In 1985 hard core video rentals amounted to $75 million. In 1992 that figure rose to $490 million. By 1996 it was $8 billion, an amount larger than the revenue from all of Hollywood’s movies as well as all rock and country western concerts. More money today is spent on strip clubs than Broadway, off-Broadway, theaters, opera, ballet, jazz and classical performances together. Some studies say that as many as 70% of all men, including Christian men, are caught in some form of sexual sin. There is an open availability of sexual images and activities. There are X-rated TV channels in motel rooms, cable TV brings pornography into the average American home. Anything can be easily found by anyone on the Internet. Respectable video stores and magazine and book stores carry that which a generation ago would have been unthinkable. What’s the solution for hooked Christian men ?
Unfortunately the church isn’t attacking the problem. Men are ashamed to admit this sin and ask for prayer. They don’t share with each other or go for counseling. It’s each one for himself, assuming he alone struggles with this monster. However there is a solution. There is help. There is a way out. His name is Jesus.
- SEX ITSELF IS NOT SINFUL Just like money (I Tim 6:10), sex itself is not sinful. It is our attitude to it and use of it, the place it plays in our life. It, too, is a God-given gift to serve us, but nothing for us to serve. Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed, for sin hadn’t entered (Genesis 2:22-25). Godly sex in marriage is pure and good (Heb 13:4; Song of Solomon 7:1-11) and God watches and approves of a husband-wife sexual relationship (Song of Solomon 5:1). Sex not with one’s mate is what is sinful (Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18; Lev 20:10; Prov 6:20-28).
- SIN STARTS IN THE MIND Sexual thoughts of anyone other than one’s wife are wrong and forbidden. Entertaining them leads to adultery (James 1:13-16) and in fact is itself adultery (Mt 5:27-28). Once one starts down a greased sliding board stopping is almost impossible. Sexual sin must be defeated when the first thought enters (II Cor 10:5). Knowing when they usually hit helps, too. It may be after a fight with ones wife, completing a successful business deal, feeling alone, when anxiety strikes, etc. Knowing what triggers the thought pattern is very helpful.
- SIN MUST BE ADMITTED TO AND CONFESSED Unlike Adam and Eve who blamed others for their sin, we must acknowledge and confess it (I John 1:9). We must accept the responsibility, not make excuses or blame others, not justify it explain it away. Ask God to clearly show you your sin (Psalm 139:23-24). Confession should include taking back any access the sin has given to Satan’s forces in ones life. Then comes the hard part — accepting God’s forgiveness (Psalm 103) and forgiving ourselves.
- DEVELOP A CLOSE, SOLID RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD Without the wisdom and power of God’s Spirit we cannot understand and defeat sin. Only a intimate relationship with God can meet our needs so we don’t have the same pull to meet them with a substitute like sexual sin. Jesus was tempted in all ways we are and overcame by depending on God (Heb 4:15).
- ADMIT YOU CAN’T OVERCOME SIN ON YOUR OWN As in all 12-Step programs, one must admit his own inability to conquer his thoughts or actions by his own strength. How can the flesh subdue the flesh (Romans 7:18-19)? If we think we can we are stronger than Samson, godlier than David, purer than Joseph and wiser than Solomon.
PRAY: Ask God to show you which of these steps will help you to have victory. Write down specific steps in how you can apply these things to your life.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available for free.)