Fight to Follow

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So I asked God what He wants me to write tonight, cause I felt a nudge to write something.  I walked over to my Bible, and said, “What do You want me to say tonight, God?” and opened to Romans … Continue reading

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9 ways to beat sexual temptation

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We are sexual creaters.  We were created that way.  Sex in marriage is a blessing from God, but the time before we tie the knot is a constant battle.

Ethan and I were always very attracted to each other, but over the last 2 years of deepening our emotional and spiritual bond, the attraction is insane.  This is the hardest and most rewarding battle I’ve fought in my single-lady life. Same for Ethan.  There have been so many benefits and blessings to waiting that we have no doubt we are doing what is pleasing to God.

Here are the ways Ethan and I beat sexual temptation:

1. Don’t wear sexy underwear or bras unless you will not be alone at any point that day/night.  I don’t know about you ladies, but the second I put on my favorite bra, I want to show Ethan how awesome it looks.  I found it so much harder to stifle that desire those days/nights.

2. Flee.  If you’re put in temptation’s path, run.  When things get too heated or too tempting, Ethan and I literally separate until we can calm ourselves down and get control.  If need be, separate for a few hours, or even the rest of the night if the temptation is too great.

3. Pray and redirect yourself when you get on those train of thoughts.  Those days that I let my mind run rampant, I struggle.  Same for Ethan.  It’s alright to have lustful thoughts for the person you’ll be marrying, but be careful.   Too much can lead to you pushing the envelope.

4. Pray together.  Ethan and I used to start off nights we hung out together with this.  We should get back into it because it is so extraordinarily helpful.  Or if you’re both having a hard time with control one night, stop and pray.  You’ll be amazed how focusing both of your minds back on the bigger picture will change the mood for the better.  Satan flees at that point.

5. Pray for each other separately.  This is always good.  You never know what your other half could be struggling with and facing on a daily basis.

6. No porn.  No looking at other people lustfully.  Your husband spouse deserves a faithful wife – mind, body, and soul.

7. Don’t kiss on a bed.  Or maybe even on a couch.  This leads to heated moments that can lead to other bad things.  Best to just avoid it since it gets extremely tempting very fast.

8. Honestly ask your man if he could be your rock for you the days/nights that you’re having a particularly hard time.  Men love to be needed and to be useful in their own unique way.  They love having a purpose and being able to help us.  That’s how they’re wired!  You admitting a weakness and vulnerability will also deepen your trust in one another and he will take your plea to heart.

9. Don’t tempt him with a super sexy outfit.  Ethan always tells me this is the hardest and most frustrating thing because “he has me, but he can’t have me all at the same time.”  When we wear super sexy outfits, we’re making the battle harder and more frustrating for our men.  Men are even more sexual than we are, and seeing a woman he has such strong feelings for showing off the body he’s trying so hard not to think about all day… how much temptation can a guy take?!  Don’t get me wrong, making an effort to look good for him is important sometimes and greatly appreciated, just don’t push it too far.

Here is an interesting way to think about this – when put in a sexually tempting situation you have two options to choose from:

1. your flesh – your sexual desires, your desires to fulfill your significant other’s sexual desires, your fear or disappointing said significant other, your craving for affirmation, trying to satisfy their craving for affirmation – this is so temporary.  Literally minutes of physical satisfaction that will leave your Spirit suffering.  Also, you cannot fully satisfy your significant other’s craving for affirmation, even physical.  That is something that is not your job until marriage.  Believe me ladies, I’ve tried.  That is something you have to trust God with until that point.  He will come through for you both, but God can’t fill that void (yours or your partner’s) until you give it to Him to fill.  After I truly gave this up to God, after I told Ethan very plainly, “I am sorry for holding you back spiritually, I haven’t been giving God the opportunity to fill this void in you because I  hate to see you suffer.  But God is asking me to trust you with Him, ALL of you,”  Ethan had his breakthrough God moment literally a few days later, where God was finally able to heal all the wounds from his past.  Ethan’s relationship with God is on a whole new level now, a level he may have never reached had I kept clinging on to him for fear that God would remain silent.

2. your Father – choosing Him over yourself, choosing Him over your significant other, trusting Him with your relationship, leaning on Him to help redirect you.  God will bless you, God will bless the relationship He has designed you for.

Don’t let your flesh rule you, let the Spirit guide you and obey its nudges.  Don’t choose your significant other over your Creator.  Fight the good fight, purity is beyond worth fighting for.

One last note to the ladies – staying strong in your morals may turn a man away from you, but guess what that means – he’s not the one.  He doesn’t deserve your body.  If a man pushes away from you because you have physical boundaries, that’s a good indicator that his heart and intentions with you are far from being in the right place.

6 reasons to be sober

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I’ve talked to so many people that are hesitant to commit to Christianity because it seems to just be a long list of rules.  There are rules as there are with everything else we ever do in life, yes, but God’s rules have a specific purpose and were only made to protect us and keep us near Him and away from the Enemy.

Let’s start with drinking.  It is, first and foremost, a sin.  Only bad come from it.  A good friend of mine once called it “Satan’s stimulant.”  How fitting!!  Even if you have a night with no incidences, you’ve still decided to use an impairing substance to have fun instead of delighting in God’s creations and life sober, or you’ve decided to cope with something through alcohol instead of taking it to God.

I started drinking heavily when I was 16.  It lead me to some seriously dangerous situations and extremely stupid decisions.  I was nearly raped twice, even though I was surrounded by friends.  By the grace of God it didn’t happen.  The number of bad decisions I made while drunk are too numerous to count.  I regret so much of my past because of what has transpired while drinking, but this is God turning my ugly past into something beautiful to help all of my sisters out there.

