The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex – Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Process of Immorality – It’s Not Just One Night Stand – Mind Your Own Business – Mere Thoughts- Part 7 of 15

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The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex - Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Process of Immorality – It’s not Just One Night Stand - Mind Your Own Business - Mere Thoughts- Part 7 of 15

Subject – The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex – Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Process of Immorality – It’s not Just One Night Stand – Mind Your Own Business – Mere Thoughts- Part 7 of 15

Watch this 9 minutes video on Why You keep Falling into sexual sin and six steps to avoid Why You Keep Falling into Sexual Sin // Six Steps to Defeating Sexual Sin

OTAKADA.org content count 2,115,85

Sunday, 6th of October 2019

Blog link: https://www.otakada.org/process-of-immorality

Nuggets of Wisdom –

The Process

“Christian man after involvement with counselee: “There was a process in the involvement. It was easy in the early stages to couch my interest in her in a spiritual wrapper because I was her pastor. She was attractive, but not at the top of my list. But she bad some sense about her that exuded some sort of feeling of sexuality and sexual interest. It is very hard for me to remember exactly how

the physical attraction actually started.

“It wasn’t purely a physical thing in the early stages. The physical attraction happened as a result of other things. In fact, when you read in books about the development of an ideal relationship, you read about getting to know someone on a spiritual level, then intellectual, then

emotional, and finally sexual. That is really the order in which the relationship developed. The process took over four years. It would be nice if married couples would take”

“Married Christian man after involvement with single woman at work: “In the office there is a lot of contact between the men and women. For the most part it is professional, but, as in any other situation, one encounters a lot of daily frustrations, and you deal with the problems at work, but personal problems also come into play. There’s a particular point where you start talking to people, which begins as a harmless friendship. Then you cross over another line and become more dependent upon one another. You start talking about personal things in your life, and that dependency, unless it’s checked and kept in its proper

perspective, will continue to grow Pretty soon, the result is an emotional attachment. That attachment can become preoccupying and lead people to do strange things ”

“Married Christian man after emotional involvement with single

woman at work. “There’s a tendency with an emotional attachment to start rationalizing your behavior. You rationalize and deny that anything is wrong. You think that you are in total control of your actions. In reality you are totally out of control ” Emotional adultery is as damaging as physical adultery People aren’t expecting to get involved emotionally. It starts out in a very subtle way. An affair isn’t likely to start just out of physical lust. I think emotional attachment is a very frequent occurrence—and a very dangerous one “

“Christian pastor whose relationship with married woman went from professional to emotional: “Here was a woman who had needs, and I had a need to meet her needs. So, she began to share with me difficulties she was having in her own marriage I felt very compassionate I saw a number of qualities in her that 1 began to admire. Over a period of time, 1 began to think her husband was a jerk because he wasn’t appreciating those things. She was an intellectual stimulation to me in return. So our relationship developed over a period of time from pastor to friend,

and finally we both knew it was more than that.

You know, there are all these coy little games that one can play by sending all these nonverbal messages. We got more and more involved in doing that sort of thing. Nothing was overt enough to be noticed by anyone else.”

“Professional Christian woman: “1 became very attached to my boss. He was married and a committed Christian. We never had an affair, but my own emotional attachment to him caused me a lot of pain. I thought about him all the time, hated weekends when I was alone and be was with his family, and finally realized that I was living in a painful cross between fantasy and reality Circumstances caused me to leave that job for another. It still took a long time to break the emotional dependency I had.”

Key verses for Today:

Genesis 39:6-7 The Message (MSG)

2-6 As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.

6-7 Joseph was a strikingly handsome man. As time went on, his master’s wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, “Sleep with me.”

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 The Message (MSG)

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

1 Corinthians 15:33-34 Living Bible (TLB)

33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. 34 Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God

Exodus 20:14 –17

14 No adultery.

15 No stealing.

16 No lies about your neighbor.

17 No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.

Matthew 5:27-32 Message

Adultery and Divorce

27-28 “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.

