Reducing External Sexual Triggers

Triggers_1 I talked with a man who told me about all the external sexual triggers that hit him every day.  He said he finds it so frustrating — at least that’s what he said — to be constantly barraged by explicit and erotic sexual images.  And yet, he’s so accustomed to letting the triggers set his course of action,  I fear he’s he’s pretty easy picking for the one who prowls around like a roaring lion (I Peter 5:8).

In this case, a trigger is something that turns you on sexually.  It could be something you see, an erotic dream, a smell, a thought or an attractive woman.

External triggers are environmental and often unavoidable.  As part of the environment, they appeal to one of your five senses.  For men, this almost always is sight.

I John 2:16 describes the environment:  "For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride on our possessions.  These are not from the Father.  They are from this evil world." (New Living Translation)

In the area of your authority — home, work, commute, gym — is there any way you can reduce your external triggers?  If you have an accountable relationship with another man or a group of men, I challenge you to discuss and evaluate these areas of authority.  What you are watching on TV; what movies do you expose yourself to; and what places do frequent (the gym, a bar, the place you get your hair cut).  What kind of liberties do you allow yourself with the Internet?

Does the entertainment you consume and the places you go match the beliefs you hold?  I Corinthians 6:12 says, "You may say, ‘I am allowed to do anything.’  But I reply, ‘Not everything is good for you.’  And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything."   

God is looking for a different response to temptation, not its absence.  I never think of the goal as being temptation free, but the ability to respond more appropriately.

I can’t imagine you’ll do this on your own; thus the great need for accountability.  With accountability and a great personal desire to submit your will to God the Father, you can get on the road to removing as many external sexual triggers as possible and to then responding appropriately to the ones you cannot remove.

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