Upon transitioning from a life of unbridled fornication to one of chastity, I had to become more careful about staying away from sexual temptations that stem from the sight of alluring women or interactions with them in close quarters. Such thoughts create the desire to participate in masturbation or sex. I learned that if you cut temptation at the source, you are more likely to resist the urge to pleasure yourself or fornicate.
Here are five ways men may be tempted, from the least to most dangerous…
1. Sight or image of an attractive girl
If you witness a girl who has sexualized herself with tight or revealing clothing, you will almost certainly think of sex. The severity of the thought depends on how sexualized she is and if you’re looking at a mere photo or a real woman up close. A photo of a naked woman on the internet will create more lust than a fully clothed woman in real life, but if the latter changes outfits to reveal cleavage and a perfect rear-end, the lust she can create within you will surpass a naked photo.
Online, I do not view any pornographic or nude imagery. Offline, I maintain custody of my eye and try to look only at a woman’s face. This is easier said than done, and my eye often roams, but if you successfully focus on a girl’s face, no matter how beautiful she is, your brain is less likely to create sexual thoughts. If it’s a hot day and every girl is semi-naked, like often is the case, I have to be extra vigilant in keeping my glances of them above the neck. If that fails, a self-imposed quarantine could be an option during the steamiest parts of summer. This is where living in a rural area or small town is helpful.
2. An attractive girl fixed in your field of view
The second layer of sexual temptation is when you find yourself in a setting where you have to look at a desirable girl for a prolonged period of time, with little option to turn away. One example is if you’re in a university class and a sexy girl wearing sweet-smelling perfume is sitting in front of you. Another example, which has often happened to me, is when an enticing girl sits in my field of view while I’m working at a cafe. She could also be a store clerk or receptionist. In these cases, you will absorb her essence for much more than a glance, allowing you to create a richer fantasy of how her intimacy is like.
The solution here is easy enough: get up and move. Unless you’re in a prison, you are not forced to remain in a certain position. Put your back to the object of temptation and continue with what you were doing. Unfortunately, the fashion industry designs female clothing to frame the breasts and buttocks, highlighting them as if they were Las Vegas lights, so you may have to take strong measures to block out illicit views.
3. An attractive girl fixed in your field of view while you’re intoxicated
The most common example is when you’re drinking in a bar that has many libidinous women. You’ll lose custody of the eye and start to explore the crevices of their bodies. In addition, alcohol removes all willpower to control your thoughts, and since you are also less inhibited, you’ll find it easier to talk to the sort of woman you wouldn’t have been interested in had you been sober. In such an environment, a thought of sex can easily turn into its fulfillment. There are very few substances out there that more easily facilitate lust and the sex that follows than alcohol.
In order to block this threat, I recommend not drinking alcohol in places where women are present. Feel free to have a drink with your buddies in private, or even alone at home, but once you start to drink in bars or clubs, you will allow lust to take over, and then feel ashamed that you acted in such a weak manner the day after. This may force you to make substantial changes to your lifestyle.
4. Continual and steady access to an attractive girl who is not suitable for you
If you work in a corporation, you may have a sexy female coworker that you cannot pursue, either because she doesn’t meet your standards, would not make for a good long-term partner, or is already betrothed to another man. In spite of that, you will get to know her deeply over a prolonged period of time, and there will be moments of flirtation on late work nights when completing a project under deadline. You will see hints of her vulnerability and sensuality, and imagine all sorts of romantic scenarios with her.
Unfortunately, this case is hard to combat, because you will see her every day. It doesn’t help that dress codes in modern workplaces are sometimes not that different from gym wear. If you are single, she will enter your mind in lonely moments and linger, sometimes providing fuel for masturbatory action. Unless she is ugly or your willpower is especially strong, there is no way to stop this temptation unless you remove yourself from her presence entirely. Consider transferring departments or getting a new job.
5. Attractive woman who has diabolical plans to corrupt you
The most dangerous layer of temptation is when a woman, likely under the influence of a demon, has made a choice to corrupt your chastity. Online, she will send you nude photos and videos even if you didn’t ask, and then follow up with sexual banter (e.g. “Do you like my vagina?”). Offline, she will compliment you and touch you lecherously, inching ever closer to your crotch, prompting you to develop an erection. As strong as a man you may think you are, you have no innate resistance against this type of seduction, even if you haven’t consumed alcohol. Pray continually and then block the woman online or escape from her in person.
I’ve had a handful of cases in the past where women online sent me nude photos and videos, particularly on Instagram and Twitter. Their pornography immediately aroused me and I had trouble stopping myself from masturbating to material that was “custom made” for me. Since then, I’ve withdrawn from Instagram and stopped accepting messages from strangers on Twitter. Recently, when a woman tried to seduce me, I prayed without ceasing, kept my hands to myself, and waited for the threat to pass.
If you’re a fornicator, you may find the above examples silly, but if you’re chaste, you understand how hard it is to remain so in a secular world that has elevated masturbation and sex to virtues. You will be tempted nearly every which way you turn, not just from pornography and real-life women, but also advertisements, movies, and music videos. It’s almost as if those in power want you to think of sex constantly. The average woman in her prime is more than eager to play along with this agenda.
I know that my biggest weakness is the female flesh. I have very little willpower to defend against an attractive woman, so I’ve had to identify and block the main areas where they tempt me while praying to God for help. If there’s no temptation, there’s no lust, and if there’s no lust, the desire to fornicate diminishes. I’m still a hot-blooded man, but thanks to these efforts, I’m much more in control of my passions than before.
Read Next:Â How To Control Your Lust
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows:Â It is good for them if they remain even as I am;Â butÂ if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burnÂ with passion. – 1 Cor 7:8-9 (NKJV)
This bigger passage is one that I am using to counsel a single man at my church on whether he should remain single or pursue marriage, but this little excerpt is a decent summary. If one’s faith through prayer is successful at holding off stumbling in sin, then the man could better serve God through not being entangled materially in this life. Some are able to endure and escape sin successfully, and for such folks they may possess the gift of celibacy.
From a practical standpoint, we don’t need sex or marriage to serve God, but God also doesn’t equip everyone the same either. Some folks are more susceptible to certain sins than others. Some can drink responsibly and control themselves, others must become teetotalers. Scripture does not forbid alcohol, but drunkenness, for example.
Flexibility is then required in how we address brothers and sisters in Christ on dealing with temptation. There is no one-size-fits-all practice or behavior which is universally effective. Not all will be able to live in the same exact manner, just as Paul changed what he ate in order to accommodate the weaknesses of those he was among, likewise the advice that we offer to folks should be calibrated to the audience.
Not that this advice was “wrong”, but Paul quite literally indicates that one of the ways to escape temptation is to have a valid and proper means of releasing such pent up energy. Did he only make this an option as a resentful concession though, as Jesus criticized the Jews with respect to why Moses permitted divorce?
When it says: â€œit is better to marry than to burn with passionâ€œ that seems to me to be a potentially serious obfuscation of the point. Burning with passion leads to burning in hell. I would not be surprised if the original Greek simply said: â€œIt is better to marry than to burn (i.e. â€œin Hellâ€).
Either way, I just received your book in the mail â€“ â€“ American Pilgrim. Please forward to the read…