Giving It Up!

Giving It Up! (Sexual Endurance 6 of 6)

  • “You know you want it.”
  • “C’mon if you love me you’ll let me.”
  • “I promise, we won’t go all the way.”
  • “It’s not really sex.”
  • “Everybody’s doing IT.”
  • “You have needs and I have needs… right?”
  • “I really do love you.”

Guys are known for saying anything to get a woman to “give it up.”  They will say anything and do everything they can to wear down the woman’s resistance until she has no more endurance and finally gives up the fight. (I am not insinuating that all situations are this way, I am just going with the stereotype).

Sexual endurance has several sides:

  • Men need to have it to control (put to death) their sinful passions
  • Women need to have it to withstand the sinful efforts of various men
  • Churches need it to stand strong against outside pressures

It appears to me that society has lost most sexual restraint and is giving into sinful passions and at times it appears that society has declared war on sexual integrity in a schizophrenic manner (a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements—

On the one hand, society is somewhat outraged at people like Tiger Woods, Jesse James, Former Senator John Edwards, Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and Former President Bill Clinton for their sexual “mishaps”.  On the other hand, society is overwhelmingly sexualized with television & movie content, commercials, musical lyrics, and the percentages of cohabitation & adultery.  This sexualized mentality trickles down to little children.

4th and 5th graders are teasing each other for being virgins; middle schoolers are actively having sex with each other, while others are proud to say they’re homosexual or bi-curious; the number one users of internet pornography are boys 11-17 years old.  And though people are shocked when faced with the reality of this, what is more shocking is Christian denominations debating whether to approve sexual sins, just to increase attendance.  

The General Assembly of the United Methodist Church had such a debate this past month.  The idea of sexual endurance is a concept that the church needs to have.  I do not see any where in the Gospels where Christ gave in to popular pressures, be it from general society or the church.

When churches are debating to endorse or at least remain quiet about any form of sex outside the sexual expression between a man and woman in the covenant of marriage, then one can conclude that the members of the church lack sexual endurance or at the least lack a knowledge of what Scripture teaches concerning the expression of sex.

I suggest that we lack in sexual endurance when we neglect the Scriptures and focus on our own logic and understanding, and focus on our own brokenness. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.  After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.  (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Don’t give up!  Run the race with endurance.

Fears: A Message for Wives (Part 1)

 As I sit to write this post, it is my desire to communicate an idea to the many wives who need to hear the message, but it is not my intention to contribute to a depressing journey for these wives, rather, the idea and hope for a more intimate husband and a more intimate marriage.

During the past three years of leading Clean Heart For Men, I have talked with many men who admit that they do struggle with lust, internet porn, occasional porn store visits, and other sexual sins and these men have also admitted a desire to attend Clean Heart For Men and to no longer try to overcome these issues in their isolation; however, each of these men are afraid of hurting their wife and ruining their marriage if their wife were to find out that they have a recurring sexual sin.  Each of these men told me that they did not know what to tell their wives if they were to attend.  I have actually had several men attend meetings and when their wives found out, the wife asked them to stop coming or made it difficult for them to attend.

I believe that for these wives the idea of their husbands attending Clean Heart contributes to several fears within them that they feel they would have to admit or question:

  • It’s all my fault… if I were prettier, if I wanted sex more, if…., if….
  • Will my husband molest our children?
  • My husband must have a severe sexual problem if he attends Clean Heart
  • Our marriage is a failure.
  • What would I say to my friends at church?
  • Another night he is gone from home.

And here is a list of fears the husband may have:

  • My wife will think that she is not a good wife (pretty enough, sexual enough, etc.).
  • My wife will be afraid that I may molest our daughter or granddaughter.
  • My wife will never want to have sex with me again.
  • My wife will divorce me.
  • I will have to quit my ministry at church.

I want to make it clear that all sex (physical or mental)including President Clinton’s style, outside of marriage is sin.  However, we as people place sexual sins into categories ranging from mental fantasies, to involvement in porn, to adultery, to illegal sexual activities, with the beginning being a lesser sin than the last.  And many times we see the horror stories on the news or have known someone who has experienced sexual horror and we place many with a sexual sin into a category of perversion.

A man who has to deal with sexual lust is simply a living, breathing man and there is not a man alive or ever lived who has not had to deal with it: many successfully, many with failures, and many who never tried to deal with it.   Samson is listed in Hebrews 11 as a man of faith, David is referred to as man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), and Solomon is considered the wisest man to ever live (I Kings 4:30) and each of these men had sexual sin in their lives.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will write several blog entries to address the fears I have listed in this article and I hope you will check them out and consider those thoughts.  But for now, consider if your husband did have a private battle going on within him, wouldn’t you want him to be part of a team of men whose goals includes to live life with sexual integrity and to allow God to work in them to be the Godly husband and father they are intended to be.

Wouldn’t you want to have a marriage with a man who is free of guilt and shame, a man who provides true intimacy?  In order to be this type of a husband, many men will need to overcome sin.  These battles cannot be won alone, they must be attacked within the group of other men of God.

Change does not happen overnight, and I am not guaranteeing the journey will not have its share of pain, but I can say that a man who regularly attends Clean Heart For Men and actively reads, and implements the strategies discussed in Clean Heart will learn to trust a team of Godly brothers and live with integrity in this sexualized world.