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How To Stop Lusting As A Christian Man

Is It Possible To Stop Lusting? Yes and No, But I Can Help

They say that the only things in life that are guaranteed are death and taxes.  Well, being the leader of a Christian men’s organization for close to a decade, I’d like to add one more thing to that list, and that's the struggle of learning how to overcome lust.

Let’s face it, whether you’re a Christian or not, and whether you like it or not, lust is a constant in a man’s life, whether it be a lust for sex, money, or power. 

First, let’s define the word “lust” so we’re all on the same page: 

Lust is ungodly desire for a legitimate need that leads to meeting a legitimate need in an ungodly way.

overcoming lust

How To Stop Lusting - The Journey To Sexual Purity

In the context of this article, we’re going to focus on sex.  And we’re going to talk about how to stop lusting and how to start walking in sexual purity.

When it comes to walking in sexual purity, you must first understand that sexual purity is a journey, not a destination.  The truth is, lust can never really be eliminated from our lives; but if understood, it can be controlled.  

Having personally overcome a sexual addiction that ruined my first marriage of 16-years, and now walking in sexual purity for more than 18 years, my adult son, humbly pleaded with me, “Dad, please tell me that dealing with lust gets easier the older you get.”

And I had to tell him the truth, that dealing with and overcoming lust doesn’t get any easier with age; if anything, it gets harder.  To his astonishment, and obvious discouragement, I had to explain to him why. 

why can't I stop lusting?

If You're Wondering Why Am I Lusting So Much? This May Be Why

The truth of the matter is that we’re living in a time that almost everything you see in the media, advertisement, in the clubs, at the beach, in the bars, at the gym – and even the music that we listen to, is becoming oversexualized.  The culture is not moving towards modesty, but rather more towards unfiltered expressions of sexuality.  

And when you think about it logically, how would that make it easier for us to stop lusting?  If anything, it can only make things more challenging. 

When I explained this to my son, he asked, “Then how have you been able to walk in sexual purity for so long?” In other words, how do you stop lusting?

I had to explain to my son that it’s not about how to stop lusting and making the journey to sexual purity easier; but rather, it’s about becoming spiritually stronger in the face of lust and temptation in a culture that’s set up to trip you up at every corner you turn.

I told him, instead of asking the question how to stop lusting; a better question to ask is how do you get spiritually stronger, so lust doesn’t overpower you?  

how to stop lust thoughts

In Order To Stop Lusting, First Strengthen Your Spirit

Here are five (5) ways I teach Christian men to do that:

How To Stop Lusting As A Christian Tip 1: Look At Your Identity 

Too many times, we as men, define ourselves by either what we do, what we’ve done, what people think, what people have done TO us, or what people haven’t done FOR us, instead of basing it on who God says we are.  

Knowing who you are in Christ means EVERYTHING.  You're not what you do; what you've done; where you came from; what you’ve been called; or even what you or others think of you; but rather who God says you are.  

God says that you’re more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

God says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13

God says you are a new creature in Christ. 2 Cor 5:17

God says who the Son sets free is free indeed. Romans 8:36

God says nothing will ever separate you from His love. Romans 8:38

The more confident you grow in your identity in Christ, the stronger you will become in resisting temptation and turning away from lust. 

What you do doesn’t define who you are, but who you THINK you are will certainly determine what you do.  So, if you want to stop lusting, start with asking yourself, “Who do you think you are?” And does your answer line up with who God says you are?

how do I get relief from lustful thoughts

How To Stop Lusting As A Christian Tip 2: Develop True Intimacy 

We said earlier that lust is having an ungodly desire for a legitimate need.  But what is that legitimate need? It’s our innate need for intimacy.  The problem is when we allow ourselves to be drawn into lust, we often seek to satisfy that legitimate need for intimacy in illegitimate ways – i.e., porn, fornication, adultery, masturbation, homosexuality, molestation, etc.  

What we really desire is to be loved unconditionally by someone.  God built us for relationship, and his purpose for creating us was out of His desire to have a true, authentic relationship with us.  He created us so we could enjoy the joy of knowing and loving Him – naked and unashamed.  

But when we look for illegitimate ways to meet out legitimate need for true intimacy, we allow ourselves to settle for false intimacy, which is love without responsibility, connection, or relationship.

God built us for relationship with Him first, then with others.

In Matthew 22:36-40, when Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law, he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

How To Stop Lusting As A Christian

How To Stop Lusting As A Christian Tip 3: Develop Authority Over It

Corinthians 10:13 says, No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 

If you want to learn how to stop lusting and get spiritually stronger, then you need to learn how to escape the lures of temptation. 

Temptation was not new to Jesus.  For 40 days he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. And although Jesus was hungry, tired, and lonely, he successfully resisted the temptation of the devil – not by might, strength, or power, but rather by the word of God.  

God had given Jesus, and He has given us, all the authority we need to successfully defeat the enemy, and that’s with the power of His Word.  Jesus spoke God’s word 3 times to Satan before the devil fled from him.  But we must know the word of God to speak the word of God.

When Jesus was tempted to eat when he was fasting, he said, “It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 

When Jesus was tempted to show off and test God’s power, he said, “It is written, you shall not put the Lord God to the test.” 

And when Jesus was tempted to reign and rule over everything (if he bowed down to Satan), he said, “It is written, you will worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” 

So, if you want to resist the temptation to lust, spend more time using your God-given authority by speaking to the devil instead of listening to him.

how to stop lusting after women

How To Stop Lusting As A Christian Tip 4: Develop True Honesty 

If you really want to learn how to stop lusting, start with being honest about your struggles with lust.  

It’s no secret that sin lives and thrives in secrecy.  And lust can only grow in secrecy; but once you expose it, it dies.  That’s why honesty is the anecdote to lust.  Lust in secrecy leads to shame and guilt, and shame and guilt keeps us stuck in sin, because sin flourishes in darkness.

Hiding and lying about lust is like trying to keep a beach ball under water.  You may be able to hide it for a while, but eventually, you’re going to get tired, and you’re going to lose control, and that ball will eventually come shooting out at the most inopportune time.

So, whenever you’re struggling with lust, tell the truth to yourself and others about it. 

porn addiction recovery christian men

The Real Men 300 is my Christian Mentorship & Accountability group that helps support men with things like lust daily. Click here to find out more and join.

How To Stop Lusting As A Christian Tip 5: Search Out Accountability 

The final thing you can do to stop lusting and become spiritually stronger is to enlist the help of others as you walk in sexual purity (i.e., like The Real Men 300).  

The truth is, a man is only as strong as the number of stronger men he has on his team. And we are called to bare one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).

Accountability is usually the part that most men leave out because it’s also the scariest.  If you’ve ever been hurt, betrayed, or abandoned by men in the past, you may struggle with reaching out and trusting men with your battles with lust.  

And even harder for men is asking another man to hold him accountable by asking him the tough questions when it comes to lust.  

Questions like…

  • How was your thought life this week?

  • What sexual sins do you need to confess this week?

  • How are you and wife doing this week?

  • What’s been your biggest challenge this week when it comes to sex?

  • What are you afraid of me asking you about?

As challenging as some of these questions are, they will help you grow stronger spiritually and make resisting temptation easier.

Again, this is not about eliminating lust in your life; but rather, it’s about helping you learn how to become spiritually stronger, so you don’t have to give into lust and temptation. 

how to stop lusting bible

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