29-30 “Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.

31-32 “Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights’? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure.

Introduction of the process to immorality

It’s not just a One-Night Stand

The road to immorality involves a process.

People don’t just fall into immorality instantly, especially not committed  Christians.  Remember, we  are  talking  about  committed  followers of Jesus Christ. We are talking about leaders, church members, godly men and women—you and me.

False assumptions

The road  to  immorality  involves  a  process,  but  the  reality  of  this process is clouded because of two false assumptions about Christians and  this  particular  sin:  (1)  that  people  in  the  pastorate  or  leadership or  counseling  positions  are  immune  to  succumbing  to  the  temptation of immorality; and (2) that because I am a committed Christian, I will never fall into immorality.

Scripture warns us, “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you  don’t  fall!  No temptation  has  seized  you  except  what  is common  to  man”  (1  Corinthians  10:12-13).  If you aren’t careful,  you will  fall  before  you  even  realize  that  you  have  been  caught  in  the insidious web of temptation.

The Christian community is shocked when a leader is caught in immorality because we forget that absolutely anyone can fall, and that that’ person can do it while having a successful preaching, teaching, or writing ministry.  Leaders may  go  unnoticed  or  unchallenged  longer because  of  the  assumption  that  they  couldn’t possibly  be  involved  in an immoral sin.

When we do see leaders fall, we realize the harsh reality that this sin can, and does, happen to all types of people. It is no respecter of persons.

And we shouldn’t push the issue of immorality aside because we seem to be okay, because wre feel secure in the center of an evangeli

cal  church,  have  daily  devotions,  and  memorize  Scripture.  These things  are  helpful  and  can  help  add  to  prevention,  but  they  are externals.  The  example  of  the  broken  homes  of  Christian  leadership indicates that we can have all these right “practices,” and more, yet still fall.

Immorality is a process.

Even the proverbial “one night stand” didn’t just happen in a chance meeting. A whole series of events caused that evening of sin. Without a doubt, the people involved become aware at some point along the way  that  they  are  being  disobedient  and  that  they  are  beginning  to reach the point of no return. Perhaps they even try to break the bonds that grow tighter and tighter with each encounter. And all the while, one or both of them may continue to have a fruitful ministry.

People don ’t lead moral lives one day and have an affair the next. It  may  appear  that  way,  but  it  is  a  process.  The  process  is  often overlooked  because  some  stages  are  not  obvious  to  us,  the  viewer, and thus they are difficult to detect. That’s why it seems to happen overnight.

Any  of  us  could  be  in  the  process  right  now.  None  of  us  are immune.  The  earlier  the  danger  signals  can  be  detected  and responded to, the easier it is to change direction. If you love potato chips and know that you can’t stop eating them until the bag is empty, you are better off to never take the first bite. Some steps on the road to immorality are not wrong in and of themselves, yet those very steps may be the first potato chip for some people.

The seriousness of immorality

Any sin infringes on the relationship of the believer and the Lord. Any sin damages the quality of life that gives abundance and fulfillment. No other sin, however, so destroys the very foundation of the Christian  marriage  as  sexual  immorality.  And  no  other  so  devastates  the fiber of a person’s worth. Adultery nullifies trust and destroys respect and  integrity.  Fornication  defrauds  and  reduces  people  to  objects  of use, not love.

Therefore,  it  is  essential  that  we  be  especially  aware  of  the growing  phenomenon  of  immorality  prevalent  today  in  the  Christian community’. There is absolutely no legitimate justification for immorality,  yet  all  sons  of  reasons  are  being  given  as  more  and  more Christians indulge in this sin.

Divorce, death, and no marriage at all have swelled the ranks of singles  to  an  extremely  high  percentage.  Singles often  meet  legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. While reading through the next stories, which describe in detail the process that leads to immorality, look not only at your own situation, but at those around you. Is there a woman in the office who seems especially fond of your husband? Do you have a lonely friend who is tempted to satisfy his longings in the wrong way? You may be able to help them escape from a potentially dangerous situation.  And you  may  be  able  to  escape  from  one yourself.

