i mentioned the Boredom Factor in a previous post, but realized there was much more to say about it as it related to pornography, lust and masturbation.
Over the years i have noticed how Boredom is a powerful force in my life and the lives of men i work with in training them to be intentional warriors.
One of the times when i am most vulnerable to sexual temptation is when i am bored. i used to be surprised by that. Now, it makes a lot of sense to me.
If we start with the premise that people are made in the image of God, and we explore the facets to that truth, we find something grand: we are meant to be — as He is — dynamic. Our hearts and souls are designed for action and life; we have a large purpose. We are part of a very big story that has been unfolding since the beginning of time.
In fact, we are made in the image of not just God the Father, but of the Trinity itself. We bear the image of a relationally interactive, vibrant entity.
Our hearts resonate with a life that is large and dynamic. When we have a chance to experience it, through a powerful experience with nature — such as visting Niagara Falls — our souls well up with life. Or when we get a chance to sample truth and beauty, expressed in art, or through an authentic connection with a precious friend, or God Himself, we touch the dynamic and eternal reality God made us to know.
Experiences such as that are what the late author Sheldon Vanauken referred to as “moments made eternity.” He believed that we could glimpse eternity through experiences where God broke into His creation.
But so much of our daily reality is just the opposite.
Many of us have mundane jobs that don’t engage us in the larger story of the Kingdom of God. There are circumstantial realities that we must face such as paying bills; doing housework; and waiting in lines at grocery stores where there are not enough clerks to check out all the waiting customers, and the clerks that are working are doing so at a snail’s pace.
They too have mundane jobs that don’t fulfill them.
And yet our hearts beat with eternity — or at least, they long to. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has written eternity on the hearts of men (and women). We have an inescapable hunger for eternity. And pornography, lust and masturbation (PLM) look to us like ways to have a piece of eternity now, in the midst of the mundane or the boring.
Eve, remember, bears God’s image in her beauty. But when we pursue Eve to satisfy our hunger for eternity, we make a fatal mistake. She is not eternity, she simply echoes eternity. In her we get a glimpse, but not a full picture. Porn then distorts even that true glimpse into something dark and shameful: self-indulgent consumption that damages the soul of both the viewer of porn and the performer of porn.
What we need is the Larger Story. Since God has put eternity in our hearts, He is the one we must pursue in order to connect the longing we have with the One Who can truly satisfy us.
A man who learns to live in the larger story knows his identity is anchored in being a son of God; in playing his part in the story God is writing; in living out his true calling based on his personality and spiritual gifts; and in finding his place in the Battle.
A key element in the Larger Story is living as a man who understands, actually is convinced, that the Kingdom of Light is opposed by the Kingdom of Darkness. We are world at war. The boredom is actually much more than boredom, it is a tactic of the Enemy to take us out.
Boredom set us up in so many ways. We lose our sharpness. An emotional and/or spiritual fog creeps over us and we become passive. We become lethargic. We become forgetful.
Boredom is very effective. We either get neutralized by the passivity and forgetfulness, or we then go the next step and become self-focused on pursuing something to get out of the doldrums.
Most men go on to pursue ecstasy in the form of pornography, lust and masturbation. Our hearts were created by God to know pleasure and joy and ecstasy — he gave us the Song of Solomon, after all — so we rarely stay at the mere boredom stage of life.
Porn seems like it’s some sort of lost treasure, and men will pursue it with passion and persistence. But Proverbs gives us this wisdom:
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. (5:3-5).