Five reasons Christians Fail to Overcome Lust

“Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” To most men, this statement by Jesus seems unrealistic. Looking with lust is so big a part of their lives that to do otherwise seems impossible.

Count me among those who have been perplexed by what Christ said. However, that has changed. I now know that it is possible to avoid adultery in the heart. Here is how this works. Whenever I see a woman, or an image of a woman, which could stir a lustful reaction within me, I immediately stop this from happening. That is, I recoil internally from harnessing my desires and thoughts as a way to generate lust in my heart. This may include a variety of methods, whether by averting my eyes, redirecting my thoughts, switching the channel or turning the page, but the action is always the same. I recoil from sinning in my heart.

Most Christian men appear not to be taking these steps. Rather than obeying Jesus, they hear what He said and then do the opposite. Here are five reasons for this disobedience:

1)     Misunderstanding the nature of lust

The way lust works is often misunderstood. Lust is commonly described as being the same as strong sexual desire. However, this description of lust leaves out the key fact that the object of this desire is forbidden to us. Strong sexual desire for one’s spouse is not the same as lust for someone else. In fact, lust is more than mere desire because it has within it an element of fulfillment. It is like drinking from a cup, not merely thirsting. Here is a better definition: “Lust is gaining sexual gratification or a ‘buzz’ from anyone or anything except your wife.” (note: read here if you want to better understand lust)

This definition draws the line at the earliest stage of sexual arousal, exactly where Jesus zeroed in. It recognizes that when we lust, we are not passive participants, but rather, actively engaged as we fix our attention on a woman, an image or a fantasy. Unfortunately, even in the Church, many assume that the buzz is not lust and just an unavoidable reaction to temptation. As a result, they consume all available eye candy much like everyone else and treat it as a risk-free source of pleasure, both harmless and fun. This overlooks the fundamental role that lustful looking plays as the earliest and most critical stage of lust. Our minds are able to generate powerful images and fantasies. Looking lustfully, even briefly, harnesses this ability in a way that is unacceptable and sinful. It does not stop there.

Once we have begun, the seed is sown for an ongoing harvest of “blowing it” in ways that are not as easily minimized. Waiting until a later stage before we care to call it sin means that we are missing the obvious. Since we initially brought lust into our lives as a playful pet, we should not be surprised when it grows into a ferocious animal. Rather than being puzzled by our condition, we should heed the words of our Master, retrace our steps, and be aware that lustful looking is the point at which we started to sin. This awareness of when we are engaged in lust is central to any plan for gaining victory. The only effective response to this as to all sin is to immediately repent, confess and receive forgiveness without letting it take root.

2)     Refusing to believe that obedience is possible

Tragically, most men are resigned to the false idea that they are “hardwired” to lust. This causes them to conclude that the standard laid down by Jesus is both unnatural and contrary to how we are designed. However, since we routinely stop ourselves from obtaining a buzz from a family member, such as a sister or daughter, we know that we are not reflexive when it comes to lust. In fact, a simple test of obeying our Savior’s commandment as to lustful looking will quickly reveal that we can apply the same sort of discipline whenever we face the temptation to lust. With some practice, each of us can quickly learn to separate visual or mental stimuli from feelings of sexual gratification.

It is not long until we become acutely aware and distressed whenever the “way” we look has crossed the line. Being “in Christ” means we are dead to sin. Stopping ourselves from lusting is a great way to demonstrate this truth for ourselves and to learn that we have already been empowered to turn from sinning if that is what we choose to do. If you have been in a long struggle with lust, the prescription of eliminating lustful looks may seem simplistic and inadequate even though our Savior mandates it. Nonetheless, rejecting a habit that we may have practiced since childhood by bringing our eyes into obedience to Him is an amazingly effective solution.

One reason that some Christians reject this approach is that they view sexual purity as something that God and not they must establish. While they would not condone other sins, like stealing, they somehow have been convinced that lust is different. Unfortunately, victory over sin is not automatic. Rather, as with other sins, this thorny bush must be thoroughly uprooted. Otherwise, it will entangle and prevent us from being fruitful. Far from making us prideful, succeeding in this must cause us to say, “we are unworthy servants, since we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10)

Obeying the law of God in this regard strengthens us, since it means we are performing in the way we were designed. Our Christian life is meant to be one of exploring new and exciting possibilities and fully utilizing all of our capacities as we walk “in Him.” We are unable to flourish in this new life if we persist in the sin of lust, as it will relentlessly occupy our thoughts if given an opening.

