The Sex Trap podcast

3 short steps we take to short change our intimacy

This is the Meaning of Love, written by 4-8 year olds

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne
and they go out and smell each other.”

“Love is when you kiss all the time. My mommy and daddy are
like that. They look gross when but they look happy.

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still
friends even after they know each other so well.”

“Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is
handsomer than Robert Redford.”

“Love is what makes people hide in the dark corners of movie theaters.”

“You have to fall in love before you get married. Then when you’re
married, you just sit around and watch TV together.”

“Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.”

Put in those terms, I don’t think my wife loves me.

In our culture, it appears that Tina Turner was right. “What’s love got to do with it?” That’s what makes Jesus next statement so counter to our culture. In fact, I think the next statement is the most counter cultural statement we’ve heard yet.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27,28

Our world doesn’t say, “Don’t look at a woman in lust.” It says, “look at this woman in lust, and buy the soap she’s holding.

How many of you would believe me if I told you that a recent study found that sexual scenes on television and in movies have doubled since 1975. Actually, that statistic is a made up. The real statistic is that sexual scenes on movies and TV have doubled from 1998 to 2005. That’s only 7 years. What do the next seven hold for us.

Two out of every three shows on TV include sexual content, an increase from about half of all shows during the 97/98 television season.

Sexual intercourse is depicted or strongly implied in one of every ten shows on TV.

Of those instances of sexual intercourse either depicted or strongly implied, only half occurred among couples who had an established relationship with one another. Ten Percent involved couples who had just met.

Lust itself is a business. Did you know that there are more hard core pornography stores in America than there are McDonalds.

God has a very different view. He doesn’t wink his eye at our sexuality. He wants it out of our lives. Let’s keep reading Jesus words in Matthew 5.

If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:27-30

Jesus doesn’t just say, maybe you ought to try and avoid lust. It would be a good idea to cut down. Try to be a little more balanced. No, he offers a radical solution. A violent solution. Gouge your eye out.

To get an understanding of how to do that we are going to look at three short steps that we take to short change our intimacy.

1) We don’t take sex seriously

Many Christians just take a reverse Nike attitude. “Just Don’t do it.” There are two reasons I believe God makes such a big deal about our morality and sexual standards.

1. We don’t take faithfulness seriously

God’s character is to be faithful. It’s his nature. And God wants it to be our nature as well.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:7-8

As people we were made in God’s image. We were made to be faithful. We function better when we are faithful than when we are unfaithful.

2. We set our standards too low

When I say we are setting our standards too low, I mean that we don’t see the best intimacy. We don’t seek the best sex. We substitute lust for love.

Phillip Yancy put it like this. I might feel more attraction toward a reductionist approach to sex if I saw that it addressed these deeper needs, if I sensed that the sexual revolution had increased respect between genders, created a more loving environment for children, relieved the ache of personal loneliness, and fostered intimacy. I have seen no such evidence.

A study was done recently by the University of Chicago detailing which type of people had the most satisfying sex life. Any guesses which group had the best and most frequent sex. Not singles, not swingers, not NBA players. Hands down, it’s married couples. They have more sex and better sex than any group. In fact the most sexually satisfied women were conservative protestants.

The study found that those women who were the happiest were those who, “firmly believe in the holiness of marriage and of sexuality as an expression of their love for their husbands.”

God doesn’t want you to exchange a quick thrill for the real thing.

2) We don’t understand the sex trap

To Men
If we define lusting as staring open mouthed until drool pools at your feet, then most of us are off the hook. But lust is so much more than that. Lust can be the passionate feeling a man gets from looking at pornography or an x-rated movie. But lust can also be any look that creates that little chemical high, that little pop, that adrenaline rush. Remember, God wants us to cut out not only the obvious forms of lust, but the look of lust as well. Ephesians 5:3,4 puts it like this.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:3,4

How would you answer these questions.

1. Do you lock on when an attractive woman comes near you
2. Do you seek out sexually arousing articles or photo spreads in newspapers or magazines
3. Do you flip channels in hopes of coming across a sexually exciting woman or love scene?
4. Do you make sure to get an eyefull when you notice a woman jogging on the side of the road.
5. When a receptionist bends over revealing more of herself than you should see, do you turn away or do you consider it your lucky day?

I tell you that any woman who envisions a man longingly has already committed adultery with him in her heart.

Women are not typically turned on by a body. Lust involves connecting with other men besides your husband emotionally. It can be someone who makes you laugh or someone who you connect with in communication other than your husband

Let me ask you a few questions about your thought life ladies
1. Do you compare the man in your life to other men?
2. Have you ever thought what life would be like if something ever happened to your husband, wondering who the next man in your life could be?
3. Do you ever fantasize about being with another man besides your husband
4. Do you read romance novels because of the emotions they arouse in you?
5. Do you get an adrenaline boost when you notice a guy checking you out?
6. Do you choose your attire in the morning based on the men you will encounter that day?

Ladies, when you compare your husband with another man, or fantasize about making a romantic connection, or get an emotional charge from someone else, you are stealing that moment from your husband. You are pouring emotional energy into something other than your marriage. Ladies, pure and simple, it’s lust.

Hollywood publicist Michael Levine wrote a great article about the sex trap. In it he talks about the “contrast effect”: The contrast effect says basically that people’s attractiveness is based on the social situation we’re in. If a woman of average beauty enters a room of extremely beautiful women, she will be perceived as less attractive than she actually is. If the same woman enters a room of unattractive women, she will be perceived as more attractive than she actually is. The same applies for men.

Researchers found that this contrast effect influences many women to de-value themselves: “Women who are surrounded by other attractive women—whether in the flesh, in films or in photographs—rate themselves as less satisfied with their attractiveness and less desirable as a marriage partner.”

The effects on men are also damaging. It leaves them alone and yearning for superficial beauty instead of real love with real women. “Men are barraged with images of extraordinarily beautiful and unobtainable women in the media, making it difficult for them to desire the ordinarily beautiful.”

Michael Levine is living proof of these harmful effects. He comments: “My exposure to extreme beauty is ruining my capacity to love the ordinarily beautiful women of the real world—women who are more likely to meet my needs for deep connection and partnership of the soul.”

3) We don’t take the necessary steps to avoid the sex trap

We’ll start with the men. We are visual people. If we could just manage to shift our focus, our lust would subside and healthy love would take it’s place. Let me give you some ways to do that.

Learn to bounce your eyes. When you see a jogger or beer commercial or billboard, learn to simply look the other way. Commit to not taking it all in and enjoying the view. Look away.
Learn to starve your eyes. Take a fast from movies and websites and magazines that draw you into lust. Jesus said if something causes you to stumble, cut it out of your life.
Get some accountability. Find another guy you can walk this road with. Be honest about your struggle.
Learn to shift your focus. Focus on God’s word. Let me give you guys a verse that will help you in this battle. t’s found in the book of Job

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl

Job made a commitment.

Let’s look at some steps that you women can take. For you, it really is an emotional and relational battle. Let me give you some ways that I found from the book Every Woman’s Battle.
Cut out romantic input that leads you to impure thoughts. Stop reading romance novels, don’t watch soap operas, stop viewing movies that fill mix romance and impure sexuality.
Cut ties with any man that you find is filling your emotional needs besides your husband.
Learn to shift your focus. I have a verse that you ladies can hang your hat on

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8