Here we go, diving into the deep waters with an entry that might really irritate you but as “watchmen on the wall”, we need to go after this…
Right up front, all of us struggle with this. Testosterone is a hugely powerful hormone. The younger the man reading this, the more intense the battle. Add to that a sex-drenched culture and the devastating effects of free pornography all over your smartphone, the TV and the internet and we just all need to admit, “this is a problem”. It is everywhere. To try to battle this with accountability or denial or by cutting off any possible temptation (no TV, no internet, not looking at any other woman as you go about your day) isn’t going to work. You cannot “purify” your way past this.
There is something much deeper at work here. To battle it, we have to dig deep into the soil and find the root. What’s behind this? Beneath it? What is the “why?” behind all of it.
Let’s start with Proverbs 3: 5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”.
The main aim of this verse is for us to walk in a straight path. As we were saying in yesterday’s post, at this stage of life, the others around you – your wife, your children, your co-workers, your friends, your parents … all the people that are counting on you – need you to live your life well right now. We need you to walk in a straight path. The church is under assault in America. Expect more of this. Our church has been under some attack as well.
We have a country club/consumption culture in America fueled by iPhones, Amazon, Instagram, Facebook, etc. giving us easy access to anything we want to see or do. Our culture is soft. Our kids are the “me generation”. They’ve embraced relativism. Things that should shock them and scare them … don’t. We have transgender bathrooms at Target now. If we offend anyone, we are outcast. Listen to me, ALL of this is symptomatic of the all-out assault Satan has unleashed on the world. It is a “me, me, me” world and it has invaded the church. Think about it, if you were Satan wouldn’t you want to fuel an attitude of “Me. It’s all about me”? Think about Lucifer. Why did the revolt happen in Heaven? He was in love with himself. He wanted to make it all about him. God kicked him from Heaven and sent him to the earth and that “me spirit” has been unleashed on earth in a devastating way recently by the enemy.
We have a church culture that is creeping into this country club like atmosphere of “the church is here to provide for me, entertain me, give to me” and as a result, we’re having a hard time finding people willing to step up and serve. We don’t have time to serve. We’re too busy. We come into church desperately needing to be refilled. But we have little to give. If we all embrace this attitude and don’t wake up and realize that isn’t how the church is supposed to operate, eventually the church will collapse for lack of any workers to “toil in the fields”. And don’t you see, that is precisely Satan’s intent – permeate the culture with a “me” attitude and then sit back and watch it collapse upon itself – the culture and the church. And you’re asking right now, “what does this have to do with sex?” Stay with me…
We need you to live your life well right now. The church faces a great challenge and it needs all of us to be at our best. There is an enormous battle underway against the church and our culture right now. Just watch an hour of Fox News at night and it is jaw dropping the nonsense that happens daily in America. As warriors with Christ, we all have a role to play. The “church” cannot survive if we remain in a childish “me” place. It is time for the men of the church (at large) to manUP and put away childish things. There are FAR greater battles underway, FAR more at stake than how much sex you are getting weekly from your wife. Ok, here we go…
The “why?” of this question is way deeper than any accountability group holding you accountable of “did you look at pornography this week?” That isn’t going to come close to dealing with the issue. THE issue is idolatry. We have idolized sex. Sex is our god…
“If I get sex two times a week from my wife, then I’m good”.
“My wife won’t have sex with me. I need a wife that will regularly love me and send me out daily affirming me as a man. Imagine what mountains I could conquer if my wife did all she was supposed to do to affirm me as a man.”
“My wife hasn’t had sex with me in three weeks, I have needs that have to be met”
Please hear me, I am NOT condemning you as you read this. All of these…I’ve said to myself more times than I can possibly count. THIS is what we are dealing with. This is the magnitude of this issue. Sex has become our god. If we get it, we’re all good. As we said a few weeks ago in this post — https://manliveup.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/fathered-by-god-the-lover/ — we have fallen into the trap of “take, take, take” – that Eve is there for us to take from rather than being given to us to provide for. We have come to look at our wives for what we can get from them. That we can get our validation from her. That she can make us a man.
That’s a dead-end street and I’ll tell you why. If a married, Christian man falls into this trap of the quotes above, he is a sitting duck for pornography. That set up, those demands we place on our women, they cannot be met. There is never “enough sex”. It cannot be satiated. The more you feed your desire for sex, the more insatiable the appetite. The more you think about sex and obsess over it, the more your hunger for it will grow. Remember one of our foundational truths – “What you feed grows, what you starve dies”. The trap the enemy has set for us is to feed us these lies of what we “could be” if we were getting enough sex. It’s no different than “what my life could be like if I had more money.” There is never enough money. It’s a lie. It’s a trap. And we’ve fallen into it. So we drink from this and take it in and she cannot meet those demands and we’re all torqued up with no place to go, and so… we turn to porn. Some turn to other women thinking the grass surely must be greener on the other side. It isn’t.
