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Part two in this series---COPING WITH STRONG SEXUAL DESIRES--- Someone once said that our sexual passions is like fire, in a fireplace: As we know fire can warm us, when contained in a fire place. And when confined to a stove-top it can cook our food, but when not contained or controlled, it can burn our house down. There is perhaps no greater item that affects our lives in so many ways, as our sex drive.
As Gillis Triplett explains, "Without a doubt, having sex is pure ecstasy on earth. But for some people, their sex drive has been their Achilles heel. It has landed them in a relationship or marriage from hell, in the divorce court, in jail, tagged as a sexual predator, on a gurney in an abortion clinic, or put them into the shameful position of being a carrier of HIV/AIDS or some other sexually transmitted disease.
It has caused some to become addicted to porn, with seemingly no way out. For some women, their sex drive has caused them to have unwanted children. For some men, their sex drive has forced them to grudgingly pay child support to females they sorely despise. Still others, because of their sex drive, have lost their business, ministry, or political office. Some have lost everything... home, marriage, job, career, their children and their sanity.
The apostle Paul had to deal with the matter of a strong sex drive during the course of his ministry. Many of the believers at Corinth were having trouble with their sexual desires. The strong sexual desires, which Paul called a “burning” was evident in their lives and in their dealings with each other. It became obvious to them that strong burning desires persisted in spite of their prayers, that they would simply go away.
They looked to the apostle Paul for guidance on this matter. Ray Steadman explains, “Question #1 on their list seems to be something like this: "In view of the sexual temptations we face in Corinth, is it perhaps better to take a vow of celibacy, to renounce marriage for life, and to withdraw from all contact with the opposite sex?" And Paul's answer is given to us in this very first verse: "It is well for a man not to touch a woman."
Now that question probably arose from the difficulty that some were having with handling their sexual drives. They were living in a sexually-oriented society, very much like what we have in our country today. They were facing exposure to temptation in these areas every time they turned around, just as we do today, and some of them were reacting, and saying, "Well, rather than struggle all the time, why not just forget the whole thing and get away from the opposite sex and live as a monk?"
Paul explained to them that though this was a noble idea, to remain single and celibate, it would not do away with the sexual burning which plagued some of them. Paul advised, “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-2 RSV).
The Bible offers but one solution to those who are struggling with strong sexual desires. When Paul addressed this issue he gave this advice to the following groups, #1. TO THOSE WHO WERE SINGLE, HAVING NEVER BEEN MARRIED AND #2. TO THOSE WHO WERE SINGLE BY VIRTUE OF DIVORCE OR WIDOWHOOD.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1st Cor 7:2. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn," 1st Cor 7:8-9. These verses highlights marriage as the solution, for those who are burning in sexual passion. The advice Paul gave to those of his generation is still applicable to those of today's generation. Marriage is God's version of safe sex.
for it is better to marry than to burn," 1st Cor 7. In addressing the matter of sexual burning, Paul was well aware of the fact that there are many ways, this sexual burning manifested itself.
For most young people then and now, the most common ways this sexual burning initially manifest it self, has been through wet dreams and masturbation. Beyond these two items is the other response to ones sexual desires, which is fornication.
For many young people the issue of wet dreams and masturbation, was viewed as a taboo subject. Therefore most young people basically kept what ever questions and concerns they may have had to themselves. As a result there was and still is much confusion on this subject. Paul realized the impact that strong sexual desires can have on a person, therefore he noted that it was an issue that had to be addressed rather than ignored,
WET DREAMS AND MASTURBATION?? When it comes to coping with sexual passion, most people don't view the matter of wet dreams and masturbation. Yet for many, the advent of wet drams, and the act of masturbation, was the first indication, that burning sexual passions, was a part of the totality of our make up. As we have said, for most people, the first signs that they have natural sexual desires that must be dealt with, comes in the form of wet dreams and masturbation.
By God’s design, it is the secretion of certain hormone's into the bloodstream which activates the pubertal stage. This in turn causes our sex drive to intensify. These hormone's are produced in the human body by what is called the endocrine system.
These hormone's are very important in relationship to our sexual and physiological state of being. As these hormone's are secreted directly into the bloodstream, the external and internal symptoms of puberty begin to manifest. This is the stage in life when intensified sexual feelings, emotional fantasies, spontaneous erections, increased vaginal lubrication, a higher degree of wet dreams and masturbation takes place.
It is also the time when many began to sense a strong desire to be sexually active, which in some cases leads to sexually acting out, outside the bonds of marriage, (fornication). It is the increasing intensity and impact our sexual desires has on us in these areas, that prompted, to give this advice. " It is better to get married, than to continually burn in sexual passions"
WET DREAMS—For many young people this is the first sign that they are developing strong sexual urges. A wet dream is an automatic involuntary sexual response, which takes place as an individual sleeps, by which the body has an orgasm. Wet dreams can be classed in two groups; 1. A wet dream on the part of men is called nocturnal emission, and 2. A wet dreams on the part of woman, is called nocturnal orgasm. Both male and females exhibit physical signs of sexual arousal during certain periods of sleep.