3)     Thinking there is a better way

By focusing fully on the lustful look, Jesus did not ignore all the other lustful behaviors in which men regularly engage. Instead, His teaching directs us to where the battle is won. Unfortunately, rather than choosing to permanently close the stable door as He taught, many of us opt to busily chase and corral runaway horses on a daily basis. Both the world and the Church suggest that by sheer determination, we can turn off harmful habits such as viewing pornography, dabbling on the Internet and masturbation.

To this end, they commonly recommend the help of counselors and support groups and various regimens and techniques, like installing Internet filters or avoiding R rated movies for this purpose. Unfortunately, these approaches do not directly address the real issue. Since it is lustful looking that creates our irresistible and ongoing cravings for more, striving to change other behaviors instead is as ineffective as mowing the lawn to get rid of weeds. Getting to the root of the problem requires making a covenant with our eyes to not “look lustfully” as Job described (Job 31:1).

If we eliminate the fuel, the fire will die. Those who fail at reigning in “addictive” behavior should make this their first step. Once lust has been set loose, fighting off its demands by means of our feeble willpower is impossible. That is why we should not borrow from the world’s playbook, which assumes that men can curtail their behavior to some degree without fully eliminating lust. This approach is coupled with surprise at those who tumble over the cliff. We are all painfully aware of the many who have shipwrecked their lives because they could not maintain rules of conduct.

The problem has become especially pronounced as the morals of our culture have spiraled steadily downward. Few sexual activities are taboo and almost anything goes if it feels good, especially if it is make-believe. In this environment, establishing a comfort zone with some but not too much lust is problematic. Christians are prone to take a more religious approach. They believe that they can keep lust in check by depending on religious activity. Through increased prayer, Bible reading, fasting, Church attendance and mutual accountability they hope to overwhelm the sin brooding in their hearts.

Certainly there is much to be gained from all of these practices, but they cannot take the place of obeying our Savior’s clear directive to eliminate lust. In fact, maintaining outward appearances without zero tolerance in our hearts results in hypocrisy and weakness when we are tempted. Of course, anyone walking in victory will do all he can to avoid temptation. We are the light of the world. Darkness has no power unless we make a place for it in our hearts and minds.

We must not give in to lust regardless of our levels of stress, our spiritual mood, the state of our relationships, or the temptations we face. Jesus delivered His clear-cut standard as part of His Sermon on the Mount. This great message and blueprint for how we are to live, ends with the sobering parable of the man who built his house on a foundation of sand, and a warning. If we hear His teachings and do not obey them, we will collapse when the storms of life envelope us. On the other hand, if we love Him, we will obey His clear call for inner righteousness, build on a stable foundation and be secure in the time of peril.

4)     Not acknowledging the danger and dreadfulness of lust.

Maybe you are unconvinced. Like many men you may think that a little bit of lust is unavoidable, all the while being acutely aware of where too much of it can lead. Heartbreaking tales of broken homes, careers, and lives are sadly familiar. Lust can be a wrecking ball in a man’s life, bringing complete devastation. However, none of us expects this to happen to us and usually it doesn’t. Instead, the norm is to incorporate lust into our lives at a “safe” level. We keep this carefully tucked away and are quick to turn back whenever it seems to get out of control. Instead of a deadly disease, it more closely resembles a low-grade fever or chronic condition. However, nurturing lust at this level will nevertheless still cause significant damage. First off, sexual impurity inevitably injects duplicity into our lives.

Jesus deplored hypocrisy more than any underlying sin. If we are Christians who harbor sexual fantasies, we are hypocrites- double-minded, unstable men. Most men are said to think about sex once every ten minutes. If we have allowed lust a foothold, we can readily identify with this statistic. Even while we are professing our faith and acting clean on the outside, we are actually “dirty cups” on the inside. Jesus sees inside the heart and knows our thoughts. He demands that we maintain an inner purity that would leave us unafraid to have our thoughts read by anyone.

An even more grievous consequence, however, is that our choosing to lust means breaking the greatest commandment. We are told to love God with all our hearts, our minds and our strength. Giving in to lust hijacks our thoughts and creative energies and displeases our Father who demands the attention we expend as we chase sinful desires. Is it any wonder that our walk with God is uncomfortable and our spiritual lives stunted? Our powerful imaginations and intricate thought lives were designed for God’s kingdom. They have a part in His plan. Why turn these faculties over to sin? Once we make room for lust in our lives, it will assert its power unexpectedly, even at those times when we desire to draw close to God. Knowing that we can overcome but choosing not to has ominous implications.

We dare not overlook the rest of what Jesus taught on this subject in Mathew 5. His provocative suggestion that we pluck out our eyes if they cause us to lust is meant to alarm us and makes perfect sense if, in fact, our eyes were the problem. However, we know that our eyes are not the problem. Instead, it is our determination to employ our eyes as a means to lust that is so grotesque in His sight and dangerous for us.

