There was a family near me growing up in which the father preached against immorality in such a way that the message was, "All boys have raging hormones and need to suppress their sinful inclinations." I know for a fact that this father faced this particular temptation (without ever succumbing to it), so it is "understandable" that he would think this way, but his sons ended up seeing their very natural urges as sinful, instead of natural effects of the Fall. Therefore, they were wracked as teenagers with feelings of inadequacy and failure and guilt every time they saw a girl and even thought, "Wow, she's hot!" At least two of them ended up convinced that they could never be good enough - and they couldn't based on their Law of Moses definition of perfection.
Recognizing that having such a thought is not actually a sin - that at its very worst it is a transgression caused by our fallen state and at its best solid evidence of heterosexual tendencies (*grin*) - and turning to the Lord for help to see even beautiful girls and women as He sees them - could have removed a tremendous burden from their shoulders and freed them to focus on something else instead. It would have allowed those boys to realize that they didn't need to beat themselves up for being human. Rather than their painful and impossible efforts to become "less human" - which led to almost giving up completely for one and terrible decisions for the other, they could have accepted their humanity as having been redeemed already and simply focused their efforts on managing their natural inclinations properly.
chroniclesofwyler: August 27
1 hour ago