This is the final part of a three part series on The Damage of Sexual Promiscuity
In the first two parts of this series, I talked about the potential damage of sexual promiscuity. In this final installment, let's look at what we can do about it.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul gave us some very powerful advice that can help us overcome the negative effects of sexual damage.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. - Romans 12:2
So here we have the answer to the big question "How can I make things different?" The answer is "Change the way you think!" Quit thinking in the destructive patterns of our lust-driven culture and be transformed. Transformed not by special prayer or through being anointed by holy oil or holy water or by being touched by some holy preacher, but by the renewing of your mind. In other words, you need to change the way you think! You need to re-program the way you think about sex.
If you have imprinted on lust and find yourself constantly thinking in that way when you have sex with your spouse, you need to STOP it. Refuse to allow your thoughts to drift off to a "lust" context when having sex with your wife. You need to re-imprint on the girl you are married to. You need to key off of her and her alone.
May you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer-
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.
- Proverbs 5:18 & 19
You may find, however, that re-training the way you think can be extremely difficult. You may even find that your sexual performance may get worse initially as you refuse to think those lustful thoughts that drove your erections in the past. But if you persevere, you will find your sexual energy will come roaring back and without the need for dirty thoughts that take you back to your early sexual encounters. You will find that your wife will be all you need in order for you to be sexually fulfilled. And you will find that the sex you experience without lust is multiple times more fun, exciting, and fulfilling than the kind of sex you try to re-play in your mind.
And as for you women who have falsely learned that "sex doesn't mean anything", you too must renew your minds. You need to change the way you think about sex. Sex is the key to a man's heart and you need to view it that way. You need to go out of your way to notice the small ways your sexual interaction with your husband energizes and motivates him to want to connect with you in ways that are not sexual.
But do not kid yourselves - renewing your minds may prove to be one of the most difficult things you have ever undertaken. Ask God for his help and make a definitive decision that you will no longer live under the lies of your lust-driven past and that you will be transformed by thinking differently! Trust me when I tell you that the payoff is amazing and worth the effort.
Outside of marriage, men tend to imprint on the lustiness of "naughty" sex. A man may try to re-live that in his marriage by fantasizing about other women while making love to his wife or by trying to guilt his wife into performing sexually in ways that she is not comfortable with, or by ignoring his wife altogether as he masturbates in a pathetic attempt to re-create his lustful fantasies. It would be better, however, for that man to stop trying to re-live his previous sexual experiences and force himself to intentionally focus on his wife, think about her, actually be with her, and not attempt to recreate the sexual exploits of his youth.
Outside of marriage, women tend to come away with an attitude that "sex doesn't mean anything" when, if fact, it can mean everything when it comes to her husband truly bonding with her. She must now be much more deliberate in her approach to sex, having to continually remind herself that sex is a vital component for her marriage to thrive.
Can they have great sex now? Yes! But it may not come as easily to them if they had waited. And the greater the damage, the more effort it may take for the couple. (Boy, if anybody should warn their children about the negative possibilities of pre-marital sex it should be those who have experienced it first hand!)
Virtually anyone can still experience a wonderful sex life, but let's stop pretending that sex before marriage is "no big deal" and start telling people the truth - for two reasons: 1) so that our kids can avoid the problem in the first place and 2) so those who have been negatively affected can learn how they can still succeed by changing the way they think about sex.
Always remember, God is not a prude. He does not tell us to avoid sexual promiscuity because he is somehow embarrassed about sex. He just knows how we are wired and wants us to experience the very best.
This is the final part of a three part series. Please see the archives for parts one and two.
Mark Gungor is one of the most sought-after speakers on marriage and family in the country. Each year thousands of couples attend his Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage® seminars. His take on marriage issues is refreshingly free of both churchy and psychological lingo. Mark is pastor of Celebration Church in Green Bay, WI. He speaks for churches, civic events, and business meetings and is even a speaker for the US Army. Mark has been featured on national broadcasts such as Focus on the Family and ABC News. His daily internet radio show is heard on over 250 radio stations nationwide, and his television show Love, Marriage and Stinking Thinking is available nationwide on TBN and Sky Angel.