We must keep in mind that the wages of sin is always death. We will reap what we sow. Assuming that we can engage in lust and yet escape the consequences is foolish. Sin always results in death. Our lust may be killing our relationships with our wives or obliterating our testimony before those who know us. It certainly will stifle our prayer life and a closer walk with God. We should not act surprised by the resulting havoc or delude ourselves into thinking that receiving forgiveness is equivalent to obedience. God has not suspended the law of the harvest.

The poster boy for this truth is King David. The sin of lust produced tragedy in his home and in his kingdom. Despite his repentance and determination to obtain a “clean heart”, the consequences of his sin continued. Should we hope to escape a similar fate? Turning away from our sin and living our lives in Christ is what we are repeatedly told to do. If we don’t, be assured that our sin will find us out.

5)     Lacking clear teaching and models of sexual purity.

Admittedly, this approach is not commonly taught. Yet, treating lust this way is neither radical nor rarely practiced. Questioning men who have a deep walk with God will reveal that they habitually recoil from the lustful look. Typically, they will have adopted this habit early in their Christian walk and are unaware of how this differentiates them from those stumbling around them. As a result, these same men are not passing along practical teaching about lust and the means of overcoming it as Jesus taught causing many to flounder unnecessarily.

Although I paid more than average attention to this issue during fifty years as an active Christian, I still failed to learn these truths. My past ignorance makes me sympathetic to those who are confused and frustrated by how their faith seems powerless in helping them overcome lust. Perhaps those who have been trapped and then escaped are best equipped to help others. This is what David wanted to do. After Nathan the prophet confronted him about his sin, he cried out for a clean heart and hoped that at some point, he could teach “transgressors their ways” so that “sinners will turn back to you” (Ps 51:13).

Those who disciple others after gaining victory can demonstrate that lust is not an unconquerable force, but rather, just one of many sins from which we can be freed. In order to help others, it is essential that we model success and transparency while relying on resources that take a non-compromising approach. Standing with Paul as ones who have been delivered from doing that which we hate can open the door for others. The entire Biblical message relating to sexual sin is a call for uncompromising purity and inner righteousness, qualities the evangelical church has had in short supply.

As the teachings of Jesus and the apostles emphasized, there is a constant temptation to retreat into legalism, which substitutes outward rules in place of obedience and forms a cloak for an unrighteous heart. Observing a slippery set of man-made rules cannot eliminate the lustful look. Righteousness can only be established at a much deeper level where we refuse to fool ourselves, and choose to turn from our wicked ways and thoughts. Only then will the meditations of our hearts become acceptable to Him. Certainly, demonstrating power over sin accomplishes much more than angrily scolding or blaming the decadence of our society. After all, if Christians cannot resist temptation, why shouldn’t the world keep catering to them? We may even help turn the putrid tide rising around us once we stop ingesting eye candy, reflexively resist all sexual temptations and deny ourselves illicit gratification.

Being obedient in this regard does not doom us to a life of deprivation. Rather, it frees us to walk in and enjoy the deeper pleasures God has for us. Obedience also opens us up to more of the Sermon on the Mount and its claim on our lives. Our world, including those who embrace competing religious claims, will only notice the difference when we really are different in our innermost being.

By Jim Vander Spek 

Note: This article was posted elsewhere and read by many long before I wrote the book, Overcoming Lust, in which these ideas are expanded upon.  It continues to sadden and disturb me that the five reasons described above continue to hamper many from entering into freedom from sin.

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  • helpeachother18

    kAYLA, thanks for your input, but 10 years old you do need to know the bible better and the Perfect saving grace of our Lord Jesus. Rom 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 3:23 for ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. – Please LEARN more of your bible, and Judge Not – for as you Judge others you TOO will be judged. and if all sins are equal, then we are ALL going to hell, and God sent Jesus to open the door to heaven for ALL who believe and follow. Read your bible more darlin, and the truth will set you free.

    • SHAN

      Amen, that is so true. We serve a big God with a big Heart for his children. He desires only the best for you and i. He is not there with a big stick waiting to knock over the head whenever we make a mistake however we should show the the same love to him by trying our hardest to stay in line. Remember, we live by Grace and not by Law. With the Blood of Christ, there was a new covenent, one that entitled us to call him our Father and us his Children

  • Struggling

    Am struggling to overcome lust. I used to be repulsed by pornography but these days I can’t help myself I go looking for it even though I know its wrong. somehow i’ve managed to let the devil fool me into believing that I can watch porn, mastabate and that its ok. that there are no consequences. I see now that my relationship with God is not what it used to be. I hardly read the bible I have no desire for it. At one time I used to faithfully seek Him daily. I loved reading the word and God would speak to me theough every passage. these days I feel lost and I want to go back to where I was. I need help, accountability, PRAYER. I can not save myself from this, Lord I need you to save me.

