Are we guilty of lustful thoughts? Do we allow our minds to harbor an impure and unholy imagination?
We, both Stephen and I (Bailey) will be commenting on today’s question. I’ll go first. I was your typical MTV generation kid where it literally controlled my life and dictated what was cool and unpopular. Just a note to parents, MTV is not just music videos. Matter of fact there was a showed called Undressed, which was exactly that without painting a detailed picture. Also there was a show on there that taught people how to masturbate. Hello open doors to lust. That culture combined with other sources really painted an impure thought life and skewed view of holiness. I know those details are really direct, but this was 15 years ago before smart phones, and unlimited internet access. There is a war raging for our hearts in purity and we must set boundaries if we are to avoid the enemies’ traps.
One example that I have often used to illustrate setting boundaries against lust is the following story. A man goes to his pastor and says, “Pastor, please pray for me. I keep going to the beach and my flesh is so weak. I’m being tempted to commit sexual sin and I am fantasizing looking at all of the women.” The Pastor replies, “Son, you’re not weak, you’re stupid.” Many of us are trying to get as close to the flame as possible and don’t understand why we are getting burned. I’ve worked with many young people who have come to me with situations similar to this. I’m not saying they’re stupid, but they do need to avoid certain people and situations that could lead down the path of impurity.
Not that one sin is greater than the other, but the destruction and defilment that comes from all kinds of sexual sin is often difficult to repair. The good news is that Jesus can heal, deliver and restore because he LOVES us. He doesn’t lust after us and use us. We’ve both seen this struggle to be sexually pure end in glorious freedom in Christ numerous times.
We got married when Stephen was 33 years old and I was 26. While it was not always an easy fight to remain pure, it was so worth it for us to have both saved ourselves for marriage. Above that, it’s beyond worth it to have purity and holiness in our marriage. Set boundaries, seek Jesus to be the center of your lives, and pray for your spouse or your future spouse in this area.
- Have you set boundaries against lust in your life? Do you need to set more? Who knows the websites you’re looking at?
- Is there lust in your heart that maybe you’re not acting upon? The enemy doesn’t mind waiting to expose our sin. Maybe you’re not looking at porn or masturbating now, but if you don’t uproot the lust in your heart, it could be exposed in a moment of weakness.
- If you currently are in sexual sin in any way, I encourage you that you’re not alone and there can be victory. There is grace in Jesus to free us from our sins and make us new. Please find someone that you trust and is mature in the Lord to confide in. If you don’t know someone, seek out an established local church and ask for counsel. I always encourage people to find a Christian church where they are excited about Jesus and use the word of God.
There are A LOT on this topic—please look into the word more for clarity on this topic.
Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Romans 1:24-25 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.