We all need to determine where we are in the process that leads to immorality. We have to be “gut level” honest with ourselves and with the Lord. Let’s start by looking at the first step that begins the journey away from God and into sin: the thought life.

Real Life Stories – Mind your own business

A day at the movies

Marilyn  slumped  comfortably  in  her  seat  at  the  movie  theater. “Another Friday night, and here I sit alone—but at least not at home alone,”  she  thought  as  she  ate  another  handful  of  buttered  popcorn. “It could be worse. I could be out on another blind date … or at a bridal shower for some sweet young thing at the office.” She wasn’t feeling particularly uptight or frustrated or bitter. She was resigned to her single lifestlye. And she was just passing time in a harmless way.

The lights dimmed and the main feature began. Set in a big city, the  plot  revolved  around  the  male  lead’s  climb  up  the  corporate ladder of success. Marilyn spotted her heroine in the opening scene. She was the administrative assistant to the aspiring executive. Single, in  her  thirties,  beautiful,  sharp—a  prototype  that  Marilyn  identified with.  The  young executive was, of course, married, extremely  hand some, success bound, and mildly dissatisfied with his wife.

Marilyn  mentally  slipped  into  the  role  of  the  administrative assistant. In the next two hours the plot took this sharp young woman from  her  desk  to  “his”  bed,  much  to  the  pleasure  of  the  audience because, after all, the wife was a real shrew. He had made a terrible mistake  in  marrying  her  and  now  needed  the  support,  love,  and comfort that this new “she” could provide.

There  are  no  openly  offensive  bedroom  scenes.  This  is  a  PG movie.  The  closing  credits  roll  down  the  screen  as  “he”  and  “she” walk blissfully along a deserted beach, happy in their justified affair and destined to a happy, successful life together. The wife? She was written out of the script after the first hour when she packed her bags and moved home to mother.

Marilyn left the theater and reentered the real world. “It was an okay movie,” Marilyn thought, as she was driving home. “The guy sure was cute.” She flipped on the radio and listened to a love ballad: “Slow dancing. Can I remember that? Soft music playing in the background while being with someone who thinks I’m fabulous. Can I remember that? Candlelight dinner, roses, romance. Can I remember that?”

Because there was no man in her life now, Marilyn allowed her mind  to  slip  into  a  little  fantasy’  of  cherished  scenes  from  the  past when  she  did  feel  loved.  In  her  fantasy,  she  substituted  the  movie hero  for  her  ex  love.  As  the  song  ended,  Marilyn  was  surprised  to realize that she had switched the mental image from the movie star to her ex-love to her present boss.

She laughed and dropped the reverie. She had much to do this weekend:  the  usual  chores  and  errands,  then  church  on  Sunday morning and Bible study Sunday evening.

Monday  morning  at  the  office  was  typical.  The  phone  started ringing,  a  mound  of  mail  needed  to  be  opened  and  processed,  and two  important  clients  were  scheduled  to  see  John,  her  boss,  who would not be in until 10 a m. Marilyn worked hard to get everything organized before John arrived.

He arrived promptly at ten o’clock. “Hi, Marilyn. Have a good weekend?”

Marilyn  looked  up  from  her  typewriter  and  felt  a  warm  blush creep up her neck and face. “Hi, John. It was okay. The usual.” He walked  past  and  into  his  office.  Marilyn  laughed  at  herself  again because of her inner response to her very-married boss.

Driving home that night Marilyn reviewed the day. She remembered her warm glow when John first came in. She thought about him. “Wonder what he really thinks of me? Wonder if he’s really happy with his wife? Wonder what it would be like to be with him?” Wonder, wonder, wonder.

Those “innocent” magazine ads

Patty sat down for an uninterrupted cup of coffee now that the kids were off to school. She picked up a magazine to look for new recipes. Finding a tantalizing picture of frosted marble cake, Patty jotted down the ingredients to pick up at the store later that day.