    • Jesus came to set you free from your sin. However, you need to understand what you are dealing with and the steps that lead to overcoming lust. Please read the other articles available here. They will get you started on the right path. May God bless you and give you peace.

      • 75skydog

        Your article is greatly appreciated sir. How comforting to know i am not alone. “To will is present with me, but how to perform it, i find not. Wretched man that i am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?!” How precious to me are those frustrated words of the great Apostle Paul in Romans 7:24. i have been intending on switching my calling plan to a phone without internet access, but i understand that the problem goes deeper than just limiting our access to lustful imagery. I have found that lust can be sparked in suggestive thoughts in my mind. I can recoil from a lustful look, but how can i recoil from a lustful thought or idea ?

    • Jesus Lover

      Hey, you need acfoubtability ? My email is clocks1234567@yahoo.com

    • Naeem

      I have exactly same problem. its my humble request if you find a way to overcome lust kindly show me that way too

      • Naeem and all those struggling: Know that it is possible to overcome lust and to live in a way that pleases God. However, gaining victory takes time and complete inner transformation. I urge you to start by reading the other articles on this site (see the button above) and to begin applying what you learn. See especially the Fourteen Weapons article. May God give you hope and a desire to be obedient to Him!

        • overcomer

          Thank you

    • Iwannabegood

      Hey dear buddy , let me know you what I feel for u , as me also now being trying to control that naturally , so whatever u do , that should be genuine , and not an forcefull act . . if u live up like that . .then no use of being resisting for lust , not only lust , but anything IF YOU REALLY WANNA WALK IN GOD’S PATH THEN TRY HELPING YOURSELF IN A GENUINE WAY WITH OUT FOOLING YOURSELF AND GOD .. OF COURSE YOU CAN’ T CHEAT HIM ALL YOU HAD DONE IS CHEATING YOURSELF BUT ONLY WITHOUT YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS . . . so hear what your subconscious mind will say . . try reading more books as much as possible it is not bad to gain spiritual knowledge . .so please do read some books ask him for you to be changed and I’m definitely sure GOD WILL HELP YOU TO CHANGE , Don’t forget to have faith in him , OK.
      Be good if u are good only then u can do good and get spiritual progress . . bye gave a good Living

    • Adam

      Oh dear brother, I am praying for you. Don’t give up. Jesus wants you to come back to Him, but your sin is blinding you from the truth of God’s word. Turn away from the sin and God will help you. Psalm 51:17

  • deepak

    Want to overcome lust.

    • Spurgeon P E

      1.First, one needs to be born again, accepting Jesus Christ as one’s saviour.

      2. Then, one needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. One can overcome lusting with eyes or any sin only with the supernatural power of God called Grace, communicated by the Holy Spirit. Jesus, though he was God, when he was on earth, he was tempted like us, but overcame. Hebrews 4:15,16.Grace is given by God through the Holy Spirit.

      3. Jesus said “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation”; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. So mere good intention not to lust/sin is not enough; we need to watch and pray. Matthew 26:41.

      4. Matthew 5:29 Jesus said “If your right eye makes you to stumble, then tear it out”. That means we need to be radical and turn your eyes away, which means some suffering. We have to believe the truth that our eyes are causing us to stumble and not the women.

      5. 1 Peter 4:1 If we suffer like above, it is called suffering in the flesh; if we continue suffering like this in temptation faithfully, we can cease from sinning.

      6.Hebrews 5:7 Jesus, in the days of his flesh prayed with strong crying and tears to be saved from sin. He is our example.

      • Be Like Him

        Be Like Him

        In
        the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, I pray.

        I
        praise you Holy Father, great in love and mercy.

        Return
        to me.

        For
        though I departed from you in my sins, you did not abandon me.

        Forgive
        me my father.

        I
        surrender my life to you and your son Jesus, for he died for my sins
        on a cross.

        Fill
        me with your Holy Spirit and remove all Hate, Lust, Guilt, Pride,
        Greed and Malice from me.

        Make
        me to be like your son Jesus, kind and full of love.

        Dwell
        with me all the days of my life and in the ages to come.

        Amen

        • 75skydog

          Thank you. It js my prayer also

  • trying

    Ive had this problem since im nine years old. Olivia trading cards at a comic book store at first. Such a problem defeating this spirit. Want to be obedient in overpowering it yet never able to. Feel like it has followed me since youth. Dont see an out.

