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 them1. 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
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.
REFERENCE (1) Miracle, Miracle & Maumeister, Human Sexuality: Meeting Your Basic Needs (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2003), 349.
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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.