Expecting a human being to never think sexual thoughts is like expecting monkeys to never think about bananas or expecting birds not to think about flying. Sorry, but it’s never going to happen. The sooner we accept the fact that the human brain is a sexual brain, the better we’ll be able to control (rather than try to eliminate) our sexual thought patterns.
In the spirit of making no provision for the fulfillment of our lust, here are a few practical things to keep in mind:
* Whatever you fail to feed eventually is starved to death, or at least it loses control over you. If there’s a particular person that keeps popping up inappropriately in your mind, don’t hesitate to simply go out of your way to avoid that person whenever possible.
* If this person seems to be going out of their way to be in your presence, make it as un-fun as you can. Stick to business. Don’t banter back and forth with innuendos or suggestive comments. Remember that you teach people how to treat you, and you want to be treated with respect for the faithfully married person that you actually are.
* If you’re unable to avoid a particular person that seems to be lighting a sexual fire in you, try to never be alone with this person, especially behind a closed door or in a car by yourselves. Many an office romance has started in just such a manner.
* If you must speak privately with this person (a legitimate need, not a justified desire), monitor every word that comes out of your mouth as if your spouse is standing beside you. And keep in mind that nothing is out of God’s earshot.
* Refrain from moving conversations to more intimate methods such as personal phone calls, amorous e-mails, titillating text messages, etc. No one ever went wrong by keeping things both pure and professional.
* Just because a thought enters your mind or a feeling enters your spirit about a particular person does not mean you have to act on it. I’ve thought of robbing a bank many times, but I’ve never acted on it. And I’m not fearful in the least that I ever will, especially considering the harsh consequences. An extramarital affair can certainly yield similar painful and destructive results.
* Remember that thoughts and feelings that aren’t acted upon can’t possibly hurt us (or our marriage) nearly as bad as those that are.
* As Martin Luther said, “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can certainly keep him from building a nest there!” In other words, occasional sexual thoughts may be inevitable, but sexual obsessions or actions do not have to result.
Looking back over our relational histories, chances are we’ve never regretted not acting out on an inappropriate sexual thought or feeling. Right? Yet if we have acted out at times, regret has most likely come part and parcel soon thereafter. So let’s allow history to teach us the valuable lesson of mind-and-mouth control rather than having to learn it anew, shall we?