Imagine a child standing directly atop a seesaw, one foot on one side of the fulcrum and one foot on the other. There are moments when he will need to lean his body a little more to the right to maintain balance, other times to the left. It’s this constant motion, constant vigilance, constant flexibility, and constant sensitivity to which direction the Holy Spirit is guiding us in every situation that allows us to live right smack dab in the middle of God’s will without stumbling and falling flat on our faces!
I know this “balance approach” can be a hard concept for some to grasp. It might sound as if I’m saying, “Be a fence-rider!” or “Be wishy-washy instead of staking your ground and sticking to your guns!” I’m not saying that at all. I’m merely saying we need to find and maintain a healthy balance to keep our sanity in all things. We don’t diet religiously every single day of our life, nor do we gorge ourselves every day. We go back and forth between feasting and fasting to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We don’t pinch pennies until they bleed every day, but we don’t let money sift through our hands on a daily basis either. We spend some days, and save other days, hopefully saving more than we spend in the long run, but not ignoring our basic needs for the sake of hoarding money, either.
The same is true with our sexual thoughts and energies. There are times when we really need to rein them in to keep from doing something stupid that will bring harm to ourselves or others. There are other times when we need to let sexual thoughts and energy flow to create the passion we all long for in marriage.
But it’s more than just finding a balance and holding steady in the middle. Life is a full-participation sport. Consider a pendulum on a clock. It has to move back and forth to create energy. We can’t hold it to the left, or to the right, or even directly in the middle. If the pendulum isn’t moving back and forth constantly, it’s not doing its job. The cogs of the clock won’t turn and the face won’t reflect the correct time. What good is a clock that doesn’t give us the correct time?
Our sexuality operates in a similar manner. In our mental and spiritual laziness, we may be tempted to find a certain mental position on certain sexual topics-fantasy, for example-and just stay there, not moving either to the right or the left ever! But then we lose the sexual energy we were created to produce. No! If we want our minds, bodies, and relationships to work as they’re intended, there must be energy. There must be mental movement. At times, we may need to look to the God-given gift of mental fantasy to fuel our sexual passions and imaginations in marriage. Other times, we may need to reel in our thoughts to stay out of dangerous territory. Either way, whether we are intentionally opening our minds or trying to guard them, there are great benefits to peeling back the layers of our sexual thoughts to understand their deeper meanings. And once we’ve done so, we’re better equipped to help others do the same.
Excerpted from The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.