Do you have a certain sin that is hard to shake? A sin that easily calls and we jump right back into it. Maybe you don’t think of it as sin, just a thing you struggle with… Lust is just one of those sins for me. So when you write to me to pray with you for that problem or to pray for your marriage because your husband has that problem – I can relate. Lust, Pornography and the like are all in the wheelhouse of my sin past. Let me share how I pray over and overcome that sin in my own life in the hopes it may help some other fellow strugglers…
Lust is a Rampant Sin Eppedimic in American Culture
Lust is defined as an unusually intense or unbridled sexual desire.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
We are bombarded by billboards & magazine images as well as scenes on TV and in Movies that are meant to evoke lust. Our Culture uses sex or lust to sell everything. When you throw in Romance Novels, Erotica, and Pornography you have a sex/lust saturated society that rarely sees the downside of its sin.
- Acknowledging that you struggle with lust – that it is a sin problem – and that you want to break free is commendable.
- To determine to commit to prayer is a huge step forward.
- If you are praying over your spouse in this area – I believe God will bless you!
For me, acknowledging and praying over the Lust in my life is not enough. I also had to set roadblocks to keep the temptation to a minimum. We’ll get to the praying, but I want to start with some Practical Housekeeping first.
How to Set Roadblocks to Avoid Lust
Because I know my own struggles, setbacks, and relationship with this sin I had to go beyond just praying that God would help me break free from the sin of Lust in my own life.
I had to identify the common area’s where the temptation most often lured me into sin.
Then I had to make some rules for my life – exhibit some self-control.
There had to be a Strategic Prayer Plan to protect this area of my life and marriage
Identify Common Ways I am Tempted to Lust
Pornography – a lust problem for Women as well as Men
As a teenager, I was introduced to Pornography by a boyfriend about the age of 15. I am starting here because this is the most pervasive lust – a culturally acceptable evil. It promises so much, steals so much more and leaves a mind filled with unrealistic trash.
Pornography is addicting. It offers a rush like little else and stimulates or heightens the experience – but only momentarily.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
As an average woman I know I can never measure up to those girls. Never be that, do that, sound or look like that and I have no interest in repeating some of what they find common. It sets an unrealistic expectation in our men’s mind of what Sex is, how sex should go and the purpose of our sexual relationship. An unrealistic expectation is hard to change…
To get rid of pornography is not as simple as saying No. It is everywhere. My husband and I both struggled with this addiction. But the Bible makes it clear that we are not to give in to lust.
Colossians 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
We set some accountability pieces in place to beat Pornography
- A shared Gmail and google account
- This means we both see the search history
- A maturity filter on our internet
- It may not seem like much, but having to put in a password to view something gives just a moment to think the choice though.
- A joint bank account
- There is no way to hide internet activity this way.
- If one of us falls we forgive and offer grace, love, acceptance to talk about it and try again.
- An open dialogue
- This is not an off-limit conversation. Occasionally one of us will bring it up just to check in. Not accusingly, but lovingly.
There are obviously ways around all of those things, but we find it is not about Legalism, it is about safeguards- about pornography not being just one click away. And having an open dialogue – where we both have permission to speak to this issue – keeps things loving, and accepting of the humanity of the other.
Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment?
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Romance Novels and Romance Movies feed this lust problem in my life
As soon as I thought I had pornography kicked out, God revealed how I had set unrealistic expectations of Romance and sexual intimacy based on those Novels and Movies I was consuming. Not just watching or reading occasionally, but reading a Novel a Day, watching several movies a week. Filling my head with so many unrealistic ideals of how a man should treat a woman that I was setting my husband up to fail.
Romance Novels Vs Pornography
Romance Novels do the opposite of pornography. Pornography sets the woman up as easy, unrestricted, there for the man’s pleasure. Romance Novels set the man up as chivalrous, selfless, charming, filled with character, there for the woman’s pleasure.
Both are wrong.
Both set dangerously unrealistic expectations that destroy relationships.
There can be no contentment in my real marriage to my very human husband if I am always comparing him to the hero in my latest novel. Just as there can be no contentment in his real sex life if he is always comparing me to the most recent porn star.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.
And with no contentment, there is the temptation to lust for what is lacking.
- So no more Romance Novels for me.
- Few Movies or Hallmarks come into my world.
- If a movie is rated PG 13 or R for Sexual content I will not watch it (or I will google where that scene is and skip it if the movie is supposed to be amazing).
Before you start writing that comment about how reading Romance Novels is not listed in the Bible as sinning… have you ever known Jesus to be Sexist? No, me either. So this passage is as much for women as for men.
