The myth of the Christian eunuch

Got this is:

John, I recently read where you said something about how throughout their days men will run quick porno loops through their imaginations. I hope you know that pornography is addictive and destructive to both men and women, not to mention children. I hope what you said was tongue-in-cheek! But if men really ARE that focused on lust, shouldn’t we be trying to do something to help change that? Like helping our sons to understand that it is unacceptable, and that the only way to stop focusing on one thing is to fill your mind and life with something better? Or to work yourself until you’re too exhausted to be filled with temptation? Stuff like that?

The ancient, persistent, pervasive idea that being a good Christian man means essentially being a eunuch is something that needs serious reconsideration. Men are men. Men lust. They lust constantly. They can’t help it. And I get real uncomfortable whenever I hear anyone say that men should stop lusting.

Do we really want men who don’t find women—lots of women, all the time—sexually attractive? Because that would mean men having less of a sex drive than they do now. And if you reduce a man’s sex drive, you automatically reduce a whole lot of stuff about him that you definitely want to think twice about reducing.

Do you want an ambitious man? Then you want a man with a strong sex drive. Do you want a man who will always protect his wife and children? Then you want a man with a strong sex drive. Do you want a man who will lay down his life for his country? Who will explore new territory? Who will take control of a bad situation? Who will champion the cause of the weak and oppressed? Who will clear trees, kill animals, build a home, and make sure that when the dust settles he and his are still standing? A man who, when things get tough, will roll up his sleeves and work? Then you want a man with a strong sex drive. And such a man could no sooner not lust after women than he could unhook his gonads and leave them at home in his sock drawer when he goes off to work every day.

No man should disrespect women, of course. And certainly no man should lose control of his behavior. And certainly pornography is problematic. But being a man means that in the sacred, inviolate privacy of his imagination he is going to think a great many lustful thoughts. That’s just a fact about being a man. That won’t change. It can’t change. It shouldn‘t change. The whole idea that somehow Christian men aren’t really supposed to be men is ridiculous and harmful.

Healthy sex isn’t just a good thing. It’s the necessary thing. It’s how our race survives. Sex makes the whole world go round.

If God didn’t want men to be men—to do their part to help the world go around—he wouldn’t have filled them with all that testosterone. But he did. And part of the effect of that does mean that by their very nature men are bound to instinctively lust for women.

I know what Matthew 5:27-28 says—which in The Message is translated:

You know the next commandment pretty well, too: “Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.” But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.”

I have got no problem with that. One’s heart certainly can be corrupted by lust, just like it can be corrupted by any unhealthy fixation. And certainly no man should ever look at a woman “leeringly,” because that’s obnoxious, invasive, and extremely disrespectful.

But the bottom line is this: Show me a man, Christian or otherwise, who says he isn’t forever imagining himself in all kinds of sexual situations with all kinds of different women, and I’ll show you a man who’s either lying like a dog or gay.

Um … and quick note. Gay men—and all kinds of people across the whole spectrum of gender identifications—can, do, and … must, basically, lust in the same way I’ve here described. I think it’s just a matter of testosterone.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • ShyAsrai

    i think the key to this entire subject is "within the privacy of one's thoughts".

    it's all about self-discipline and respect for others. 99% of the ills of this world are, if you break it down, the result of the lack of these qualities.

    (wow! written in black & white that looks like a trite, pat observation. doesn't make it any less true.)

  • http://www.blogsofbooks.com Susan K. Stewart

    If women were honest, we would admit we "lust" after men as well. Maybe not as much as men nor as obvious as men, but we do. I turn my head at a fine looking man at the mall. My daughter and I have been known to sit in a sidewalk cafe and watch the men go by.

    I'm also not afraid to say something to my husband about a "hunk." And, he loves to laugh at the new Jack Daniel's commercial that shows men behaving foolishly around women. We are secure in our marriage, and in who we are.

    The Taliban puts their women in burkas to repress men's sexual urges. Has it gotten them any where in the don't lust department? I don't think so when many are striving for the 70 virgins in heaven.

