Contaminating the Fantasy (Part 1 – Out and About)

Posted on April 16, 2015

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The wife of a pastor friend of mine once remarked that if God had not cranked up the sex drive on men that they would have been completely undomesticatable (if that is a word).  It is certainly true that our gender is very visually stimulated.  Jesus warned against even looking at a woman with lust which he equated with committing adultery in one’s heart (Matt. 5:28).  The apostle Paul instructed us to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).[1]  This begs two questions.  1) Where have you crossed the line from noticing to looking lustfully? And 2) How does one ever take every thought captive?

I might have to defend my first question here.  As far as I can discern, it is not possible (or probably even desirable) to not notice that someone is attractive.  The problem does not seem to be in the noticing that a woman is pretty, but in where you go from there.  Where does it move from noticing to lusting?  What are some indications that you are on the wrong side of the line?  Imagining sex acts – wrong side of the line.  Admiring body parts – wrong side.  Pretty much by the time you have made her an object in your mind (rather than a person), you have dehumanized her and crossed the line.

So how about this business of taking thoughts captive?  Let’s try contaminating the fantasy.  Inherent in fantasy is that it is not real.  Let’s inject it with a dose of reality and see if it survives.  Here are some possible strategies.  They may seem like a buzz-kill, but that is kind of the point.

Somebody’s daughter.  Try applying this test to your thought life.  Would you look at your daughter like that?  Would you want somebody looking at your daughter like that?

Sister in Christ.  In this regard she is your sister.  You aren’t going to look at your sister like that are you?

Not a set of body parts.  Recognize that the woman you are looking at is a human being and not a set of body parts.

Public thoughts.  Would you be embarrassed if she knew what you were thinking?  Would she be offended if she knew what you were thinking?

If you try this, it will not be an immediate fix.  Expect it to be an ongoing effort.  Like so many aspects of life, it is about improvement not perfection.  Shame is damaging too.  So try to stay out of shame as you work on curbing the fantasy.

Epilogue: Check out the April 17 Pooch Cafe comic:  http://www.gocomics.com/poochcafe

[1] From what I can tell by reading other people’s mail (i.e. the epistles), Paul never struggled in this area.  I don’t know that I know any men for whom taking every thought captive comes naturally.

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Posted in: Sex, Sexual Addiction