Dealing with Desire: Sex and Spirituality Part 2

Holding Hands“It” has been the vehicle for some of the best experiences human beings can have, and also some of the most traumatic and painful.

You’d think with all the downsides sex has brought, all the trauma, shame, guilt that so often have accompanied sex, that we’d shy away from it. But for the most part we keep going back for more. The desires are strong, and they’re rooted in the way we are made. Our need and desire for personal relationship – close, intimate personal relationship – will not be satisfied easily.

In Part 1, I talked about how big this sexual hunger is, and the ways it can often get us in trouble. And now we need to address what to do about it all.

If our desires are built in and divinely created, then it’s what we make the object of those desires and how we try to go about trying to get them met that can be at fault.

So what do we do with our desires? I offer these thoughts:

  1. Embrace desire. God built it into you. Physical, emotional, and spiritual desires are God-given, and cannot be separated. Sexual desires incorporate all of these, but remember it’s not simply about the physical.
  2. Guard your heart. As beautiful as desire is, it can also be deadly. The heart can easily deceive. Whether it’s the pornography on your laptop, the business associate who becomes a little too friendly, or some other lure – DON’T!  Your heart is too precious to risk destroying.
  3. Know where you are vulnerable. The question is not, “Can I get away with it.” The question is, “Will this make me vulnerable?” Please, don’t take a chance! If you feel your heart starting to “go there,” RUN! Sometimes this takes being accountable to someone who is farther along the journey than you are..
  4. Ask God to fill your love cup. Give Him time and opportunity to meet the deepest needs in your soul. When He fills you up, you won’t be as likely to crave salt water when you’re thirsty. (I know this seems difficult, but it works. Remember, I was single until I was 48!)
  5. Freely give. When you help fill another’s love cup, yours will be filled to overflowing. If you’re married, love your spouse ravishingly. Hug your kids. Hug a friend, or someone in need. Love them not for what they can give you back, but for no other reason than to love.

St Augustine is the one who prayed, “Lord, Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

Yes, I believe sex is spiritual, and that our sexual desires are grounded in the God-shaped hole He built into us. I invite you to enjoy exploring the journey to discovering the true fulfillment of what those desires signify.

Your turn: Have you been surprised by the persistence of your desires? What ways have you discovered to meet those needs, satisfy those desires? I’d love to hear from you!

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