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Honestamente, ¿cuál es el propósito de tu sexualidad?
Si alguien te pregunta, “¿Cuál es tu opinión en cuanto a vivir con tu pareja sin estar casados?” o “¿Crees que Dios está de acuerdo con el matrimonio gay?” ¿Cómo responderías? Para responder estas preguntas, vas a terminar (sin siquiera darte cuenta) yendo a tus creencias subyacentes sobre el propósito de la sexualidad. Cada opinión que tengas acerca de asuntos sexuales tiene su raíz en una narrativa aún mayor con relación a lo que crees sobre el sexo y, a final de cuentas, sobre Dios. Tu narrativa sexual es el trasfondo que te ayuda a darle sentido a la sexualidad. Es la historia detrás del porqué nuestras experiencias y elecciones sexuales importan.  Los puntos de vista cambiantes de nuestra cultura frente a temas como el vivir juntos o la fluidez de género, provienen de una evolución en nuestra narrativa sexual. Hoy en día, la cultura en su mayor parte, presenta una narrativa humanista que honra la sexualidad humana como la forma principal de expresión personal e identidad. En un estudio reciente, el grupo Barna llegó a la siguiente conclusión: “El sexo se ha vuelto menos una función de procreación o una expresión de intimidad, y más una experiencia personal. Tener sexo es visto cada vez más como un elemento de placer importante en el camino hacia la realización personal.”  Si el sexo es una parte importante de la realización personal, el experimentar y la “libertad” personal se vuelven vías muy importantes hacia la madurez.  En contraste con esta narrativa, la narrativa de la iglesia tradicional presenta la sexualidad como un test de carácter moral y compromiso religioso que se aprueba o se reprueba. En mi blog anterior, escribí acerca de las limitaciones de la “narrativa de la pureza” en la sexualidad. Si leíste ese blog, tal vez te quedaste con algunas preguntas pendientes. Si “guardarte para el matrimonio” no es la narrativa cristiana completa en cuanto al sexo, entonces, ¿cuál es? Para entender la imagen completa del cristianismo y el sexo, necesitamos empezar con la premisa de que la sexualidad no se trata únicamente de aquello que sucede en la tierra. La sexualidad fue creada por Dios como algo sagrado. Está fuertemente relacionada con la intimidad. Por más que nuestra cultura trate de fortalecer el concepto de “sexo casual”, no hay nada casual en ello. La sexualidad, como fue creada por Dios, está relacionada con nuestras vulnerabilidades y deseos más íntimos.  La sexualidad, por encima de todo, debe ser entendida como un aspecto terrenal de la humanidad que apunta hacia una verdad celestial. Esa verdad es que fuimos hechos para la intimidad. Fuimos creados con el deseo profundo de ser conocidos, aceptados, recibidos y amados eternamente por un Dios que nunca nos dejará ni nos abandonará.  No podemos entender el matrimonio y la sexualidad hasta que entendemos qué es aquello hacia lo que apuntan. Nuestros deseos sexuales simbolizan la experiencia de estar incompletos. Un encuentro sexual a lo sumo puede darnos una sensación momentánea de algo que fue creado para ser experimentado por la eternidad. Incluso dentro del matrimonio, seguimos teniendo estos deseos porque el matrimonio nunca fue diseñado para satisfacerlos por completo. C.S. Lewis expresa de manera muy elocuente la angustia del deseo y la desilusión: “El anhelo de una unión para la cual sólo la carne puede ser el medio, en tanto que la carne -nuestros cuerpos se excluyen mutuamente- la hace por siempre inalcanzable.” El matrimonio es la metáfora para la respuesta, ¡no la respuesta en sí! Dios creó el pacto del matrimonio para que fuera una experiencia aquí en la tierra que apunte a la eterna realidad de que Jesucristo es el Novio de su Iglesia. Él la buscó, se sacrificó para hacerla santa y se unió a ella por medio del ministerio del Espíritu Santo. Como cristianos, estamos más satisfechos cuando permanecemos en Dios. Aquí en la tierra llegamos a ver un poco lo que es esa intimidad, ¡pero aún así nos quedamos queriendo más! Como lo dice Pablo, la creación entera se queja y sufre esperando que Cristo venga por su pueblo. Mientras que la narrativa cultural adora el sexo como la fuente de nuestra satisfacción personal, la narrativa bíblica presenta el sexo como una imagen sagrada del anhelo, la unidad y el pacto. Su poder no se encuentra en alcanzar la satisfacción sexual, sino en reconocer el anhelo más profundo que representa. Esta narrativa le da un contexto más amplio a todo lo que tiene que ver con lo sexual. Explica el por qué detrás del qué.  También nos ayuda a entender por qué la intimidad sexual es celebrada dentro del matrimonio, pero está mal cuando tiene lugar fuera de este pacto. Pone en evidencia por qué es tan difícil recuperarse del engaño sexual. En esta narrativa, masculino y femenino no son intercambiables, porque representan a Cristo y la iglesia. Las “reglas” cristianas en torno a nuestra sexualidad están ahí porque enmarcan la imagen del verdadero propósito de nuestra sexualidad.  No fuimos creados para la expresión sexual. Ni siquiera fuimos creados para el matrimonio. Fuimos creados para tener intimidad. El mejor sexo en el matrimonio es algo hermoso, pero sigue siendo un placer temporal que apunta hacia anhelos más profundos. Es por esto que el Nuevo Testamento tiene en tan alta estima a la soltería. El bien supremo para un cristiano no es un matrimonio feliz, sino la rendición y unidad a Cristo mismo. El matrimonio y la sexualidad son metáforas sagradas que deben ser honradas, pero que nunca deben convertirse en ídolos que opaquen nuestro anhelo de conocer a Dios mismo.   