I’ve just finished Every Young Man’s Battle: Strategies for Victory in the Real World of Sexual Temptation (The Every Man Series) by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey. This is a book that every parent should gift to their sons. If you are a single guy don’t wait for the gift, just go buy the book at your local store or order online.
We struggle with sexual temptation every day. And one of those primary entry points for guys is with our eyes. Our eyes can lend to objectification of other women or men. As Christians, God commands us to
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Co 6:18–20 (ESV)
And Jesus said
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Mt 5:28 (ESV)
One of the battle plans mentioned in the book is to make a covenant with your eyes like Job (Job 31:1). Do not give yourself the authority to gaze and objectify. Accept the authority of God who tells us to flee from sexual immorality. Jesus told the woman who committed adultery to
…go, and from now on sin no more. Jn 8:11 (ESV)
When we hold back from God’s commands, we hold back from the blessings he wants to give us. Instead of seeing how close to the edge we can go, why not see how close to God we can be in an authentic walk and relationship with our God.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Pe 1:13–16 (ESV)
While the book primarily focuses on the battle of sexual temptation towards women and the battle plan for victory, the same chapters equally applies to men who struggle with sexual temptation towards other men; see chapter 23. The authors correctly point out that “while you didn’t choose to have the feelings you have, you can choose what you do with them…there is a way out. You do have a choice, and that choice will lead you to what God wants for you and to the relationships He has prepared for you.”
In closing, remember that God doesn’t shame us for failures. He loves us so much that he sent his only Son to take our sins and die for us so that we could be made righteous and be called sons of God (John 1:12, 3:16-17). The Holy Spirit will convict us when we do wrong. But NEVER forget
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Ro 8:1 (ESV)
and the Book of Hebrews tell us
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 (ESV)
Be sure to check out the Conclusion section of the book, especially if you feel sexual purity is not possible. It is. And there are plenty of testimonies to show that other guys have gotten victory over sexual temptation. If they can do it, so can I and so can you.