overcoming sexual struggles
@robertkwendt || lead pastor
It is a moment that will forever be etched into my mind. A kid simply wanted to "fit in" with the other fifth grade boys. A kid who, in a moment, without even realizing it would happen, went from a boy to a man. It was when he first saw an image of a naked woman. I was that kid.
Right there in elementary school, a neighborhood boy pulled out a picture he said I wasn't cool enough to see. Looking for his approval, I had to force my way in. While it was innocent in nature, it was an image that forever stuck with me. From that time on, I had to struggle through and navigate a world where people around me would make looking at pornographic images seem okay.
Since the introduction of the internet, the message of sex is all the more prominent. It's easy to access. Even content blockers that we think we're successfully enacting contain easy workarounds for young, maturing minds to discover. In order to navigate this world, to keep healthy boundaries, and to keep our eyes on Jesus, we must begin to talk about the role of sex and pornography in our society.
just a few stats...
These statistics should alarm us. They should make us realize that there is a problem happening. There's a demand for sex, and it's causing serious harm to people.
sex is good. the problem is sin.
God designed sex. It's a good thing by God's design (see Genesis 1:27-28). The problem is not sex, but sin.
In writing to the Romans (Romans 1:24-25), Paul says, "Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator."
There lies the problem. Worshiping the creature rather than the Creator. When we sin, we "miss the mark." Instead of honoring and glorifying God, we go against Him by living for our own desires and passions rather than His.
While God shows us how sex is to be enjoyed within a marriage, we often will forgo His desires in order to gain instant satisfaction in our own lives. We turn toward lusting over other people and going against God's design in order to gain an instant benefit.
Our struggle takes place when we worship the creature (ourselves) rather than the Creator (God). || tweet this ||
god gives us boundaries.
An incredible place in our world is the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River flows majestically through these deep, beautiful, red canyons for hundreds of miles. It's one of those places you visit that leaves you in awe and wonder of God's creation.
Throughout the canyon are spots where you can walk to the edge to get a beautiful view of it. Along the edge is a small fence. It's easy to climb through, under, or over. It's not a barricade by any means. This fence is a boundary marker. It's a visible sign to stay on one side or else serious consequences may exist for those who cross over.
God gives us boundaries throughout the Bible. Boundaries include having sex within marriage, not giving into sexual immorality, and understanding the power of sex (the ability to create life).
Yet, we see throughout the Bible that the people of God often ignored these boundaries and had to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Take King David for example. This is the same David that took down Goliath, was king of the Israelites, was chosen by God. He wasn't only a shepherd, but a very successful warrior. He was a man after God's heart, but he was still far from perfect.
In reading the book of 2 Samuel, we read the story of David and Bathsheba. In this account, David sees a beautiful married woman bathing. He orders that she be brought to him, and he gets her pregnant. When he finds out that she was a married woman, he ultimately orders for her husband to be put on the front line of battle so he can be killed.
There is a lot we can learn from this story that can help us as we navigate boundaries in our own lives—boundaries in regards to lust, pornography, sex, and the many other struggles we have to face in a world full of imperfections.
alone time can be dangerous.
While all the men were away, David was alone. He was wandering around, and his wandering eyes led to him seeing Bathsheba. From that moment, lust began to take a hold of him. One thing led to another—and the next thing you know, David's sleeping with another man's wife.
Like sex, alone time is not a bad thing. However, it can be a dangerous thing if proper boundaries are not set up. Here are some practical ways to protect yourself:
God wants us to have times of rest and to recharge, but we must be aware of Satan's desire for us to serve ourselves (the creature) rather than God (the Creator).
don't let your past define your story.
Through mentors and accountability partners, the power of the Spirit gave me a desire to fully live for God. I watched God take away my desire to look at any pornographic images. This was never easy, as society continues to throw it in our faces—but it was a process that made me stronger.
Jesus desires to change our story. He wants us to live in relationship with Himself.
Satan seeks to destroy us while Jesus seeks to restore us. We all mess up. Despite our mistakes (both big and small), Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave so that our stories may be changed. He did it in order to bring us into relationship with Him and to make us new.
No matter where you have been or what you have done, Jesus desires to be a part of your story. He wants to restore you. He wants to go through life with you.
Colossians 1:21-22 says, "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him."
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