    Further, lusting is not just about sex. We can lust after our neighbor's home, Donald Trump's money, or a celebrity's popularity.

    I agree with ShyAsrai, it's a matter of self-control and respect for others.

  • Shaw

    Repression is not going to make you not have the thoughts that you have. If anything, I think that the reason that so many priests have been accused of pedophilia in the Catholic church is because they are extremely sexually repressed, and put in a position of dominance over others. You can contest this, and I’m not saying its always true, but really we are hardwired to be sexual, and trying to conquer that is like trying to flip a gyroscope. Its gonna freak out.

    People who are truly.. .enlightened, Jesus-like, whatever… they have lost their need for sexuality because they experience contentedness in general, not because they have spent their life practicing repression.

    So if you seek to end lust in your life through practicing spirituality and whatnot, that’s one thing. But if you try to repress it you are just going to create deeper, more embedded feelings of confusion. This relates to lust, homosexuality, whatever. Its all the same. Humans are, through nature, weird creatures, and even though we are very intelligent we often find ourselves subject to very powerful body chemistry and emotions and personal history and social expectations and stress and current situations and all kinds of things that are very powerful factors upon our psyche.

    So lust might be a sin, but sins are not inherently evil. Sins are sins, a concept unto themselves, similar to stepping stones of mediocrity on the pathway towards evil but not evil unto themselves. This can be proven thusly: all men are sinners, but not all men go to hell. Sins are judgments on a decision, whereas good and evil are judgments of personal character.

    Lying to yourself is a far worse thing to do, and it has far worse consequences, because it represses who you are and damages your character. If you find yourself in the situation where you are very sexual but not allowed to, you’re better off being honest with yourself and handling it than trying to ignore and repress your problems.

    And anyhow, what’s wrong with sex? Why are >some< Christians so against it? it is the most important thing in our lives. The last two people on earth could be the worst sinners of them all, but through procreation they would continue the human race. Unspoken implications of incest among all species, be damned and ignored!

    We need to procreate. We need to love. We need to mess up and learn. We need to explore and experience, because it is in the nature of life to be curious. Everyone is different. What works for some people doesn't work for others, and it makes it hard for us to understand each other sometimes, but people are very complex we have to be accepting of what people choose to do with their lives, if its not hurting anyone. The obvious implication is homosexuality, but I'm also speaking of promiscuity and fetish and all kinds of things. If it doesn't work for you, that's one thing. But God made all of us, by extension of our parents by extension of theirs and so on, and God made all of the factors that influence us, by extension, so I think its reasonable to say that anything any of us do is natural. Its natural monkey behavior. We're animals. We're weird. We like to do it.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    “People who are truly.. .enlightened, Jesus-like, whatever… they have lost their need for sexuality because they experience contentedness in general…” No, Shaw. The enlightened being who has risen above sex is just another nonsensical myth. No such mortal ever has or ever will exist. People like to PRETEND they’ve reached this imaginary, exalted state, but there’s no such thing.

    • Diana

      You are so right. Unfortunately, your message is falling on deaf ears.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    amen, John. I like your take on this part of Jesus' sermon. I think the church too often misconstrues the point of this sermon. I do not believe Jesus is telling us how we should behave. Rather, I believe he is revealing why ever last one of us needs him.

  • Diana

    Thanks, John. I'm in 100% agreement with what you said. What Susan said is also true–women are just as inclined to lust as men are and also one can lust after other things besides sex. The question for the Christian is "Are you in control of your lust or is your lust in control of you?"

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    I finally explained to RedWifey a while ago why it's important to me that, now and then, we have an especially good night in the bedroom. I'm building my mental library.

    I work all day around women wearing low-cut blouses, skirts and high heels, dolled up to the nines and looking to me as a business leader. There will always be temptation in my work life. Period. No need fighting it, repressing it or pretending it's not there.

