As I got older, I was still in love with fantasy worlds but they became more and more blurred with the one I live in. The characters begin to resemble people around me and on TV. And we are definitely not slaying dragons or going on quests.
This summer, I realised that these fantasies weren’t not hurting anyone. They were hurting me. I had to start to admit to myself that they would never happen, which I had thought made them okay. Then I ended up in a situation of joint-fantasy, where we were feeding each other’s imaginations. Discussing everything from melted chocolate through to stilettos, my mind fantasised over things I had promised would only be for my husband, should I get married. It was just after this never-happened-relationship ended that I reached for Purity Is Possible: How To Live Free Of The Fantasy Trap.
Okay, so I had bought it earlier that summer when I was beginning to think I had a problem. But it took me being in an intense but purely fantasy-based near-relationship to realise I needed to do something. And now that I’ve finished reading it, I’m sure of one thing: I need to be honest with myself and God because otherwise I’m going to fall in the same fantasy trap again.
So why am I recommending Purity is Possible? It’s not just a book for those who are struggling with porn and fantasies, though those are the central issues. Helen has written a fantastic book that has a real insight into the damage that any sin can do to a woman’s relationship with God. She fills every chapter with relevant scripture, advice and personal experiences; all of which points us back to the path God wants to walk with us.
Throughout the book, Helen talks about our “old clothes” (sin) and “new clothes” (righteousness) . Taken from Ephesians 4, where Paul talks about putting off your old self in order to put on a new self of righteousness and holiness, she uses this to explain why so often we ended up falling back into old habits. We never get around to putting on our “new clothes”! We’re so busy running around feeling naked without our old habits and sin that we forget about everything God has offered to clothe us with. It’s a scary thought (no one likes the walking-naked-into-public nightmare) but it is a reality I have been through.
Fortunately, Helen realises that putting on our “new clothes” is not always the easiest thing to do. Her chapter entitled Liberty includes 10 questions and steps to help you put on your “new clothes”. These are questions that you can come back to time and time again, whenever you feel the need to. Though all the questions are fantastic, there is one that stuck out: “What truths about God do I need to remember? Which passages of scripture teach these truths?” For me, this is a difficult question it’s really easy to base my relationship with God on my own emotions and efforts. Yet all this does is stop from putting on the “new clothes” God is giving me everyday. Instead I create a dysfunctional relationship between God, myself and my future husband, where I give up on believing God has someone in mind for me despite giving me that desire. Instead I simply satisfy my own desires in my mind. When this happens, I need to reaffirm the truths I know from scripture until they are embedded in my heart and mind.
While this book hasn’t fixed the problems (does a book ever?) and I still struggle when I’m lying down waiting to fall asleep, Helen has opened my eyes to what I was really doing to myself. If you struggle with anything along the line of sexual temptation, this may be the book you should read next.
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