She turned the page and saw a full-page ad for men’s underwear— not a very provocative item for a housewife who has to wash these same  items  for  her  husband  every  week.  Her  eyes  lingered  for  a moment. The man in the ad was muscular and extremely handsome. He was leaning over an equally attractive woman, who was reclining on  a  sofa.  Though  the  ad  was  for underwear,  the  picture  suggested much  more.  Putting  down  the  magazine,  Patty  went  upstairs  to  get dressed for the errand-filled day ahead.

Her  husband,  Scott,  had  been  out  of  town  for  three  days.  He would  return  tomorrow.  Patty  was  accustomed  to  his  frequent  business  trips.  He  worked  for  a  Christian  organization,  and  a  necessary drawback  of  his  position  was  extensive  travel.  Their  marriage  of eleven years was good and solid, what you’d expect of a godly couple.

As Patty was leaving, the carpenter arrived. “Hi, Mrs. Anderson. I’ll just let myself in and get to work.” He was remodeling the den.

“Okay, Todd. I’ll be back soon,” Patty replied.

“He  really  has  a  good  build,”  she  thought  as she  drove away. “Kind of looks like the guy in the underwear ad.”

Two hours later, Patty returned with a load of groceries. Todd came out to help her. They had a pleasant, but superficial conversation; then he returned to his work in the den.

That afternoon while  waiting  at  school  for  the  children,  Patty pictured Todd carrying the groceries. The muscles in his back rippled. “Good grief,” she thought, “What am I doing? Todd is a kid compared to me. Scott looked that good when he was younger. Wonder if Todd has a girlfriend? Wonder what she looks like? Wonder what he thinks of me?” Wonder, wonder, wonder.

If we are really honest, most of us would have to admit that we do run  such  scenes  through  our  mental  video—and  many  others  that would be far more embarrassing if revealed. Though often harmless, such thinking could lead to a wrong outcome if the right opportunity were to coincide with strong, previously conceived desires.

Those dangerous mental images

Potiphar’s  wife  probably  had  fantasized  about  Joseph  many  times before she invited him to bed. The story in Genesis says, “Now Joseph was well built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ ” (Genesis 39:6-7). It’s doubtful that she noticed him one minute and invited him to bed the next. Her thinking and noticing and wondering was all part of a process  that  occurred  over  a  period  of  time.  Because  she  wasn’t  a committed  believer,  she  had  no  qualms  about  pursuing  her  fantasy. But as believers, what do we do with our fantasies?

What about thoughts that do reoccur? Sometimes they make us uncomfortable because of the desires they awaken in us. And, some­ times, they lead to action that is harmful to ourselves and others. In this  chapter,  we  aren’t  going  to  discuss  actions.  Here  we  are  concerned with the first part of the process that can lead to immorality. Each one of us must sincerely ask the question, “What goes on in my mind?”

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this  world,  but  be  transformed  by  the  renewing  of  your  mind.”  It’s getting tougher and tougher to have a Romans 12 mind-set when we live in a Romans 1 world: “God . . . gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity” (1:28-29).

Ads  have  changed  from  fully-clothed,  rugged  cowboys  riding across  the range to the undressed, sensual young man lying practically on top of the young woman on the sofa. The cowboy used to advertise cigarettes on TV, but those kinds of ads have been banned from TV because of the harmful effects of smoking. The other young man, with very little pressure from the censors, advertises underwear and is highly suggestive of a lifestyle that is much more harmful than smoking!

One  night  I  was  watching  a  “police  show”  with  my  teenage daughter. It was the typical chase-and-catch the-crook plot. A romance developed between the star and guest star. One love scene seemed to last an eternity. Wanting to be mature in front of my teenager, I kept quiet when the scene started with them kissing. As the action heated up, my daughter and I both became uncomfortable. We turned off the TV. And that was prime time on a major channel!