Matthew 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
But really, is there a problem with Lust?
It took a real wake up call for me to see a problem with lust. I had always rationalized this sin. Life is hard, sex is pleasurable – even imagined sex – and there was no harm done or adultery committed.
If you can imagine, I was already rearing for a fight. I thought I was showing respect but I knew I was not submitting. In my opinion, he was not good enough to submit to. Can you relate?
- He didn’t do anything right.
- Foolishness was his norm
- He was Irresponsible
- Absolutely Not romantic
- He was often Inconsiderate
- And he certainly was Not the spiritual leader I dreamed of
I couldn’t justify submitting to him and that was the root of the sin.
If I saw that something should be done differently than he wanted I pushed for that. I went around him to do it “The right way”. It was easier to leave him completely out of most decisions – only telling him when it was time to do whatever we were doing.
Desiring sex with a man you don’t respect or can’t submit too is a challenge. So if I wanted sexual release I could justify picturing that perfect man from the novel or movie- not my husband.
Is this an area you struggle with? Even after overcoming Lust in my life this sin leaves its mark with a struggle in intimacy (a desire to be intimate). If it’s the same with you I highly recommend Sheila Gregoire’s Course Boost your Libido.
It is crazy how easy it is to justify my own sin. Can you relate? What he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him… sounds so shallow, but it was my thought.
The Bible says any sexual sin is unacceptable for a Christian.
Ephesians 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
The Sin of Lust is a Thought problem first
James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
I had to go deeper than just setting rules and striving for Self Control. The sin problem was in my thoughts now. How do you change patterns in your thoughts? I thought I was showing respect
- I needed real help to replace the trash that I had spent so many years pouring into my mind.
- It was going to be hard to only imagine my husband and be content with reality.
- I was still wrestling with submission to both my husband and God.
Joy has been the word God is pressing into my life this year. Check out what that’s looked like here at How To Cling to The Joy of The Lord Every Day!
I’d love to give you a Free 30 day’s of Joy Reading Plan to help you focus on Him this month.
Prayer is the only way to change a thought problem.
We’ve been talking about creating a Prayer Strategy to effectively change things in our lives.
So Far in the series on Praying Powerful Strategic Prayers:
- How to Create a Prayer Strategy that will change Every Thing
- How to Pray Powerful Effective Prayers over My Own Life
- and How to Effectively Pray Proverbs 31 and change Every Thing
- 10 Things to Pray about Gambling in a Christian Marriage
Today I am sharing my personal prayer over the Sin of Lust. It is just one of those sins that won’t go away for me… an unwanted pet I have to continually train. And I battle and train through Prayer. WIll you join me?
Father God, I come before You humbled by the weight of my sin. I am tempted to call it my weakness but that downplays the severity of it. You call me Saint and command me to live holy but lust is sin and sin can not be in the presence of Holy. Please forgive me.
Oh how easily I am tempted to entertain lustful thoughts or thoughts I know will lead to more sin and struggle in my life. I long for the pleasure of this world, the lust of the flesh pulls at me strongly. But I am calling on the Power of the Holy Spirit to transform my desires. To replace the lust in my heart with the desire for righteousness – with Your desires for my life.
Teach me (and help me actually learn) how to submit every part of my life to You. Show me how to submit to my husband and respect him – because You said I must. Lead my thoughts to contentment rather than the comparison that causes me to always see his flaws. Help me acknowledge Your hand at work in his life and trust that You ultimately are working to lead our family.
Forgive me for the years I poured sexual trash into my mind.
Those images, words, and sounds linger and destroy any chance I have at enjoying the sexual relationship in our marriage. Please replace those images with purity. Restore what the Locusts have destroyed. Help me to take every impure thought captive – to give it no place in my mind. And to instead think on what is true, just, pure, noble, lovely, praiseworthy, excellent, or good repute.
Your word says No temptation has overtaken us but what is common to man. You promise there is a way to escape that temptation if only I am willing to look for it. Open my eyes to see the way of purity and strengthen my heart to take that path instead.
I ask that You would bless our Marriage Bed. Make it a place of pleasure and intimacy where it has been a place of discontentment and shame. Restore what we have lost to this sin of Lust. Help us reconnect and reconcile the trust in this vital area of our marriage. Use this as an act of love and worship to glorify You.
Thank you for always being an Again kind of Loving Father, with mercies new each morning. I adore You for that! I will give you all the praise and Glory in this.
Could you use more Joy in your life?
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