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God has designed us to notice and be responsive to sexual stimuli. And these responses are natural and often automatic. But our reflexive reactions don’t relieve us of our duty to love and of sexual responsibility.

To be sure, our body will respond when we receive sensual touch, gaze on erotic beauty, or simply bask in the intimate presence of another. And, in normal circumstances, these are not responses we have to make happen. They’re reflexes that happen automatically. And, in this sense, they’re not under our direct control.

It’s tempting then to assume we’re free from responsibility. How can we be held accountable for what simply comes naturally?

But our responsibility is not in the initial reflex, but what we do once our body and soul has been activated. There’s no need to feel guilt or shame for merely being affected by sexual stimuli. This just means our bodies are working exactly as God designed them. But we’re not enslaved to our bodies either – compelled to follow its natural instincts. We have freedom and choice. And we decide how to respond by upholding the standard of love given to us through Christ.

On the one hand, this might be wisely limiting our exposure to certain stimuli to avoid stirring our energy in ways that are not helpful. But many other times the best decision is learning how to celebrate and take delight in our responses, while also directing our sexual energy in ways to bring more life and goodness into the world.

We cause much heartache and pain when we feel obligated to follow our natural responses like mere animals. Taking responsibility is not denying these responses, but it is elevating them and learning to employ them in the service of love.

In the end, freely enjoy the many ways God has designed your body and soul to respond to sexual stimuli. And remember this is never an excuse to neglect your duty to love.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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