Durante los últimos años, he estado estudiando y “desempacando” esta metáfora bíblica. Entre más me adentro en este misterio (¡y sí que es un misterio!), más entiendo el corazón de Dios hacia nuestra sexualidad. Me ayuda a darle un contexto a mis luchas como esposa, a las frustraciones que veo y experimento, y a comprender por qué todo lo relacionado con lo sexual es un campo de batalla espiritual tan grande.  Espero que a medida que interactúas con materiales de Authentic Intimacy, no solo aprendas sobre “reglas” cristianas sobre el sexo, sino que puedas ver lo que hay en el corazón de Dios para ti. El sexo no se trata solo de sexo. Es una forma física en la que se puede experimentar aquello para lo que fuiste creada... intimidad eterna con un Dios fiel.   Puede que estos recursos también te sean de ayuda: Java with Juli #218: Rethinking Sexuality in Your Life (member exclusive) Java with Juli #160: Why God Created You to Be Sexual Java with Juli #166: We Are All Sexually Broken  Java with Juli #182: Your Generation and Your View of Sexuality  
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Honest Answers to Your Questions About Sex
For this post, I'm sharing a partial transcript of a jewel from our Java with Juli archive, episode #132, "Honest Answers to Your Questions About Sex" with my friends Linda Dillow and Hannah Nitz. We opened this "mailbag episode" by talking about why I love my job so much: because I get to help women find answers to their questions—even questions about their sex lives—answered in God's Word. Let's dive right in! Juli: One of my favorite parts of Authentic Intimacy, and I'd say this is particularly true at conferences, is taking questions – Hannah: This is one of your favorite parts? Juli: Taking questions? Hannah: You love answering questions about sex!? Juli: I do. I mean, I – Hannah: What a great job you have! Juli: OK, when you put it that way! But I love hearing from women who have very practical questions, and I love seeing how the Word of God and the Spirit of God are able to give answers. I think often when we talk about sex, we talk about it in ways that aren't practical. For example, let's talk about singles: Often, we hold up a standard of purity and we leave it at that. But what if I was abused as a child and I don't feel pure at all? Or what if I've already been with a bunch of guys and I don't even know how to be pure again? Or how does God define purity? Does "purity" mean I've never kissed someone? We have this idea of what it should look like, but we're not always good at helping people apply it to real life. Hannah: We're getting practical is what you're saying. Juli: Yeah. Your questions force us to get practical. Linda: I'm all for getting practical. Juli: I know you are! Hannah: Plus it's just a whole lot of fun—specially because I don't have to answer them! Alright, are you ready for this? I thought we would start real easy with a question about orgasms. Juli: Oh, thank you, Hannah. Really? Hannah: You know, let's just go for it. I say, let's jump in. We have a friend who wrote to us and said, “My husband takes it very personally when I don't orgasm during sex. What can I say to him that will ease this personal offense?” Linda: When I read that question, the first thing I thought was, tell him the stats! And then I thought, Ooh, that doesn't sound so good, but really he probably does need to understand that there are other husbands whose wives do not have an orgasm during sex. That he's not alone. What are the stats, Juli? Juli: Well, I think the stats are that about 50 percent of women would say that orgasm isn't a regular occurrence with intercourse. And for many of them they require manual stimulation, and it's not just going to happen during intercourse. So, this is a problem that about half of women struggle with. But I will also tell you that the stats will say that 99 percent of women are physically capable of having an orgasm. So, very infrequently is it something that's biological or medical. A lot of the time, it's something in the mind. Hannah: So how can this woman, as she says, ease my husband because he feels a lot of pressure in this area? Linda: I thought it was sweet that she said that. "What can I say to him that will ease this personal offense?" And I think that first of all, they may need to just have an honest talk so that she can let him know how much she loves being close to him and how much she loves being in his arms, the emotional closeness and everything about being sexually intimate. For her, the orgasm is not the goal, it's everything leading up to that. Men don't look at it quite like that. Orgasm is the goal. Men are very goal-oriented, particularly when it comes to sex. But it sounds to me that she's a very tender woman and that she needs to express to him, "I love being with you. I love loving you. I love having you love me, and we're figuring this out, and my body's going to get this, but let's just love one another." It's about love. It's not about a goal. Hannah: Another question that we received, and we often hear things along this line, this woman writes: “My husband sometimes wants to do things that make me feel guilty, even though I really enjoy it, and I can even have an orgasm if he does it. Is this