My Fantasies Are None of Your Business!
Here at Harvest USA we facilitate support groups for people who struggle with sexual sins. One of our groups for male strugglers incorporates a study of Scripture with an eye toward our behavior. One recent topic we focused on was: What’s really going on in our sexual fantasies?Are they harmless expressions we all engage in and if they’re inside my own head and they don’t affect anyone else, what’s the problem with them? As one guy in the group said, “Is it really anybody’s business what I’m thinking?”
These objections, at first glance, might appear to have some validity to them. But I challenged the men with some of these objections—What if my “private” fantasy includes having sex with your eight-year-old daughter? If you knew that was what I was thinking, you probably wouldn’t be too happy to hear I was teaching your daughter’s Sunday school class next week. Yet we still stick up for ourselves and plead “sanctuary” when it comes to our thought lives.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not pleading a case to hear all that’s going on in that head of yours! But it’s also not a “no man’s land,” either. Our thought life is a reflection of what is going on in our hearts; our thought life is an entrance “door” to examining the desires that drive my emotions and behavior. Leave that door unopened to anyone else, and it can lead any of us down some very dark paths. If we want to find freedom from the enslaving sexual desires that trap us, then we must be willing to allow others, and for us to challenge others, at the level of our thoughts and fantasies.
So, what’s going on in our sexual fantasies? I believe, if we’re honest with ourselves, that these secret fantasies represent a place where we find ourselves in control. We live in a world that is largely out of our control, one that frequently seems to be against us. Our fantasy life is a desperate attempt to carve out a little spot in this world where something works out our way. Finally! I know that’s a major issue in my life.
Many men, for example, will ask me if it’s OK to fantasize about their wives. I’ll ask if their wife is built different in their fantasies. But most would respond that it’s more about their wives doing things in their fantasy that they wouldn’t do in real life. Does this sound OK to you? Better still—ask your wife if it sounds OK to her.
Fantasy lives always intrude upon real life, somewhere. They aren’t harmless; they affect the way we think about or even relate to others in our lives. I know I need God to speak to that part of my heart with authority and grace. I know He does speak to that place. He does so through the words of His people, to whom I’ve opened up my heart to allow in and challenge my illusions of self-importance.
So what’s going on in my sexual fantasies? A whole lot of me that needs replacing by a whole lot of submitting to the reality of what God is really doing in my life.
What about you? What do your fantasies reveal about your heart? What do you need to do with them?