The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
This annual emphasis is furthered by a Congressional health education program and endorsed by the White House. While most of the emphasis is upon physical health prevention and improvement for the sake of family welfare, one type of health is not well-emphasized.
One of the main challenges for almost all men is the recognition and appropriate control of their normal sex drives. In a world awash with caricatures of what sex can mean (other than pleasure in expressing and giving love), one of the biggest struggles men can face is to indulge in pornography. The obvious temptation about porn is to have sexual pleasure without coupling it with an actual person in a relationship.
One organization, Covenant Eyes, seeks to help men and boys understand their sexual nature and healthy ways to deal with it. Using porn is NOT a harmless diversion. When a person uses porn repeatedly, it can literally change the brain’s neurochemistry. This happens in three ways:
• you become literally desensitized to pleasure
• you become hyper-sensitized to lust
• your willpower becomes crippled.
Furthermore, there are at least five ways that using pornography warps your mind. This is not speculation; it is based upon scores of scientific research studies.
1. Watching porn decreases your sexual satisfaction.
2. Watching porn disconnects you from real relationships.
3. Watching porn lowers your view of women.
4. Watching porn desensitizes you to cruelty.
5. Watching porn makes you want to watch more and more porn, on and on.
Very fortunately, the same God who creates us with our natural appetite also creates the ways to direct this healthfully. This begins with a viable relationship with God in a conscious dependence upon Him for power to love oneself and others well. There is much guidance in Scripture about this. There are at least five ways to “renew the mind” in order to avoid or recover from using pornography.
1. We must walk in accountability (e.g., regarding our bodies as God’s temple, 2 Cor. 6:16).
2. We must walk according to God’s Word (e.g., Song of Solomon 4:9-16; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Eph. 5:28-30; Gal. 5:22-23).
3. We must walk in pure pleasure (e.g., Matt. 13: 16-17; Phil. 1:21-24; Titus 1:15).
4. We must walk in our true identity (e.g., Gal. 4:4-7; Col. 2:20-23, 3:1, 9-10).
5. We can walk in the hope (e.g., Gal. 5:5; 1 Cor. 15:51-55; I Pet. 1:13.
Frankly, the God who made us wants us to be free…not enslaved to our own bodies. In other words, he wants us to be free from being stuck on ourselves and free to love others wholesomely.
King Solomon said it well: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Prov. 4:23).
If you are reading this and know that you are out-of-control with your sexual appetite, you are far from alone in it. You are urged to turn to God about it, and to seek counseling assistance to help you get back on track if necessary.
See Covenanteyes.com for more anonymous help.