wrong?” So, there's something in our sexual relationship that I'm kind of uncomfortable with. What do I do? Juli: I'd like to drill into the the word "guilty" because guilt has this connotation of doing something wrong or doing something sinful or doing something shameful. And one of the things that I would challenge this woman to ask (about whatever acts she's thinking about here) is: is this a matter of conscience or is this a matter of comfort? I think sometimes we get those two things mixed up. Hannah: It's a really important question. Linda: I love those two C words. Hannah: I know, me too. So help us understand those words. Juli: Well, an issue of conscience is something where I have reason to believe that this is morally wrong or is against God's law. And in our resources like Passion Pursuit or Pulling Back the Shades, we look biblically at what God says is wrong. There are some things that a married couple might do that God would say, “That's not good for you. It's not morally right. It's off limits." For example, if it's something that involves another person, not only in the living flesh, but if it involves watching pornography together, or if it involves fantasizing together about another person being involved in your intimacy, there's a reason for your conscience to be bothered by that because God says that's not why He designed this gift for you. So if it's a matter of conscience where you’re violating a standard that God has set for you, then that feeling of guilt or conviction is a good thing. And it's something that should prompt a conversation that might sound like, “God's given us so much to enjoy in our relationship, but this is something that He's told us to stay away from.” But very often when a woman asks a question like this, it's not an issue of conscience. Often, there's nowhere in scripture where she can look and say that God says this particular act is wrong or enjoying this is wrong. It's more a matter of, I've just always thought that a godly woman shouldn't like this. Or, I was never taught that this was okay. It just somehow seems wrong. And so if it's a matter of comfort, I just don't know if I feel right about this. I'm not sure how to think about this, but there's nothing in scripture that addresses it, then I would say, you have to ask the Lord if you're feeling a false sense of guilt. Is the enemy wanting to take away from the enjoyment that God's given you and your husband to have in your sexual intimacy? And that's a whole different road that you go down. So it's really key to ask the question is your guilt is a true conviction from the Lord or is it a kind of leftovers of what you've always thought is right and wrong, not according to scripture, but according to culture. Hannah: That's so helpful to go through those two questions. You know, you mentioned pornography in the bedroom, and I know that that is an issue that many of our friends have wrestled with. And we get questions on this a lot. This next question comes from a friend who is in this struggle right now. She says, "How do I confess a sexual addiction to my husband? Should I invite a trusted third party to be a part of that conversation? My addiction is masturbation and watching lesbian porn. I've never been attracted to the same sex, but it's the passion and gentleness that entices me. I'm embarrassed to admit it out loud. I'm embarrassed to tell him, but I think it's necessary in healing." So this sweet woman is saying, "I know this is bad, and I want to heal from it. I'm just nervous to even say it out loud and to tell my husband." What would you say to this friend of ours? Juli: Well, she's taken a courageous first step just by emailing this question to us, and I think in her heart of hearts, she knows what the right thing to do is because she said it in her question, I think this is necessary for my healing. And what we've found is that it is necessary for your healing. You know, scripture even says confess your sin one to another. There's a healing element in that. And a lot of it is being honest with God, which sometimes we're not. We can generalize our sin; Lord, forgive all my sins, even forgive my sexual sins — but we don't get as specific as she got in that question. So she's taken a big step. She also asked, should I bring a third party? And, Linda, I don't know what your thoughts are on this, but I would say, first of all, we bring a third party in if there's any fear for safety. If there's any fear of, my husband could really fly off the handle or this could get violent. If you have any sense of danger, then it's a good idea to have a third party. But I don't sense that in this question. I think it's more a fear of being vulnerable, and what is he going to say? And what is he going to do? Nobody can predict how your husband would respond to this, but I think Linda and I would agree that the more we hear stories about a man or a woman confessing something like this to their spouse, there can be some grief, and there can be feelings of betrayal and maybe some anger along the way, but by and large, those are overcome by the fact that you willingly brought this to me. And you trusted me with it. That doesn't mean it's not going to be a long road to healing. And there might be days where your husband says, "I just can't deal with this. I need some space." That's when you bring a third party, and that's when you bring the counseling in. But for the initial confession, the third person