The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I am a 20 year old Christian and accept God as my savior. I thank Him for always protecting me in weak moments. I try to follow His teachings and this has caused me to be a very caring person. I thank Him for that, too.

But my problem is that I used to watch porn. I have stopped. I even deleted all music on my iPod and laptop that have explict words that make me think of lust. But every time I see a woman on the Internet or in a commercial (not porn) my body gets a weird feeling. I don't think of these women sexually. Am I still under the sin of lust? I pray night and day and only listen to Christian music now. What am I doing wrong?  

P.S. I confess my sins to God and read Psalms 139 every day.


Answer

What is missing is a distinction between a desire and a lust. At noon I have a desire to eat. The smell of food may remind me that I would enjoy eating. These are all normal and right, but if my desire means I start thinking about stealing food to satisfy my hunger, then I have moved from a normal desire to a temptation. If I start thinking that it is right for me to steal because I am hungry, then I have moved from a temptation to a lust.

You had a problem with a sin. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). You did the right thing by getting it out of your life. You even went further and removed all possible sources of temptation. But you are now going to an extreme and trying to remove the desire, which is not possible.

God made the human body with basic desires to remind us to do the things necessary for life. Hunger reminds us to eat, thirst reminds us to drink, wanting to be respected reminds us to work hard, and even the desire for sex reminds us to get married and have children. No desire can be indiscriminately indulged. Each has to be restrained to its proper time and place. Yes, when you are struggling with managing your weight, it sounds good to get rid of our hunger, but it isn't practical and often causes harm to the body.

You are a young man. Your body strongly desires to have sex. That means when you see women, your body is going to react (the weird feeling you get), but your mind retains control -- it isn't the proper time or place. Still, that desire is going to eventually drive you to get over your shyness and talk to women. Eventually you'll fall in love with a woman and get married. Then your desire can be properly expressed.

Psalms 139 is an excellent psalm to memorize, but don't neglect the rest of the Scriptures. There are things you need to learn throughout the Bible that are essential living a godly life.