Tag Archives: temptation

Young Men: 8 Ways to Resist Sexual Temptation


Sexual temptation is one of the most potent challenges young men face.

This was true in ancient Israel. It’s true in 21st America.

Unique to our culture, however, is the time span between puberty and marriage.

In ancient Israel, young men were often married at 16.

The .

Depending on when puberty starts in boys, that leaves a 16-to-20 year window open for sexual sin to creep in.

Our Culture and Sexual Temptation

To make matters worse, our culture views sexual sin as, well, an unsexy myth. In fact, to remain a virgin until you are married is not only sappy, but anachronistic.

What’s also unique to our culture is the , the rising skirt line and the plummeting neck line.

Opportunities to sin sexually abound.

So what’s a young man [what’s any man to do!?] who wants to guard his heart and virginity against sexual temptation to do?

In his book  [a book worth buying, reading, re-reading and teaching to every single and married man you know] Andreas J. Kostenberger gives eight suggestions on how to safely resist sexual temptation.

Here they are summarized:

1. Pray

One of the best prayers to pray: “Lord, deliver me!” Prayers of desperation are acceptable. As is the confession that you cannot resist temptation in your own strength. Moreover, pray at all times [not just during temptation].

2. Grow in God’s Knowledge

When faced with temptation, Jesus demonstrated that he knew God’s word. In the same way, the word of God must live in young men and that .

3. Develop Self-control

Self-control develops as the first two points are practiced over a long period of time. Self-control is a sign of maturity and a desire for a pure heart. Self-control is a main theme in Proverbs. Study it.

4. Seek Like-Minded Believers

One of the best ways to guard against sexual temptation and pursue a virtue like self-control is to spend time in the company of strong believers.

5. Recognize Temptation Is Not Sin

, but did not sin. If young men can see that temptation itself is not sin, then they safely back away without feeling like they already sinned. Of course, the ability to tell the difference improves over time.

6. Seek Forgiveness When We Do Sin

God’s grace doesn’t give us liberty to sin. No. It gives us liberty to confess when we do sin [instead of being immobilized by guilt] and experience God’s full forgiveness.

7. Avoid Female Paranoia

First century rabbis taught young men to avoid women. Reversing that,  by treating them as sisters and mothers in all purity.

8. Regard Your Power to Resist Temptation with Suspicion

We live in a culture that promotes self-sufficiency. That’s dangerous on many spiritual levels, notably the will to control our passions. Don’t trust yourself when it comes resisting sexual temptation. Instead, lean on God.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. So what other ideas can you suggest? What strategies did you employ in your own experience to guard against sexual temptation–whether young or old?

Granted, this list isn’t for young men only. It’s for men of all ages. [And women. , too!] As I’m told by a few men who are 60 and older, the ability to sin sexually may flag, but the temptation never does.

And by the way, one of the best ways to avoid sexual temptation is to do as Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife came on to him–run.

Our Wretched State (Exhibit A)

The reason behind my wide-eyed fascination with the story of Jacob…and the growing temptation to deceive that follows it.

I’m profoundly intrigued by human nature. Our wicked human nature in particular.

This is probably why I’m drawn to tragic literature. Psychological disorders. Aberrant sociology.

Unfortunately, this taste bleeds into my Bible reading.

Seduced by a Biblical Story

For instance, late last week I was reading the story of  in the book of Genesis.

You know the story.

Jacob robs his brother of his birthright. Dupes his father into blessing him instead of Esau. And manipulates Laban’s cattle to breed so that Jacob’s flock gets larger.

Funny thing is, Jacob is an instrument of God. A man who is a critical part of His redemptive plan for mankind.

A man who was constantly on the run because of his crooked, mischievous nature.

No wonder I read Jacob’s story with wide-eyed fascination. And a growing temptation to deceive.

That’s right.

Brewing within my own soul while I read Jacob’s biography was this sense, “If he got away with all this…so can I.”

And this coming from a sanctified saint. [As much as one can be, of course.]

The Way Wicked Hearts Go

Trouble is, I’ve got a genetic, spiritual aptitude for rebellion. [A phrase, by the way, I shamelessly borrowed from Matt Chandler in his .]

Some call it an issue with authority. An incorrigible bent to do things my way.

That means I don’t learn–very often–from the mistakes of others. And the temptation to do what I’m NOT supposed to do? Utterly inviting.

Unfortunately, that’s my wretched state…and yours…the constant bent towards disobedience. Mischief. Sin.

It can be frustrating.

See, salvation breaks the penalty of sin through justification by faith. It’s the story of the grace of God reconciling a rebellious people.

But until I die–until WE die–we remain in corrupt bodies. Bodies bred in a fallen world.

Bodies susceptible and drawn to sin.

Here’s My Point

Everywhere and at all times we must be ,  and on our  temptation and disobedience. Temptation can–and will–come from everywhere.

Thus, we must . For others–and ourselves.

Furthermore, Jacob’s sin doesn’t excuse us from our own sin. We can’t claim amnesty from guilt because a hero of our faith is a model of despicable behavior.

That model of despicable behavior on display is intended to point us away from ourselves and towards at least two entirely different things:

1. It points to the fact that we are broken beings with a thirst for lawlessness in desperate need of a savior.

2. And it points to a sovereign, merciful God who uses wreckage like us to accomplish His will.

That is the intention of documenting Jacob’s misdeeds. Agree? Disagree? Has Satan ever used a biblical text to tempt you? Share your thoughts. Brutal and all.