UNLEASHED Vol. 12 – Sexual Purity & Lust

I know, I know, you were all hoping we could avoid this topic but we can’t.  It’s a big one because this is such a HEART ISSUE and an area where we need to reclaim ground from the enemy, Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  I’ll be the first to admit I wanted to skip right past this topic, but it is with gratitude I am happy to share my brokenness/depravity and highlight God’s unfailing love and forgiveness because without it shame would shackle chains around my heart and keep me hidden.  The enemy is going to try to convince you it’s easier, even better, to stay where you are and hide (I stayed there a long time), and that it’s too hard to change and turn towards God.  That is what is so amazing about God the Father though, He is the exact opposite.  I don’t deserve His forgiveness but He gives it freely and wants the best for me, He wants to know me and for me to know Him, so I gladly accept it (which in and of itself is not always an easy thing to do) which changes me and motivates me to live better from Him.  So, hold on tight and read on as we dive in, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Guys, there is no judgment or condemnation here; we have all sinned fallen short of the glory of God.  Romans 3:22-24 “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  We are all on a level playing field, and this is one of the most common areas of struggle for men.  God loves us and wants the best for us, but we have to put in the time, doing some hard work to develop the mental and spiritual discipline He desires for us.  This topic requires some serious soul searching and HONEST self-reflection, to truly face ourselves in the mirror, own what we need to own, and allow ourselves to receive His forgiveness and be transformed because of it.  Prov. 28:13 “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”  This is God’s heart for us, not shame and condemnation, but mercy and love.

I think purity and lust are two separate topics though they are often grouped together or seen as the same issue and really as you work on one, you work on the other.  At its core purity is probably best seen as being free from all unrighteousness, or in other words, living without any idols at all; living so close to God and relying solely on Him that we are pure.  Lust on the other hand is our heart’s desire to fulfill its need for happiness, gratification, satisfaction, feeling alive, finding life, etc. from someone or something and is often sexual in nature.  But really we can lust after any idol (see Unleashed Vol. 7 Idols) that has our attention.  It could be porn or checking out attractive women throughout the day, fantasying, habitual masturbation, it could be demanding sex with your wife, overeating, your job, alcohol, drugs, possessions/materialism/money, or experiences; anything that we believe will come through for us and fulfill our heart’s desire other than God.  We buy into the lie it sells us and lust after what it can supposedly give, instead of standing on the truth of what we know God will give us.  If we are lusting for anything other than God and His design and will for us, we have a purity issue and lust issue in our heart.  Let’s get battling!

    1. PORN IS NOT THE PROBLEM! – Dan Lokers
      1. So often we want to blame the symptoms to the problem, instead of identifying and addressing the root of the problem.  Guys want to blame porn for the problem of porn, like if we just somehow got rid of porn everything would be okay, like we wouldn’t just move onto another idol trying to find life.  Porn is no good, complete evil in fact, but if there were no demand for porn, would there be porn?  I always hear guys say, “If I could just get over porn.” Or “If women didn’t dress a certain way I wouldn’t fantasize.” Or “If my wife would…”
        1. Do you see it, hear it?  The problem is deeply internal, yet we want to blame something external.
      2. Sex isn’t the problem either.  God designed us for sex, and to enjoy it with our wife within the boundaries of marriage and to experience “oneness.”  It’s when we make sex the defining purpose of a relationship whether we are single (fornication) or with our wives, that we have an idol causing lust in our hearts and taking away our purity.  Oppositely, we can also passively avoid sex with our wives out of fear or shame and we make sex a difficult issue that causes wounds and heartache for all involved.

 

  • It is a huge heart issue.  We have to develop the mental discipline to train our hearts to desire what God designed them for; relationship with HIM and to live by His design!

 