The “why” of this is deep. It is the alter we have built to sex. It is the belief that sex can fulfill every deep longing I have and equip me for the life I need to lead. If I go without it, I feel as though I have no oxygen and I quickly find myself wandering into all sorts of trouble. We have embraced the “me culture” and made sex “all about me”. That’s a very small life. That’s no way to love a woman. It objectifies her, cheapens her and tears the fabric of her heart. The message we send to our wives either outwardly with our spoken words — or — even more painfully in a silent, non-spoken rebuke of her is devastating to her heart and she’ll shut down.
If we come to our wife with requests (demands?) for weekly sex or 2-3x a week sex or if we go silent and turn to porn and masturbation we are almost childlike in our begging for our needs to be met. We don’t have mastery over our body. We are bringing no strength to our wives. Our flesh is in control and desire burns. Unfortunately, our weakness here carries consequences for the one who most depends and needs us to come through … our wives.
Let me wrap it up and try to tie it all together and drive home the point – Proverbs is driving us to “walking in the straight path”. I don’t want you to… Keith doesn’t want you to… your Mama doesn’t want you to… God doesn’t want you to … veer off the path into disobedience or into a wasted life or into anything that would dishonor Him. And men, I’ve got to say it and I hate writing this but getting drunk on sex, cruising into porn, getting yourself all torqued up and then masturbating is wasting your life. Literally you are wasting your seed of life washing it down the sink. It is childish and needy. All because we worship at the alter of “I’ve gotta have a lot of sex”.
We need you to live your best life. I need to live my best life. A worthy life. A life that is an inspiration to others. As the great and now late, Craig McConnell said, “Do you live free? Are you the man that has a strength and an intentionality and a movement to his life, towards God, towards others? A man who rescues others, who lives well and loves well?” That’s the man we need you to be.
We do that by trusting God with all our heart. No, a sexless marriage isn’t what God intended but I trust Him. I value Him more than I do sex. Sex goes away at some point anyway. God never does. We trust in Him. We bank on the promises of God, step by step of each day. We draw upon the vine. We trust in a good, Holy, loving, all providing God. We don’t rely on our own understanding i.e. we don’t take matters into our own hands (literally). “God I can’t understand why I am single now … but I trust you. I’m not going out to find sex as a way to fill the ache in my soul. My soul aches for You.” We do not rely upon self. If we trust in our own understanding it means we are being self-reliant = it’s up to me to make it happen. So if I’m not getting sex, I’ll manufacture it. Lastly, Proverbs encourages us to in all ways acknowledge Him. That is to know Him. To connect the branch to the Vine. To draw upon his Zoe daily https://manliveup.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/best-of-manschool-branch-to-vine-1/. To draw Him into everything, “Lord the sex thing is killing me, I give it over to You. I trust You. I need You. Sustain me”. Draw Him in to every situation, all day, every day.
And men, we need you to live your best life now because the church is under assault and our culture is burning around us. Marriages are breaking up, kids are turning to porn, drugs, homosexuality … anything to find happiness. Racial tensions are exploding. People are being gunned down on our streets. We are in a world at war and the church needs warriors who’ve mastered self by giving over self to God. We need men who are living well, living with integrity, living strong, fighting for their wives instead of constantly demanding from them. We need men of integrity who say “Enough. No more” and repent of the worship of sex and when blessed with a time of intimacy with their wives they will stop and consecrate the time in prayer giving the intimacy over to God as a worship offering. God created sex as a glorious gift to the married couple and we’ve perverted it. Now, we take it back. As we enter into it, stop and consecrate the event, consecrate the time, give God the glory and in so doing you take it as a gift and will trust in God for the next time He grants the gift. By consecrating the time, you are giving the power of sex over to God, “Lord, we give this to you. Thank you for this wonderful gift. Thank you for my beautiful wife. Help me love her well every day. We give this act to you and we will enjoy it and then release it. “It” has no power over us. We repent of our worship of it or for how we’ve rejected it or denied it. Let us enjoy this and then get about the business of serving you together as a couple. Thank you Lord Jesus for this precious gift that is my wife.”
The point of this post was to drive us to straight path, the life well-lived, LivingUP to all our God has created us to be. Wake up. Don’t waste your life…
What did this stir in you? Did it make you mad? Why? How much time daily do you give to the thought of sex? How important is it to you? Can you ever get enough of it? And then … how do all those questions relate to your relationship with God? How important is He? Can you ever get enough of Him?
lots of food for deep, deep thought…