COUPLES WORKBOOK - Chapter 12
HOW I LEARNED TO GUARD MY THOUGHT LIFE
In my bachelor days, I became hooked on sexy pictures. I had a vivid imagination, and what began as an enjoyable pastime became an obsession that took over my life. I began looking at girls in a different way-undressing them in my imagination. Before long I began dating only those with the worst reputations. It was not long before decent girls would have nothing to do with me. After ten years of a swinging bachelor life, I became lonely and bored with cheap sex outside of marriage. It brought guilt, shame, tension and angry accusation, as well as jealousy into my relationships with girls. I was ready for the real thing.
The Air Force sent me to a college to get a masters degree, and I got a wife as well-marrying the first girl I met. She was a Christian girl and I was fortunate she did not know my background and reputation. Not long after I married, I rededicated my life to the Lord and big changes came, including disgust for pornography that I used to enjoy. However, I found great difficulty dealing with my thought life. My old habit of undressing girls in my mind was hard to break.
I read my Bible every day and memorized verses and spent time talking to the Lord. I read of Job who made a covenant with his eyes to not ogle the girls (Job 31:1), so I looked away whenever my eyes landed on something sexually stimulating and thought of something else. This helped, but I still found dirty thoughts coming into my mind. I read that Satan was the tempter (Matthew 4:1-3) who put thoughts into my mind to try and draw me back into my old sex fantasies which Jesus Christ said was the sin of adultery (Matthew 5:27-28). When my wife and I did not have sex for a while, I found that I was much more open to temptation to sexual fantasies with others besides my wife. This interfered with my relationship with the Lord and with my wife. I had to withdraw from both until I confessed and repented and stopped the fantasies. I could not prevent the dirty thoughts from coming into my mind, but I could choose whether or not to dwell on them. I could choose to focus my mind and thoughts elsewhere.
Now I guard my thought life. When any of those dirty thoughts come into my mind, I brush them away like flies and focus on some other subject. If that does not work, I quote scripture to Satan, like Jesus did, and tell him to leave me alone. With the Lord's help I was able to remain faithful to my wife throughout our 42 years of marriage. This enabled me to focus on enjoying her and her attentions and not be distracted by other attractive women.
Satan the Tempter:
Matthew 4:1-3 Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. I Corinthians 7:1-5 Husbands and wives are encouraged to be faithful to each other.
Dealing with Temptation Every Day:
Ephesians 6:10-18 Put on the full armour of God.
I Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (KJV).
Do I have a secret fantasy life my spouse does not know about?
Have I guarded my thought life from daily temptations?
Do I fantasize about someone else when we have sex?
Have I repented of dwelling on sinful thoughts and temptations?
When I am tempted to hate, fear or lust do I brush these temptation thoughts away like flies or do I like to dwell on them?
CLEARING YOUR CONSCIENCE
Ephesians 5: 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 5: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.