More on Bathsheba….
I guess we struck a nerve with last Monday’s Weekly Briefing—“Every man has at least seen his Bathsheba. The attraction is not really the woman, but the ‘idea’ of the perfect version of that woman.”
Hopefully it was obvious that the early answers were the wrong ones. The idea was to let you “think out” the right answer for yourself. A few of you wanted my take. But first, here are the options again for a married man who has seen his Bathsheba.
a) Act out your lust.
b) Carry on a fantasy (a secret thought life).
c) Don’t worry about it because you’re strong.
d) Appreciate her God-given beauty.
e) Admire her beauty and let it propel your mind to meditate on the greatness and goodness of the holy Creator.
f) Exercise 1 Corinthians 10:13.
g) Flee from the temptation.
h) Let her remind you of how much you love your own wife and why.
i) After prayerfully picking the right moment, tell your wife that you’ve seen Bathsheba. (This will depend not only on your spiritual maturity, but hers). If you can speak this frankly with your wife, you will render Satan and your flesh powerless because the secrecy of the whole thing is the hook. You cannot be reeled in if you spit out the hook. At least, this is how it happened with me.
So here’s my take: The first three answers are obviously nuts (“act out your lust,” “carry on a fantasy,” and “don’t worry because you are strong”).
Personally, I would be concerned about “appreciate her God-given beauty” standing alone (answer “d”) without adding the guts of answer “e”—“let it propel your mind to meditate on the greatness and goodness of the holy Creator.”
All or any combination of answers from “e” through “i” would be my choices.
In the article I suggested, “If you are single, by all means get to know the woman. If she loves Christ and the “real” version of her brings you joy, you are blessed.” Someone wisely wrote to remind us that Bathsheba was married!! So we had better amend that suggestion to include, “If you BOTH are single…..”
When I wrote last week’s article I was thinking about men who had seen their Bathsheba as a more or less one time deal—not about men who struggle with “regular” or “daily” sexual temptation. For that issue, one of our brothers came up with an option that may be the best idea of all! With his permission, here’s Mark’s idea…
I am glad to see you addressing this important subject. You created a thoughtful list of alternative actions. But I think you may be missing one of the best options. I propose “Option J”.
j. Tell a close brother in Christ about your attraction to this Bathsheba. You will learn that, “When the secret is out, it loses its power.”(Quote from Jerry Kirk, National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, during several messages on sexual temptation at our church in 2003-2004). Ask your brother to pray for you on the spot. Then tell your brother that he can phone you anytime he is struggling with similar temptations.At our church many of our men, including me, are using option “j.” After messages by Jerry Kirk, we initiated 13-week “Faithful and True” groups using the workbook by Mark Laaser. About 200 men and teenagers have completed Faithful and True at our church. Now I have a close Christian brother that I call on the phone when I am carrying a sensual thought that is not easily going away. Perhaps option “j” is one of the effective “ways out” per 1 Corinthians 10:13.
I am not aware of many men that can do option i. I consider my marriage to be solid. My wife and I pray together almost daily. She has heard most of my “history” and has become well aware of how vulnerable many are to lust, pornography, and the like. But she is not ready for me to confide my routine temptations in this area. I depend on my Christian brother.
Actually, I still think it would be better to tell your wife, but I recognize that may not be an option at the present time for many men. So Mark’s idea is also good.
Thanks to everyone for the great feedback!
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.