One issue that affects marital relationships is sexual temptation. We all face this from time to time, and it is essential that we learn how to handle temptation when it comes our way.
That is why we would be considering how to overcome sexual temptation. This is not just for the married only, as singles or divorced will also benefit from it.
Sexual temptation is a situation where one person is under pressure to have sex with another person. It could be with a colleague in the office, a neighbour, pastor, church member, friend’s wife, among many others. We become sexually drawn towards such a person and this can spell doom for marriages and the lives and families of those involved, if not properly handled.
Going by the manner in which we are tempted, one great antidote against sexual temptation is good marital relationship among couples. If the marriage relationship is meeting the needs of the couples, there would be no need for seeking fulfilment elsewhere. So, the start-up point for overcoming sexual temptation by married couples is to maintain a good relationship with one’s spouse.
This means that husband and wife need to work at maintaining intellectual compatibility: try to read together, go to movies, plays and museums together, go out afterward and discuss what you’ve seen or read. That discussion is worth more to the relationship than the outing itself. It draws couples intimately closer each passing day, thus leaving little or no room for sexual feelings for someone else.
Some events are going to stimulate better discussion than others, of course, so it pays to be selective. One of the most stimulating movies my husband and I have found, for example, was Passage to India, where the clash of two different cultures and value systems was so central to the film and made for a lot of interesting observations and conversation between us. It got us talking about what we hold dear. Sharing values with each other is always a good topic for nourishing a relationship.
I know that with all the demands we face, including obligations to our children, finding the time to maintain this kind of relationship with a spouse isn’t easy. It may be that raising money for outings isn’t easy. But there’s simply no more important human relationship in the world for us to maintain than that of the husband and wife. It’s worth the effort and time and money it takes.
Before I am accused of saying that working on our marriages is an obligation or nothing more than insurance against infidelity, let me point out that those times together can be the highlight of every week. On our wedding day, many of us thought the other was pretty terrific and wonderful, and the best thing that could happen to each other. Over time and as responsibilities crowded in, there was a tendency for that vision to grow dim. But I’ve found that a little effort can help rekindle the flame and make the vision even brighter than before.
Another big help that can help keep the marital relationship fire and passion burning is sex, and good sex for that matter. This cannot be over-emphasized; it is the truth and every couple must work towards becoming a king or queen in the bedroom. Please spare no effort at achieving sexual fulfilment in your marriage. It is a good way of becoming intimately connected to each other as husband and wife.
Another major help at avoiding lust has been what one marriage counsellor termed contextualization. According to him, after 20 years of being happily married and being in a working relationship with many persons of the opposite sex for over fifteen years, he had never had a sexual thought about any woman. According to the counsellor, “That amazed me, frankly, because I’m a sexual being like anyone else. I have sexual thoughts. When I got married, I noticed that I didn’t go blind when I see a beautiful woman on the street. In fact, in my early life, when my buddies and I talked honestly, we all admitted that maintaining sexual purity was one of the major struggles of the younger man.
“Why didn’t I have sexual thoughts about women? As I thought about it, I finally realised it was because I saw each of them in context. I knew all the people there so well that I knew everyone’s husband, wife, son, and daughter and many of their relations too. No one could be an object of lust to me without my being reminded of that person’s other relationships. I knew that everyone there was a dear person to other people I knew and cared for. This included the women, and I couldn’t look at them apart from their contexts of family and friends.
“The only way you can prey on people and turn them into some kind of objects, especially for lust, is to mentally get them out of context.
Conversely, if you think of them in context, you’re not nearly so tempted to lust. Thus, I find it a good practice in ministry to continually think of people in context.
“For example, suppose I’m driving down the street and see some beautiful teenager who’s dressed in an attention-getting way. My automatic response now is to contextualise her, and say to myself, ‘hey, she’s about the age of my daughter. I wonder who her parents are and how she gets along with them?’ And suddenly the sexual part of it disappears. The girl hasn’t changed, but my perception has. Instead of being an object of sexual thoughts, she’s become someone’s daughter, someone’s little girl.”
I quite agree with this counsellor. The problem with many of us these days is that we operate with little or no relationships that are of great value to us. Thus, we become selfish and less concerned about what pains our actions would cause others. Thus, we sleep with impunity with other people’s wives, husbands, sons and daughters. But, if we begin to see people as being of great value to us and consider them as our own, it will go a long way to help us fight lust, for that is the real name for sexual temptation.
I am sure only few of us will not be bothered about sleeping with our sons and daughters as the case may be. But, for most of us, it’s a taboo or sacrilege. So we will not do it. And if we see others in the context of our sons and daughters, we will be able to fight off sexual temptation towards them. A man once confessed that he ended a relationship with a married woman because he was made to realise how unhappy he would be, were the woman to be his own wife in an affair with another man.
I’ve also seen enough lives, marriages and families ruined by sexual irresponsibility that that’s a deterrent for me. And just thinking about what would happen if you get involved in lustful sex should scare a lot of sense into you when tempted. We might call that putting yourself in context when you’re tempted.
Culled from Tribune