    And once my brain gets going down the sex track to Hornytown, there's no turning back. Repression just doesn't work for me at that point. So I "replace" my thoughts with a memory of a RedWifey visual, sensation or general romp. I go with the flow of the sexually charged imagination, only now the participant is the one to whom I've promised to share my body, exclusively. Then not only do I avoid dangerous situations with co-workers, but I get fueled up for some fun later at home.

    Once I explained it this way, it made a lot of difference for her. Now I'm not just a horndog trying to keep things spicy to please myself. I'm a horndog trying to keep things spicy to head off the roaming desires that are built into my DNA.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Great stuff, you guys. Thanks. (Hey! I just got asked to remove this post from Crosswalk.com! Fair enough, of course. It's their site.)

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim Arnold

    As an unfortunate soul who has been operating with a testosterone deficit my entire life, I can attest to the truth that it certainly have so much to do with sex-drive. But I have to say that 1st hand experience, all the attributes of a man, his ambition, the ability to protect his wife, children, his ability to kill and ward off interlopers…they've never been a problem for me. All those qualities mentioned are tied to the power of true love. Not hormones or hard-ons.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Okay, so now the LINK to this blog post has been blocked by Facebook, due to one or more complaints from Facebook users that it's inappropriate. Gotta love my fellow Christians.)

    • http://none Don Rappe

      No wonder there’s so little interesting stuff like this available!

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    Your post reminded me of Eldredge's book, Wild at Heart, which I read many years ago. He tip-toes around the word lust but says basically the same thing you have posted here. Here's an excerpt where he is relaying a scene involving his son, Sam.

    He always lets a few pitches go by before he takes a swing, and when he does, it's never a full swing; every on of his hits up till this point were in the infield. Anyway, just as Sam steps up to bat this one afternoon, his friend from down the street, a cute little blonde girl, shows up along the first base line. Standing up on tiptoe she yells out his name and waves to Same. Pretending he doesn't notice her, he broadens his stance, grips the bat a little tighter, looks at the pitcher with something fierce in his eye. First one over the plate he knocks into center field.

    He also has a few good quotes from CS Lewis like: We castrate the gelding and bid him be fruitful.

  • Sarah Q. Malone

    John–I think lust of men for women, and women for men, comes from repression of the opposite gender's characteristics in one's own psyche. The more men repress the female part of their psyches (femininity in themselves), the more they will lust after women. The same is true for women, but women don't have quite the same amount of pressure to repress masculinity in themselves as men do to repress femininity. Thus men are often justly perceived as more lustful. I go by pornography shops and think how ridiculous the men are in there, lusting after the half of themselves that they spend so much energy trying to repress. The more androgynous people become, the less lustful they are. "Unless you make the male as the female and the female as the male, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (quote from Jesus in one of the Apocryphal Gospels).

  • Diana

    I'm surprised at Facebook for censoring you. That's not cool at all. Crosswalk is a little different–I can kind of see why they might consider this topic to be "controversial." But isn't Facebook secular?

  • http://emphaticasterisk.com Lindsey

    Good post. And women may not lust after *sex* all the time, but they do lust after warmth and security and being desired and all manner of things. We are who we are and who we were meant to be. And the verses that draw an analogy between men and women and God's desire to be united with mankind- shall we castrate those?

    I think our sexuality is a deeply spiritual thing as well, and if we reject it we do so at the risk of rejecting a more full understanding of God.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Peoples: Diana is referring to this, which I posted on my Facebook status a few moments ago: "Crosswalk.com asked me to remove my latest blog post there. Fair enough! They're good to me, and invariably patient. (Oh, great: and I just learned Facebook has blocked the link to that specific post on my own blog, because Facebook users have complained that it's "inappropriate." Ahhh … feel the Christian love.)

    Diana: A great number of my Facebook "friends" came to me via Crosswalk or my association with Stephen Arterburn. That's about as conservative a group as exists. I assume one or more of those folks somehow flagged my post as "inappropriate." So then FB just automatically censures it. I figure that has to be what happened.