that needs to be there is the Holy Spirit. Pray it up, be ready, ask Him to be there with you and to soften your husband's heart. Also be willing to say, "Whatever happens, God's going to be in the midst of it. It might be a messy journey, but I have confidence that He's going to be glorified through it." Linda: Yeah. The only thing that I would really ask this woman to bring before the Lord is, does she give all that detail to her husband? Because it is really hard when you hear from your mate or from someone you're going to marry details of their sexual involvement or their fantasy or the pornography they've viewed, because then you have those pictures in your mind, and it can be very hard to get rid of them. So my question would be: Is it better for her to say, I need to confess a sexual addiction to you, and my addiction is masturbation and watching porn? I'm embarrassed to tell you this, but I ask you to pray for me, and I want to have victory over this. Does he need to know that it's lesbian porn and that it's because the women are gentler? I think that could be really hard for a man to get out of his mind. And it's the same with women who've been abused or women who have a history of a lot of sexual partners. Do you tell your husband what you did with each person? No. He just doesn't need all that in his mind. So...Juli, you may not agree with me. Juli: I agree with you that first conversation doesn't need to, and probably shouldn't, include details. But in the healing journey, there may come a time where he does need to know, not detail like, "Let me show you pictures," but detail like, "These are some of the specifics of my struggle." And I would highly recommend that you're sharing these details with a counselor. Particularly, you said it's a sexual addiction. That means you're going to need the intervention of someone who's trained in sexual addiction. Someone who understands what happens to the brain and someone who can even ask the deeper questions about what you're referring to with that longing for gentleness and intimacy. That might be an important part of building that within your marriage at the right time, sharing that piece with your husband, but not initially. It takes discernment in that journey. Hannah: One of the books that you two have written is called Surprised By the Healer. In that book you talk about women who have had sexual brokenness and their story of healing. And one of the things that you two say is you've never seen someone successfully—I’ll use that word—go through healing without first coming out of hiding. And I just love how, even though this is hard, this sweet wife is saying, “Alright, I'm coming out of hiding,” and what a great step for her to take toward healing. Alright. Going back to sex in marriage and trying to figure out these boundaries and what's OK, we have a woman who asked a very short question. She says, "Is it OK to use sexually explicit terms for our body parts during sex?" Linda: She didn't just say my body parts. She said our body parts, so that could be mine or his. And I think what she's asking is, "Alright, I don't want to use medical terms. So, what do I use?" In the Song of Solomon, he calls her private area her garden. You can make up names. Can a Christian couple use sexually explicit terms that maybe someone might not think were totally appropriate if they heard them? That's between the two of them. Juli: Yeah, I would agree with that. I think sexually explicit terms are bad words in our world because they're used outside of the context of sexual intimacy. They're used as slang; they're used to describe sexual actions that aren't intimate emotionally and spiritually. So sexual explicit terms, whether they're ones you make up or ones you heard elsewhere, are for the purpose of communicating within an intimate relationship. So you have to decide with your spouse: what does that look like in our relationship? What is loving? What is affirming? What crosses the line in terms of being crass or reminding us of worldly things? But that's a very specific, personal journey that you have to resolve between the two of you. Linda: A lot of God's standard is: one husband and one wife in private. From there, it's really what is pleasurable and what is communicative and what the two of you like. Hannah: I have just never, ever, ever had that thought. I'm so thankful that we asked this question today because that's such a great point. When you two wrote Passion Pursuit and when you two have taught on sex in marriage, I am constantly surprised by the freedom that's in it. Linda: God is a God of freedom. And he says it is for freedom that you have been set free. Hannah: And that includes the words that you say to your spouse during sex. Linda: Absolutely.   If you'd like to learn more, listen to the entire Java with Juli episode, #132: Honest Answers to Your Questions About Sex. The books Juli, Linda and Hannah mentioned are Passion Pursuit, Surprised By the Healer, and Pulling Back the Shades. You might also like Juli's blog, "Whats OK In the Bedroom?" Sexual Pleasure: Getting Your Mind & Body to Work Together (a webinar series) Part 1, The Priority of Mutual Pleasure in Healthy Sex with Dr. Debra Taylor Part 2, Overcoming Barriers to Sexual Pleasure with Dr. Carol Tanksley, OBGYN Part 3, Saying "Yes" to Sexual Pleasure with Dr. Jennifer Degler   Photo by Canva  
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When Cancel Culture Invades the Church
