The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I have read some of your answers on moral issues and it has really cleared a lot of issues but please I wish to bring this so that I will understand that you are talking directly to me.

I have the problem of not being able to deal with sexual desires. It started from when I was still very young. I watched pornography for the first time when I was about 5 or 6 years old and had sex with a neighbor's daughter many times before I had to relocate after my parents separated. As I grew up I was constantly exposed to things like that through movies, magazines and the Internet. It gave me pleasure then and it even made me to start masturbating while thinking about those sexual scenes and eventually led to fornication. I'm not trying to use the whole story as an excuse, but I'm telling you because this is the only thing I have come to realize is wrong but still find difficult to overcome, As a matter of fact it has been the only wrong thing I've been doing since I was a kid that I have not been able to change.

I have realized my fault now, and I have made a resolution that I will never fornicate again. I have taken some actions, such as

  • making my friends understand who I am now and most of them understand,
  • cut-off the ones who are leading a very immoral life,
  • stopped watching pornography and
  • censored the kind of movies and music I watch and play
  • stopped viewing and saving images with immoral pictures and texts.

I have taken a lot of actions, but it has not been enough.

Let me bring up my major challenge now. Sometimes, if not even most times, when I read, hear, or watch anything that describes a sexual act, I feel sexually aroused and sometimes my penis gets erect. Then the description stays in my memory and haunts me from time to time. Also when I see a girl, the first thing my mind thinks about is her beauty, cleavage and back, and it gets even worse if she exposes more of her body. The most terrible part of it is that it happens to me even when I am with children and even my sisters. It is not that I have any thought of committing any sexual act with them, but it just happens. Because of this, I don't allow children to seat on my lap, I can't dance with my sisters with our bodies touching, and I have tried to avoid those things that will bring about too much physical contact with them. I have tried successfully to put it under control so many times. It is easier when I am in public place, mostly because of shame when people see my penis erect. But I don't think it comes naturally.

This is the only thing that I've found most difficult to fight since I was kid to this moment and it is affecting my confidence as a Christian. I have asked for forgiveness so many times. I am even scared to partake of the Lord's Supper, even after asking for forgiveness. Sometimes when I read about repentance being a complete change from what one used to do, I become disturbed in my heart, and I really grieve at how much I have failed to truly repent in this aspect, then I will be able to handle it for a few days but it does not last.

I have also prayed about it and read some passages in Bible to help me, but it seems I have not really opened my heart well enough because I don't feel the need for change well enough. I really want to change. In the area of fornication, maybe it is because I have not been faced with a major temptation for some time, but I strongly feel that I will not be involved in it again as I have been able to study and really appreciate what I need to do to avoid it. I will be living on my own next year, and maybe even start living completely after I am through with what I have to do. That is why I need to put these desires in check because I am about to enter the period that will present the ultimate test on how much I have grown spiritually and mentally. I feel strongly that when I am married I would not not have this problem. But I am not resting on it because even if it is possible it will to take like 3 or 4 years before I will start taking marriage seriously.

Please I need your help because I don't want keep on living like this as it affects my faith and that makes me sick, but I don't understand why I still can't control it.


Answer

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

God makes three promises:
  1. Every temptation you face is not unique to you. While everyone doesn't face the same temptations, there are countless people who have gone through similar situations to your own. Some were successful in overcoming the temptation and some failed.
  2. Every temptation you face is within your ability to overcome. It might not feel that way, but you do have the ability to say "No" to what Satan is offering you. Satan can't overwhelm you because God won't let him.
  3. There is always a choice. Satan can't box you in so that no matter what you decide, you have to sin. It might be hard to spot, but there is always a way out.

It sounds like you've made a good start. If there is a difficulty in what you are doing, I suspect that you put so much emphasis on getting rid of sin out of your life that you haven't spent nearly enough time replacing it with righteousness. The result is unstable. "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45).

Another difficulty is that because of your background, you are having a hard time distinguishing between desire, temptation, lust, and sin. Thus, when your body responds with desire, you immediately begin thinking of sin or assume you are in sin. Am I right in assuming that any time you ejaculate that you believe you have sinned?

I don't know where you are, but I can help and I would like to help. In situations like your own, I have consistently found that talking works far better than writing. The decision is yours, but if you would be willing to work with me, I can show you how you can gain self-control and confidence. If you are interested, which method of communication works best for you?

You are correct that now is the time to learn self-control because life isn't going to get easier. Even marriage will not solve a man's lack of self-control because it will impact all areas of his life.