The idea that most men struggle with lust is not earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it’s so underwhelming a statement that I fear it’s not taken seriously. It’s a “boys will be boys” kind of thing. That attitude of, “Lookin’ ain’t touchin.” Like there is nothing wrong with a guy just mentally perusing the body of any passing girl, lady, or woman that catches his eye.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth and the behavior of a Misfit Man. Which means now is probably as good a time as any to be vulnerable. Side note, authenticity and vulnerability are definitely qualities of a Misfit Man. It was at an early age (in my mind anyway) that I was introduced to pornography and masturbation. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and stop my 12-year-old self from ever seeing those first Playboy images, but alas, I cannot. So here I am trying to share what I’ve struggled through and how I’m overcoming it to live free.
Struggling is a concept that should be familiar to most Christians. At some point you’ve probably been part of a small group discussion where the question, ‘What sin are you struggling with?’ has been asked. Sadly, most of us (myself included up until a year or so ago) live our whole lives believing that we have to struggle with sin. As if sin is a river of thick mud we have no choice but to walk through on our journey to any destination until we die. On a good day the mud doesn’t hardly stick to our boots and we can walk pretty freely through the muck, but on a bad day the glorious filth is so heavy we feel like we’re standing still. Here’s some truth to chew on real quick before we continue.
John 8:34-36 – “34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (NIV)
Freedom. Now that’s a much better word to focus on than struggle. We should be asking our brothers and sisters what sin they need freedom from! Jesus isn’t offering us a nicer pair of boots to stroll through the grime in. He’s trying to hand us a jet-pack to cruise over the river of sin. Of course, a jet-pack will need re-fueling and eventually the ignition will give out and need replacing. Read, of course you’ll mess up at some point and you’ll need forgiveness and encouragement, not because you have to be a slave struggling to walk through the mud, but because you are human. Your failure to resist temptation shouldn’t be a pattern, it should be one-off events. If there is a pattern to your sin, then you aren’t living free from it.
Living a life with freedom from sin is a big topic and one I’ll probably write more on later, but for now let me give you some final thoughts on lust and pornography.
In Ephesians chapter four Paul warns us not to give the devil a foothold (v. 27). He’s in the midst of writing specifically about anger, but the principal applies across all sins. Don’t underestimate how destructive a crack in your foundation can be. Satan will exploit anything and everything he can get his menacing claws on. Don’t let lust and pornography be the weakness Satan can exploit to destroy your life.
- Do NOT justify your actions.
- Looking at women and letting your mind wander isn’t harmless. It isn’t necessary to flip through the Victoria’s Secret catalog when no one else is around.
- Don’t lie to yourself that you can handle it on your own.
- James 5:16 – “16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be HEALED. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (NIV, emphasis on ‘healed’ is mine)
- Be honest with yourself about where your temptations usually come from and actually DO something about avoiding them.
- Delete those freakin’ stupid social media accounts if you can’t stop yourself from searching what doesn’t need to be searched. (I did this with Twitter and Instagram for quite some time.)
- Be a protector not a pervert.
- More to be written on this topic. You wouldn’t want any man lusting after your wife, daughter, sister, or niece so don’t do it to someone else’s loved ones.
- Remember to take spiritual warfare seriously.
- Use the Holy Spirit like the power of God inside you that He is!
If you’ve got any good tips on this subject, please share them with us. We can all learn from each other and be Misfit Men together.