Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sexuality, Spirituality and Overcoming Sexual Temptations

Spirituality and Sexuality: the whole world is driven by this two fundamental and powerful forces. News, media, TV commercials, internet, everything that we come across in our daily life are influenced by them. So is there any connection between the them? What does bible say about it? This article is an attempt to carefully investigate the relationship between our spirituality and sexuality. It is not an exhaustive study on the topic, but rather more practical approach to it. it addresses following questions:

  1. Is there any connection between spirituality and sexuality according to bible?
  2. How to overcome sexual temptations?
  3. Practical suggestions to overcome sexual temptations

Connection between spirituality and sexuality according to Bible:

spirituality 150x150 Sexuality, Spirituality and Overcoming Sexual Temptations

  • Man is often called a spiritual being, with spirituality at its center. If one is asked to graphically represent ‘man’, it would be a circle with a ‘spirituality’ at its center. This is true especially in the eastern cultures.
  • But Bible presents ‘Man’ much more like an ellipse! Ellipse had a unique geometrical property of having two centers. Man in the same way, is described as being with two centers – spirituality and sexuality!
  • If one of these centers is disturbed, the other is disturbed as well.
  • According to Bible, spirituality and sexuality are closely knit together.
  • Human sexuality is celebrated in bible. ‘Song of Songs’ is pretty graphic representation of human sexuality.
  • The first of God’s commandment (before any other) was: “Be fruitful and multiply.” (Gen 1:28)
  • After the fall of man, the first thing, Adam and Eve realized was that they were naked. (Gen 3:7)
  • Ephesians 5:22-33 is a classical example of the connection between spirituality and sexuality.
  • In Eph 5:22-31, Paul gives a detailed instructions on relationship between husband and wife. But in v. 32 (Eph 5:32), he suddenly says, “This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Paul here connects the relationship between husband and wife with that of Christ and the church.
  • But if we are to be honest, we all can accept our own personal struggle with sexuality. So, how can we overcome this power of sexuality?

How to overcome sexual temptations:

1. Dispel the illusion of invincibility:

  • Have a healthy respect towards its power!
  • Bible gives two ways of overcome the temptations in general, but we can apply it to sexual temptations.

Resist:

  • James 4: 7: ” Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
  • There are times when you need to fight back and resist the temptation. You need to stand firm.

Retreat:

  • 2 Tim 2:22: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness…”
  • There are times when you need to flee, run away or retreat to escape temptation.
  • Joseph is an excellent example of both of this methods. He tried to resist Potiphar’s wife as much as he could, but when the time came, he chose to flee out rather than resist her. (Gen 39: 6-12)
  • I believe that many times, we choose wrong ways, we flee when we need to stand firm, and vice versa.

2. Recognize the Environment:

  • Your environment affects your ability to resist the temptations. If you put yourself in vulnerable environment, you are more prone to fall into it.
  • Think of a situation, when you are alone or traveling away from home. You are more vulnerable because you miss fellowship, you miss restraints, and moral environment of friends, family or church.

Practical Suggestions to overcome sexual temptations:

  • Call your friends, or spouse.
  • Make yourself accountable to your spouse or one of your friends. (You don’t have to share it with everyone!)
  • Join the fellowship at church or some bible study group. Christian life is never meant to live on Sunday only.
  • Keep some books with you to read in your spare time.
  • When traveling, plan ahead to make advance commitments or plan to visit area church. Keep photos of your family.
  • Write down your spiritual goals on a card which you can carry with you.
  • Needless to say, spend time with God daily in Quiet time and prayer.

These are few practical suggestions which can help you overcome sexual temptations. In the end, I would like to conclude with a personal note. I myself am learning as I write this article. And there are times when it seems overwhelming and draining. But we are called to “Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Tim 6:12) Above all, I always remember the hope and promise that we have in Christ, whose Grace is sufficient for me, and His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)

Bibleseo

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