9. Anxiety, confusion, or fear over sexual fantasies is not a common issue. False.
Research shows that 84 percent of men and 67 percent of women have sexual fantasies, so I think it’s safe to say that on average, approximately three out of four people have them.[i] While I’ve not found a study reporting what percentage of those individuals wrestle with negative feelings about their fantasies, I’d have to guess it’s a pretty significant population based on the number of people we hear from each week at www.shannonethridge.com, submitting prayer requests such as:
I want to be delivered from the mental thoughts of fantasies about TV characters and imaginations like these. I would like to continue to know Jesus and be free from this. I would love someday to have a healthy, wonderful relationship with a “real” man that God would love for me to be with. I don’t feel like there is anyone to share this with, so I would like your prayer partners to pray for me. – Jill
I am really struggling with purity. I realize that the only time I get really into sex with my husband is when I fantasize. I crave sex more than him, and am just having a hard time keeping my mind pure. I don’t even know where to begin. I am re-reading your book Every Woman’s Battle because I haven’t read it in years and I know I need some encouragement in this area. Thanks for your prayers. – Katy
My wife is the only child of an alcoholic mother, and was raised in a very strict church environment. She has a lot of emotional issues (anger, depression, major mood swings) that make it very difficult for me to feel connected to her sexually. As a result of all of this, I find myself fantasizing like crazy about other women – what they’d be willing to do in bed and the fun we could have together. I know this is dangerous. I just don’t know how to control it. I’ve prayed until I’m blue in the face, so I guess I’m just asking for others to join me in prayer, both for my wife, and for me to keep my mind from going places where I know it shouldn’t. – Michael
I am happily married to a wonderful man, but I have a huge crush on my married realtor. I have confided in a few godly girlfriends, and they are praying and holding me accountable. Every time I fantasize about him I regret it and pray and confess and yet I keep slipping back. I can’t seem to take my thoughts captive! I love my husband, our marriage is good, and I am attracted to him. The only thing I can think of that I am getting out of this crush is the ego boost or rush of imagining a new and different man finding me attractive. Our house sale closes soon, but I am worried that I will hang on to my fantasy version of this man for some time. And that if I can’t figure out how to control this crush, a different one may come along in the future and be more dangerous. What if I develop a crush on someone I actually know personally rather than a temporary professional in my life!?!?!? I need to let this guy go in my mind and heart before it damages my marriage. Please pray for me. – Sheryl
If you’re a counselor, spiritual leader, or just a friend with a good listening ear, perhaps you’re hearing similar pleas. My prayer is that The Fantasy Fallacy can be a sharp tool in your ministry tool belt to guide hurting people toward helpful answers and hopeful solutions.
[i] Miracle, Miracle & Maumeister, Human Sexuality: Meeting Your Basic Needs (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2003), 349.
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