I haven’t been in an ANR before and actual physical sin with women is not an issue for me, but if I said I haven’t recently been distracted and have my walk with Christ undermined, I’d be lying. I’m actually just coming out of a season of blindness and flesh-driven idolatry. I need your prayers.
An ANR could literally turn into a god, and it often does.
I see it happen in my thought life and even conversations at different seasons. I have a few times of repentance and purity, then other times of intense desire leading to impure thoughts and a cavalier attitude towards fighting my obsession. I even blow the three CN-encouraging verses out of proportion, my flesh blinding me into thinking an ANR is one of God’s biggest plans for Christian couples.
I’m not the only professing Christian who goes through this. I know a few others who are equally obsessed and idolatrous.
Some tips to help in those seasons of desire, lust and idolatry:
- Immerse yourself in God’s word.
- Suspend your visits to Christ-centered ANR if you can’t regulate yourself.
- Take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Consciously give every breath you take to His Lordship. It yields a harvest of peace and righteousness. Think of Him constantly, depend on, and obsess over Him.
- “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 [Be led by the Spirit]” – Galatians 5
- Surround yourself with bountiful fellowship.
- Distract yourself with hobbies and recreational activities.
- Pray for God’s deliverance.
- Literally cry out to God in your moments of greatest temptation. I’m slowly beginning to find that vocally calling on God with visceral honesty helps during those weak moments.
- Tie it all to what’s of “first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3 ff), that Christ Jesus died for your sins. There may be nothing wrong with thinking of sex frequently. That God has some of us think so much of intimate topics isn’t a sin in itself. It’s whether such thoughts glorify His Son that matters. Most moralistic Puritans would disagree, but I believe Christians can be sex therapists. What’s important is to put our sex talk into gospel perspective.
- Maintain your vantage point on the whole counsel of God. An ANR is often a game changer in marriages, but only three verses either mention it by name or hint at it. There are over 30,000 verses in the Bible. Less than 0.01% of God’s word shouldn’t call the shots for 100% of your walk.
- Remember, the spirit is much more important than the body. In a trillion years, when you’re worshipping the victorious Lamb in Heaven, you won’t remember any such thing as an ANR, and your earthly, fleshly, ANR-desperate body would be utterly consumed.
Dear ANR community in Christ, let’s keep each other lifted up in prayer.
James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”