ENDOGENOUS TEMPTATION AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE
A woman's physiology, specifically her monthly cycles, can be a real source
of despair. At particular times of the month, during ovulation and before
her period, sexual feelings can be at their peak and may spark sexual
The desire to masturbate, to indulge in a book or movie that leads to
sexual fantasy and masturbation, temptation to seek out a sexual contact,
or to just allow fantasies to go unchecked, these can become a major
problem. When these feelings affect night-time dreaming, too, a woman may
become depressed and guilty over how out of control she is.
Being sexual is a beautiful gift from God but there are times which can
lead one to feel that purity is not attainable in thought or deed. This is
particularly true for those who have struggled with habit patterns in the
area of sexual sin. This, in turn, leads to estrangement from the Lord.
Those who come from gay backgrounds and are trying to live for God are
especially susceptible to feelings of defeat that can lead to rationalizing
sin: "I'm never going to change. I might as well do what I want."
Add to this the subtle lie that if these feelings were heterosexual, then
everything would be fine. It isn't true, but the way heterosexual
Christians deal with their own sexuality -- and seemingly "wink" at an
uncontrolled thought-life or activity -- it's easy to understand why others
might think that impurity, as long as it's of a "normal" nature, would be
okay. Envy and bitterness can creep in and the stage is set for out-and-
out spiritual warfare.
How can a woman win that war? How can she rejoice in being sexual, yet
live with cyclical sexual temptation. How can she thank God for the gift
of her female body when it poses problems like painful periods and intense
manifestations of pre-menstrual syndrome?
Steps To Winning The War
1. Begin by thanking God -- as a matter of your will -- for making you
female, even if you are not sure you like everything about the package.
You have been made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27) and your womanhood was
Battling Him on this issue causes intense rage and frustration. Wishing to
have been born a boy is to throw back into His face a good gift. Sometimes
the best escape from that kind of frustration is to concede the facts. You
are a woman. Accepting this will bring release from a war you cannot win.
Even places like Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
that have done transsexual operations in the past have stopped that
practice. They've come to believe that persons seeking a sex change are no
happier afterward than they were beforehand.
2. Make friends with your body. Look at yourself in the mirror without
your clothes on. Acknowledge the flaws without making a mental note to go
on a diet or joint an exercise group. Just ask God for His viewpoint on
what you see. Of course, there are things you should have done or could be
doing. But look deeper.
Your body may show signs that it has been ravaged by a hard life, by sin,
and neglect. God the Father and Jesus your Bridegroom weep over the hurts
and the indignities that your body has been subjected to. God did not
create it to be abused physically by yourself or by anyone else. It wasn't
intended to be hurt by a working mother whose anger and self-hatred was
taken out on her daughter, nor was it made to be a plaything by a brother
who violated it sexually.
God loves your body. He looked upon the feminine form at the beginning of
time and pronounced it good. You must, too. Have pity on the woman who
looks back at you from the mirror and resolve to do something nice for her.
Get her ears pierced or give her time to soak in a hot tub. She needs a
touch of kindness.
3. Praise God for the gift of your sexuality -- your feelings and
responses, the capacity to act on them. Sexuality is part of the gift of
being human and being made in God's image. It has been a source of
confusion, trouble and turmoil perhaps, but only because you haven't fully
learned how to treat it the way He would have you to.
Being sexual is part of that which draws us to others. It brings vibrancy
and colour to relationships. In our yearning for completeness, we
experience a foreshadowing of what it's going to be like to be complete in
the Lord when He resurrects our bodies on the Last Day. It can also be the
source of knowing how God glorifies Himself in our weaknesses. If we
weren't a little off balance on occasion [how about all the time?], would
we, on our own, let Him have a chance to reveal Himself in power?
And does it make sense that a loving God would saddle you with something
intended only for misery? No! "Because Your love is better than life, my
lips will glorify You," says the Psalmist. Something good comes of
surrendering this area of our being to God.
4. Deal appropriately with sexual temptation. Feeling sexual is not a
sin. Feeling sexual and indulging in lust, manifested by a rampant
fantasy, is a sin. These are two different things. You control lust by
resisting the temptation to do things like covet someone's body, by casting
down "vain imaginations" (II Corinthians 10:5) which can lead to fantasies
starring you being with someone which then leads to you being in bed with
that person. Rejecting both kinds of thoughts is important.
You can do it! You can resist temptation. If you can't, then the Bible
isn't true: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to woman."
(1 Corinthians 10:13 -- my paraphrase). It also means refraining from
"come on" techniques and other kinds of flirtatious behaviour with those
you are fairly sure will fall for them.
5. Learn your cycles. If you become familiar enough with your own body,
you can be better prepared to deal with your hormonal ups and downs. The
question I've learned to ask myself when I notice an increase of sexual
desire is "What time of the month is this?" When I'm aware of my cycles, I
don't have to fall for Satan's lie that I'm a "bad girl" and I can take
steps to avoid sin. I know I'm especially vulnerable then, so I don't go to
certain movies, listen to music that makes me melancholy or get involved
physically with someone even if the occasion has offered itself.
To help you figure out your cycles, look at the book "PMS & You" by Neils
Lauersen (Simon & Schuster; 1983). It can show you how to chart your
cycles month by month.
6. Gird your loins! Draw near to God in time of personal prayer. Make it
alive by asking the Lord about things that trouble you and wait for Him to
answer. He might speak to you through the Psalms or He might impress an
actual phrase or message on your heart that you could write down. Worship
Him in song. Learn some new hymns or choruses and sing out loud to the
Lord when you are by yourself.
7. Be prepared physically. Exercise, eat right and get enough sleep. Too
much sleep will make you tired and can promote back problems, by the way,
it may also be an indication of depression.
Dr Lauersen, in "PMS & You" talks about special diets which help to reduce
the symptoms like water retention, achy muscles, fuzzy vision and lack of
co-ordination. Other women experience seeming uncontrollable anger,
crying, and depression. And many others experience heightened sexual
awareness and response to alcohol and sugar.
Pain, due to heavy cramps during your period, can easily cause a woman to
feel like she's been cursed. Pain and irregular bleeding during the rest
of the month are health issues doctors are very much aware of these days.
You do not have to put up with these problems anymore. You may hate your
body because of these things, but now you can make peace with your body.
Go to a doctor who is familiar with gynaecological problems and talk about
8. Don't give up! When you give in to masturbation, when you find your
thought-life totally out of control or find yourself repudiating your
femininity, remember that you have a High Priest who can sympathize with
your weaknesses. Jesus knew sexual temptation and spiritual warfare. He
knows about your battles. Maybe He didn't know firsthand about Pre-
menstrual syndrome but He understands vulnerability to sin. Remember that
He loved and cared for Mary Magdalene and many other women.
"My daughter, if you confess your sin, God is faithful and just and will
forgive you your sin and purify you from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9
-- my paraphrase again). Resolve to do better next month and carry on.
For further information about homosexuality or about other areas of sexual
brokenness, please contact:
LOVE IN ACTION,
G.P.O. Box 1115,
ADELAIDE SA 5001
Phone (08) 371 0446
This article is reprinted by permission from
Metanoia Ministries, P O Box 33039, Seattle WA 98133-0039, U.S.A.
MINISTRY TO HOMOSEXUALS
Database Listing - Ministry To
Christian Resources on Homosexuality on the web
These documents are free from BelieversCafe.com
the complete christian resource site with more than 5000 webpages.