Do You Think About Sex Too Much?

If you’re addicted to sex, is it because you think about it too much? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Years ago I was browsing on Facebook and I saw a friend post something saying that the problem in our world today is that people think about sex too much. I told him he has it backward. We don’t think about sex too much in our society. We think about it too little.

“What?! Are you crazy? Do you know how many people, especially men, seem to have sex on the brain constantly?”

Yes, but that doesn’t equal thinking about it. Having thoughts about sex is not the same as really truly thinking about sex. We dream about it, fantasize about it, talk about it, and just outright “do it”, but we don’t really stop and think about it.

Something I have said along these lines has really impacted men who I meet who struggle with true sexual addiction. I have told them that the problem is not that they love sex too much. They love it too little. It sticks with them apparently. If they loved it so much, why would they treat it so cheaply?

For many men, sex is a quick fix. There are many men who just want a physical release. The physical release is important, but there’s more to it than that. However, if all you want is a physical release, well this is why porn is something so many men can settle on it. You watch a naked girl doing things and you manage to give yourself that physical release.

Of course, in doing porn a man is lying to himself. He’s treating himself like a real man while not actually going out and impressing the woman and being a real man to her and winning her total trust. He’s also teaching himself a view about women. This is what women are good for. Women are good for what they do with men with their bodies. But if you think that, it’s not the woman that matters. It’s her body that matters. She is irrelevant.

If you’re married, you’re also lying to your wife. Sexual intercourse is a way of pointing to the complete and total trust you have with your wife in an exclusive union. You cannot do that and watch porn at the same time and be telling the truth. You are telling your wife at that point that she is one among many. Even if you want to say she is your favorite, she is not the only.

Now for you women briefly, this article is mainly for men with addiction, though if you have that you can get the counterparts for yourself, normally I think it’s wise to not withhold sexual intimacy in a marriage. After all, in 1 Cor. 7, Paul says that your bodies belong to each other and do not withhold except for by mutual consent and even then for a short time. I think this could be a valid exception though because your husband is having an affair essentially and you need to let him know that you are not going to be treated like one among many. You need to be his one and only. He will have to choose.

But on the other hand, if your man is working on this, please be supportive of him. Please be with him in the process and try to realize that deep down, he does want to honor you. It will be hurtful and painful, but you need to do this as a couple realizing a victory for one of you is a victory for both of you. Don’t be ashamed to also go to a licensed professional counselor.

Getting back to you men, maybe you really need to think about sex. Don’t just think about doing it or the experience. Really think about it. What is it? Keep in mind if you’re a Christian, you know that this is the creation of God. It’s all God’s idea. From the very beginning, He planned this out.

Go look at Scripture also. Many times, the love of God and the love of Christ is compared to marriage. Why? What is that all about? Could that have any connection to sexuality? After all, sex isn’t just an accidental add-on to marriage is it? It’s not an afterthought is it? Male and female were from the very beginning. Marriage is right there at the start of the Bible and it’s also at the end with the wedding supper of the Lamb.

So what is it? Why did God make it this way? Why did He make a woman’s body so beautiful? Why do you find her body so beautiful? What is it about the exclusive union that is so unique? What makes it wrong to have sex with someone you’re not married to?

Go to your Christian bookstore and try to find some good Christian books on the topic. If you have to, go to Amazon, since sadly many Christian bookstores are just awful today. Go get the answers.

Stop treating sex like something cheap and common by pornography and other such things. Treat it as the sacred gift of God. If you are married, why on Earth would you really want to look at another woman besides your wife? Oh, I understand the temptation entirely, and the temptation is no sin, but why pursue that? You’re not going to have sex with these women and even if that was a possibility, would it be worth it to wind up living a greater lie to your wife and devastating her if she found out, and if you have children making it far worse for them?

And if you do have children, consider that. Do you want your son to grow up and be like you? You are the first example to him of what a man is supposed to be like. Do you have a daughter instead? You are the first example of what she should look for in a man she could marry someday. Do you want her to marry a man like you?

Really. Is any of this worth it for some time of fun? Are you going to look at any joy in your life and say “That joy is worth inflicting needless pain on the people I love the most in my life.” I hope you would never say that with your words, but your actions are saying it if you are engaging in pornography.

Keep in mind also, your desire is not wrong. There is nothing wrong with the desire for sex or the desire to see the naked female body. God built you with these desires. It’s how you treat them that’s the problem. Are you going to respect the creation of God and thus God Himself or are you going to dishonor them and thus dishonor God Himself?