Your social media feed is probably filled with examples of the latest person who has been “cancelled” because of something they said years ago or an unpopular position they recently expressed. Being cancelled is a weapon powerful enough to prompt teens to take their own lives and to silence men and women on issues that truly matter to them. Everything that happens within the larger culture also has an impact on the people of God. Cancel culture is certainly no exception.  There are a lot of things happening around us that break my heart. At the top of that list is how Christian brothers and sisters treat one another because of their disagreements. Both in private friendships and on public forums, Christians are tearing one another down. Authors and podcasters cherry-pick statements from other Christian leaders to prove a point or elevate their own platforms. Lifelong friends no longer speak because of which candidate they voted for. Church members have abandoned their congregations because of mask requirements or the lack of them.  If our circle of friends can only include people who agree with us on vaccines, politics, social justice, the role of women, and the finer points of theology, we are completely neglecting the most important thing to our Lord Jesus Christ: Christian love and unity.  Yes, there is time to disagree and to vigorously dialogue. But how we love each other through discussion and debate is far more critical than determining who is “on the right side of history.”  If you look close enough, you will find significant disagreement with practically everyone you know. Paul acknowledged this. Throughout his letters, he gave general and specific instruction on how to address sharp disagreements within the family of God.  “If it is possible, as far as it depends upon you, be at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NIV) “...stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel...” (Philippians 1:27 NIV) “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” (2 Timothy 2:24 NIV) “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:15 NIV) We can and must love brothers and sisters with whom we sharply disagree. According to Jesus, how we treat each other is even more important than our deeply held convictions: They will know you are my disciples by how you love one another. To live this out, we can intentionally engage in ways that are actually countercultural. Here are a few practical ideas: Seek out a person or community with whom you know you will disagree — simply for the sake of learning. Be genuinely curious about why a fellow Christian might see an issue from a different perspective.  Talk to a Christian who experiences same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria and ask about their experience in the church. Seek out someone who has a different perspective on racial issues or politics. You might strike up a friendship with someone who comes from a very different theological orientation and learn about their convictions and view of God. Showing concern and compassion does not mean compromising what you believe.  Engage in conversations with humility. One day it dawned on me, “I bet I’ll get to heaven and find out that I was wrong about some things. The problem is, I’m not sure which things I’m wrong about.” We need other members of the body of Christ around us to bring balance and wisdom to our own limited perspective. When you talk with other believers, don’t immediately write them off as wrong when you encounter differences. Iron sharpens iron through loving and authentic conversation.  Give grace. We have thousands of churches and ministries that employ the word “grace” in their name, yet Christians can be among the least gracious people. Would the people with whom you disagree describe you as gracious? Gracious people give others the benefit of the doubt. They remember that we are all on a journey of maturity. The most mature Christians are not the ones with the most knowledge, but those with the deepest love and affection for their brothers and sisters.  Worship the King. When I find myself digging into a position, it is usually because of fear. I feel like I need to defend the truth — and even defend Jesus. Jesus never asked me to defend Him. He called me to become like Him. There is only one way to do that — by spending time in worship. One of my favorite books by Linda Dillow is “Satisfy My Thirsty Soul'' because in it, chapter by chapter, she taught me how to find intimacy with Him through worship. At His feet is where we’ll find rest in knowing that God is greater than our differences.  Take your eyes off of yourself. We live in a culture that is hyper-focused on individualism. This has influenced our western understanding of Christianity. God’s work is not primarily through a person, but through His Body. You are not the Bride of Christ; we, as a people unified in Him, are His Bride. The story of the Bible is not about you or me. It’s about Him.  Resisting the destructive times in which we live is not just about standing on truth, but also about refusing to engage in the spirit of the world… a spirit that bullies, cancels, and slanders.  To a watching world, how we listen and how we love will be even more powerful than what we say.   Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
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#376: What Does God’s Word Actually Say About Divorce and Remarriage?
