Removing the Sexual from Sexual Attraction
Paul was the first to admit that he was carnal. He confessed to the fact that he struggled with his flesh. Yet we know Paul was a man who lived a chaste life. Many of the people with whom we deal struggle with same sex attraction. Unfortunately many people have been misguided as to how to deal with this. Their objective is to change the attraction. However sexual attraction is not only a problem for those who have a same-sex attraction. All sexual attraction can be a problem. If a young man has a sexual attraction to his girlfriend he must learn how to deal with that, just as someone who has a sexual attraction to the same sex.
First, take into consideration that attraction is not the problem. The problem is that this world has sexualized attraction. An attraction is not a sin, but when that attraction is accompanied by sexual desires then we have a problem. Some men can see attractive woman while others see a sexual object. The difference is in the mind. So what is the solution?
Paul gives us the answer in Romans 12. The answer is that we must remove the sexual from sexual attraction. That is true whether it be an attraction to same-sex or the opposite sex. If the attraction is sexual then we must remove the sexual from the attraction. Unfortunately our minds have been inundated with sexuality. It is difficult for people to separate attraction from sexuality. Thus we have a society overwhelmed with sexual attractions. A man sees a beautiful woman and because he has a mind that has been consumed by sex he automatically has a sexual attraction towards her.
When I go into an art gallery and see a piece of art that attracts my attention I have no sexual thoughts. Why? It is because I do not equate a piece of art with sexual desire. Unfortunately in our society many types of attractions seems to be geared toward sexuality. On television men see women as sexual creatures and women see men as sexual creatures. It seems as though all relationships have an undertone of sexuality and thus creates in our minds sexual responses. The solution is that we must present our bodies as living sacrifices. We cannot remove from our minds your sexual thoughts. What we can do is remove sexual from the attraction. How is that done? It is done by sacrificing your body to God. In other words it is done by the discipline of surrender. We surrender our bodies to Christ which means we are no longer willing to desecrate our bodies sexually. We no longer fulfill the lust of the flesh. We may still have the same attraction, but we have submitted our bodies to Christ as a living sacrifice. We cannot talk someone out of sexual attraction, but they can commit themselves to Christ.
If one’s mind has been filled with sexual thoughts, they cannot change their minds. Their minds have been programmed. Unfortunately we are not the deprogrammers. Who is? The answer is found in the same passage. It is by the renewing of our minds. But the renewing of our minds comes after we surrender our bodies. So in other words we must make the decision to sacrifice the sexual part of the desire or attraction before the Holy Spirit can transform our minds and remove the sexual from the attraction. Can a man who thinks sexual thoughts every time he looks at a woman have his mind changed? The answer is yes. However he must first make the decision to sacrifice his body. In other words he does not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Then we are transformed not before surrender but after.
The next step is non conformity to the world. We often misunderstand this. Nonconformity means we do not respond to the attraction like the world does. We do not ogle the person with sexual thoughts. We do not make flirtatious or sexual remarks. Our response to the attraction is based upon the fact that we are no longer our own because we have given our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable. It also means we avoid the places and situations where our sexual attraction is fueled or fed. One who has given their body as a living sacrifice can go to the places, including on the internet where this world goes to feed their fleshly desires.
After this is when the renewing of the mind comes. When the mind is renewed then suddenly the sexual has been removed from the attraction. In other words we can see someone as being attractive without having sexual thoughts. It starts with surrender, then to non conformity and finally to transformation. We get it backwards. A man who has same-sex attraction does not have to have same-sex sexual attraction. In other words he may be attracted to other men as friends, but he is not attracted to them sexually. Those who have been involved in a same sex lifestyle must understand this concept. They must surrender their bodies first. They must say I sacrifice my sexual desires because I submit my body to the Spirit of God. In submitting their body they now refuse to be conformed to this sexual society in which we live. Then, and only then, the metamorphosis of their mind begins and they are transformed. Now they can be attracted without being sexually attracted. Now they can have friendships without sexual thoughts. This is where the transformation takes place.
In this sex crazed society in which we live there is such a difficulty with our minds. Even men who would not consider themselves to be attracted to the same sex will eventually have sexual attraction if they watch enough porn. What we see fills our minds and what fills our minds programs our desires. How do people get into so much deviant sexual activity? It’s simple. They feed their minds with it. What they fed their minds created an attraction that became sexual.
If I may be so frank, I am attracted to horses. However I have never had a sexual attraction to a horse. Yet there are some who have. Why? Because their minds have become deviant. They have allowed their minds to be filled with lustful wicked thoughts. Sexual attraction is programmed by what we put into our minds or allow to be put into our minds. However you can’t remove from your mind what has been put there. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we must first give the body as a living sacrifice. In other words we put our bodies on the altar and give commit them to God completely. Then we refuse to be conformed to the sexual activities of this world. Finally the transformation or metamorphosis takes place in our minds. What once was a deviant sexual attraction becomes merely an attraction. No longer is the sexual a part of it.
Therefore a man who has same-sex attractions can be attracted to men without sexuality being involved. That is how someone comes out of an unnatural lifestyle and is able to live a life that is pure. They must understand the importance of committing their bodies to the Lord.
Let me be frank. Masturbation is absolutely a curse to this process. Masturbation is just as much fulfilling the lust of the flesh or the act itself. When you think the thought during that process it is the same as if you had acted it out. You cannot live that thought in your mind to the gratification of your flesh. Many men who once were adulterers commit adultery constantly in front of a computer screen. Many men once involved in same-sex activity commit the same sins in their mind and then with their bodies. You cannot allow your body to be gratified by those sexual impulses. You must give your body as a living sacrifice. You cannot masturbate and be a living sacrifice at the same time.
The battle is not in the mind my friend. The battle is in the body because what satisfies the body is what we crave. Unfortunately we crave what we have thought and what we have allowed our thoughts to lead us to perform. The gratification of that performance leads to a surrender to the sin. Only when we put our bodies as a sacrifice before God can we find freedom. Only when we refuse to conform to the sexual activities of this world can our minds be transformed and renewed. That’s the secret to removing sexual from sexual attraction.
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