  • overcomer

    I too have dealt with lust since the age of 12. It has been a ongoing problem and I’m now 42. I have lost my marriage and been in and out off relationships. I’m continuing to believe and trust God that I will find a way to overcome this lustful demon by God’s spirit!! Pray for me

    • Kermit55

      I hope the best for you and will say a prayer for you now. God bless you and keep you.

  • Rozay

    It’s easier said than done. I don’t masturbate or watch porn like I used to but the damage is there. Most times when I look at a woman no matter how old she is if she looks good I just want to sleep with her and not be in a relationship with her. At one point, I felt like the lust I had inside of me was raging and the only way I could release it is if I did something with a woman. The battle to defeat lust rages on. I feel like most people men and women don’t talk about it much because it is seen as something horrible which it is but there isn’t a safe space to talk about it. There are many people who pass us by whether in the streets or in church that have a huge list problem. It’s easy to say “oh divert your thoughts, pray about it, read the bible, listen to good music etc” but the real issue is that these are all things that are behavior modifications and not heart changes. It’s like putting a bandaid over a deep cut and saying that all it needs. I think that as believers we gotta talk about it heavy, understand the deep root of the issue and then pray about it together. Hold each other accountable. Most people have been dealing or still are dealing with it for years.

    • You have recognized the heart of the problem. That is a huge plus. Don’t stop there. I urge you to read the other articles and posts that are on this site and take the steps necessary to overcome lust and to live in a way that pleases God. This is doable for you and anyone else who does what is required.

  • Tucker Matthew Rain

    Satan will try to convince you that your sin is unforgiveable and use your guilt to prevent you from reaching out for help, which results in the further sins of self-pity, which is idolatry, and pride. It is a vicious cycle which can and must be continually broken. I’m not suggesting indulging in “greasy grace” by intentionally sinning, knowing God will forgive us if we repent. But we must practice turning from our sin to God in order to overcome. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit and ask God to teach us to HATE our sin which, if we are honest, we don’t want to do. Pray for the WILLINGNESS to hate your sin and desire to obey and do only those things which please Him. We are admonished to “crucify our flesh” daily. It takes practice! Fasting and prayer, 2 spiritual disciplines the flesh rebels against, work wonders. Do some research into the benefits of fasting and ask God to give you the desire to utilize this tool to draw closer to Him and to allows Him to set us free. Remember, He gave us free will and we must be willing to relinquish the pleasure of sin to experience intimacy with God. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. We are in a process of refinement to make us more like Him. Run to Him when you fall and STUDY HIS WORD DAILY! “Submit (put yourself under the care of) yourselves therefore unto God. Resist the devil and he will flee.”
    Be HONEST with God about your sin. Do not try to justify it or blame it on the devil. We must take responsibility for our sin, confess it, and turn from it. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!’

  • Alone

    What if you’re single, always been single, and will always be single because women hate you for no reason. Woman just hate me. For no reason at all. Its been like this my whole life! Everyone thinks I will die alone, never to be given a chance! So is it still adultery? I belong to no one but God! How can it be adultery if I am not with anybody? I am depressed and hurt in my heart! I have noticed when I ejaculate I feel better. So what am I suppose to do? Being alone gets to me a lot! I hate how women treat me!

    • Anders Allen

      Don’t give up; keep looking for that special someone! Women are shy and I know that someone wants to get to know you and pursue a relationship!

  • Amalemba Hugh

    Amen

  • Moya

    I am encouraged to learn that you yourself have overcome this entangling habit and you call us to follow the strong teaching of Jesus in this area. I was searching for an article as I was struggling with lust in the last few days and I am glad that I found yours. I appreciate your conviction and I feel much better, borrowing your conviction and feeling hopeful that I can overcome this sinful habit. Thank you.

  • Michael Getachew

    we are to look at each other with love, not lust… (even though I know that I’m no one to talk)

  • zakari

    Dear Mr”Alone”. I feel such compassion for you dear one, not just because of your situation but because of your present mindset. You say people around believe you will die alone and it looks like you agree with them now. You must resist them (instead believe the report of the Lord, not negative people). God says that you are the apple of His eye bro. So who’s the lady that should say otherwise. You even named yourself “alone” on this platform. Like Jacob, change your name to start with. Then change your company. Then change what you believe. And see that your experience will change. Women adore positive, confident, cheerful men. Today I’d like to christen you “Mr Beloved”. God Bless.

