Lust-free living is more than a set of ideas to make you stop, pause, and think. It’s a lifestyle you can truly enjoy. I want to give you tools to live free and show you how to overcome lust. We know that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
God designed you to see all women as sisters. Therefore, we are to acknowledge their creator, not just their created features.
First, I want to expose you to the many lies that lust wants you to believe. These lies can become comfortable and hidden in your life. Second, you will receive tools for the battle over lust, so that you will have weapons in your arsenal to overcome when lust strikes.
Lust Free IS Possible
It is possible to walk in freedom from lust. If you take up this battle, you can learn how to overcome lust. Furthermore, the battle will make you stronger and more capable of helping other men find freedom as well. This is not only a calling to set you free, but to free our brothers and the church globally!
I want share some of the lies lust presents. Then I will share a separate tip for overcoming lust in your life. So read, write, pray, and apply what you learn. Welcome to the war! May you receive the bounty of a lust-free lifestyle.
Lust is an absolute liar! It is conniving and out to destroy you, your family, and your legacy. Click To Tweet
For additional tips on how to overcome lust and daily reminders, check out my book, Lust Free Living.
Lust Lie: More is Better!
The first lie I want to uncover is the concept of “more is better.” Lust constantly says you need more: more money, more toys, more real or virtual body parts to look at, and more Internet pornography viewing time. Lust tells you that your life will be better when you have more.
Lust tells you that you are missing out if you don’t check out someone’s real or virtual body parts. Furthermore, it tells you you’re weird if you don’t find an inappropriate joke amusing. The lie continues to tell you that the more you have of these images the better off you are.
Lust tells you that you are smarter or better than others. You deserve to feel good. This lie feeds into our need to feel important, powerful, and significant. Lust will say whatever it is you need to hear to entice you to believe you really need more. It keeps you trapped into thinking that the more lusting you do in your spare time at work, in front of the television, at the movies, or on the Internet, the better off you are.
Let me tell you the truth. The more you lust, the worse off you are. Following lust will cause you become desensitized to women as people. You’ll stay immature in many ways. You won’t pursue your dreams or destiny—or will do so at a much slower pace. Finally, lust doesn’t tell you about the guilt, shame, and embarrassment you will feel when you ultimately get caught.
Truth: You MUST Own Your Lust (Get Rid of Excuses)
Owning is a concept which posits that you must realize where you are currently before you start on a journey to where you are going. Lust is real and most of us have participated in lust at some point in our lives.
Lust has given us the choice to consume a woman’s beauty and body like a fast food meal. Therefore, we have disregarded her personhood momentarily and lusted after her body. For many of us, we have lusted so often that we think it is normal to reduce a woman to her dimensions. Learning to view women as people instead of objects is a key to learning how to overcome lust.
Confess and Overcome!
We lust! Think of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. An individual stands to face the room and says, “Hi, my name is Bob and I am an alcoholic.” Bob owns and accepts where he is, and this allows him to move toward healing. Likewise, you have to own that you lust. Own that you frequently and consistently create an illusion that women are images and not people (if this is true of you).
Until you can fully own your lust, it will be very unlikely that you will live your life lust-free. Therefore, you cannot learn how to overcome lust if you are unwilling to admit that you have a problem with it. When Jesus healed people, they often came and proclaimed their condition. Likewise, you must own your lust before you can start the amazing journey of living lust-free.
Lust Lie: It’s Not Possible to Gain Freedom
Lust says you can never gain freedom and overcome lust. The phrase “not possible” is by far the most paralyzing lie lust has in its arsenal. The lie, “it’s not possible to be lust-free” is quite simple, but its impact can have decades of results. Additionally, this lie is continually reinforced by culture and a society that tells us, “It’s natural.” We are continually told that it is impossible to learn how to overcome lust.
When you believe this lie at your core, your ability and motivation to fight lust decreases. The decrease is so drastic, you are almost positioned to be a casualty of this war. You become like the baby elephant chained to a peg in the ground. Over time, your ability to break the chain increases, but your motivation to break free decreases, keeping you in bondage. Therefore, you cannot change your life because you have believed the lie.
Heaven is lust-free and Jesus lived a lust-free life. Remember how Jesus didn’t lust after the prostitute that washed his feet (Luke 7:38). He died so we, by the Holy Spirit, could absolutely live free from lust. Rejoice! It’s our birthright to live this way!
Don’t Believe the Lie!
If you honestly believe the lie of “not possible,” you won’t try hard to live a lust-free life. However, if you believe it is not only possible, but it’s your right, then you can obtain this lifestyle. You can live LUST FREE! When you believe it’s possible, you will fight to destroy the lust that wants to keep you from your inheritance in Christ. Believe me, your inheritance and destiny in Christ is exactly what lust wants to destroy.
Truth: It’s a Choice
This is an interesting concept. Not long ago, I was on the Dr. Phil Show. On the show a discussion came up over whether addiction is a choice or an excuse to be a “bad boy” and not take responsibility. I have worked with sexual addicts for more than twenty years and this topic comes up periodically.
