Lust is a very touchy subject in today’s culture. Many people have their own definition of what lust really is, and some people don’t even believe that lust is a real issue (crazy right?). Well according to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 which says “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” So, according to the word of God, we are called to be sanctified or set apart from the modern cultural beliefs about lust. What are some ways we can control these passions? Is it possible?
I believe it is possible. With the power of the Holy Spirit and a strong mind you can overcome lust’s stronghold on your life. I would like to share what I do when I begin to fall into temptation and what Spirit of God has shown me pertaining to lust. God has given me revelation on this subject beginning with how I view and think of my own wife.
Follow along with me for a moment. Imagine you have to take the bus to work everyday, because you can not afford a car. You obviously need a car, so you begin to work hard and put in some overtime in at your job. After six long months you have saved $5,000 and find the perfect car. You take the money to the dealer and buy the car, you are in heaven!! Every week your wash, vacuum, and even polish the inside and outside of the car. Jim, your neighbor pulls up a year later in a new $20,000 car and you begin to think his car is much better then yours. Over the next couple of months you stop washing, vacuuming, and even begin looking at new cars to buy. You start telling people in conversation your car is old, rusty, and just doesn’t run like it used to…Can you see were I’m going with this? How many of us men do this? We can’t be satisfied for long with our blessings in life when we are constantly looking at what others have.
You also know the guys with their car from the 1970s who have spent countless time and energy on their beauty, hours and hours rebuilding the engine; detailing, painting and washing. Their same old car that some would have discarded actually proves to be clean and beautified, strengthened with age and unique with it’s timeless frame and character.
Lets take this story and apply it to our marriages now. You’re single and looking to get into a serious relationship. You talk to all the single ladies at church, go on blind dates, and even dabble in some online dating. After all your hard work you meet the perfect women, and after six months you decide to get married. Life is perfect. Within the first couples of months you decide to start a family and your wife becomes pregnant. You are in heaven. You surprise your wife at work with flowers, you have surprise getaways planned, and even let her decorate the living room! A year goes by and the little one arrives, and things start becoming stressful.
Life Gets Difficult!
You work a lot now to support the new baby, while your wife becomes a stay at home mom. You realize with life’s new busy schedule your wife doesn’t dress up as much. She only wears makeup for special occasions, and has cancelled her gym membership. The next day a new secretary comes in with a less then modest dress on and your eyes begin to wander. Through conversation you hear she has a new baby too, you begin to think ” why doesn’t my wife look like that?” Over the next couple months you can’t control your glances at the new secretary, and they have carried on to other women in the office. Tension builds at home with your wife, as you no longer feel attracted to her, and you have stopped surprising her as well. You begin to talk negativity about her to your co-workers. A void has been created in your marriage and it’s called “LUST.”
How Do I Use This?
Through prayer and the guidance of the Spirit of God this story gets played over and over in my mind when I begin to fall to temptation. I believe what happens is we forget how valuable are wives really are. Giving in to lustful thoughts or glances are cheap and come at no cost. We look at women not for who they are but as a object of sexual desire, unfortunately these lustful glances puts blinders over our eyes as we glance back at our wives. You’re desire is where your focus is. Begin to think on the strength and character your wife has and the reasons why you love her. You may say she is not the same anymore or aging and changing, but with time and effort your “old beater” can become your “timeless classic.” Begin to tell her she is beautiful again, pray for her if she is not the woman you desire. Then begin to ask God to align your heart with His and see the woman He has called her to be. Speak into that woman. See her, visualize her. Speak specifically into what you love about her, what she is and does to be “that woman”, your classic. Polish her, sweep her off her feet, envision her, and think of what you can do to perfect her. Putting your focus on something that is not yours is pointless and destructive, what would be the point of staring at the guy next stores car when it is not yours to take care of.
Where I personally started, and what you can do.
Acknowledge you have sinned. Then, you need to repent and let the grace, and blood of Jesus wash you clean of your sins. When it comes to overcoming the lustful glances and thoughts, one thing I suggest is to keep remembering your wife. Whenever I begin to fall into temptation, I think about how strong of a mother my wife is. That time she held the puke bucket when I had the flu. Her amazing faith in God, that our daughter was going to be okay when my wife went into labor at 22 weeks. The times I wake up in the middle of the night and she’s praying over me as I sleep, or when she writes me secret notes and puts them in my lunch box. I also envision the parts of her physically that I love. Men, let me tell you I refuse to let a cheap look at a women in a skimpy dress steal my wife’s value.
I hope this new thought process will help you men out there. I will be honest with you, this is not going to be easy, but ever since I started thinking this way lust has completely lost it grip on my life. My wife is more beautiful physically, and spiritually then the day I meet her ten years ago.