The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

If you are single, how are you lusting about a women? For example, if you see a woman on the street and you're not even thinking about sex, but you are still looking at her in a sexual way because you are looking at her looks and not her personality. Don't the women in porn get paid? How come it is about the women? The men are part of it too and the women are enjoying the whole thing.


Answer

Care to explain how you can look at a woman in a sexual way without thinking about sex?

When Jesus said, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28), he was talking about the human tendency to excuse their actions by looking at things as narrowly as possible. Because a guy isn't in bed with a woman, he has a tendency to think he hasn't sin. But Jesus points out that lust is a sin. Lust isn't temptation. It is when you have accepted that you would like to sin and find yourself justifying that sin in your mind. Thus, this isn't about thinking that a woman is pretty, but when you start thinking you would like to have sex with her, even though you are not married to her.

Lust isn't just a married person's sin. One can lust for many different kinds of sins, including fornication.

The problem with pornography isn't that women are being taken advantage of. The problem is the type of thinking it creates in the viewer's mind. It glorifies fornication. It focuses on the brief moment of pleasure and doesn't consider the consequences. It makes sex out to be getting an orgasm. There is never a relationship between the viewer and the object they focusing on for their sexual high. In fact, I would like you to read: Lies Pornography Tells Men.

Pornography tends to be a male problem because men are more visually oriented. Women's pornography tends to be verbal -- romance stories.

What you need to realize is that when it comes to sexual sins, the real victim is the person involved in it and not who it is being done to. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18). When a guy is committing fornication with a woman, it is he who is harming himself while she is simultaneously harming herself.

If you are looking at a women and you are admiring her looks, you are not thinking about sex, but you are looking at her because of her looks; that's what I meant. So what can I do now pray and never do it again or am I going to hell?

To admire someone's beauty or handsomeness is not wrong, though for some keeping it out of a sexual context might be hard. That is why Job said, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" (Job 31:1).

All people sin. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8). If the condemnation of sin were permanent, all of us would be in trouble. The reason Jesus died on the cross was so that we could have a way out of sin. "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1). When you realize that you have sinned, you don't accept defeat, but determine to correct the situation. That might mean changing your attitude about certain things, and it definitely means changing your behavior. "For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:11).

If you have fully become a Christian, then you need to become a follower of Christ. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7). If you are already a Christian and slipped up, then it means acknowledging your sins to God. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

What can I do because I get tempted every time, and every time I make the same mistake. I feel so bad after that. I feel like my prayers won't help any more because I know it will happen again.

Being tempted is not the same as lusting.

"But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:14-15).

James says the steps to spiritual death are:

  1. A desire for something
  2. A temptation -- an offer to gain what is desired with a trap that you have to break a law of God to get it.
  3. Lust -- an acceptance that breaking God's law is worth getting what you desire.
  4. Sin -- the actual breaking of God's law.
  5. Licentiousness -- sin full-grown. This is when a person gets to the point that he doesn't care what anyone thinks about his sins, he is going to do it anyway. He thinks he has a license to sin.
  6. Death -- when a person stops caring there is no way to bring him back.

You can't stop desires because they are built into you. You can't stop yourself from getting hungry, thirsty, wanting sex, wanting to be liked, etc. These are all normal, healthy desires. Satan takes those desires and twists them so that it looks like you have to sin in order to get what you want.

Thus, you are hungry, realize you have no money, and it becomes tempting to steal a candy bar. Since temptations originate with Satan, you can't stop the temptations either -- you can only reject what Satan offers. "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

But when you start justifying stealing, such as telling yourself you'll pay the guy back later or that you are owed a candy bar, even though it wasn't offered, then you are committing the sin of lust. This is something you can work against because it is originating with your decisions.

If you take the candy bar, then it becomes the sin of stealing. When you've stole things so often that it no longer bothers you and you don't give it a second thought, then you've moved into licentiousness. And from there you have died spiritually.

You find yourself tempted by seeing women. The thought might cross your mind that you could have sex with some of them. But here is where you have control -- you can tell yourself that that isn't right, that you have to wait until marriage before you have sex. It becomes wrong when you start daydreaming about it and tell yourself that it would be all right if she asked for it, or some such excuse as that.

If you don't decide that lusting after sex is wrong, then you are correct. Asking God to forgive you when you have no intention of stopping your sin would be foolish.