Sexual Temptation and Your Imagination1
Have you been tempted by the Ashley Madison website? If you have, I understand you. If you started an account, I understand why.
I want to this post to do two things:
- Explain the temptation to those who do not get it.
- Help the tempted to fight future battles.
First, some of you think, "How stupid? Why would you risk your reputation, family and financial well-being for a stupid internet fling?" I want you to understand the power of this temptation so you can help your spouse or friends instead of condemning them.
Internet sex, no strings attached sex, the kind of thing Ashley Madison claimed to offer is the Holy Grail of temptation. Sex with no consequences is chocolate without calories, alcohol without the hangover, laziness without poverty, a credit card without bills, heroine without addiction. It is something almost every man, and many women have dreamed about. Even though we know it does not exist, we still cannot help dreaming.
The idea that indulging this temptation would bring incredible risk stops many people. However, risk stimulates some of us. We know fireworks, motorcycles, bull-riding, and fast cars are dangerous. That danger makes us love them. Danger feels good, it rescues us from a boring existence. It does not make sin less enticing, no, it makes it more fun.
Ashley Madison in particular, and sexual sin in general, hit two target areas of temptation that almost make it irresistable.
So that is why the temptation is so strong, but how do you resist it?
There are many steps to this full process. One great starting place is Setting Captives Free: The Way of Purity. If you have never begun that course, I recommend it warmly.
Along with that, I also recommend indulging your imagination. Use your mind as the gift of God that it is. Many men have talked to me about their imaginations. They feel unable to stop the illicit daydreams from springing into their heads. Some complain that whenever they look across the restaurant and see a girl, immediately the fantasies begin. They ask: "How do I stop?"
Well maybe you don't need to stop. Maybe you should follow that fantasy beyond the few exciting moments. I am not saying indulge your lust. Rather, imagine your lust meeting reality. Imagine what you will do after you have the affair. Imagine telling your wife what you have done. Imagine the heartbreak on her face. Imagine having to move out and into an apartment. Imagine telling your mom why your wife left you. Imagine your wife marrying someone else. Imagine your children calling someone else daddy.
Does that still sound enticing? I know that sexy fifteen minutes sounds thrilling. Imagine how the next fifteen years will feel. You see there is absolutely no such thing as sex without strings. Every sin has consequences. You will never find the holy grail of temptation.
The holy grail does exist, but it will not be found on the Ashley Madison website. The Holy Grail was filled with wine that represents the blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of sin. That wine can only be found in your Church on Sunday. Go there to have your needs met. Go there to find the love you are looking for. There you will find a life of consequences that are worth imagining.