In Christians, Non-Christians, and the “Fully Man” Problem With Jesus, I wrote that I equate having a sex drive with necessarily being sinful insofar as Jesus 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.” I then joked that virtually every man with a sex drive looks at a woman lustfully at least once a day—“maybe twice, if he’s had a good night’s sleep.”
A reader responded with a comment that caught my attention. He said, “I’m not sure about [your] comment about equating a sex drive with being sinful. Having one is not sinful if it’s kept under control, and self control IS part of the fruit of the spirit.”
So here we have the idea that a devout Christian, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is capable of so utterly controlling his sex drive that he actually stops having lustful thoughts about women. The Holy Spirit, in effect, simply short-circuits his lustful thoughts.
The model of the Pure-Minded Christian is certainly common enough, is it not? It’s within the shadow of this assumed ideal that so many Christians struggle so mightily (and worthily!) to be constantly blameless before God.Relative to the nature of sexuality, I think there are two very different kinds of Christian men. The first considers their sexuality their enemy, in that it constantly compels them to offend God. The second considers their sexuality their friend, in that it constantly reminds them of their profound humanity, and of the literally unfathomable power with which God has infused all living beings. (I wrote more about this in Sex is God’s Way of Humbling Us.)
That said, though, it does seem worth noting that, generally speaking, young men naturally tend to fall into the former group, while, with age, one gradually begins (hallelujah!) slipping into the latter.
Sex. It’s so … inescapable central to the human experience, yes? No matter our understanding of God’s will; no matter the strength of our own.