Friends, please note that we don't go into detail about how to recognize abuse in marriage. We have other conversations about abusive marriages that we encourage you to listen to! (See the links below). This episode's purpose is to look at what the biblical texts say about marriage, divorce and remarriage. Our guest is a biblical scholar, but he is not a counselor; his comments are not nuanced nor intended to be applied to situations of domestic abuse or trauma. If you have wounds that are still tender from a difficult or abusive marriage, you may want to skip this episode for now. A few other episodes to listen to first: Java #372: How to Recognize Domestic Abuse Java #377: How to Care For a Friend (Or Yourself) When the Marriage Doesn't Survive Java #167: Why People Are More Important Than Marriage Enough is Enough (a post from Gary Thomas at his blog) From pornography to financial infidelity, domestic abuse to emotional affairs — it's no surprise more Christians are asking: what exactly qualifies for a biblical divorce? In this episode, Juli welcomes Bible teacher and pastor Mike Fabarez to walk you through the scriptures that address divorce and help you apply them to circumstances that aren't directly addressed in the Bible. More tough questions. Less small talk. Grab your Java and join us! Guest: Pastor Mike Fabarez Show notes: Focal Point Ministries What Should You Do If Your Husband Looks At Porn? (Juli's blog) Java #364: How to Work Your Way Back to Sexual Intimacy After Infidelity Shame Doesn’t Have the Final Word (Juli's blog) Matthew 19 (NIV) 1 Corinthians 7 (NIV) Follow Authentic Intimacy on: Instagram: @authenticintimacy Facebook: @authenticintimacy Follow Juli on Twitter @DrJuliSlattery   Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
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¿Qué hago con mis deseos sexuales?
“¿Qué hago con mis deseos sexuales?” He escuchado esta pregunta por parte de hombres y de mujeres, por parte de personas que nunca han estado casadas y por parte de personas que ahora son “solteros de nuevo.” También he escuchado esta pregunta por parte de personas casadas que, por una u otra razón, no se sienten sexualmente satisfechos en su matrimonio.  Si eres un seguidor de Jesús, procuras vivir tu sexualidad de una forma que honre el diseño de Dios. Dios creó el sexo como una expresión y celebración del pacto y la promesa del matrimonio. Esto significa que la mayoría de los cristianos van a tener que resistir ciertos impulsos y deseos para así poder honrar a Dios.  Tal y como escribió Pablo, no hay ninguna tentación que solo hayas experimentado tú. Muchos otros hombres y mujeres conocen el dolor detrás de negar sus deseos sexuales con el propósito de honrar a Dios.  Pero, ¿qué haces con ese dolor? ¿Y cómo enfrentas una noche solitaria cuando la tentación sexual te rodea?  Hoy en día, el sexo no significa nada y a la vez lo es todo. Por un lado, la cultura presenta las elecciones sexuales como algo sin consecuencias, parecido a tus elecciones en cuanto a lo que decides comer. Se ha sustraído cualquier tipo de importancia espiritual y relacional de la sexualidad. Al mismo tiempo, el sexo ahora está conectado a tu identidad, madurez y a tu satisfacción y plenitud como ser humano. El sexo se ha vuelto la respuesta para todo, aquello que termina llevando cargas para las cuales nunca fue creado.  Al igual que en ocasiones tenemos ganas de comer chocolate o ese sentimiento de incomodidad por tener que quedarnos sentados por horas y horas, nuestros cuerpos experimentan deseos e impulsos físicos genuinos. Pero hay una diferencia entre un impulso físico y una necesidad. Tu cuerpo no necesita sexo, aún si esos deseos se sienten como una necesidad. Sin embargo, sí tienes necesidades genuinas que pueden ser canalizadas en el deseo sexual. Por ejemplo, ¿por qué será que una mujer puede experimentar un fuerte e insaciable deseo por tener sexo cuando es soltera, pero su deseo desaparece por completo una vez se casa? Su cuerpo no ha cambiado lo suficiente como para explicar ese cambio. Es más probable que su deseo por tener sexo no se tratara del sexo en realidad. Usaba el sexo para satisfacer necesidades profundas, y tal vez incluso subconscientes. Usualmente experimentamos el sexo como una necesidad (no simplemente como un  deseo) solo cuando está relacionado con necesidades mucho más grandes y más profundas.  