|Just trying to enjoy my coffee|
As I sit here in a coffee shop, four young women have walked into the space in front of my table which happens to be also in front of the cashier. Two of the women were wearing backless tops that went down to their short shorts. My eyes widened as I do a double take, surprised by what I am seeing. I'm usually good at bouncing my eyes, but it is hard as they stand in my line of vision just over the edge of my laptop. Add the images from the cashier's low-cut shirt and the woman-to-my-left's high skirted dress, and I can feel my heart racing.
Whew. Take a breath, Matt.
I've been here before. We men have all been here before. We guys can't control what women wear, but we can control what we do with what we see.
1. We're called to not stare.
I wrote a whole post about bouncing our eyes. It's simply the idea that when looking at a woman becomes more than about her beauty and turns into a thought of lust, undressing a woman with our eyes, eventually leading us to fantasizing about that woman, that does us no good. After reading about this in Every Man's Battle, I am convinced that enough staring throughout the week will ramp us up to do something about it by the end of it eventually---release.
2. If we're ramped up, do something active---work out.
After I write this, I think I am about to go work out. Every guy knows what that endorphin kick to the head feels like during and after a release with himself. I'd like to remind everyone that we can get that same endorphin kick through exercise. And I don't know about about you, but I much rather enjoy that endorphin kick with an accomplished feeling of doing something positive for my body over the the inevitable emptiness and guilt after an act of masturbation.
Sometimes a simple, "Lord, be with me" is all that it takes. Actually, asking someone to pray for you in that moment, like a simple text message to a friend you trust or your significant other, has 100% helped me each time. Knowing someone is praying for you and not wanting to fail their prayers can be all the motivation you need in the world. If you know you're about to enter a tempting situation (being home alone or going out somewhere), asking someone to pray for you that day or during that moment has helped me tremendously in the past as well. Even if you don't think you need the prayers, simply asking for them seems to negate the temptations.
Speaking of motivation ...
4. Make someone else your motivation
I'll put it out there. I've experienced masturbation sparingly to frequently enough to feel it chip at my conscience. I will also tell you that I haven't experienced it in almost three months now because I was motivated by one person in my life: my wife. The idea of continuing that act in our shared place behind her back, or she to catch me in the act, motivated me enough to stop once and for all. I like the person I am when it's out of my life, and I don't want to bring it into my marriage. Period. So through a lot of grace, prayers by both me and her, avoiding the near occasions and all the other things I wrote in a previous post, I stopped, and thanks be to God, it's no longer in my life and not in my marriage. I had to know that it was possible and I found out through other men in my life that it. is. possible. I'm here to tell you, it's possible. Anticipate what life could be like.
Lord, make me aware of my complete unworthiness, my desperate need for You, and the immense joy You bring into my life.