For the last few weeks we’ve been discussing the sensitive topic of what we allow our minds to entertain. The question we’ve been asking is: “Are you turning outside of your marital relationship to meet a sexual need?” Additional questions would be: “Would you do this with your spouse standing next to you, aware of what you are doing? And how about with Jesus being right there with you?” Our guess would be that you wouldn’t if your heart isn’t already hardened. That is because you would know that he and your spouse would consider this an adulterous affair of the mind.
As Christians, we’re called to expose darkness, not to play in it —especially at the detriment of our spiritual walk and our marriages. If we play close to the fire, we can get burned and many can get hurt as a result. As the Bible says, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?“ (See: Proverbs 6:23-28.)
It is noteworthy to know that this can be seen further by reading the following:
- Ephesians 5:8-16
- Luke 11:34-36
- Matthew 6:22-23
- Romans 13:12-14
- Colossians 3:1-8
- 1 John 2:15-17
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
Entertaining an Adulterous Affair of the Mind
Next, you need to know that you’re entertaining the enemy of our faith and grieving the Holy Spirit when you participate even a little, in that which the Lord tells us is wrong. As Jerry Jenkins wrote in his book, HEDGES: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It:
“The fact is that most Christian men do not have victory over lust. I have a theory about that. Scripture does not imply that we shall have victory over lust the way we are expected to win over worry or greed or malice. Rather, Paul instructs Timothy, and us, not to conquer or stand or fight, or pray about or resolve. Instead, we are to FLEE lust.”
The book goes into more detail, but the point is that lusting in any form, for anyone other than your spouse is sin. We must have no part of it.
“Sin can be defined as whatever:
- weakens your sense of reasoning,
- impairs the tenderness of your heart,
- obscures your sense of God,
- or takes away your desire for spiritual things.
“In short, if anything increases the authority of the flesh over the Spirit, no matter how good it is in and of itself — THAT to you is sin” (Susanna Wesley).
Sin is too easily normalized by those who are in denial. Larry Crabb put it this way:
“To achieve his purpose, Satan has one central strategy: encouraging us to focus on everything but the one thing that provides God the platform to fully reveal his grace —our sin.
Satan encourages us to:
- Notice another’s sin more than our own.
- Define sin as less heinous than it really is —perhaps regarding it as understandable. In some cases it is even desirable.
- Explain sin as a legitimate reaction to life’s disappointments and therefore, worthy of more of compassion than judgment.
- Treat sin as something merely naughty, like a childish prank.
- Evaluate sin as a merely regrettable path to legitimate relief from pressure and pain. It’s a path that is made necessary by whoever designed the world.”
It’s important to note that as long as we “feel our pain more deeply than we feel the pain we cause God” we live in disillusionment of what it means to be a follower of Christ. And when we apply this to our sexual behavior outside of the sanctity of marriage, we deeply grieve the heart of God when we dabble in “deeds of darkness.”
What about you? Are you showing in open as well as in private that you “hate what is evil”? And are you working to “cling to what is good?” (Romans 12:9)
Living an “Undefiled” Life
Sexuality experienced by the husband and wife in the covenant relationship of marriage (with no one else being involved in any other form) is wonderful, and is blessed by God. There are references throughout the Bible of the Lord’s blessing upon those who are married and keep their minds and be “undefiled”.
Now before we say what we’re going to say next, please understand one thing. There are some women who are participating in “deeds of darkness” concerning where they invest their energies outside of the marriage, as well as men (especially when it comes to chat room behavior and emotional affairs). So the following advice can be turned around where appropriate.
HERE’S SOMETHING FOR WIVES:
“If your husband is involved in pornography you may find yourself thinking that there is something wrong with you, his wife. Don’t believe this lie for one second. It’s critical that you point the finger in the proper direction. That is because if you’re willing to take the blame for his problem, he will never face up to it. And without him owning up to the problem, it will never be resolved. He most likely had a sexual addiction long before he met you…
“Pornography is a spiritual issue because a man’s own perceived needs have become his god. As a result, he constantly seeks out ways to worship himself. Your husband’s problem with pornography is devastating to his soul. He is hell bound and literally living a life of hell now as he attempts to feed a growing monster that cannot be satisfied.” (Nannette Klein, from her article Is Pornography Killing Your Christian Marriage?)
ALSO, HERE’S SOMETHING ADDRESSED TO HUSBANDS:
“If you want to change, recognize that you’re impure because you’ve diluted God’s standard of sexual purity with your own. God’s standard is that we avoid every hint of sexual immorality in our lives. Because our own standards on sexual purity have been mixed with God’s and since many Christians don’t read their Bibles very often, many men have no clue about God’s standard for purity.” (This comes from the book Every Man’s Battle written by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker.)
FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES:
Additionally, did you know that we’re commanded to avoid sexual impurity in nearly every book of the New Testament? Jesus used scriptures to combat the devil, so why shouldn’t we? Here are several to help you:
Matthew 5:27-28; Mark 7:20-23; Acts 15:29; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:13. Plus there is: 1 Corinthians 6:18-19; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 5:3-4; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:5-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 12:16; Hebrews 13:4; James 1:13-15; James 1:21; 1 Peter 4:1-3; Jude 7; Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:20; and Revelation 21:8.
Please know that it is our prayer that you and your spouse will both read and discuss how this message applies in your relationship. Furthermore, if needed, we have many articles, recommended resources and web site links provided on this web site to help both husbands and wives. Please know that you do not have to do this without help.
“Healing occurs once sin is exposed because the power is broken.”
Steve and Cindy Wright
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