Love, God and Porn Part 2

Last week I brought up 3 issues that I was shown in my struggle from pornography. Now, pornography is a sin against the woman you’re using for your pleasure and against God, who created both genders. But porn I found out was also a symptom of deeper issues in my soul. Not only did I have to ask God for forgiveness for my sin, but I had to be shown myself why I did what I did. If a person screams at others constantly because of some issue they’re not willing to deal accordingly, and just because a person asks God and the others for forgiveness for the outbursts that does not mean the real issue is handled. They cannot use the sinful nature argument as a cover for their outbursts. They have to deal with the real issue, and that is what is causing the outbursts of anger. It could very well be unforgiveness, or maybe they have other unsettled issues within their heart.
Now I’m not going to present some wild theological spew or try to defend any type of position on sexual preference, that’s not what this is about, nor my blog. I am here to share what I have learned and experienced to present this view to encourage and challenge not just myself, but the reader. There is a way out from under guilt and a way to freedom. These are the 3 key issues I present: identity, sexuality and then the view and approach to temptation.
Identity is important in Christianity. It’s molded by who we are in Christ. Identity is recognition, which is what was happening with me. I found that I was trying to be seen, albeit in my mind, at times outside of myself, but it’s what made me feel wanted, recognized, even in control because I felt out of control. This is a function of the sinful nature. It is trying to take what we know we are lacking, or think we lack and try to make it ours. Merriam-Webster states that identity is: “1 a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness 2 a : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual: individuality b : the relation established by psychological identification; 3: the condition of being the same with something described or asserted; 4: an equation that is satisfied for all values of the symbols”.
The word ‘identity’ is not found in Scripture. But the action of believing and becoming like Christ, in Christ, is a process. Our human identity is not a static thing; it is a growth process of becoming like Christ. The phrase “in Christ” is taught throughout the New Testament writings. In summary, as we live this new life in him, we become like him, and as we become like him we see more aspects of ourselves that distain us. This is a purification process. As you learn this new identity in Christ, it’s replacing the old way of thinking you believed, or might still believe about yourself through the eyes of sin. It’s a process that doesn’t stop till we see Christ as he is. I myself can only wait for that day.
In part 1 I mentioned that my view of sexuality was molded by pornography. Too often as a single Christian male, we are taught sex is between a man and a woman who are married, and a single thought of sex in the mind is a sin. This only led to heavier guilt. I felt as if I was at some meaningless end. Why is a single thought of sex considered sinful, when God created us with the ability to have these encounters? Not just because of pornography, but my own self-image had an impact on my relationship with women. If the only way I could feel wanted was through a false sense of wanting through pictures, rather than through being married or any sincere friendship with a woman, if I could get a release from the natural sense of sex through these acts in my own mind, than that is how it was to be. If a woman was not going to be just a friend, and build a meaningful friendship, than I was only going to have to withdraw myself more. Rejection had a lot to do with this, not just from others, but more importantly my self-rejection played many tunes on my perception. I’m not pointing fingers, but as human beings we are constructed for relationships and within those relationships in the Christian setting, we have rules or a heightened sense of does and don’ts, mainly don’ts. Unfortunately this does not help with valuable Christian relationships.
Human sexuality is a part of our identity. We are born male and female. There is a complimentary not just in sexual nature, but also in emotional and spiritual as well. But it is dangerous to categorize with a broad stroke which characteristics are mainly female and which are mainly male. This stroke sets a way of thinking that says, “You should be like this and not like that.” But not all men and not all women think on a specific side of their brain. And not all men always want to do things with their hands and conquer or make their conversations always about sports or politics. To believe and say such things creates barriers to openness in diversity of God’s creation in people. This is the main reason why I am against categorizing the genders in such a fashion. We know through studies that there are differences between the genders but to paint a broad stroke over them without proper understanding of who they are as individuals can create problems for them especially as children, yet more so if they have come out of abusive situations.
I began to learn that women are there only to make me feel good. But I also learned the more I did this, the more I felt a distance between me and physical women. Yet even my interest in sex itself was waning, and all this just through pornography. As I said in part 1, sex is a meeting between the genders in an exclusive relationship that strengthens the bond between the two people, either it be nice and romantic or wild.
Temptations are wiles of devils. They lay a trap than both hide and wait, or walk away to make more and come back for the prey. But there has to be something that the enemy can use within us to lead us away, like food for a hungry animal, we go towards the temptation rather than finding our satisfaction in our faith and God’s provisions. Temptations are everywhere, yet when I come across one in an unexpected place, I’ve had to teach myself to say, “of course!” It’s saying for me that keeps everything in perspective. “Of course it happened right now during this situation!” If we focus more on temptation, that’s what we give our attention to. If we focus on how God molds us and train us and guide us, our attention will be on that. This is the problem with the “bouncing eye technique”, we focus moving our eyes away from temptation, rather than mainly focusing on Christ. Forget the temptation, that is past, Christ is the future and present. And making a covenant with our eyes to not look lustfully at a woman? As believers of the covenant with God through Christ, our covenant is with God, not our eyes. It is with the God who gave a willing sacrifice so we may live and have freedom.
Human beings have needs and basic necessities that we want filled. There are needs our souls have that are neglected or placed in danger, even told they’re not worth it or they’re stupid or they’ll take us away from what is important. Too often these comments are from people who are in authority over us, and this begins as we are children. These become wounds in our souls. When we get older, these wounds if not taken care of, fester and we seek to heal them with anything we can to keep ourselves happy and content. I’ll present the scripture in James to state this simplistically: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (NIV)
Wounds are wounds, regardless of perspective, wounds are not the sinful nature, but used by the enemy and the sinful nature in us to either steal, kill or destroy us. They are caused by others and even we can cause them to be worse. If there is to be a change in perspective of our wounds and healing, than shouldn’t there be a change in our approach to temptation and sin? The Law of God was given to us so that sin might manifest and be dealt with accordingly, that is through the cross of Christ. We know we’re weak on our own, yet strong through the Spirit of God which indwells the believer who desires Christ. I learned that there will always be temptations, even in my mind. I can still be dragged away and enticed, but I can either fight the temptation in my mind, or turn my thoughts to the person who God is molding me into. As I continue to learn to turn my thoughts toward a better thought, or even get out of a situation where I am tempted to do wrong, this helps me more rather than focus on the tempting thought or situation. This is the process of replacing the negative thought. This also helps heal the wounds of the soul.
There is healing and there is, not a wishful hope, but a truthful longing hope. There is no expectation, but anticipation for what God will do in the heart of the hurting.

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