“80% of men struggle with some sort of sexual purity issue and the 20% that say they do not, are lying.”
The above was a funny joke I once heard in my sex addiction specialist training. Unfortunately, this “joke” is a very true reality. From my short experience in recovery, more and more men whom I would never think struggled with any type of sexual purity have come forward needing help. There are those men out there that don’t want to admit that they might struggle with sexual purity issues. They are afraid to admit this, particularly if they are in relationships or in positions of leadership either at work or in the church. I’ll be upfront and guess that no man “wants” to admit they have a problem with sexual purity. The subject seems shameful and dirty. What man wants to admit to his wife that he is struggling with some sort of sexual purity issue? Or should I state, what man is strong enough to admit that they struggle with this issue? Apart from Christ, none of us are strong enough!
Degrees of sexual impurity in a man vary from person to person. However, the struggle can sometimes seem impossible, hence the David vs. Goliath picture I am using for this post.
There are those who struggle with lustful thoughts, sometimes uncontrollable. They see a woman and look at her as a sexual object rather than a beautiful creation. They fantasize in their minds what it would be like to have this woman, either sexually or just relationally (perhaps as a substitute for their current relationship). They do this, even in the presence of their partner or family members! (Side note: a therapist once told me a story about a teenager that was “cutting” all the time. It stemmed from her father gawking (or objectifying) at other women in the presence of her and her mother.) Although these men may feel that they have done nothing wrong, the truth is, they have. When a man looks at a woman lustfully, they are being sexually impure. Looking at women lustfully is only the beginning of how the road to complete sexual impurity (or what I call sexual addiction) begins. If a man can fight his battle at this point, then he can spare himself and loved ones the pain and suffering brought on by the addiction. Remember, the enemy will lie to a man and tell them they don’t have a problem with sexual purity or that they won’t become addicted.
Moving on to the next point of sexual impurity – self gratification, also known as masturbation. If a man lusts to the point where they want to gratify themselves, then there is a cause for concern for them or their partner. In healthy, intimate relationships, a man should not have to gratify himself. Even if the partner is unwilling or unable, self gratification is not acceptable as sexually pure behavior! If the man is not truly intimate with his partner on an emotional intimacy and spiritual intimacy level, then he will not be able to be truly intimate with his partner on a physical level! Too many men have chosen the selfish, self-serving way of masturbation to help them “relieve” their stress or use other excuses. The truth is, self-gratification takes away from real intimacy with your spouse. It takes away from a man’s desire to be with their wife physically, it takes away from the emotional and spiritual intimacy husbands should have for their wives! And here is the caveat: Masturbation can become as compulsive and addicting as drugs!
I’ll discuss other sexual purity issues in subsequent parts to be posted later.