This guest article is written by Dr. Joe Martin. He is an author, an award-winning international speaker, and certified Man Builder. He’s the creator and founder of RealMenConnect.com and the host of the Real Men Connect podcast – the #1-rated podcast on iTunes for Christian men.
Proverbs 4:23 says we should guard our heart with all diligence because from out of it flows the issues of life. This scripture implies that whatever we allow to ENTER our hearts, if not examined and EVALUATED properly, will undoubtedly be EXPRESSED in our lives and our actions – in positive or negative ways.
But guarding and protecting our hearts from sexual sin is becoming increasingly challenging. We’re relentlessly bombarded with sexual images seemingly wherever we turn. So, is it even possible to protect ourselves as men? I say, “Yes,” but it must be done on two levels: spiritual and practical.
Let’s start with 3 spiritual things that will guard and protect our hearts from sexual sin.
First, we must accept our identity in Christ. Why identity? Because our identity determines our destiny. That’s why Satan, our enemy, tries to attack, question, and get us to doubt our identity. Because if he can get you to doubt who you are (in Christ), then he can predict what you will do (in the flesh).
Contrary to what we believe about sexual addictions and lustful temptations, we are NOT what we DO, but rather who we believe WE ARE. Because a man will always act in a way that’s consistent with who he thinks he is, whether that identity is true or not. It’s the difference between identifying yourself as a sex addict or identifying yourself as a child of God saved by grace. The choice is yours.
Second, we must accept the authority God has given us. The authority you and I possess is the power of the Holy Spirit that God gave us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” As born-again Believers, we have that power right now; however, most of us don’t exercise that authority when it comes to sexual temptation. We believe Jesus indeed gave us victory over all sins, except the sexual ones.
Third, we must pursue true intimacy – that’s the act of being truly known and loved unconditionally. God created us for intimacy; He made us, so He could delight in us as we delight in Him. However, because of past trauma and unresolved hurt, we’ve often chosen to seek intimacy in all the wrong places. Sexual sin becomes attractive to us because it offers us “intimacy” that’s free from commitment, rejection, disappointment, or vulnerability; but it’s a false intimacy. True intimacy can only be found in Jesus Christ, then others.
On the practical side, here are two ways we can guard and protect our hearts from sexual sin.
First, we must get honest; honest with God, ourselves, and others. I once heard a preacher say, “A man is as sick as his secrets.” I believe that is true, but I would add, “A man is as emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and mentally healthy as he his honest.” Because if you show me a man who’s hiding from the truth (about himself), I’ll show you a man who’s not only hurting emotionally, but he’s also hurting those who are in relationship with him.
Secondly, we must seek and keep accountability in our lives. We are relational human beings; God made us for relationships. And in order to act in accordance with our born-again identity in Christ; consistently walk in kingdom authority; pursue true intimacy, and be transparently honest with ourselves and others; we all need people in our lives will hold us accountable for all of this. That’s one reason I created our program the Real Men 300 (RealMen300.com); to make sure no man must ever do life, or battle sexual temptation, alone.
If a man doesn’t have accountability built into his life everyday life, he’s probably a man who can’t be counted on when life gets hard. We all need accountability because, without it, we might believe we can do this thing called “life” by ourselves.
Dr. Joe Martin is an author, an award-winning international speaker, and certified Man Builder. He’s the creator and founder of RealMenConnect.com and the host of the Real Men Connect podcast – the #1-rated podcast on iTunes for Christian men. He’s also a husband and father of a blended family of two. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is RealMenConnect.com.