Is Thinking About #Sex Wrong?

Why hello there!

I see you have stumbled across my blog post, which means you must have a keen interest in sex. Congratulations, you are clearly a man of discerning taste. Now you’re here let’s talk about sex a bit more because clearly, you Sir, are in the mood to talk about it right now.

Did you know that every sexual action begins with a thought? The question is what we do with those thoughts and how we deal with it. Just like the innocent-looking little foxes that sneak in and spoil the vineyards (or the hens in the coop!), the wrong thoughts and reactions surrounding sex can appear suddenly out of nowhere and try to spoil our hearts and minds (Pang 2020).

So Is Thinking About Sex Wrong?

Let us be clear and mature about this. There is nothing inherently wrong about being curious about sex even though God created it for marriage, I ask Jesus about it all the time! However, it behoves us to be careful with our thoughts, as our thoughts can lead to temptation, which can lead us down the wrong path (Purcell 2020). We see how easily this can happen in Matthew 5:28 [NLT] when Jesus said:

“[28] But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

If Jesus considers a thought adultery, wouldn’t any sexual thought that is not aimed toward our spouse be considered sin? (Purcell 2020). That also means that any rapey thoughts you’ve had Jesus considers you guilty of rape. It’s what you think about as well as what you do that God judges you on:

Matthew 15:19-20 [NLT] “[19] For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. [20] These are what defile you…””

This is why I talk to Jesus about sex and consult Christian resources (books, sermons, pastors) on the subject, as well as sources outside of Christianity, in order to contextualise my enquiries within a love focussed setting, as that is the only way sex can be holy.

I found that looking at “appropriate” sources (i.e. not porn etc) in my pursuit of information about sex is a helpful way to maintain “Mental Purity”. Normally when Christians talk about “Mental Purity” they are referring to safeguarding ones mind against what the Bible would deem as “impure thoughts”, which are usually thoughts revolving around but not limited to thoughts about sex.

Things Christians would rate as impure include the following:

Galatians 5:19-21 [NLT] “[19] … sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, [20] idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, [21] envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

So to put it into context that would be thoughts such as: demoralising or dehumanising sexual practices, child-porn, violent-porn, porn-porn, selfishness in bed, drunken one-night-stands, sex on drugs etc.

Why Can’t I Think Those Things?

Aside from their illegality, you are what you eat. You’ll do what you meditate on and if it’s not good unfortunately you will be predisposed to doing it.

The Bible teaches that we should think primarily about what God wants us to do and about who and what God is as we are supposed to love God with all of our being, including our mind:

Matthew 22:37-38 [NLT] “[37] Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ [38] This is the first and greatest commandment.”

So striving for mental purity is just as important as physical purity (Purcell 2020). Indeed, Paul reflected this sentiment about the importance of keeping the mind fit as well as the body in 1 Timothy 4:8-9 when he said:

1 Timothy 4:8-9 [NLT] “[8] “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” [9] This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.”

We must challenge our thoughts and feelings that don’t line up with God’s word (the Bible) (John 2020). Of course this requires you to actually read the Bible. This is also a strategy of spiritual warfare for our souls:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 [NLT] “[3] We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. [4] We use God’s mighty weapons [the Bible as in reading it and applying it to our lives], not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. [5] We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

Our attitudes (thoughts and feelings) affect our sexual behaviour and the way we interact with the rest of the world, women and men. We must have the humility to say “I might be wrong” so that we can explore and challenge our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs about God, ourselves and others (John 2020).

How To Keep Your Mind Clean

Take time to be still and reflect with the Holy Spirit (John 2020), as it says in Philippians 4:8:

Philippians 4:8 [NLT] “[8] And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

The gospel teaches us to think less of ourselves and put others first, especially God. This truth is counter-cultural to our self-centered culture. Focusing on Christ and Christ’s expectations of our mental/imaginative/thought lives isn’t about ignoring our needs but seeing Him through our needs. As we focus on the gospel, our needs get smaller. Our attitudes and thoughts align to His word so we may serve others and build Christ’s church (John 2020).