In the past, movies and ads would have given a more ideal view of  marriage,  family,  and  morality.  The  heroes  of  yesteryear  were honorable. Advertisements were aimed at the married couple living in suburbia. Wholesome music was the background for people falling in love and getting married. Remember the old song lyrics, “Love and marriage … go together like a horse and carriage”?

The norm today is that people are allowed to do what they want to do. As Christians, we can’t avoid being continually exposed to these new trends. They’re all around us. There is no way to avoid suggestions of illicit sex.

Renewing the mind

To begin renewing your mind, you need to know your weakest spots. Where are you most tempted? Because you will inevitably be exposed to suggestive material, you need to know what causes you to think in ways you shouldn’t.

We  all  fantasize,  some  more  than  others.  We  all  daydream. Instead of trying to suppress this, try to keep your daydreams godly. Suppress  the  temptation  to  fantasize  about  having  an  affair.  Don’t fantasize about being married to a man who is already married.

A  better  description  of  proper  fantasizing  is  positive  dreaming. There is nothing wrong with mentally picturing yourself in a situation that you would like to see happen. But instead of imagining someone you shouldn’t think about, imagine yourself in a godly situation.

When you do positive dreaming, be sure that you don’t start to live the dream and miss reality. That is one way affairs begin. One person starts fantasizing about being with another, which leads to the action itself, just to see if the fantasy can come true. We live much of  our lives in our minds. As a James Bond theme once said, “You only live twice, or so it seems . . . one time in your life and once in your dreams.”

Make sure your dreams are godly. If you are married, put your spouse  in  your  dreams.  If  you  can’t  do  that,  don’t  dream  about someone else. A person just might come along or become available, and then you may be in trouble.

Believers also need models.

As Christians, we are to be salt and light. We are to live-in the world, but not be of the world. This is difficult, for our world has become so base that  infidelity  and  fornication  look  pretty  mild  when  compared  to homosexuality,  incest,  and  other  sexual  perversions.  Therefore,  to live as salt and light in a hardened and dark world, we can’t take our models from the world. In many cases, we can’t even find believers as examples. So tee have to be salt and light to believers, as well as to unbelievers.

Your  mind  is  your  business.  No  one  else  really  knows  your thoughts but you and God. If you don’t make the necessary changes to think properly with His help, no one will. In today’s society, the battle for the mind rages fiercely every day. Our entire generation seems to be geared toward the stimulation of sexual lust. There is little hope of avoiding  this  stimulation  totally.  It’s  there  when  we  drive  down the street, buy groceries, go to work, go to the beach, and even in church.

We  must  become  experts  in  self-knowledge.  This  is  where  the gut-level  honesty  begins.  After  looking  squarely  into  your  mind, become  your  own  filter.  Once  you  have  discovered  your  area  of weakness—and you know what it is—avoid it at all costs.

If a certain person arouses feelings in you that are ungodly—and he’s  married  or  unavailable,  or  maybe  you  are  married—don’t  feed those  thoughts  by  manipulating  ways  to  be  around  him.  If  it  is someone you can’t help being around, such as a coworker, don’t feed your weakness by becoming intimate friends with him.

If you can’t control your thoughts about someone, put physical distance between yourself and that person. A drastic step would be a job change. But if you can’t control your thoughts, you may have to face far more serious consequences than changing jobs.

What happens in the mind is the first part of the process that can ead to immorality. We often feel that “just thinking” is fairly harmless. It isn’t harmless. It can lead to damaging action. It is in the thinking stage where we can most easily make positive changes, yet during that stage we are most likely to resist doing it. We still feel “safe” if we are only  considering  doing  something.  But  if  we  continue  to  have improper  thoughts,  it  is  only  a  matter  of  time  before  we  will  take action.  Even  the  next  action  may  start  with  something  that  doesn’t appear sinful, but the next and the next actions could lead to entanglements that will be difficult to reverse.

It could lead to the next step in the process toward immorality: emotional involvement.

Lord, as we are willing, help us to stay the straight and narrow path in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe

E – Discipleship @ Otakada.org

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