Wet dreams normally occur as a release of sexual tension, which builds up in the body. Most who experience wet dreams normally do so at the onset of puberty. Many of these individuals will cease to have wet dreams as they get married and grow older. Wet dreams are something which is experienced by both sexes, but not by everyone.
Many have wondered how they could though no fault, plan, or intent of their own, become so sexually aroused while sleeping. Doctors tell us a man’s body produces semen, that at some point must be released. When no other form of sexual release is practiced, this semen is normally released through wet dreams. The degree of intensity of these dreams varies from person to person, because everyone does not have the same level of sex drive.
Some who are married experience wet dreams if they are not able to have sex with their spouse over a period. There are some people, who for various reasons, continue to have such dreams, even after marriage. It is reported by some women, that they begin to have wet dreams and intense orgasms, once they reach their forties, even though they are happily married.
God understands what causes these types of dreams, and why our bodies respond to them, the way it does. The Bible does seem to give us a general idea of how God would have us deal with this situation. When we have wet dreams to the point of ejaculating, the bible says in the Old Testament, the person who has experienced this, should wash themselves.
The Bible, in speaking about having discharges from the body, included wet dreams in its guidelines. 10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: 1 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. Deut. 23:10-11, Lev. 15-16 , *It should be noted, in Lev. 15-16, the reference being made is concerning an involuntary orgasm, as opposed to a venereal disease.
Masturbation??- For many young people, masturbation is generally their first sexual experience. It is estimated that approximately 90% of boys and 70% of girls masturbate. As a general rule, boys usually begin the process of sexual discovery at an earlier age than most girls. For many young people who begin to experience wet dreams and strong sexual urges, which lead some of them to begin to masturbate, this timing usually coincide with the onset of puberty.
Ross A. Taylor explains, “With marriage tending to occur later in life people are turning to sexual immorality and masturbation, on an unprecedented scale. With the advent of internet porn, even more fuel is thrown onto an already raging fire. When masturbation is combined with pornography, it becomes an addictive combination that can lead to obsessive and negative results, including making one unsuitable for marriage itself.
We marry much later in life, due to the fact we put marriage after our education and finding a good job usually into our late twenties. This gives more time for sexual addiction to develop especially for those who find it difficult to find friends of the opposite sex. Sexual addiction becomes a substitute for the real thing. In the end we come into bondage to masturbation, it controls us rather than us having control over our own body.
In 1 Cor 6:12, Paul says '"Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything'. If we become slaves to a bad habit, then we are not in control of our body. (1 Cor 6:12-13 NIV). The biggest problem being the combination of pornography and masturbation, which becomes an intoxicating and addictive mix.”
FORNICATION, UNDERSTANDING ITS TOTALITY---When Paul uses the word “fornication” in the following verse it is usually assumed that the main thing Paul had in mind, was male female sexual intercourse outside of the marital bond. "Nevertheless, to avoid FORNICATION, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." 1st Cor 7:2. While it is correct to make this assumption, it is incorrect to assume that the word fornication, as used in the Bible, is limited to this one sexual act.
The word ‘fornication as used in the Bible encompasses much more, than this one sexual act. A key meaning of the word ‘fornication’ as used in the Bible is “sexual immorality” . This sexual immorality includes sexual misconduct 0f every description.
This sexual immorality includes all forms of sex that do not conform with God’s guidelines for acceptable sexual interaction in His sight. This includes adultery, homosexuality, beastiality, incest, orgies, voyeuristic sexual activity, etc.
Some Bible versions use the word ‘sexual immorality’ instead of the word ‘fornication’. In the New Testament, the word most often translated “sexual immorality” (fornication) is PORNEIA. It is from this Greek word we get the English word pornography. This word is also translated as “whoredom,” and “idolatry.”
Paul tells us that we are to aggressively strive to avoid involvement, with the varied acts of fornication. He explains that honor our divine creator, we must sexually function in ways which lines up with His guidelines: This is especially true for those us us who desire to be in a close relationship with Him.
"18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1st Cor 6:18-20
Many today are under the assumption, that having sexual passions, (regardless of what they are) is a justifiable reason to act on them. Many today take great offense at the fact that the Bible teaches just the opposite. The scriptures makes it clear that when we act on our sexual passions, in ways which are contrary to God's guidelines, this is classed as whoremongering.
Paul noted two key items when it comes to our sexual passions. #1. There are natural sexual passions which clearly indicates our need to be married. #2. There are sinful unnatural sexual passions, calls for deliverance. compare below.
For today's younger generation, they are often told that"love is love." This statement is made by many who seek to promote the idea that sexually acting out in everyway one can imagine is ok, as long as one loves what they are doing. In fact this is one of the reasons why there have been add ons to the LGBTQ acronym. With the latest addition being the "Q" which stands for queer. With the connotation being, that ones sexuality and sexual activity, is to be deemed normal, regardless of how others may view it.
It is possible for men and women to love what they are doing, (right or wrong) and to experience a form of physical enjoyment and degrees of emotional fulfillment. This includes matters of sexual conduct that God defines as being abhorrent.
We are told that it’s possible to crave sexual interactions in ways that God never intended. For this reason, the Bible gives many solemn warnings against appealing to human passion or lust as the basis for our definition of moral sex.
NEXT--Understanding why we are sexually accountable---Click on image