So here are the reasons we are called to sobriety based on my experiences:

1. Drinking impairs our moral compass, HEAVILY.  This is so dangerous and detrimental to our walk with Christ.  When we are on God’s path and are tempted to drink and give in, we have already veered from Him.  But then, our human tendency and alcohol-consumed mind often says “welp, I already messed up, so what’s a little ___________”… smoking?  sex?  porn?  drugs?  It’s a snowball effect.  This is especially true with drinking and sex.  The two often go hand in hand.  This means we’re breaking another of our callings – to fight for purity and wait for marriage.

“It’s not as though people do drunken things because they’re not aware of their behavior, but rather they seem to be less bothered by the implications or consequences of their behavior than they normally would be.” – Dr. Bruce Batholow. 

2. Drinking DOES NOT make you feel better.  Actually, if you’re going through tough times, alcohol is a great way to make yourself feel worse.  It is a depressant.  It may be fun in the beginning, but at some point, the darkness and reality of your problems sink in and you won’t know how to deal with it because of your emotional impairment.  This is from a great article I found about this:

“But here’s the twist: alcohol also increases the release of dopamine in your brain’s “reward center.” The reward center is the same combination of brain areas (particularly the ventral striatum) that are affected by virtually all pleasurable activity, including everything from hanging out with friends, going on vacation, getting a big bonus at work, ingesting drugs (like cocaine and crystal meth), and drinking alcohol.

By jacking up dopamine levels in your brain, alcohol tricks you into thinking that it’s actually making your feel great (or maybe just better, if you are drinking to get over something emotionally difficult).  The effect is that you keep drinking to get more dopamine release, but at the same time you’re altering other brain chemicals that are enhancing feelings of depression.”

3. A relationship free of drinking is peaceful. Ethan and I have decided that alcohol will never be a part of our relationship.  That means I never drink, and neither does he.  Not even one (see #4).  It has been so wonderful.  There are no pressures to go out and have that kind of social life on the weekends.  Friday and Saturday nights get filled with dates, games, snuggling, relaxing, and cozy atmospheres with good friends.  There are no trust issues, there is no worrying when they’ll be home or who they’re with or what state of mind they’re in.  I’ve been in so many relationships where drinking was a big part of it, and the worrying never stopped.  If I didn’t know exactly what was going on any given night, I wondered and worried until I knew.  Now I’m on easy street.
4. “Drinking in moderation” is such a tempting situation to put yourself in. I have an addictive personality.  I either am all in, or I’m all out.  I’ve never been one for moderation of anything.  Like Mountain Dew for example!!  I always joke that I’m a Dew addict.  I cannot say “I’ll have 3 per week, but that’s it.”  Or “only when I go out to eat.”  I inevitably sit there sipping Mountain Dew all day no matter what the parameters.  If you can honestly sit down to dinner and have only 1 or 2 beers, then you’ve got great self control and I genuinely applaud you for it. But for all you ladies out there like me, once I had 1, I had 2, then I had several.  It’s better to just eliminate it completely and stay out of temptation.  Booze isn’t worth your relationship with your Creator.

5. There is a danger of becoming an addict.  This is not an extremely common thing, but the danger is there, it’s real, it should be avoided.  More from that article:

Over time, with more drinking, the dopamine effect diminishes until it’s almost nonexistent. But at this stage, a drinker is often “hooked” on the feeling of dopamine release in the reward center, even though they’re no longer getting it.  Once a compulsive need to go back again and again for that release is established, addiction takes hold.  The length of time it takes for this to happen is case-specific; some people have a genetic propensity for alcoholism and for them it will take very little time, while for others it may take several weeks or months.”

6. It is biologically harmful to our bodies and minds.  It is essentially a poison, capable of killing in high enough dosages.  There is short-term damage and long-term damage from drinking.  Here are some links if you want to learn more – 1, 2, 3

Let’s talk about weed.

I started smoking heavily when I was 19.  Now you guys, know I have an addictive personality, so as you can imagine, I did so very frequently.  Probably 5 days a week when it was at it’s peak.  I realized I had a problem when I started wishing I was high while doing EVERYTHING.

So many people will argue that it’s not addictive.  No, it is not biologically addictive.  Your body will never have withdrawal symptoms or go into shock without it.  But there is a level of addiction with our minds.  I experienced it first hand and I’ve seen it on so many occasion with all of my old friends.

I’ve seen so many friends fall into a rut of carelessness.  They don’t really care about their future, they don’t really care about their jobs, they don’t really care about how much money they have saved, they don’t care much about people in their life… they’re just… blah.  That’s the appeal of weed to a lot of people.  It helps you just go with it and not care.  It makes people lazy.  So lazy.  And not just when they’re smoking and high, but ALL THE TIME because their main focus for the day is when they’ll get to light up again!  This is how I used to think, guys, so I know this is true.

“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

I don’t have any experience with other drugs, but it is the SAME concept.

All drinking and all drugs are just another way of coping with life instead of taking your stresses to the cross.  It’s another way of having fun instead of delighting in life sober.  God worked SO hard on the creation of the universe, and we enjoy it fully when sober.

Here are a ton of Bible quotes about drinking and sobriety:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephisians 5:18)

Proverbs 23: 29-35 says:

Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine;
    those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup
    and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
    and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    like one who lies on the top of a mast.
 “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
    they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
    I must have another drink.”