Thursday, August 28, 2008

Great Article About Why Sexual Fantasy is Harmful

Caring For Marriage puts out a newsletter with articles, stories, and thoughts about marriage. For one of them Rev. John Odhner wrote a great article about why sexual fantasy is harmful. He writes,
Acting out sexually can have huge consequences—disease, pregnancy, divorce, emotional trauma, financial loss, ruined reputation or jail. Fear of these things keep many people from actually doing things they fantasize about, but frequently people assume that fantasy itself may be harmless, and even be helpful. .... The Lord's message is contrary to this. He asks us to look at where our thoughts are going: “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27). .... The flood of evil in Noah’s time was not that much different from today—it was in people’s fantasies: “The imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil every day” (Genesis 6:5). ....
Another reason why fantasies are so harmful is that they are so pleasurable. Yes, they can spice up you sex life, but so can crack. The problem is that we easily become dependent on fantasies to create sexual excitement, but we become more tolerant, so we need newer, more daring and forbidden fantasies to maintain the same level of excitement. .... The bottom line is that fantasy is focused on getting pleasure for oneself, while true love is feeling the joy of another as joy in oneself, so that each wants to think and intend as the other does.
Many people believe that chastity is simply abstinence from adultery physically, even though this is not chastity unless it is also at the same time abstinence in spirit. For a person's spirit—meaning here his mind in its affections and thoughts—is what makes him chaste or unchaste. (Conjugial Love 153).

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