A guide to help overcome some of the battles men encounter. Taken from the Collins (Contemporary English Version) Youth Bible
Help! I’m struggling with lust
‘I can’t seem to help myself. I know it’s wrong to think this way, but I just keep thinking about it…’
You are not alone. Throughout the Bible there are people who struggled with this issue. We know it was an issue for people like David, Samson and Solomon, and I doubt that any of us would claim to be more godly than them. Hosea describes a society which burns with lust, like a load of over-heating oven (Hosea 7: 3-5).
And in our world – a world full of erotic imagery – it becomes even harder to control. You walk down the street, there is a lingerie advert; you cross the road and there’s a good looking guy or girl coming in the opposite direction. So, in this world it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll go through life without experiencing this temptation.
The issue is, how far do you indulge in it? Don’t indulge in sexual fantasies about people who you find attractive. When you do get these thoughts, don’t dwell on them. Instead focus on God.
Recognise that you have this problem. Be honest. Don’t pretend it’s not an issue.
Try to pray about it. Try to master your mind. It’s difficult to stop the thoughts entering your mind, but you don’t have to encourage them to take up residence there.
The more you think about God, the less room there is for unhealthy thoughts.
Help! I’m struggling with Pornography
Lots of people seem to think that pornography is acceptable these days. ‘After all, they say, no one gets hurt, do they?’
Depends what you mean by ‘hurt’. For one thing, pornography is addictive. You can get hooked. Start with the softcore and you will be moving towards the more extreme forms of porn. The desire for sex, as people in the bible found, pulls you away from faith in God (Hosea 4.12).
Pornography turns people – women mainly – into objects, lumps of flesh to be used how we please. And many women have been badly abused and damaged through involvement in the porn business.
Porn hurts us. Jesus, particularly, had strong words to say about lust and the way it infects our brains. He made no distinction between lusting after someone in our head, and taking someone else to bed.
The Bible is not ashamed of sex; it doesn’t shy away from talking about it. But it recognises that the desire for sex can take control of our life. God views sex as part of a relationship. Man and woman, committed together, loving one another and expressing that love. Pornography is not about love, but lust.
Why was Jesus so strict about lust?
Why is our society so obsessed with sex?
Keep away from temptation. Avoid the top shelf of the newsagents. Try to avoid internet sites that have pornographic content. Pray as you surf.