The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm 17. I was having a problem masturbating to gay porn. I had a theory about it, that in school none of the girls liked me, because of this rejection I had my first gay thought. Then it turned into something horrible, I could not look at a boy under 17 and not think he was cute. I was really worried I was gay, but deep in my heart I knew I wasn't because one of the dreams of my life is growing up, getting married, and being a great husband and father. I feel I can do a good job at it. I love God with all my heart and love the church I go to. I know I can do this because I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me, but I was worried if I did not get rid of this addiction and I had a son, old feelings would arise and I would ruin my life, my son's life, and my wife's life. I had two feelings: one was the problem would straighten itself out when I met that special woman, and the second was that it wouldn't get solved at all or it would by other means. I wasn't sure if the feelings were from God, Satan ( to throw me off track), or my gut, but like I said things have recently changed. It felt so good to tell someone. I started to feel new, and I started to notice girls -- not that I hit on them or want to have sex, but it's a start. If I can just stay away from the porn, it will work and that is how I feel God wants me to go about it. What do you think?


Answer

It seems to me that you are fairly perceptive about yourself and your motivations. When you notice a problem, the best time to take care of it is now. Problems, especially with yourself, rarely go away on their own.

The problem you are dealing with is lust. You have a strong desire for sex, just like any other young man, but you wrongly concluded for a while that girls were closed off to you. You found another outlet for your desire, but it was a twisted one involving your own gender. Lust is when you want something so badly that you are willing to do something wrong to get it. "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21-23). You started entertaining thoughts of having sex with another guy and, thus, are leaving yourself wide open for actually committing such a sin.

These thoughts are being reinforced by looking at homosexual pornography. Pornography is wrong in general because it inflames the desire for sex outside of marriage. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). Homosexual pornography just adds another layer of wrong on top of it.

To attack the problem then, we need to get ride of the garbage in your life. I assume you are getting your pornography from the Internet, so the first thing to do is to install blocks against pornography. I want you to get K9 Web Protection on all your computers and phones that you use. It isn't perfect. It can be defeated. But the reason I'm suggesting this is that you have to go through an extra step to turn it off. That step gives you a few more moments to think, and hopefully stop yourself.

The second prong in our attack against your problem is teaching yourself self-control when it comes to your sexual desires. You probably haven't noticed this, but your "attacks" for wanting to seek out pornography is tied to your body's need to ejaculate semen. Your body constantly produces semen, but it only has limited storage capacity. It is designed to ejaculate the excess and it lets you know you need to ejaculate by raising your sexual desire. The problem is that you've developed a habit of relieving that desire by masturbating to pornography.

A typical mistake young men make is to think they can just stop ejaculating. But the desire continues to build to the point that you can't think straight and the next thing you know, you give in to pornography again. Therefore, instead of fighting against your body I want you to learn to manage your body's desires. When you feel the sexual desire building and especially when you are tempted to look at pornography, I want you go take a shower and masturbate there. I pick the shower because it is private, you can clean up easily, and you can't look at pornography there. Once you ejaculate, you'll find that the desire to look at pornography will have disappeared and you can go on about your business. This gives you a way to relieve yourself without pornography being involved. It will still be a struggle for a while. Just because you got rid of the bad input doesn't mean that what you've stored in your brain will go away. You'll have to fight to keep your thoughts away from sinful ideas, but eventually it will fade.

The third prong is something you've already discovered. Having someone to talk to helps when it comes to struggling against sin. "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). You are, of course, welcome to talk to me anytime you have something on your mind.