If this is you with this struggle, please reach out and get help. You are worth it. Your family is worth it. Your commitment to Christ is worth it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Addiction

How do we deal with addictions? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife goes to Celebrate Recovery and seeing as she can’t drive, I’m her ride. The meetings are held at our church and they are a blessing to go to. I am finding it easier and easier to communicate with the men that I’m in group with. Everyone who come to the group has a major struggle. I generally talk for me about wanting to be a better husband. Each meeting has early on an account of someone giving their story and there is one running theme.

Addiction.

I am sure I have my own addictions, but I honestly can’t place them. As I thought about this, I’m sure we all do, because it could easily be the case that all sin is something like this. It has been said that for the devil, the sin he did was that he saw all the glory of YHWH in Heaven and thought of nothing but his own prestige. Note something if that is accurate. There is nothing wrong with your own well-being, but there is a problem with putting that first.

Something you need to know about addictions is that everyone who is addicted is addicted to a good thing. Some of you might balk at that. Surely it is not good. In some cases, the actions are not good, but the person really wants not the actions, but the good that comes with the actions.

Consider if we talk about sexual addictions. Sex is a good thing, yet if you meet a man who struggles with sexual addiction, he does not want the sex for the sake of sex. No. He wants sex because of certain things sex gives him. He delights in seeing a woman naked. He enjoys the feeling of sexual release. He desires to be wanted and wants to be passionate with a woman. It could be any of those things. It could be all of them.

None of those are bad things. A man should enjoy seeing a woman naked. He should enjoy sexual release. He should want to be wanted and want to be passionate with a woman. These are not bad things.

The sin is not the desire itself. The sin is putting that desire over something else. In this case, the man is using the woman’s body often as an object and caring nothing about the woman herself and is not willing to make a commitment to her. If he is married and his wife doesn’t give, well okay. That’s rough, but just hop on the computer and look at some porn. If the wife can’t be used, use another woman.

How about cutting? If you see my wife’s Facebook, you know she has struggled with this and is about to go four months without. Why does someone want to cut? It’s not because they really enjoy the act itself. It’s because of what results from the act. It makes them feel better about emotional pain. Nothing wrong with that part. All of us want to diminish emotional pain. It’s just how we do it that’s wrong.

Many times with addiction, a strange place seems to be reached. It is the position of saying that we cannot be happy without X, whatever it is. Not only that, we are willing to risk what anyone else could tell us would be greater goods in order to get this lesser good.

C.S. Lewis years ago compared us to children who are offered a day at the beach but instead keep wanting to make mudpies in a sandbox. We are offered so much and we settle for so little. Lewis said our desires are not too strong, but they are too weak. We settle. We are far too easily pleased.

When we get like this, two words come to mind to describe this. Both of them start with an S. I’m going to be blunt so be prepared.

The first word is stupid.

If you were offered a day at the beach and yet insisted on mudpies in a sandbox, unless there is some factor about the beach we don’t know about, that’s just stupid. It is. It is not the result of sound thinking.

The other word is the one we don’t like to use, but it needs to be used. In fact, I think until we come to realize that unless this word is seen as the real culprit, the problem will never be dealt with.

That word is sin.

You see, the problem isn’t that we love some little thing too much. It’s that we love some greater thing too little. A man with a porn addiction hopefully loves his wife, but sadly, in that moment, he is loving his addiction more.

Lewis had something to say about this as well. He said that when we want forgiveness of sins, we usually want excusing of sin. “Yes, Lord. I did look at pornography, but my wife was really frigid today and I had such a raging desire and I figured it was better to deal with it than to live in stress and anxiety over it.”

Excusing is just stupid. For one thing, God knows all the excuses we could give. He knows the mitigating factors that lead to a sin. He takes them into account and judges us fairly. Yet no matter what it is, in every single action, there is still something that was done wrong. That is the sin. It cannot be excused. There is no excusing sin. It must be confessed and forgiven.

For addiction, repentance doesn’t need to become a one-time deal. It must be a lifetime. It must be our constant repenting. What is that repenting? For the time being, we put something else on the throne of God. We put something else as essential to our happiness save God Himself.

1 Tim. 6:17 does say God gives us all things richly for our enjoyment. He gave us food, sex, money, fame, and all of these properly understood are good things. What is the problem is that we make these good things the main gods of our lives when addiction comes up.

I think also some of this could be that well, our churches aren’t doing a good job. Most churches give us just simple platitudes. Christianity is not about submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord. It’s about learning how to be a good person. There’s nothing wrong with being a good person, but the church has to give us something unique. Jesus can’t be just a way to be a good person. He has to be a way to God. Jesus did not come to just give us morality. He came to give us God.