    1. God has designed our hearts with many core longings and when we get those longings met in ways other than relationship with Him and His will, then we create the problem, we create the demand, and we pervert His design.  In this fallen world, the enemy has a plethora of attractive ways to tempt our hearts away from God and into death.
    2. We have to know ourselves and know our enemy.
  1. Know yourself
    1. In his book “Surfing for God” Michael Cusick talks about these core longings of our heart:
      1. Attention: I long to be seen, to be valued, to matter.
      2. Affection: I long to be enjoyed.  I long for you to take pleasure in who I am.
      3. Affirmation: I long to know I have what it takes.
      4. Acceptance: I long to belong and to be desired.
      5. Satisfaction: I long for fullness.
      6. Significance: I long for impact, for meaning.  I long to be powerful.
      7. Security: I long to know I’ll be okay, to be settled in a love that cannot diminish.
    2. So porn and other lustful temptations are things our hearts go for instead of healthy pure relationships to get our core longings met; all of which are snares from the enemy to trap us in sin and chain us down.  Why?  Because it is easy and requires nothing from us, it is secret sin, and we think we can get away with it without any consequences…
    3. Porn is an easy way to cheaply meet some of the core desires of our hearts, though it will never fully satisfy and takes life instead of giving it.  The reason it works is because that image on the screen always answers “yes” to our core longings, hooking us into a deeply rooted sin; passivity.  You see, it’s much easier for us to go to porn and get our longings met without any work, without any commitment, or any sacrifice; or so we think.  On the other hand, to be the spiritual leader in your home and to be present with your wife in marriage requires sensitivity, focus, commitment, perseverance, caring, and sacrifice.
      1. All of which porn attempts to take away from you.
    4. There are consequences to staying here.
      1. Andy Stanley had a Facebook post that illustrates this perfectly.
        1. Pornography Lessons: Every time a man looks at pornography he goes to school and learns three lessons:
          1. A real body isn’t good enough.
          2. One body isn’t good enough.
          3. His wife’s body isn’t good enough.
      2. Think about it guys.  Is that really what you want to be communicating to your wife?  Do you realize how hurtful your actions are to her?  Sure, she doesn’t know, but what if she did?
      3. We have to be alert, the enemy so easily lies to us here.  “I deserve this.” “I’m not happy unless my sexual appetite is fulfilled.” “I’m the victim, I’m hurt, I need this to feel better.”
      4. All lies that tell God and our wives that they are not good enough for us.
      5. When there is hidden sexual sin in your life you are driving an invisible, silent wedge between you and your wife.
    5. Sexual sin is internal, it’s easy to hide.  We often justify this sin to ourselves.  With our depravity unchecked, this deeply justified secret sin changes you.  Masturbation becomes the rush, with or without porn, you become dependent on it.  Before you know it habitual masturbation seems commonplace, you become conditioned to go to self to feel, instead of going to God.  It’s easy to slip into sexual fixation and obsession where it consumes your thoughts.  It changes the way you look at women, you see them as a sex object and suddenly you are checking out every woman you see and evaluating whether or not you’d sleep with her. You fantasize about having sex with different women; you relive past experiences or imagine new ones. It might drive you to cheat on your significant other and have an affair.  There is no limit to our unbridled depravity.  As with any and all idols, it consumes us.
    6. Inadvertently, through sexual sin we tell God He is not enough for us.  We can have deep faith and a great walk, but if there is sexual sin lurking in the background we are telling God, “Hey, I love you and all, but there is just a little more I need than what you can give.”  God knows our hearts, never forget that.  Even though it can be a very secretive sin and we think no one else has to know; God knows.  We can’t forget, God knows!  He knows us better than we know ourselves, how can we really think we can hide from Him?  Are we really that diluted in the lies we believe?
  2. Know your enemy: The Devil, The World, and The Flesh.
    1. All three are going to work overtime to keep you hidden and in bondage with this heart issue.  They will stop at nothing to convince you that it is easier to stay where you are in your sin than to repent and move into God’s truth.  The enemy wants to chain you down with lust and take away your purity.
    2. The enemy uses our strengths against us, we can’t forget that the enemy is smart; he has been studying man for a long time, and comes to seek, kill, and destroy.  Satan hates you.  Satan, the world, and our flesh use our manly nature to get us to believe we don’t need God and that we can solve our problems on our own.  God designed us as men to lead, to be problem solvers, to be fixers.  We most often relate and communicate to listen for a problem, and then come up with a solution to fix it.  But when it comes to relating our hurting or struggling hearts, we often go to our other nature which is passivity; we often believe the lie from the enemy that says admitting weakness and neediness means we don’t know how to fix the issue, we don’t have what it takes, so we often bottle it and bury it deep.  Then our heart begins searching for how we can fix ourselves without God or anyone else knowing we need help.  Then BAM!  The enemy has us right where he wants us; weaken, scared, ashamed and alone.  Suddenly we realize we can make ourselves feel better with a distraction, an idol to give us life; well at least we think that’s what we are getting.  Temptations that once seemed off limits begin to look like a pretty good option compared to the pain we are holding onto alone.  Porn and other idols are basically self-medication in our depravity, we are going through life alone looking to self and the enemy for answers, and hiding from God.  We begin to rationalize and justify our sin to ourselves, and we believe it!  The father of lies gets us to lie to ourselves!
    3. Satan – Lies to us constantly, trying to convince us to take the easy way out.  More than anything he is trying to get us to denounce that God is good or in control.
      1. Four core beliefs that hold us back: from “Surfing For God.”
        1. I am basically bad or unworthy… not good enough, different
