There are situations in which we should stand our ground and fight. Sexual temptation is not one of them.
2nd Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
1st Corinthians 6:18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body
The Bible gives us a very simple solution for dealing with sexual temptation: Flee! Run! Escape! Get away! Get the point?
We cannot “fight” in sexually tempting situations. Nowhere does the Bible suggest that we try to win this battle by confrontation. Expose yourself to sexual temptations/situations and you will eventually lose. This is what the Bible teaches and there are millions who could testify in agreement.
If you are committed to purity, you must run away from three things.
Run away from tempting situations. The last story in Genesis is the story of Joseph (not to be confused with the earthly father of Jesus). Joseph was a man of incredible character.
While living in Egypt, he worked for a man named Potiphar. Joseph was in charge of everyone and everything in Potiphar’s house. Joseph was also a good looking guy. Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife noticed and decided to seduce him. Read how Joseph responded:
Genesis 39:11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Joseph ran out of the house, even leaving his cloak behind. He knew that if he stayed long enough he would be seduced.
Now let’s come back to the Philippines. Remember the study I mentioned on Filipino Youth Culture? This study indicates that 55% of Filipino Youths did not plan their first sexual encounter. They simply got “caught up in the moment” and ended up making one of the biggest mistakes of their lives. In most cases, this happened at the home of the young man or woman.
If you are serious about purity, you need to stay away from situations in which you and your girlfriend are alone with no one watching. If you find yourself in such a situation, you need to escape at all costs.
Run away from tempting images. I have a confession to make. I think women look great. I think naked women look great. Adam was the same way. This is what he said when God presented Eve to him:
“At last!” the man exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’”
There are some important differences between me and Adam:
Adam was married; I’m not. Adam viewed his wife’s naked body in holiness and purity; the images I have seen where purely lustful in nature and purpose. Adam’s attention was focused on one woman only; my attention can go from one woman to another in a single glance. Adam was at this point sinless; I am not.
Forgive me if my opening lines sounded “unholy” or inappropriate for a minister. I am not saying it is OK to look at images of naked women—it is sinful (and for the record I do not look at such images now). I am simply trying to be transparent and honest from a man’s point of view. Like all men, I am “turned on” primarily by what I see with my eyes. God has created us this way, but sin has corrupted and twisted our God-given attraction for women. That’s why most of us have sinned against God with our eyes. It’s also why we have to be very careful about what we see.
Here’s what Jesus said about this:
Matthew 5:27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Men, we are living in a time in which is its very easy to sin with our eyes. There was a time when you had to at least go out and look for “adult” material. Now it is available in every video store and on every computer. Even “non-adult” media may have nude or erotic imagery.
Times and technology have changed, but God’s word has not. God is deeply concerned with what we see and what we think. Job said “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (Job 31:1). If you want to be pure you need to do the same thing. Avoid lustful images in magazines, television, movies, and the internet.
Run away from tempting people. Solomon gave us this warning about the immoral woman or seductress:
Proverbs 2:25 Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
Filipinas are generally not as sexually aggressive as their Western counterparts. Having said that, you will find seductive women wherever you happen to live. Some of them literally sell their bodies through prostitution. Others may tempt us through less obvious ways. They may leave strong hints that they are ready and willing to please you sexually. Avoid women that you know will try to seduce you.
In the same way, you may have to avoid friends that not supportive of a pure lifestyle. Male “friends” can put a lot of pressure on you to experiment with sex or tease you about being a virgin. “Try it,” they will tell you. A barkada can put a tremendous amount of pressure on you. If you are surrounded by these kind of “friends,” maybe it’s time to find some new ones.
A Final Promise
Here’s a promise that God gives us about all forms of temptation, including sexual temptation:
1st Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
God will give us a way of escape, but we have to take it. Let’s run away from situations, images, and people that will tempt us.
This is one of the many articles that you’ll find in my book: Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions.
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