Here’s an article where I discuss the truth about sex addiction: Is Sex Addiction A Disease?
Here’s my view on this based on my experience and research. I believe all behavior is a choice (other than psychotic or drug induced). One of the primary distinctions of our creation in God’s image is we all have a will. We are permitted to exercise our will how we wish, but each usage of our will is a choice. Therefore, we are 100 percent responsible and accountable to God for these choices.
Lust is a choice.
You have a myriad of choices when you see a woman. Lust is only one of those choices (in my opinion the worst one). You are 100 percent responsible for every choice you make to lust: double taking, rubbernecking, scanning, objectifying, evaluating, or in any other way making a lustful assessment of a woman, whether she is real or an image. This is your choice and I want you to live in the freedom to make the choice not to lust. Make the CHOICE to grow and learn how to overcome lust in your life. For some really practical and useful strategies on how to overcome lust and live a clean lifestyle, I recommend my book, Clean: A Proven Plan for Men Committed to Sexual Integrity.
The devil can only offer a way to look at something (tempt you to think differently than God does). Therefore, you have a choice. You can decide to think like God (love, holiness) or you can lust and see a person or thing differently.
You cannot heal from something if you have no choice. Personally, I have experienced a lust-free lifestyle, and it’s a choice I thankfully make every day.
It’s a choice you can make. If you don’t think it’s a choice, you can’t walk in freedom. Remember, there are some women you don’t lust after. Your daughter, niece, mother, aunt, and any other woman you truly respect. Therefore, you have already been successful at not lusting. You are capable of a more lust-free life in the future!
Lust Lie: Their Sex is…
Lust has a way of growing from objectifying and lusting after women to lies and deception. One of the most powerful ways lust changes is when it engages other parts of your soul. For example, when it leads you to imagine what sex with others might be like.
Lust never tells you sex would be awful with the other person. It sells sex with them as being better, more creative, more often, more energetic, and whatever else you need to hear in order to engage lust even further.
Listening to lust describe sex is much like listening to a telemarketer. Therefore, the longer you listen to his or her sales pitch, the more likely you are to buy the product. Here’s the reality check: All sex (real or imagined) outside of marriage is forbidden by God and has devastating consequences. This is another example of the fact that when you choose to lust, you think differently than God.
Don’t Listed to Lust
On the flip side of this, I wrote an article called When the Devil Talks About Your Wife. These are more lies you must protect yourself against.
Over the years I have listened as men complained about sex with their wives. This always opens the door for me to step in and ask some hard questions. I ask them about the dailies and “How often do you pray with her? How often do you share your feelings with her? Do you celebrate her? Do you take her out on dates?” They usually tell me: “Not much.” The lightbulb comes on!
Sow Into Your Marriage
Do you wonder why sex with your wife is not what you think it should be? It is because your wife married a boy instead of a man of God! What are you sowing into your marriage? As a woman, her need for emotional intimacy is as strong as your physical need for sex. Therefore, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. If you are married, how would your wife say you are at emotional and spiritual intimacy?
This may not seem like a tip on how to overcome lust, but you need to remember this is an all-encompassing problem. Lust will creep into your marital relationship 100% of the time. Therefore, you need to continually sow good seeds into your marriage to battle the seeds and lies from lust.
Truth: Scripture Sets You Free
When you believe a scripture, lust has no strength against it. Scripture does what kryptonite does to Superman. It weakens the grip of lust on your mind and can make it quickly flee from your heart. Remember, lust is your flesh. The Word of God can kill your flesh and heal you at the same time—like nothing else on this planet!
Your Part: Believe
However, for Scripture to achieve its designed purpose, you must believe. Use a concordance to find and study Bible verses with these words: “lust,” “covetousness,” “adultery,” and “flesh.” Stockpile scriptures containing those words in your arsenal. You might also find it helpful to add to your arsenal scriptures on love, holiness, sanctification, or other positive words to give you a boost in fighting this war. The Holy Bible is packed full of verses to teach us how to overcome lust daily.
Once you find a scripture that works for you, there are several principles you can use to apply it to your life. First, read it daily. Second, put it in your phone or use it as a screen saver. Third, memorize it. Finally, pray it to God. Use the powerful weapon of scripture to fight this evil enemy.
Be consistent in whatever principle you choose to use with the scripture. Let its truth become true to your heart. When you and Scripture believe the same way, you begin to manifest the mind of Christ. Therefore, Scripture is a very powerful and ever-expanding tool to help you remain in your lifestyle of lust-free living.
Lust Feeds Off Your Vulnerability
You will find that lust is many things. One of its most dangerous weapons is its ability to become a magician. Lust has the ability to highlight exactly where your weaknesses and vulnerabilities lie and twist them.
Lust Is a Cruel Liar
If you are shy, lust tells you that you are confident with women. If you are passive, you can be aggressive in fantasy. Lust will celebrate you if you feel unwanted. Therefore, you are using lust to meet unmet needs in your life and compensate for areas of vulnerability. Lust tells you that an image, fantasy, exaggeration, or feature is yours to have. The lies will never stop.