Definitivamente, resistir la tentación sexual implica poner en práctica elementos de dominio propio. Sin embargo, una estrategia más efectiva que estar continuamente resistiendo en tus propias fuerzas, es reflexionar acerca de la fuente detrás de tu deseo sexual. Necesitas conexiones íntimas. Sarah había decidido seguir a Jesús hacía poco. Un día, almorzando juntas, ella me compartió de manera muy honesta acerca de su batalla por dejar de tener sexo casual. “Hay un tipo que conocí en el trabajo. Apenas nos conocemos, pero me atrae mucho. Empezamos a coquetear y sin siquiera pensarlo mucho, terminé con él en la cama. ¿Cómo hago para dejar de querer tener sexo con chicos que acabo de conocer? Le pregunté a Sarah, “¿Te sentiste mejor después de haberte acostado con él?” Ella respondió honestamente, “No.” Después le pedí que pensara en qué había ganado con ello. ¿Hubo algún momento de satisfacción? “Solo quería que me tocaran y me abrazaran. En el momento me sentí muy bien al haber tenido esa conexión con alguien, aunque fuera solo por un momento. Pero después me sentí sucia y rechazada.”  Vivimos en un mundo en el que es fácil sentirnos aislados… especialmente para alguien soltero. No fuiste creada para vivir sola en un pequeño apartamento, trabajando sesenta horas a la semana y siendo entretenida por una pantalla durante tu tiempo libre. Fuiste creada para tener intimidad. Ya sea que tengas ojos o no, estés casada o no; necesitas el tacto y compartir la vida con otras personas, necesitas que te conozcan.   Mientras que nuestro ritmo de vida a menudo sabotea la intimidad, también ofrece el sexo como un sustituto barato. Sarah no tuvo este encuentro por el sexo en sí. Ella usó el sexo para poder vivir un momento pasajero de conexión y afirmación.  Indicaciones de que esto podría estar detrás de tu deseo sexual:   La tentación es aún mayor cuando te sientes sola. Al evaluar tus relaciones, te das cuenta de que muy pocas son conexiones verdaderamente íntimas.  Responde a esta necesidad de esta forma: buscando amistades auténticas  conectando con una iglesia local e involucrándote en ella  desarrollando una relación íntima con el Señor Necesitas consuelo y seguridad. Cuando tienes sexo o cuando te masturbas, tu cuerpo produce químicos que te hacen sentir bien como endorfinas, oxitocina, y serotonina. Dios diseñó todo esto para reforzar el vínculo entre el hombre y la mujer en el matrimonio.  Con el paso del tiempo, una pareja casada aprende a buscar consuelo, seguridad y placer al buscar a su pareja y respondiendo el uno al otro. Muchos aprenden a usar el sexo o la masturbación como una forma de auto-medicarse. La tentación sexual se trata menos del deseo por tener sexo y más de buscar escapar de sentimientos de ansiedad, intranquilidad o depresión.  Uno de los movimientos líderes en combatir la pornografía se llama Fight the New Drug, recordándonos que el sexo puede ser usado como una droga porque puede llegar a “secuestrar” o a apropiarse de los centros de placer naturales en el cerebro. Luego, se genera dependencia en esa droga para lidiar con los desafíos de la vida o incluso para relajarte o para dormir. Esta no es la forma en la que Dios quiere que usemos el regalo del sexo, ya sea que seamos solteros o estemos casados.  Indicaciones de que esto podría estar detrás de tu deseo sexual: Tu tentación sexual es mayor cuando experimentas malestar físico o emocional. A menudo te sientes ansiosa o deprimida. Usas el sexo para recompensarte por tu duro trabajo Responde a esta necesidad de esta forma: Nombrando la incomodidad subyacente que estás sintiendo en lugar de interpretarla como un deseo sexual. Cultiva formas saludables de encontrar consuelo y cuidado personal como la expresión artística, hablar con un amigo, adorar y orar, limpiar un armario o dar un paseo por la naturaleza. Busca ayuda de un consejero o especialista en adicciones sexuales. Necesitas estar “agotada.” Las investigaciones muestran que los adictos al trabajo a menudo experimentan bajos impulsos sexuales. Lo mismo ocurre con las personas que realizan rutinas de ejercicio exigentes. Una de las razones de esta correlación es la disminución en los niveles de testosterona por demasiado trabajo y falta de descanso. Si bien el agotamiento de nuestra testosterona debido al exceso de trabajo es algo malo, esto también muestra que Dios nos da muchas formas de usar la energía que se puede experimentar como un impulso sexual. La testosterona es una hormona de "luz verde" en el cuerpo que desempeña un papel en la toma de riesgos, los comportamientos competitivos, la energía y la concentración. Si bien el impacto de la testosterona es mayor en los hombres que en las mujeres, ambos sexos experimentan una mayor libido a medida que aumenta la testosterona. Aunque en realidad es un poco