        2. Nobody would love me for who I am… deep wounds so love never rooted in their soul… rejection, abandonment, judgment are woven into story.
        3. I can’t get my core needs met by depending on others (affection, intimacy, and acceptance)
        4. Sex is my most important need.  Sex is the only way I can have my desire for intimacy.
          1. Guys here we are making sex, even in marriage, an idol; making my wife an idol that has the power to give significance to me or take it away.  This is dangerous ground!  Saying a woman can validate me instead of God.
    4. The World – Constantly tempts us to give in, it throws the issue in our face, and it is constantly testing our convictions and trying to demoralize us.  The world (our secular culture) is a visual representation of the lies Satan tries to get you to believe.
    5. The Flesh – Is constantly hungry, it will try to get you to lie to yourself and justify your sin.  It will convince you to stay hidden in your sin, to pose and wear masks so no one knows the real you.
      1. John Eldredge talks about the flesh and our strength or the lack-thereof in chapter eight of “Wild at Heart.”
      2. “Ever since that fateful day when Adam gave away the essence of his strength, men have struggled with a part of themselves that is ready at the drop of a hat to do the same.  We don’t want to speak up unless we know it will go well, and we don’t want to move unless we’re guaranteed success.  What the Scriptures call the flesh, the old man, or the sinful nature, is that part of fallen Adam in every man that always wants the easiest way out.  It’s much easier to masturbate than to make love to your wife, especially if things are not well between you and initiating sex with her feels risky.  It’s much easier to go down to the driving range and attack a bucket of balls than it is to face the people at work who are angry at you.  It’s much easier to clean the garage, organize your files, cut the grass, or work on the car than it is to talk to your teenage daughter…  To put it bluntly, your flesh is a weasel, a poser, and a selfish pig.”
        1. This is an important point here guys!  Eldredge states “And your flesh IS NOT YOU!  Did you know that?  Your flesh is not the REAL you.  When Paul give us his famous passage on what it’s like to struggle with sin (Rom.7), he tells a story we are all too familiar with:
          1. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.  My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.  Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.  It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.  The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.  I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.  Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. (The Message)”
        2. “Did you notice the distinction he makes? Paul says, ‘Hey, I know I struggle with sin.  But I also know that my sin is not me- this is not my true heart.’
      3. Later in this chapter Eldredge talks about strength and how our flesh sabotages it.  “Sabotage happens when we give our strength away…  Masturbation is sabotage.  It is an inherently selfish act that tears you down.”
      4. Eldredge talks about changing our mind set from battling against sin to battling for strength.  “Start choosing to live out your strength and you’ll discover that it grows each time…  We must let our strength show up…  Remember – a man’s addictions are the result of his refusing his strength.”
  3. The solution?  Battle well; go to your links of support!!!  It takes A LOT of work to change your heart and fight back to righteousness, to build your strength and to crush lust, but it is possible and don’t do it alone!  Nothing is too big for God when we let Him in!  Technically Jesus can change you in an instant!  Relief is that close, IF YOU WANT IT!  But you have to want it!  God has designed us to be in relationship from the beginning and to get our heart’s core desires met in HIM.  So run to Him!
    1. Link #1 God:   I believe we can have all of these core heart desires met by Him who created us.  He is all we need.  We build our relationship with Him through the Word of God and through prayer.  He loves us, forgives us, and deeply desires us to long for HIM as He longs for us!!!
      1. We have to REPENT and run to the foot of the cross!  There is no other way! Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  We cannot live with our known sin; we have to call it out, surrender it, and ask for forgiveness.  He will immediately grant this to us out of love!  He will take it away instantly!  You can be free that fast!  Your sin does not define you unless you let it.  Repent and allow God’s love to define who you are, a son of the Most High King!!!
        1. Ephesians 1:4-6 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”
      2. I read a great quote the other day, “Repentance doesn’t mean anything if you keep doing what you’re sorry for.”  Cuts right to the core right?  If you truly repent and want change, then you HAVE to let your gratitude for what Christ did for you CHANGE YOU!  Don’t keep going back to that place knowing it’s wrong.
      3. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  Enough said right?
      4. He created us, we have to find our significance and all other core heart desires in Him.
        1. Guys if we truly love Him and believe in Him, we have to let His Word permeate our hearts, to truly allow it to cause change within us.  In the moment of temptation we have to remember this!
        2. He loves us and prunes us because He wants us to grow in Him, with Him.  John 15:5-8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
        3. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
          1. If we truly love Him the fruits of the Spirit should be visible in us whether in public or in private, we have to show self-control all the time, not just when others are watching.  We have to demonstrate self-control especially when it’s hard, that’s when we can truly honor God and show Him our love and devotion to Him.
      5. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” That pretty much sums it up guys.
      6. Eldredge talked about building strength and battling for strength, WE MUST DO THIS WITH GOD AT THE CENTER!  We can’t do it on our own, or with someone else in the place of God.  Wild at Heart page 146, “You are not your sin; sin is no longer the truest thing about the man who has come into union with Jesus.  Your heart is good.  “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…’ Ezekiel 36:26.”
