The Only Thing Between You and Sex
- Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I was finishing some research the other day when I received a pop–up ad on my computer—"Hot, sexy Russian girls waiting to meet you." I stared at it for a second. My heart said one thing. My flesh said another. After what seemed like forever, I closed the ad and walked away from the computer, sweating but safe.
I knew I shouldn't check to see what Rachaela the Ukrainian Temptress had for me, but I sure wanted to. The only roadblock between me and a lustful fling in cyberspace was one very tangible, balding, concerned friend—my accountability partner. I couldn't bear the thought of facing him if I gave in to my temptation.?
By God's design, we're physical beings. As physical beings, we have sexual urges and that's no sin. But how we handle our sexual temptations—pornography issues, emotional barriers, and lust—is critically important. Some people think we ought to seclude ourselves from our culture and pray for God to take away our fleshly desires, but that isn't a biblical perspective. Our sexual experience is part of what makes us human, and God said we're "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). We shouldn't pray for God to take away our sexual desires. Instead, we should heed Paul's wise advice and take steps to make sure we aren't mastered by them (1 Corinthians 6:12).
There's a time and place for sex—it just isn't during dating. As a single Christian male, I think I speak for most of us men when I say that controlling our lustful and sexual motives is one of the most difficult things to do. I'd rather run into a gun fight wielding a Swiss army knife than battle my sexual desires. You can only take so many cold showers and long runs—after that, you have to sweat it out like an icicle in the desert.
God has given us many tools—the Bible, the Holy Spirit, prayer, the church, etc.—to help us in our sexual struggles, but none more tangible and powerful than one another. Men need other men. When Jesus sent the disciples into a dangerous world to preach the gospel, he said, "Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic" (Luke 9:3). But he sent them two–by–two. He knew they needed one another for guidance, support, and encouragement. He knew that we needed accountability.
If you think about it, all of our great heroes had an accountability partner with whom to share both the joys and sorrows of life. They all went two–by–two. Batman had Robin. Gilligan had the Skipper. Even the Lone Ranger wasn't alone; he had Tonto. We've always known two are better than one and that "a chord of three strands is not easily broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12). God is always with us, but sometimes we don't feel his physical presence. Having a fellow soldier by our side helps give us perspective and balance.
In every romantic relationship I've experienced, there have been moments when I was spiritually and emotionally weak … weak enough to have sex. When I was engaged, I shared a bed with my fiancéfrom time to time, thinking I could handle just sleeping in the same bed together. I was foolish. I got to the point that I wanted her body—only her body. It was only by God's grace that I didn't lose my virginity. I was without accountability, and my unchecked attitudes and actions eventually led to the demise of our relationship. Had there been an older and wiser man there to guide me, I may have avoided great emotional pain.
It's taken me 30 difficult years to learn it, but I now have a gentleman in my life whom I'm blessed to call my accountability partner—a man I loving refer to as "Yoda." Sharing a similar background in both ministry and business, he's about 10 years older than me and 50 years wiser. You need a Yoda as well. When you seek out someone to train you in the Jedi way, there are three abilities you should look for:
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