We also have an emphasis on heaven in our churches, and yet there is no excitement about heaven. People will say they want to go to heaven when they die, but they don’t think about it. I have to say I’m guilty of that as well, and if we went by the description of heaven in most churches, who could blame anyone for not being excited? Heaven is often depicted as a neverending church service, yet how many of us can be looking at our watches wondering if the preacher will be quiet soon after ten minutes and yet we’re supposed to enjoy an eternity of this?

I really think we need to get in some good look at Heaven. Consider a book like Peter Kreeft’s Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing. To go back to Lewis, Lewis spoke of how we can not picture happiness sometimes because we’re so fixated on one thing. For a little boy, chocolate can be the greatest good. His older brother says lovemaking is far greater. The little boy wonders if the couple has chocolate in it. (To be fair, they can, but it’s not essential.) The little boy does not realize that the couple has something going on that is far better so much so that chocolate pales in comparison. Picture if what we have in lovemaking that is so good cannot compare to what awaits us in eternity.

One reason we also don’t get excited about Heaven is that we’re not excited about God, and again, why should we be? God is often depicted in these static terms. He forgives us and He loves us and that’s about it. Nothing is said about His glory and majesty. Nothing is said to excite us to His nature. We worship Him, but do we really know why we do? Many of us worship God I think out of familiarity and because you go to church on Sunday and that’s just what you do.

Picture it. We’re really saying there is a being out there who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, loves us all, will give us all that is essential to our happiness, has acted in the world through great events like the Exodus and the sending of His Son Jesus, still does miracles today, will give us all everlasting joy in Heaven, but at the same time prior will be our judge and we will give an account of everything we do to Him.

Oh. That’s nice. What’s on TV tonight?

It really is how we approach the topic.

It’s also shown that we do that because we don’t take sin seriously. Much of our psychology and such is about dealing with our feelings. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s rarely about dealing with our behaviors. We want to feel good. We just don’t often want to be good.

Have you ever considered that every act of sin, no matter how small, is an act of divine treason? In some way, you are denying one or more of God’s attributes.

You are denying that God has the power to judge you when you sin. He says He will, but you don’t fear that. You will do it anyway.

You are denying that He knows what is best for you. He says He will provide your joy and happiness if you trust Him. Nope. You have to find your own way.

You are denying His omnipresence. God won’t see it. He isn’t there. He won’t notice it.

You are denying His love. God is holding out on you. If God really wanted your happiness, He would provide immediately this thing that you want for your happiness.

We could go on, but the point is you are denying God. You are then trying to take His throne. Every sin is setting ourselves up as the real god of the universe.

So let’s look. We don’t take sin seriously. We don’t take God seriously. We don’t take Heaven seriously.

About the only thing we seem to take seriously is ourselves.

Yet as I say that last part, a caveat comes up. Many times, it can be a popular saying to say “I am my problem.” You’re not. The problem is not you. Why? Because sin is not your identity. You are not an addiction. You have an addiction. The problem is your sin. Get rid of your sin and everything about you is wonderful at that point. Really. Not a joke. Everything about you will be wonderful if you get rid of sin. The same for me.

We must realize our enemy is not ourselves. It is our sin, and we have to have zero-tolerance for it. Paul would write in places like Romans about how we were set free from sin. How can we let it be master over us again? If we submit to sin, we are not submitting to King Jesus. If we are not submitting to Him, we are saying something else is master besides Him.

Now some good news. God forgives us even in our sin. God is willing to work with us. He knows that we are dust. He knows our struggles. We do need to turn to Him and I think we need to turn to Him in an informed way. We really need to think about God.

You see, the reality is that we will pursue what it is that we really desire. We have to ask ourselves if we desire the object of our addiction more of if we desire God more. Every time we give in, we know which one we really desire more at that moment. It’s also again, pretty stupid and sinful. What we desire here is often momentary and doesn’t last long.

Consider a man who has a good marriage and great kids. What happens? He gets tempted by a girl at the office and before too long, he’s meeting her in a hotel and is throwing away years of a good marriage and being a good example to his kids just so he can have a tryst with another woman that won’t last that long. The act of sex is not an all-day thing in itself. (You can spend all day preparing for it, but you won’t spend all day doing it.)

Most of us would realize that’s stupid indeed, but the man when he’s caught in the action does not see that. All he sees is the sex that he wants. That’s it. That’s why we need to listen to others. Is what we really want, a moment of pleasure, worth sin against a holy God? Is it really worth putting ourselves and our loved ones through pain? Is it?

