The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

It feels really good to have somebody that will talk to me about this stuff. The truth is I don't want to talk to anybody I know about it. Maybe I shouldn't be so embarrassed about it but I am.

You have a way of knowing what I'm thinking. I'm scared to death about getting an erection at the wrong time. It's bad enough having the smallest penis in my class. I don't know what I'd do if I got an erection and people saw it. The funny thing is I didn't used to be this way. I used to go swimming at the community center and I'd see kids and grownups changing and I don't remember thinking it was a big deal. Now I'm stuck on thinking about what people are like naked, mostly guys but sometimes about girls too. 

I know other guys in my class have these thoughts about girls. There's a kid in my class that's had sex with a girl, or at least that's what everbody says. But I don't know of anybody who has had the types of thoughts I've been having. There's a couple guys that spend like 5 minutes walking around naked after gym. I've got the whole thing down to like 25 seconds, so I know how long it takes. And they don't act like they're worried about getting an erection. Sometimes I think they're trying to get people to look at them. And in my head it's like shame and attraction at the same time.

I don't know exactly where Satan is in this. We don't spend much time on Satan in our church. Actually our pastor has said stuff about a church that's another synod so it's a different church but our towns are not that big so everbody knows families at the other one and vice versa. Anyway, our pastor says they always talk about Satan, but we don't. 

So thanks again for all your advice. I've only got another question. I guess you know other kids that have admitted to thinking stuff like I do. Did they come out all right? I guess I mean are they living as Christians as best they can, or have they gone some other way? I don't make a big deal out of church stuff at school. I used to get teased a lot for talking about it, but it's important to me. So I worry that I'm becoming a hypocrite, in church every Sunday but thinking about terrible sins at night. 

I won't bother you much more. You're a great man to have spent this much time already.


Answer

I seem to know what you are thinking because I was your age at one time and I still vividly remember going though the same issues. God said, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man." (I Corinthians 10:13). Just as you don't like to admit it is happening, the same thing happens with other boys. You don't know simply because everyone would rather not talk about it. But rather than just take my word for it, I'm going to direct you to another site: Boys Under Attack: Stories. There are three pages of personal stories there. It is not a formal survey by a long shot, but what you will find is that about half of all boys go through a phase of attraction toward males as their bodies develop. In the distance pass it was termed "hero worship." In our sex depraved culture this normal phase is being made out to be justification for homosexuality. It is a passing phase. I can list all sorts of reasons why it happens, but it doesn't matter as much as knowing that it is temporary if you don't indulge it.

Therein is the more important concept for you right now. Sexual things, at this point in your life and for the next decade or so, are extremely powerful motivators. It is very easy to lock in habits -- both good and bad. That is why pornography is especially dangerous for young males. Your body wants a focus for these sexual urges. As a Christian you know women are off limits, but the fact that you are around males more often means your mind is going to latch on to what is available at the moment.

I'm sorry to hear that Satan isn't talked about much in your church. It is important that all of the Bible be discussed and there are reasons why God wanted you and I to know that Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness and that Satan entered Judas' heart prior to his betrayal of Jesus. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9). So even if the church you attend isn't doing a good job in that particular area, you should make up for it in your own studies. Do as Peter commands, put up a fight to get your mind and body under control.

By the way, most of the other material on Boys Under Attack is also good and should help you. You're always welcomed to talk about any question you have with me. Don't you dare stop talking about struggles you are having. I don't mind, and I also know it is good for you to have someone to bounce ideas off of. "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed" (James 5:16).

What changed from the time you were younger to now is the simple fact that you are aware of sexuality. Before it was an abstract concept. Now it produces impossible to ignore reactions in your body and mind.

In any group of young men you are going to find all kinds of people. Given current statistics, I'm not surprised that at least one of your peers has already experimented with sex. Many also have experimented with drugs and alcohol. None of which are good for them. And yes, you will find people who like to show off their bodies. The motivations will vary from trying to make others envious, to wanting to get reactions (i.e. a feeling of control), to enjoying the edge of being aroused themselves by pushing limits.

Given how frequently erections are striking and going to strike you, the odds are that you will have erections in front of the other guys. If you can manage to accept it as a fact of life, then you can divert the teasing. When someone points out that you are getting stiff, just look surprised and say:
  • "Oh, yeah. I guess I shouldn't be thinking about girls."
  • "Awful when it wants attention, isn't it?"
  • "What do you know, it looks like I'm finally going to start catching up with you guys."
  • "So how did you manage when it started happening to you?"
If you don't let the bullies bother you, they will find another target to intimidate.

A hypocrite is someone who talks one way but acts in a different fashion. A person claiming to be a Christian while smoking marijuana is a hypocrite because Christians are to be sober-minded. But a Christian engaged in battle against temptation is not being a hypocrite. You know where your mind ought to be and you are battling for doing what is right -- that is what a Christian ought to be doing. In that you are being consistent. Yes, I know, there are times you feel like you're losing ground, but the key is not to give up.