  • zakari

    Lust is a growth of thorns that will live within our wheat fields for as long as we breath in human flesh. However, this is where a combined effort of 1. Our personal determination and desire to control it and 2. The Power of the Holy Spirit will save us. For if we walk in the Spirit WE WILL NOT fulfill the desire of the flesh. The EYE is a man’s most potent gateway to his soul and many things can travel through it. The EYE is also man’s ultimate sexual organ. It must be kept pure or else it will send unholy and consuming messages to the heart, which will eventually determine our actions. Look to Jesus (not to soft or hard porn), look to Jesus (not to raunchy music videos), look to Jesus (not to anything that stirs up sensual flames within you). Look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith. It will be a battle for sure but see it as a holy war, a good fight of faith. One that your destiny and family depend on. A battle where God Fights for you. God told Joshua be strong and of Good courage. You too be strong. Brace yourself. You must possess your soul as Joshua possessed Cannan. And you never achieve this through weakness. He that is in you is greater than the most seductive image in the world. If you must change channels do it(use the remote provided by Samsung, Sony or LG). If you must change friends do it. If you must delete something delete that something now. If you must change your seat in order to format your view, do it. By God and by your desire and warrior effort you will win the battle for your sanity and soul. You will see clearly, think clearly, live with dignity and move your life fast forward. Lust kills, very very subtly and slowly, but it kills and we must kill it. God be with you in this war in Jesus Name. LUST – Looking Uncontrollably Stimulating Transgression.

  • 75skydog

    Condescending perhaps, but honest. As a man who is just as frustrated at this hateful and destructive sin as any other man, i have to be brutally honest. I would rather keep this dialog just between us men. I honestly don’t see how women can understand this issue, since women do not struggle with it. As for any woman who DOES choose to weigh in on this, i trust you keep yourself dressed with extreme modesty and do your utmost to model purity, modesty and chaste conduct toward your husbands. I repose full confidence that no woman who does otherwise would dare weigh in on this discussion. Men have a problem with lust, and from all we can see by reality shows and the magazines at the checkout stands, women lust to BE lusted after.

    • Cynthia Hicks

      75skydog you are wrong to think women don’t have lust issues. My journey started years ago. I remember finding out my husband watched porn 90% of the time. I prayed, fasted, talked to him and nothing worked. I became disillusioned and slowly started to resent God & the church. I begged him to stop & explained how it made me feel. I thought giving him more sex was the solution – it wasn’t. I didn’t understand the power of lust & thought my husband just refused to let it go. I gave ultimatum & he would choose me but then we would face the same thing again weeks to months later. I wanted to understand what he got out of porn & didn’t want to loose him. I had this dumb ideal that maybe I needed to change my thinking. So one day I sat down at the computer & asked him to show me exactly what he liked/watched. At first, I didn’t see the big deal (at least this is what I told myself), and soon I started watching it alone & moved on from what he liked to what I desired. I find I would be on the Internet for hours on end. Then I needed more, this is when I started buying toys & became more aroused by that than my husband. I knew he would have a problem with that so I started hiding things (usually sex toys…. ). The more I watched, the worse it got. I became fascinated with lesbian porn & desired to try it at least once. So I did more research & became interested in the hook up for sex sites. I meet this young lady & carried on an affair for awhile. Funny thing is I kept avoiding having sex with her as the real thing didn’t compare to the fantasy. Finally tired of her complaints of no sex I went for it & it was not what I wanted. Did that curb my lustful ways? Nope. I’m not as bad as I just to be but this sin still remains in my life & I struggle everyday not to watch porn.

      There’s no such thing as women’s sin & men’s sin. Sin is sin & we all struggle with it. Do I blame my husband? Absolutely not because I made the decision to go down that path not fully understanding the adversary or the stronghold lust can have on us.

  • Kermit55

    Well I came here because I’m struggling with this problem as well. I am like some of you who found it disgusting to look at something with lustful intent, but have given in to there humanly desires. I am a younger guy and struggle with the rift between love and lust. I find myself in tears because I just want a loving partner who I can hold and be with, someone who I can be happy with even if sex wasn’t there , but was with the lack of genuine Christian young women out there I have yet to find a girlfriend. I often find lust as a “I guess this will have to do” kind of thing. Some time ago I was consumed by lust and now I have worked away from it some but still find myself struggling with the displayed sex of magazines and “soft porn”so to speak. I pray to God every night and ask him to please free me from this and help me to run back to him. Sometimes it even feels like I’m not worth his time any more because I have failed so many times.

    • fredbird67

      Brother, about your last sentence, I too have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. In my case, I had managed to avoid looking at porn for 9½ months…and then found myself doing so again — and on a Sunday morning before church, no less. Upon realizing what I had done, I cried and cried, and I remember praying “God, I’ve failed!!!!! Lord, if you’re done with me over this, I’ll understand and won’t even try to pass myself off as a Christian anymore!”