      7. We need to take that new heart and that new spirit and lean on God with them, allowing Him to nurture us and be our foundation of strength.  We can’t rely on our own strength. As we grow more with Him, we can then learn to develop that strength when we go to Him instead of the desires of the flesh.
      8. “The joy of the Lord is my strength” Nehemiah 8:10.  We have to let this be our motivation, to make God happy and to let His happiness bring us strength!  We have to ask ourselves, “Is what I’m about to do going to make God happy, or not?”
        1. Dan Lokers – So, when the longing to lust comes… look inside and ask, “What am I longing for, and, how can God in legit ways touch my longing?”  Isaiah 55:1-9 “Why do you labor for what does not satisfy… come to me…and your soul will delight in the richest fare…”
    2. Link #2 Wife: God doesn’t want us to be alone.  I believe in marriage, demonstrating oneness here on earth, God blesses us with relationship here.
      1. God did not design us to be alone. He made us a mate, specifically designed for us!
      2. Genesis 2:20-25 “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
      3. Mark 10:7-9 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
        1. 1 Peter 3:7 (NTL) “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
          1. Notice Peter says to honor your wife with understanding.  Don’t put limitations or conditions on your love for her.
          2. Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
        2. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.  Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
          1. Paul talks about only having eyes for our wives and to have self-control.
          2. Sex is good!!!  When we have it in its rightful place with our wife.
          3. Now guys, I am not saying only sex makes “oneness.”  Obviously sex is a part of “oneness” but so is much more like communication, sacrifice, servant leadership, and so on…
      4. When you are not distracted with sexual sin, when you are not comparing her to false sexual idols, you gain strength, you gain more room for true love, much more room to love and pursue your wife well!  Pour all the sexual energy and focus into your relationship with her, not looking away at false things.  Let your love pull you closer to her and further away from temptations.
      5. So guys, we have to love our wives and let her know you are battling for her! You need to communicate! Let her know you are not just giving into the enemy, and that you are battling for purity in your heart and against lust.
        1. I would encourage you to be brave, talk with your wife about this in general to start.  Ask her how much she wants to know and be a part of.  I would not recommend making her your primary accountability partner, but she can be support.  Ask her what she needs to know and what she wants for you to be able to be 100% known with accountability.
        2. Maybe she already knows your struggle, involve her as much as is healthy for the two of you, but do it together!
        3. But you do need to at least be accountable to her to let her know when you’ve slipped up.  Live by the 24 hour rule.  After a poor choice you have 24 hours to let her know.  Yes this is going to be hard, and yes there is a need to bravery over fear.  But assuming she is a woman walking with Christ you also have to trust God with her heart and that she will love and forgive just as Christ does and as you should be doing towards her.  Given that, start wherever you can, but make steps quickly towards that open communication with her.  Some may say, “Well women are wired differently, she wouldn’t understand.”  You have to trust and take a step of faith that you are honoring God and your wife by talking about this, not staying hidden.  Sure, you’re afraid to hurt her by telling her the truth.  Well, first off don’t allow fear into the scenario, fear is from the enemy; and second allow that to motivate you NOT TO HAVE TO HURT HER or disappoint her.  If you don’t want to have to hurt her, live in such a way where you have nothing to confess!!!
    3. Link #3 Brothers: God knew we would need support.  We need godly men in our lives who we “go deep” with and are “known” with.
      1. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
        1. We have a way out together!!!  With God and with each other!!!
        2. You are not alone unless you want to be.  Most others guys deal with this same struggle.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
        3. Find some guys who are authentic and are willing to battle with you!  Guys who can relate and encourage without judgment, guys who are work towards purity and crushing lust!  Get plugged into your church, your men’s ministry, etc…
        4. We can be a gift to each other, to be used by God to help each other!
        5. There is so much freedom in sharing, relating, and being known!!!
      2. Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”
        1. Listen to God and listen to each other!  If your brothers are telling you, “Dude, not a good idea.” Believe them!!!
        2. Proverbs 24:6 “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”
          1. Guys this is WAR!!!  This isn’t this little thing we sort of deal with, this is a WAR FOR YOUR HEART!  Who wants to go to battle alone?  How much more confident do you feel doing anything with other guys around you that you trust?  So build an ARMY of believes around yourself who HAVE YOUR BACK!
      3. Get an accountability partner.  This is a guy who you are going to be 100% honest with all the time, and he with you; no guilt or judgment, just authentic truth with each other.  Get someone you trust, someone who already knows your story and who you really are.  No more masks, posing or hiding; someone you have to talk to when you’re struggling or have made a poor choice.  This is a guy you can call, text, or e-mail ANYTIME for support or to admit a failure.  Don’t let this be a relationship where you just check in occasionally.  It needs to be a powerful life-giving relationship that you are both invested in and checking in often to maintain.
        1. Live by the 24 hour rule.  Commit to God and your accountability partner to admit a poor choice within 24 hours; this could be porn, masturbation, flirtation, sexual fantasies, lingering stares, or any other sexual sin.
          1. Or better yet, one thing my accountability partner and I have been doing is reaching out for prayer and support BEFORE we fail.  When I’m feeling tempted I stop and pray and then text or call him right away; knowing he’s also going to stop for a minute and throw a prayer out for me really helps me surrender the issue and battle that much harder!!!  Plus it’s a nice distraction; it helps put something else in front of me other than the temptation.