Again, I’m saying this as someone writing more on the outside and seeing the pain of addiction, which for me is when my wife chooses it in some way. One of the great sadnesses is realizing all the good that is being missed out on when the lesser good is desired. It’s quite amazing isn’t it? One can follow the path knowing the lesser good will end in pain every single time, and yet each time that time is thought to be the exception. This time when we follow the addiction, we will get the happiness that we want!

Our ultimate happiness is only found in God. He has given us several other things to make us happy here in this world and we should enjoy them, but we must never make idols out of them. Use them for the glory of God, but don’t think they are the glory of God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Why Aren’t We Happy?

What’s keeping us from being happy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently, I was at a group where addiction was being talked about and alcohol was brought up. Why is it that some people will go and get the bottle knowing that it will only lead to suffering for them? Why do they keep doing it? The question could be asked of any of us. We do things that we know in the long run won’t bring us happiness and we don’t do things that we know will bring us happiness. Why?

Now I want to stress that in many ways, happiness can be fickle. What I am saying is that if one looks at what one has to be happy about in their life, that that will overpower what one has to be unhappy about. One can have both at the same time. I am not telling anyone to have a constant feeling, but more of a constant outlook.

So we all say we want to be happy, but perhaps that is the first thing we should question. Do we really want that? It’s not like we can push a button and immediately be happy. Something will have to change. Normally, it is not going to be our circumstances so much as our attitude towards life, but there are circumstances that will have to change sometimes.

What happens in the case of addiction? The problem is the person has taken a lesser good and cannot see that there is a greater good that awaits them, but that greater good can only be gained by dropping the lesser good. The good of sobriety is far greater than the good of being drunk by the bottle. (Keep in mind, I am not condemning all consumption of alcohol. I am condemning an unhealthy addiction to alcohol.) A person thinks the good of the feeling they get from pornography is something they don’t want to lose, not realizing that this is keeping them from a healthier and happier relationship with a true person of the opposite sex. A person might think it is good to be well-read and studied, but they don’t want to truly sacrifice all that time watching Netflix.

If you are not willing to make sacrifices for a greater good in your life, then you do not truly want that greater good. Any change in your life will require sacrifice of some sort. It might be time or possessions or a lifestyle, but it will require sacrifice. I am also not saying that it will be easy, but it is something that has to be done.

Another step we have to take is we have to be willing to be uncomfortable. We have to be able to step away from an area where we feel safe and be able to enter into an area where we might not feel safe yet in the hopes of our feeling safe. Now keep in mind I am not encouraging you to do anything reckless here. I am encouraging activities most of us know to be safe but others are fearful of.

For instance, in my own walk, I am terrified of being in water. As a child, the undertow introduced itself to me at the beach and I get terrified of water. My wife meanwhile loves the water and is a fish in it and it is my goal to somehow at least be competent in the water. What is safe is to stay on the edge and stay with my feet touching the ground. That is safe. That is comfortable, but I cannot be happy in the water if I stay safe. If I do not step out of my comfort zone, I will not be happy. In this case, it is worse. It will bring my wife great happiness when I step out of the comfort zone so I must have her happiness in mind as well.

Now of course, if this is something similar to what you face, I am not suggesting you do something drastic such as in my case just jumping in the deep end and hoping I learn. That would be stupid. For me it could involve classes at the Y. It would be a timely process, but it would still be something doable. As long as you are taking the steps that is what will matter. You take the steps wanting to reach that goal.

And yes, you must be willing to want it with all that you’ve got. No lighthearted effort will get you there. If anything, get angry about what has taken hold of your life and kept you from living it to the fullest. Whatever that is, that is your enemy and you must seek to destroy it.

Now if we remove safety, then we have to admit something else. We are not in control of our own lives. We cannot be living our lives on guard afraid of any change and expect to be happy. This is the point where I think being a Christian theist has its advantages. With this, whatever happens in my life, I can see it passes through the hands of God and He will use it for my benefit somehow. If I could truly grasp a passage like Romans 8, I wonder how much better off I’d be.

Keep in mind that if we are Christians, our lives are to be examples of joy. Paul could write about joy while in prison. It doesn’t mean we’re always going to be feeling great, but it does mean we will know deep down who is in charge and live accordingly. Frankly, I’ve said many time that the reason we often suffer so much is because we have a very poor theology. Good theology will lead to good living.

So today, I encourage you to really look at yourself and ask if you really want happiness. What are you willing to give for it? How much are you willing to pay? If the price is low, are you really wanting it at all?

In Christ,
Nick Peters