduce the consequences. All addictions grow and control more of your life until they begin to disrupt your normal functions. The addictive behavior has begun long before the disruptions are seen.
As society continues to lose moral guidelines and values, its spiral of amoral behavior may take control of your life. DON’T LET IT. Determine that you want success in relationships. Determine you want a guilt free life. The benefits of this choice far outweigh the consequence of an unmanaged, morally lazy, lustful life.
Here’s a prayer for you.
Heavenly Father, I am choosing this day to pursue a life that is morally, mentally and physically in right relationship with you. I will base my life upon what is written in your WORD. Give me courage to take a stand for what is right, healthy and holy before you. Forgive me for allowing this sinful world to mold my mind. Give me the ability and strength to discipline myself to walk in holiness with You. I reject all sexual lust and cast it from my mind in the name of Jesus. I will not yield to any more influences of immorality in any way, shape or form. I commit myself to purity and holiness.
In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.