Lust says you can have whatever is in your mind that you want. When you turn yourself over to lust, you possess anything what you want. Suddenly it becomes a possession, your “precious” and you become just like Sméagol/Gollum of Lord of the Rings with lust. It’s your secret that you must possess and protect at all costs. However, the reality is you are still the same as before. The difference now is the added burden of guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety due to playing with lust. As long as you protect lust in your life, you will not attain the tools needed to overcome it. Accordingly, you will move one step closer to the trap of lust and one step closer to being inappropriate with a woman.
Train Your Brain
The battle of lust is in the moment. The minute you choose to objectify a daughter of God, you become tempted to use reflexive reactions of minimization or denial in order to protect lust.
It is critical to create a new reflex for the times you find yourself “in the moment.” I advocate a technique in the book, The Final Freedom aptly called, “the rubber band technique.” Simply put a rubber band around your wrist and when you start to lust, snap it hard. I’m not talking about a little stretch, I’m saying stretch that rubber band as far as you can and let it contact your skin at full speed. After all, you really do want to get rid of lust, correct?
Positive vs. Negative Reinforcement
Currently, you are giving your brain positive reinforcement when you lust. You escape reality, you feel desired, you fantasize, and sometimes you receive a chemical reaction in your brain from the risk and excitement. Consequently, when you engage in lust and positively reinforce your brain, it will heighten your desire to repeat that behavior.
Conversely, the rubber band technique creates a negative reinforcement for lust and sends your brain a clear message. Thus you are telling your brain, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Many guys have reported back to me on the effectiveness of this technique. Overwhelmingly, those struggling say they notice about an 80 percent decrease in lust and objectifying. Therefore, when you choose to give your brain the negative signal that lust hurts, you start sending lust the message that it is unwelcome in your life.
Lust Lies: It’s Not Really A Sin to Lust
A question I hear often from Christian men is, “Is lust really wrong? After all, I’m not hurting anyone.” First, let me address the beginning part of this question. Think back to the scene in the Garden of Eden. The serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say?” Therefore, he questioned God’s word and has used that tactic successfully since the first sin.
Truth: God Clearly Says NOT to Lust
First, let’s set the record straight before we go any further. The Tenth Commandment is really clear: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17, The Message). Additionally, Proverbs has something to say about lust: “Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty, nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes” (Proverbs 6:25, The Message). Moreover, there are a wealth of Bible verses that instruct us not to lust.
God DID say not to lust. Indeed, He didn’t break it down for you to give you permission to lust after certain things. He was clear. Therefore, you and I are not to lust—period.
God’s Word is Applicable to Your Life
Next, I want to address those of you reading this book who take a literal approach to the scriptures above. You may believe God means you aren’t to lust after your neighbors in your block. However, I want to remind you that Jesus cleared up who our neighbor is in the story of the Good Samaritan. Therefore, Every woman is or will be your neighbor’s wife. From a biblical perspective, you have absolutely no room to lust. Accordingly, any permission to lust is self-granted, self-destructive, and self-defeating. Living in God’s truth will keep you on the path of a lust-free life.
Practical Application: Keep Track
Hopefully this article has given you hope and given you useful tools on how to overcome lust. One of the reasons lust is able to keep growing in your life is because there is no one keeping watch. For example, think of farmers. When they plant their crops, they don’t just leave them. They keep watch to make sure weeds and bugs don’t consume their harvest.
Similarly, Christ has planted His seed, the Holy Spirit, in our lives. Sadly, many have chosen not to keep watch and they have allowed the weeds of lust to take over. Many men don’t realize how often they lust in a day. Consequently, they don’t realize how they cultivate these lust weeds rather than the Holy Spirit in their lives on a daily basis.
Therefore, over the next month, I challenge you to keep a notepad or use your phone to track how often you lust. When I say lust, I mean every time you objectify, scan, double take, or fantasize about any woman, either real or in an image. Subsequently, keep a tally on a piece of paper or on your phone.
You will be amazed at how often you plant new weeds of lust, or cultivate old ones in thirty days. This tip will help you move out of a place of denial about how often you lust, and let you know if lust is an issue for you. Remember, when you begin to gain freedom from this evil enemy, multiply the weapons and show other men how to overcome lust.
Stand Fast in Truth Freedom
Here are a few facts. First, God is omnipresent and He sees you lusting. Second, He can see your heart and thoughts. Third, His Holy Spirit is in you, so there is no place to keep a secret. Fourth, the angels can see what you are doing. Fifth, as Hebrew 12:1 says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Sixth, your computer keeps a history of where you have been.
Remember, Jesus said that our secrets will be shouted from the rooftops (Luke 12:3). If you still believe in secrets, you will get caught and humiliated. Many men who had faith in their secrets rather than faith in God ended up getting caught. Don’t believe the lie of a secret. A secret is the perfect growing material for the weed of lust. Remember, you create the seed of lust. You give it the shade of false secrecy, and you can choose to live lust-free instead. I want you to choose and enjoy the freedom experienced in a lust-free lifestyle!
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” -Galatians 5:1 (KJV).
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.