You can also:

  • Change the channel when a steamy scene comes on or during a commercial that uses sex to sell.
  • Be careful about what you read and avoid explicit material.
  • Stop listening to music that references sex (Purcell 2020).
  • Stay away from porn.
  • Read the Bible everyday, let it soak into your mind and ask the Holy Spirit to help you do the right thing.
  • Get an accountability partner – if you are really struggling, get someone in your church, more mature in their faith than you, to pray with you and meet with you regularly. This is a good ministry for that — XXXChurch (these people are a ministry that specifically caters for people who have porn addiction)
  • In certain cases Christian Counselling might be the right way forward because sometimes we have certain thoughts due to unresolved trauma, that might require treatment by a professional through means such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
  • A SERIOUS NOTE – sometimes, unsafe sexual practices and thoughts accompanied by other signifiers of stress are as the result of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). This is a serious condition that requires a diagnosis from GP to start treatment. Without treatment the symptoms will not go away. I know this as I just finished doing some training on PTSD as part of my training to become a life coach. If this sounds like you, I urge you to go and see a doctor at your earliest convenience. Follow this link to the NHS website for PTSD symptoms

These things you see on TV and on the Internet or hear in stupid songs don’t contextualise sex in a loving, holy or covenantal way, so not only is it not doing your thought life any good but you won’t even learn anything you can actually use in a loving Christian marriage or a non-Christian marriage. You’d be surprised how much women do not appreciate you re-enacting porn with them, we resent it, so watching it is just a waste of your time. Better off watching cartoons…

Mental Purity Is For You

I’m a human just like everyone else and – despite being a woman – I too have found a need to be vigilant regarding impure thoughts.

I know what it’s like. I am in my 30’s and single. I have certain thoughts too and because I am not married they cannot go anywhere lol… If I don’t deal with them they sit there in my brain, setting little fires and each fire produces heat in the form of more unhelpful thoughts, which justify other unhelpful thoughts, essentially creating a mental ‘catalyst’ making it easier for the next fire (thought) to start even quicker but at a lower temperature.

This creates a feedback loop of thought that can spiral out of control, as each unhelpful thought generates heat (more justifying thoughts) meaning that unclean thoughts are not only exothermic (heat generating) and taking oxygen (attention) from other things (which is unhelpful) but those thoughts are also auto-catalytic (extremely unhelpful).

I know from experience that if you don’t deal with those fires in your brain, you get a situation where the heat cannot dissipate and will just increase and increase. Eventually, whatever coping strategies you have put in place to stabilize what’s going on in your mind will run out because you are only human and once that happens you get an almighty ignition that is going to explode with or without you.

There is nothing as mentally crippling than being in a relationship with Jesus and having a dirty thought life on the side. Good mental health requires daily walking with Jesus in obedience and part of that obedience is observing a clean thought life, that is, a thought life that is reflective of someone who is a true child of God. A true child of God is someone who does what God says.

1 John 5:1-3 [NLT] “[1] Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. [2] We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. [3] Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”

Life on earth is temporary but we act like it’s permanent. We want to be spending eternity with Jesus. No words can explain the wonder of eternally standing in the presence of The Lord. This is our motivation, the hope of glory (John 2020).

Bibliography

Pang, K. 2020. ‘Are you catching the “little foxes”? ActiveChristianity Web site, at: <https://activechristianity.org/catching-little-foxes&gt; 17 December 2020

Purcell, J. 2020. ‘Mental Purity’. Kingdom Winds Web site, at: <https://kingdomwinds.com/mental-purity/&gt; 17 December 2020

John. 2018. ‘Sexual Purity And Good Mental Health’ True Freedom Trust Web site, at: <https://truefreedomtrust.co.uk/sexual-purity-and-good-mental-health&gt; 17 December 2020

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