      But ya know what? He spoke to me and said “Fred, I love you — and I’m not about to disown you. And I still want you to go to church and worship Me.” So I did, although I really felt awkward in doing so, not to mention still felt ashamed over what I had done.

      BTW, I am happy to say that I finally quit porn for good 8 months later, in January of last year, although it took my wife threatening to leave me to get me to stop. And in fact, what did it for me was this article: http://god.net/god/articles/the-blood-of-jesus-christ-makes-you-free-and-holy/

      Realizing just how wrong this was and trying to stop was a process that took several YEARS for me. Don’t expect instant success overnight. After all, you allowed this to gain a foothold in your life, and therefore, it will take time to overcome. And most of all, be patient with yourself as you attempt to overcome lust. After all, God has been patient with you, and in fact, Jesus is always interceding for us (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25). Therefore, you can rest assured that when satan accuses you and reminds you of every sin you’ve ever committed, you can rest in knowing that such accusations fall upon deaf ears at the throne of Jesus. 🙂

      Praying for ya, my friend and brother!

  • Sashafaith

    Actually, women striggle with this and understand it as well. I know, because i am currently struggling with it and have for years. I recently came to Christ, this struggle is famaging my marriage and i am seeking victory over it. I found this article to be greatly healpful.

  • I confess that I am guilty of lust, pornography, sinful thoughts, etc. to you all and to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    It is very difficult to avoid looking at a picture of a beautiful woman.

    But, at least you can lust and have crazy, great sex once you are married.

    As a single Christian who wants to do the right thing, I am jealous of married couples.

    • New

      Being married doesn’t cure the problem. If that is your mindset Ernest, then that may be why u are still single. You need God’s help now before marriage. It can actually worsen if you don’t allow God to help u with it. God won’t take second place even in marriage.

    • Paul Rodgers

      I hate to burst your bubble but the likelihood of blissful sex in marriage is low. She is a sinner as well with her own baggage. Christian women have a false belief that her new husband is fully sanctified into a powerful white knight with God given power to meet all her needs which are near impossible to satisfy. She ignores her curse from Genesis that she will be obsessed to rule over her husband. My translation : I demand you full fill me , and be obsessed with me. Hence women will use their body as a tool to manipulate a man. Some will give their body in ways that will kill them , others will deny any intimacy and everything in between not to mention the physical abuse from men , women , and their peers from school. Its a truck load of junk we all bring with us from our past. So just beware. Many women get very angry when the subject of their curse is brought up. That’s why they get so defensive about wives and any mention of submission. I never tried to lord over my wife. In fact I found that I was to submissive. I became the doormat and yet two times in 37 years I remember my wife in an argument telling me, ” I am not her boss”. I’m like ” what ? “. I could go on about women and their many flaws but my problem was I married her to help me find a closer walk with God. Not a good expectation. I am responsible for my walk beit with some one or alone.

  • Friend

    It seems like an important aspect was left out of this article. And that is the truth that Christ’s righteousness is the righteousness that is transferred to us. Our righteousness adds nothing to the justification he has provided for us. Our continual push towards righteousness is part of our sanctification, which pushes us to be more like Christ.

    Legalism is more than simply adding man-made rules. Legalism can be done using only God’s rules – by seeking to attain God’s acceptance through our actions, and not the actions of Christ.

    The battle against lust, and any other sin, is a continual and life long process. This article makes it sound like it’s possible to shut down lust completely in a Christian’s life. If that’s true, why don’t you systematically shut down every sin in life?

    One part says:
    “Righteousness can only be established at a much deeper level where we
    refuse to fool ourselves, and choose to turn from our wicked ways and
    thoughts. Only then will the meditations of our hearts become acceptable
    to Him.”

    Righteousness can only be established by Christ. The meditations of our hearts will never be acceptable to Him. Even our most righteous day cannot please God. We need Christ’s righteousness to please God. Then, once we’ve been justified, we work to become more and more Christ-like as a results of the work that Christ did.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken in some way, or in the way I presented things, so feel free to point that out.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. This article is meant to answer a specific question as to why Christians are failing to overcome lust. I do not believe that we can eliminate all sin, that this battle is easy and quick or that we can accomplish anything without God working in us. Read more of what I have written and this will become clear to you. However, God has called us to obey Him. We are called to be lights in a dark world. We can overcome lust in our lives. Sin must not dominate our lives.

      Also, I have not found that explanations of “legalism” (a non-biblical term) to be much help for those who are struggling.

