No Lifeguard On Duty
Can you really control what thoughts randomly pop into your mind? This is an argument often debated concerning lust and sexual fantasy. The contemporary alibi is that we aren’t capable of prohibiting what thoughts come to mind. The truth is that there’s no such thing as a harmless peep, or a friendly flirt or just one kiss.
Your thoughts are but one piece of the purity pie. But make no mistake, there is nothing but destruction waiting for you to either tip a toe or dive in head first. Sexual sin is waiting to devour you, your wife, your kids and your career. Think twice before jumping in. Here’s how you can control your thoughts and avoid the temptations fraught with failure.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. – 1 Peter 5:8-9
I’ll confess that I was once restricted to that mindset as well. My greatest threat were the flashes of memories that exploded in my mind involving something horrific that happened while on duty. Faces of victims, or violence I was engaged in, often even fights for my own life. They tormented me for decades.
While learning more about the way the mind works, I discovered that you can indeed control what pops and sticks in your head. This is also a common issue for addiction and rehabilitation practices. Triggers can prompt old thoughts of unrealistic drug highs, promote a false pleasure narrative of pornography’s satisfaction, or even renewed suicide contemplations.
It doesn’t even require a verbal, visual or sensory trigger. Often the mind is conditioned to reflect back on what matters most as far as the mind is concerned. The trick is to “rewire” the brain. I know you’re thinking, okay, this has gone sideways, but bear with me.
Thoughts That Fire Together, Wire Together
Neurological science demonstrates that it is possible through neuroplasticity. That is the brain’s ability to change the neuro pathways and grow new synapses and connections and even new neurons. Still unsure? Read this article, Neuroplasticity: The 10 Fundamentals Of Rewiring Your Brain.
This isn’t voodoo magic. It’s not only scientific in proof, but it’s biblical in origin. Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 10:5;
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
I used to visualize the old wac-a-mole arcade game when it came time to battling back my demons. I learned that while I developed a process for stopping the destructive thought once it emerged in my mind, it had in fact already entered and even though it might’ve just flashed for a nanosecond, it still caused great pain.
I’d carry a heaviness in my spirit for most of the day. I’d go nights, weeks and months without sleeping. It was also unfair to my wife who unbeknownst to me would lay awake all night. Her heart broke for what she could only imagine my mind and convulsing body was going through.
Also, in the game, the moles are free to find other ways to infiltrate. It was a brother believer who asked me to shift the way I thought about thinking. He said smashing each destructive thought was a good effort, but instead, he suggested that I rely upon Paul’s advice.
…take every thought captive…
Instead of the reactive action, which is always slower than action, he said to implement an active process of capturing every thought. By holding something captive, you exercise control over it. Through this control, you prohibit it’s return, and most importantly the anxiety over that reality that it may return also comes under your dominion.
Does This Apply To Sexual Captivity?
Yes, rewiring your brain is a reality for people chained to the bowels of hell by sexual sin. Adultery and pornography destroy more marriages than almost anything else. Even if the activity isn’t detected or confessed, the stress and strain of concealing sexual sin and the hurt caused to suspicious spouses create immeasurable pain.
Younger adults who grew up with personal computers in the home as kids are much higher at risk for porn addiction than any other demographic in history. Kids and teens who baked their brain with hours of sexual imagery before achieving orgasm through masturbation developed an unnatural and unrealistic mental and physiological dynamic for sex.
The laymen’s thought would suppose as a sexual adult, this group of people would excel at actual sexual relationships with a consenting partner. The opposite is more often true than not. In the course of a normal physical act of lovemaking, it’s physically impossible to stimulate the body and brain for hours upon hours before actually reaching climax.
Also, because of the deep connection to the visual facade of pornography, the adult’s partner could not “live up to” the expectations or false standards created by years of indulging in fantasy.
So what happens now?
Well, the brain wasn’t originally wired to over consume artificial sexual imagery, so that actual intercourse was interrupted. This should be encouraging as it’s also evidence that the brain was artificially rewired for the compulsive consumption of porn. Therefore, the brain can once again be rewired to avoid its lust for pornography.
The process for rewiring your thoughts must include:
- a holy conviction and confession of the associated sins,
- an understanding of the origins of your problem, and
- an effort to bring the past pains that caused the addiction into the light for God’s healing.
The most important points here are that:
- there is only pain and destruction in sexual sin.
- there is only hope Jesus Christ.
- there is no better time than now.
Free yourself of the secrets and fear of detection. Pray about it and then confess your sins and beg for forgiveness.
Lead from the front,