The Gospel Fight for Sexual Purity (Iin the Hotel Room When You're Alone)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

So men... You're travelling for business, or perhaps some other purpose, as I was recently on my family move.
You find yourself in one of the most vulnerable locations in the world: a hotel room by yourself.
What do you do to keep yourself sexually pure while you're there?
For many, this is really not a temptation at all, and praise God for that if you are one of these! Depending on what my day held (such as packing a moving truck in 100% humidity from breakfast til supper!) I may or may not be tempted in this area. But for the rest of us, here are a few ideas (besides reading your Bible and blogs til your eyes can't stay open any longer!).

I'll start with the most radical consideration first. One thought is to consider sleeping in your car instead of getting a hotel room. I recommend this for guys who struggle with the temptation to watch Showtime after 10 pm or buy an adult in-room movie. Finding a rest area and sleeping in your car, uncomfortable as that may be, and tired as you will be when you wake up, is an excellent interpretation of what Jesus would mean by cutting off your right hand or plucking out your right eye (cf. Matt. 5:27-30). Here's a paraphrase for this situation. "It is better that you lose a good night's sleep in a car than that your whole body be thrown into hell because of adultery." Wanna prove to yourself, to the Lord, to the devil, to your wife, and to the world that you're a gospel-toting, Christ-cherishing believer? Prove it by living like the power of sin has been destroyed. Drain it of its power by denying yourself the luxury of a king-sized bed and a shower, if need be, and take up your cross and follow Him.

A second thought is to ask the front desk to block the in-room movie channel options for your room. Doing this will not only ensure you escape temptation in this area, but it will also give you an almost guaranteed opportunity to share the gospel with the desk clerk. How? Because you'll have a chance to tell them how you find more joy and happiness in cherishing your Savior such that you don't want anything to steal that joy...such as adult(ery) movies. The downside to this is that while the in-room movie channels are restricted, you've probably still got cable T.V. And that in and of itself seems to be a dangerous 'channel' of temptation for many.

A third thought is to disconnect the cable from the television and from the wall, and lock the cable in your car. (But be sure to put it back before you check out!) Or better yet, disconnect it and give it to the front desk clerk, again explaining why you are doing it. (Don't miss an opportunity to tell others why you'd rather treasure Jesus than sin! That is a powerful God-ordained evangelism tool.) This way you can't watch any T.V. at all! But if you're concerned about being tempted to go and get it back (though you'll be less tempted if you give the cable to the desk clerk, cause now you're accountable!), stick with options one or two instead.

A fourth thought is to call a friend before you enter the hotel room and let them know that you are about to enter a hotel room by yourself for the night and you want prayer protection. Do a little spiritual preventive maintenance protection here. Ask them two things. First, ask them if you can call them, no matter what time it may be, if you are tempted to sin. Second, ask them to call you the very next morning and confront you on how you spent your time, and what exactly you watched on the T.V. if anything at all. This builds some accountability before you ever enter the hotel room. The gospel-motivation here is Hebrews 3:13-14. "But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." The deceitfulness of sin will try to steal your joy in the gospel's truths about Christ and the treasures He offers. And seeing as how the book of Hebrews is about the theme that Christ is better than everything else, Christ is better than pornography, hands down.

These are war-time tactics from a seasoned and veteran warrior in the gospel-centered fight for sexual purity. I felt the pain many years ago of failure in this area and purposed then to preplan my attacks against it for future times when the temptation would arise again. This is what gospel-wartime living is about, men.

That said, the war isn't just about keeping our minds off the porn on the T.V. Don't be misled here. The real fight is about spending our time in gospel-centered, Christ-cherishing moments that manifestly prove that we are more happy in him than we are in porn. This is the key, men, because without it, we're just practicing mere behavioral modification. We may put off the porn, but if we don't put on the Lord Jesus Christ, then what are we putting on? Remember, the fight is just as much about what you replace that time with as it is about successfully not watching televised immorality.

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