más complicado, piensa en la testosterona como un combustible generado regularmente que se quema cuando lo "gastas". Dios nos dio testosterona y otras sustancias químicas cerebrales no solo por el papel que desempeñan en el sexo, sino también como un medio natural para impulsarnos a impactar nuestro mundo de manera significativa. Una de las mayores correlaciones para las personas que luchan contra la pornografía es el aburrimiento y la falta de propósito. Cuando te despiertas todos los días con proyectos y desafíos emocionantes, estás abordando tu necesidad emocional y biológica de tener un impacto en el mundo. ¡También puede que, al final del día, estés demasiado cansado para pensar en el sexo! Indicaciones de que esto podría estar detrás de tu deseo sexual: Experimentas más tentaciones sexuales cuando estás aburrida. Te sientes desafiado en tus actividades diarias (incluido el trabajo, los pasatiempos, el servicio). Realizas regularmente rutinas de ejercicio exigentes hasta el punto de sentirte "bien cansada" al final del día Responde a esta necesidad de esta forma: asumiendo desafíos (si tu trabajo no es desafiante, elige un nuevo pasatiempo o emprende un nuevo proyecto) involucrándote en una actividad de voluntariado que te saque de tu zona de confort haciendo planes para hacer ejercicio en los momentos que te sientas más tentado. Necesitas sanidad. Kaley creció en una casa que parecía perfecta por fuera, pero por dentro la realidad era muy distinta. Su padre abusó sexualmente de ella durante su infancia. Si bien Kaley odiaba el sexo, también se encontró en un ciclo de comportamiento sexual seguido de autodesprecio y vergüenza. Después de dos abortos, una enfermedad de transmisión sexual que amenazaba con su vida y la pérdida de su trabajo debido a una conducta sexual inapropiada, sintió que su vida se estaba saliendo de control y perder su trabajo. ¿Por qué una mujer como Kaley seguiría poniendo en riesgo su vida y comprometiendo su futuro por el sexo? ¿El abuso que sufrió cuando era niña no la haría querer evitar el sexo en lugar de buscarlo desesperadamente?  El trauma de nuestra infancia a menudo se manifiesta en nuestras tentaciones sexuales. Esto es cierto no solo para el trauma sexual infantil, sino también para las primeras experiencias en las que nos sentimos fuera de control, abandonados, descuidados o dominados. Mi amigo Jay Stringer escribió el excelente libro Unwanted (No deseado) para ayudar a las personas a comprender el vínculo entre el trauma pasado y el comportamiento sexual no deseado. Nos sentimos atraídos a las experiencias sexuales como una forma ineficaz de lidiar con patrones dolorosos del pasado.  Indicaciones de que esto podría estar detrás de tu deseo sexual: Te sientes atraído por situaciones sexuales o fantasías que también te repelen (por ejemplo, BDSM). Tienes una relación de amor-odio hacia las expresiones sexuales. Hay un trauma importante de tu pasado que no has trabajado con un consejero o mentor. Responde a esta necesidad de esta forma: reconociendo que tu dolor del pasado no se queda en el pasado y que Dios te está invitando a sanar.  Busca ayuda de un consejero que tenga entrenamiento específicamente en recuperación de trauma. Considera leer el libro, Unwanted*, de Jay Stringer. Un cristiano maduro aprende a ser consciente de los deseos en lugar de ser impulsado por ellos. A medida que creces en tu relación con Dios, puedes descubrir que Él te ayuda a abordar la tentación sexual encontrándose contigo en la fuente subyacente de esas tentaciones. Hay muchos pasajes en la Biblia que le ruegan a los cristianos que eviten la inmoralidad sexual. Necesitamos tomar esta enseñanza en serio. Sin embargo, también debemos combinarla con el llamado a permanecer en Cristo Jesús. Él es la fuente de nuestra fuerza para resistir la tentación. Permanecer en Cristo significa que nuestras vidas están completamente entregadas y unidas a Él. Dios no cambiará mágicamente tu comportamiento sin antes transformar tu corazón. Este trabajo interno va más allá de los filtros de tu iPhone y tus nuevas resoluciones para resistir la tentación. Amiga, no dejes que el enemigo te desanime por tu continua lucha con la tentación sexual. En cambio, recibe la invitación de vivir una vida transformada al caminar íntimamente con Jesús. You may also find the following resources helpful: “¿La masturbación es pecado?” Puede que estés haciendo la pregunta equivocada (blog) Cómo elegir un consejero sabio (blog)   *Este es un enlace de afiliado. Puede que AI gane tarifas de referencia por compras que califiquen. Foto por Anthony Tran en Unspash