Today, we're talking about erections. If you are a man, if you have a penis, this episode is for you. Because even if you're married, it's not like your wife is this vending machine who you can turn to as a sexual outlet whenever you want. We all need to learn how to handle erections in a healthy way.
I wonder how you personally feel about erections. Most Christian men have a military mindset when it comes to sexuality. So if you feel aroused and you get an erection, either you feel like you have to fight against it or run away from it.
I've felt this many times. Occasionally, reciting a verse from the Bible has helped me control my body. Other times, I've chosen to work out or take a shower–and that can certainly help with controlling sexual urges. There's just one problem. If that's all you have, then it puts you in a fight against your penis and you feel like you have to curse your body.
Just imagine for a moment: wouldn't it be awesome if you could celebrate your urges and desires without feeling threatened by them? Without feeling like they're leading you into sexual temptation?
That's exactly what we're talking about today. And by the way, your penis is not the enemy. Your penis is your friend. The part of your body leading you into porn is actually not your penis.
Do you know what the largest sexual organ in your body is? It's your brain.
So what should you do when your penis gets hard and your brain is bursting with sexual energy?
Step 1: SAY HELLO! Greet the erection. Welcome it. Brain research has shown that resisting an urge actually intensifies it. Maybe you've experienced this: you get an erection and you're trying to put that fire out, and it actually intensifies. If you're trying hard to resist an erection, you can experience pain for hours throughout the night. This naturally leads to masturbation and often pornography. What if instead of resisting it, you could learn to receive it in a Godly way, in a healthy way? That's the first step.
Step 2: CELEBRATE IT! Don't condemn it. The other day, somebody in my private facebook group said "an erection is not evidence that something's wrong with you. It's evidence that something is all right with you." I love that so much. It means your brain is working. Praise God! Your sexuality is good and beautiful. You can celebrate it. You can be happy that your body is working, that you have this ability. One day, you might not have it. So celebrate it while you got it.
Step 3: SIT WITH IT! Don't sit on it, sit with it. Instead of resisting this erection, after you receive it, after you celebrate it, then choose to be present with it. Pay attention to it. This is called mindfulness. You simply notice it. You observe it. Urges are like waves. They come, they crest, and then they decrease. Urges never last for longer than half an hour if you're actually allowing yourself to experience them. Sexual feelings will pass if you let them in. Only then can you let them go.
Remember: an erection is not eternal.
So how do you actually sit with an erection?
Just take a few deep breaths. Notice what's going on in your body. Notice where the sensation is located and how strong it is. Observe how it rises and falls, and embrace it. This doesn't mean you have to give in to unwanted sexual behavior. This doesn't mean you have to entertain sexual fantasies. It just means you're being present to everything that is within you.
And I want you to know that your erections and urges and aches and desires are from God. They're evidence that something is right with you. We can say hello to them. We can celebrate them. And we can sit with them until they pass.
That is exactly what you should do when you get an erection. And at that point, you're free to respond to the erection rather than react to it. You might want to call a friend to connect and have some healthy intimacy. You might want to go pursue some kind of physical pleasure to let your body do what it needs to do. You might even want to initiate some kind of sexual experience if you're married. The point is this: when you receive your body by blessing it, rather than cursing it, you are free to choose healthy Christ-like ways of expressing your sexuality.
If you want more teaching from me on healthy sexuality, download my free eBook, Sexuality Meets Discipleship.