Monday, December 8th, 2008
This is from an e-mail I received and I thought others may gain from the dialogue that occurred.
Recently I’ve struggled in my thoughts like fantasizing about having sex with someone. In a lot of areas I’ve come up with my own coping skills and have done well, but maybe you might have some advice. I would see someone during the day and fantasize about being with them. Today when I see someone that’s attractive I either don’t look at them on purpose or I’ll actually go up to them and start a conversation and sometimes ask if they know Jesus to redirect my thoughts.
How do I stop fantasizing?
For men, fantasy is an ongoing struggle. As men, we are very driven by sexuality. This is common amongst all men. Fears of disapproval, failure, rejection and performance enter the picture on a daily basis and can be the root of our struggle with fantasy that is unhealthy and troublesome.
With so much hanging on us in our jobs and relationships there can be a lot of temptation to comfort our struggles in ways that ward off the challenging feelings for a moment or a season. We turn to whatever has worked in the past; be it gambling, working really hard, body building, buying the next gadget and for most of us it can be sexual pleasure.
I find that the best way to prevent actions that I will be ashamed of later is to find healthy places to talk with others, to vent my frustrations in healthy ways, to share my life with others who are honest as well. This helps me to not feel alone and to get out of my unhealthy head and actions.
It is so important to include the Lord in on the underlying struggles, not just the surface ones. Jesus wants us to trust him, to rely on him for our deepest needs. Just going to him with “I’m sorry I fantasized today” is just scratching the surface. Rather, “Jesus, I feel like a total failure today” is much more intimate and honest.
Chris, this morning, a long time friend of mine that I have worked alongside in many ministry situations opted out of my newsletter mailing list. I am very sensitive to rejection and immediately had feelings of retaliation, of rejection and I wanted to cut him off. I don’t know why he opted out of my mailing list but I guess I assumed due to our past he would be interested in my life and what was going on with Grace Rivers.
If I let this go it could build up alongside other daily relational situations that are disappointing or confusing for me to process. The end result could be seeking some kind of false comfort to try to ease the hurt.
So, in the end, it doesn’t work as well to just push aside the surface temptations as it does to find resolve with the deeper issues we face each day.
When Adam sinned, God’s response was to cry out to him for renewal in their relationship, “Where are you Adam?” So, I believe today God is crying out to you seeking your friendship. He wants to hear the deep things in your heart. It is important to live each day recognizing what those deep thingsare. Like I did today with my mailing list. It may sound like a lot of work but after a season it just becomes a part of “telling myself the truth” all throughout the day.
I believe that you will find a much easier time keeping lust and fantasy at bay if you are facing these other things regularly.
I hope this will help. I helps me to remind myself of them as I write them. I can forget to keep myself honest.