How Lust Works In The Church (The Evil Plan)
- Fighting Lust In The Church
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Over the years, the beautiful bride of Jesus has gone through many trials, fought many battles, and carried the burdens of countless men and women throughout the world. She has seen many evil enemies which continually attack. One of the most powerful enemies to the church is lust. Often, lust will work in secret and spread virtually undetected throughout the body of Christ. It will cripple a congregation and infect and kill off members of the body without mercy. It has an array of weapons, and this is why lust is so strong. Therefore, in this article, I will tell you how lust works, some of the weapons that lust uses, and how to overcome lust once and for all.
Although lust is not exclusively a male problem, I’m going to be addressing the men of the body of Christ in this article.
How Lust Affects Relationships
First of all, lust is relentlessly trying to break down the family unit starting with your relationship with your wife. This is how lust works. Lust is tricky. Even though you don’t deserve the lifelong, increasingly beautiful helpmate in your life, lust will tell you that you still don’t have enough. It will constantly tell you lies about your wife and this is how lust affects relationships and marriages.
Somehow you have been told that what you have is not enough. (Which, when you break it down, almost becomes comical.) For example, you may have married a woman with a specific body type. But lust tells you that she needs to be the exact opposite body type, and then you will be happy. If she has curly hair, you want straight; if she’s tall, you want someone short; if she has blue eyes, you want brown. Lust tells you she isn’t enough. You then believe the lie, “I don’t have enough, because I don’t have . . . ” This is how lust works.
How lust affects your wife
Here is where it gets difficult. The lie doesn’t just hurt you. Lust affects your relationships as well as your marriage. Imagine your wife. She knows that she is divinely created, but she senses she is not enough for you, and that you deeply desire some elusive person she can never be. Consequently, her pain is great and this affects her daily life because deep down, she knows the reason she isn’t celebrated is because she is not enough for you.
God designed you. From a design standpoint, He knows you more intimately than you even know about yourself. He knows your personality, health, family of origin, and character strengths and weaknesses.
When God brought you together (or will bring you together) with your wife, He created exactly who you needed. Hear this: God was not influenced by the culture or women in your images when He created who you think you want, need, or desire. He created exactly who YOU need.
Lust is most definitely out to destroy your marriage. You need to know this. As humans, we aren’t smart enough to know who and what we need. God knows. So the lie is, “You don’t have what or who you need.” This causes an ache for someone or something different, and hence, lust comes in to serve the gap you think you have. It will tell you lies about your spouse that affect your relationship.
I know I need my wife’s faithfulness, pure heartedness, and genuine love for me as a person, but not because of what I did or provided for her that day. You need each quality of your wife. Her strengths will bless you and her weaknesses will make you grow.
Experience the freedom
When you start to believe that God really gave you what you need, you will start to access freedom at a very deep heart level. That doesn’t mean that sometimes you won’t have questions, but you do have exactly what you need.
Different is better
Lust has so many different angles it uses to lie to you. This is why lust is so strong. But if you learn how lust works, you can fight it effectively.
One of the oldest lies told to men is, “Different is better.” It’s the same as the adage, “The grass is always greener on the other side.”
When I lived in Texas, I would drive by a cow pasture fairly regularly. These cows gave me an excellent analogy that parallels how lust works. I noticed there were two types of cows in the pasture. The cows that were content with the food within the confines of the pasture fence and the cows that believed that the grass outside the fence was better, therefore cutting themselves on the barbed wire.
Lust tells you that different is better. It tells you that you will feel better, stronger, richer, more desirable, more loved, more understood—the lies go on. It tells you that different sexually—a different body, different personality, different connection, different spiritually—is always better than what you have.
When different comes
Given normal circumstances, men that I have known that have gone all the way and tried “different” reported back that it wasn’t better. Lust hides the flaws of what is different. Lust tells you her hair and makeup are done differently and more beautifully. But it doesn’t tell you it takes her hours to get out of the house. All women and situations have their flaws. Lust lies to you. It tells you if you only have different, whether an image, porn, place, or another person, then you have better.
Lust vs. Love
So many men get scarred and wounded as boys and young men. Your parents may have been neglectful or abusive. Lust will use your pains and hurts to opportunistically attack you. Someone may have physically, sexually, or emotionally abused you. You might never have heard you were loved, awesome, or a great son.
Men often have early romantic relationships that are hurtful. You may have had your heart broken, been rejected, not chosen, or felt unwanted or unloved by a woman for whom you had feelings. This is where the lust inside of you may seize the opportunity and come alongside you to say, “If you had someone or something different or new, then you could be healed of that pain.” Lust makes you temporarily leave reality, but the minute you come back, you realize the pain is still there. This is another reason why lust is so strong, because it comes in when we are at our weakest.
Disappointed by different
Over time, your skills to address these hurts become weaker and weaker, and soon you will readily follow lust into the lie that something different will heal you. Whatever it is, you will come to believe different is for you, whether it be images, fantasy, or women. But it cannot and will not heal you.
Sadly, lust leaves you less fulfilled, even with the amazing woman God gave you (or will give you). These lies are how lust affects relationships and ruins marriages. Lust is a liar. If just having someone or something different brought healing, all those men sitting in my office that spent time with different wouldn’t be there. That’s how lust works. They believed different would change their lives, but instead, it destroyed them.
Lust has a way of growing from objectifying and lusting after women to lies and deception. Lust will absolutely escalate its attack on you and grow stronger as you indulge further. One of the most powerful ways lust changes is when it engages other parts of your soul. For example, when it leads you to imagine what sex with others might be like.
Lust never tells you sex would be awful with the other person. It sells sex with them as being better, more creative, more often, more energetic, and whatever else you need to hear in order to engage lust even further.
How Lust Works
Listening to lust describe sex is much like listening to a telemarketer. The longer you listen to his or her sales pitch, the more likely you are to buy the product. Here’s the reality check: All sex (real or imagined) outside of marriage is forbidden by God and has devastating consequences. Lust will blind you to the truth and affect your relationship with your wife. This is another example of the fact that when you choose to lust, you think differently than God.
Don’t buy what lust is selling. Lust will lie to you continually and it will upsell you and take you down the path of escalation as quickly as possible. Lust is so strong because it relentlessly attacks you. You must make every effort to fight against every seed lust tries to plant. Take this seriously, because when you give into the “small” lies lust sells you, you open the door to more.
Therefore, because you now know how lust works, I encourage you to take every step and adorn yourself with every weapon available to fight against lust. This is why I’m such a huge proponent of the Integrity Journey conference. Integrity Journey is a conference gathering the top leaders in the sexual recovery industry and ministry. Cleaning out the church from this vile enemy is priority number one for me, and I’m excited to see the fight taken to the next level at this conference!
So join me and the other top leaders in this arena and help us purge the church of lust and sexual sin. Click here to reserve your seat today!
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. Since becoming clean himself, he has been committed to equipping brothers and sisters in Christ with the weapons needed to battle sexual immorality in the church for over 30 years. He is the executive director of Integrity Journey, and the author of several books including, Lust Free Living and Clean.