Helpful hints for battling against lust and for purity:

  1. Use scripture as your guide.  Find verses to memorize (many above) that can help you refocus in times of temptation.  James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
  2. Read “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge and “Surfing For God” by Michael Cusick
  3. Get an accountability partner SOON!  Don’t wait, don’t go passive.
  4. Abide by the 24 hour rule; seeking repentance from God and honestly owning your actions with your wife and accountability brother.
  5. Plug into any resources your church offers for counseling or group meetings.
  6. Install safety filters for your technology.
  7. When you feel the pull to hide, have the courage to communicate with your links of support.
  8. “Bounce” your eyes.  We can’t control the first look in public, God has created much beauty around us and that is not a bad thing, after all we are all made in His image.   But we pervert God’s beauty when we go back for a second or third lingering look, fantasizing and lusting.  So bouncing your eyes is immediately identifying to yourself, “I feel the pull here to go back and I must resist, I must honor God and my wife by abiding in His divine strength not to give in to lust.”  Matthew 5:27-30 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
    1. This is one the enemy still really tries to get me to give into.  I feel this pull all the time.  But I resist the enemy continuously!  That passage from Matthew really motivates me to battle well.  I also recite James 4:7 multiple times a day when I’m feeling the pull, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

 

Questions to ponder:

  1. Whether single or married, where are you at in the battle against lust and for purity?
  2. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, are you honoring God with your body?
  3. Are you hiding?  If so, what will it take for you to come out of hiding?
  4. Have you talked with your wife about this area of your life?  Where does she fit in to support you?
  5. Do you have an accountability partner?  If so, how is that relationship?  Could it use some refreshing?  Or are you guys actively engaging with each other often?

Remember guys, NO ONE IS PERFECT.  It’s not about perfection.  It’s about trying harder to live for God and say “no” to self.  It’s about showing God we love Him by battling to keep Him first in our lives.  I have struggled with these issues ALL of my life, the only reason I can write about it is because I have lived it.  I’ve gone from completely and willingly aligning myself with the enemy, to battling to break the chains of lust and to restore purity in my heart.  I’m still not perfect, but I’m doing infinitely better than when I was younger, and I’m working hard to be better today than I was yesterday. We can improve, that’s the goal; do better than you did yesterday.  We have to see through all the lies, deceit, and temptation; we have to allow our gratitude for what Christ did for us to BE BIGGER than our desire and lust for self and sin.

 

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