      “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (I Cor 5:9-10)

  • cinnreds18

    Hmmm, I feel most theologians have got the list idea wrong. This was from the sermon on the mount. Here Jesus wasn’t teaching us anything new. He was re-enforcing ideas and teachings in the Tora people had lost (like divorce) . Many love to say ” Jesus said if you look at a woman you have committed adultery in their hearts”. But remember what he said in the verse before this. You have heard it said thou shalt not commit adultry. This was aimed (I believe) to the married crowd. After all how can a single man commit adultry with a single woman. He was saying to those who are married, if you think lustful thoughts about another woman you commit adultry in your marriage . Now if a single lusts over a married person he or she commits adultry because someone in that “fantasy” is married. But to singles that lust for one another, It might border sexual sin (sort of) in its nature it’s not adultry. I hate it when so many married men (brothers in Christ) lie and act like they flawlessly conquered this struggle and shame others. I used to get in trouble at youth conference by my pastor for being in the girls room to late. He would run me through how this could lead to sin. Years later he had an affair with our youth pastor (a woman) Not implying you did this in your article but most internet sites have. I just wonder how sometimes we read the bible in plain language and other we search for the deeper meaning.

  • Your sister

    I just have to say that as a woman, this issue is close to my heart. I appreciate this article, and I appreciate the comments too. We all live in a society where so many men are completely drowning in sexual sin. But some of you are treading water. Some of you are fighting for life, and I thank you! As a woman and as your sister in Jesus, thank you for making this a “struggle” and not just a passive defeat. In Christ, you are strong, brothers! You have everything you need to walk in victory. God has created you men with unique strength. Not just physically, but spiritually. I pray that He strengthens your inner man and that you are able to rise up and walk in the greatness that God has for you. This, even this stronghold of lust, can be under your feet- defeated. And on behalf of so many of your sisters in Christ, thank you for fighting for holiness. We fight for you too! We are PROUD of you for it. We KNOW it is hard. Don’t give up! Thankyou for striving to treat women with honor and love. I have told my daughters that a godly man, walking with God, is nothing short of a real life superhero. Don’t underestimate the strength you have been given in Christ. Men of God, don’t give up!

    • Overcomer of lust

      Thank you sister, your word of encouragement means everything. Let fight men of God. I refuse to get drowned by lust. Christ please gives us strength. Lust suffocates me and most men. Save me from me.

  • Adrian

    Hello,
    I can across this article. I too struggle with lust. I’m embrassed, ashamed and sad. I just want to be free. I’m a married man and I have a loving wife and and I’m still struggling with this. I really don’t want to use my real name but you all can call me Adrian. I just want to confess this sin…I just want help!!!

  • mariorebac

    I was doing very well, three weeks with little to no lust and today i fell and looked at pornography on the internet for about two hours. I read your notes here and i have decided to fight again and repent and turn from sin. Im going to fight. God gave me victory for three weeks He has the power to keep me pure. Help us Almighty God Jesus our great mighty intercessor help men everywhere to fight this battle and win Amen

    • You need to draw close to God when you are wounded like this. Look to Jesus for forgiveness and freedom from sin. We all sin but as God’s children we can be freed from the bondage of sin. You will see its power weaken as you step out in obedience and faith. You are in my prayers!

  • PN Guin

    I’ve often found that when I fast, which is not often, I’m more in tune with God and have no sinful desire as much. I do this when I’m so far out of the Word and feeling disgusted with myself. But it helps if you can take one day and just leave your familiar surroundings. For example, I went to the beach on an off season and in the middle of the week when nobody was there and I fasted. That was a very peaceful situation, just God and me. Yes of course, you will return to your environment and find the temptations are still there, but hold onto whatever God laid upon your heart during the fast, even if it was only the desire to be closer to Him. And if necessary, do it again. It is very pleasing to Him anytime you seek Him.

  • Spurgeon

    I have always been a man that “needs” a considerable larger amount of sexual attention than my wife. She could go months without ever having any interest in it. I, on the other hand, seem to crave her at least once a week, sometimes every other week. If our schedules are crazy, she is having a bad week, or we simply can’t find the time, this is when I find myself becoming tempted to ‘relieve the tension’ on my own.

    I had convinced myself that doing that was much better than lusting after other women, turning to pornography, or seeking relief from someone else. After all, I thought, if my wife would stop withholding from me, Inwouldnt have to do it.

    After doing that, though, the conviction and regret would tear me apart….. until the next time I felt like my wife was withholding herself from me……. It has been a long term temptation for me.

    I have recently been practicing recoiling myself. If I see a woman in the distance, or up close that I feel might cause me to look at her in a lustful way, I honout of my way to not even look her way. I change the channel, I turn the page. It isn’t easy, especially in a culture where women feel empowered by wearing as little as possible and that teaches girls that ‘sexy’ means beautiful…….

    It is MY struggle though….. and I am glad to see that I am not the only one.