  • Diana

    Thanks for the explanation, John. I still feel censorship is wrong, but I guess I understand better how it might have happened.

  • http://reedducks.wordpress.com Mr. Holland

    I agree about the whole lust thing. As Edmund Gwynn once sang: "I love to lust, long and loud and clear. The more I lust, the …." , uh, I forget the next part.

    Anyway, I don't think Jesus' message in Matthew 5 had anything to do with lust at all. I think it was all about empathy and hypocrisy. Here you have a bunch of guys ready to pass judgement on some despicable sinners. Jesus is saying, "Look, before you get all high and mighty, quick to pass judgement, tell me that what they've done hasn't crossed your minds on more than a few occasions. In the right circumstances, under the right conditions, that could very well be your broken body being smashed by these rocks. There but for the grace of God and all that. Judge not lest you be judged, dudes."

    You know, your buddy Steve once had me all tied up knots, back when I was a fundie. He has this anti-lust technique in "Every Man's Battle" in which you never let your eyes rest for any more than a nano-second on any one particular female charm belong the neck. My eyes were bouncing around like ping-pongs. People said that I looked like a crazed bobble head doll. Now life is so much more…peaceful. "Thank heavens, for little girls….." (well, not THAT little)

  • ShyAsrai

    anthropologically speaking, i honestly believe that if mr. caveman hadn't been trying to convince ms. caveman to permit him easy access, her 'price' being windows and a door that closed, we'd still be living in caves.

    unfortunately, it seems to me that today's woman can be had so cheaply that the male, in general, has no impetus to improve the world. it's awfully hard to stay committed to a relationship when you can practically run next door to slake one's lust for the cost of a cold beer, if that.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Wow, Shy. Bitter much?

  • ShyAsrai

    why do you state that? YOU said in your post that without being lust-inducing testosterone-laden creatures, men wouldn't be the helpful beings that kill the spiders and defend the castle (to paraphrase).

    men do EVERYTHING they do for sex. not money. money is to get power. and no, not power. power gets sex. so… sex.

    and anthropologically speaking, women weren't going to/shouldn't hang out with the guy who couldn't/wouldn't/won't provide a bear-free cave. that wouldn't make much evolutionary sense.

  • ShyAsrai

    and let's not pretend that 'easy access elsewhere' promotes commitment.

  • Cath

    Amen! I'm a girl, and I tried to "repress" my sexual thoughts for some time (and failed), and have concluded that trying not to lust is trying to deny that I'm human. I imagine it must be even harder for men. If people never lusted the human race would probably be extinct by now.

  • http://jerrisblog.blogspot.com Jerri Harrington

    This is where I have arrived so far in understanding this subject: Men and women both can struggle with lust…and lust is about disrespecting another person…not desiring him or her. It is about using that person to gratify our own personal sexual desires. Using another person is always wrong, because you cannot use a person and love them at the same time. Being faithful to our spouses in thought and action is intentionally loving him or her. Viewing pornography is violent disrespect of both the viewer and women, especially, and it is degrading to everyone involved. Since the apostle Paul compared our relationship with our spouses to Jesus' relationship with the church, we should view our sexual relationship as precious, exclusive and sacred. That does not mean we should not desire our spouses and feel wonderful about being sexual beings. God made both men and women to experience joy in our sexual relationships. But just as our relationship with God excludes other "gods", so our relationship with our spouses should exclude other people….even in our minds. Jesus said, "If you lust after a woman in your heart, you have already committed adultry." No one is perfect, and I have a healthy husband and four grown sons. I am not naive or uniformed about the difference between men and women and visual temptations that are out there, especially considering that modest dress is not in style anymore. But, just as we are called to a higher purpose in life than just pleasing ourselves, we are also called to a purity of thought and action because we are striving to be like Christ. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we aren't supposed to grieve the Holy Spirit. We also are supposed to treasure, respect and honor our spouses. I consider lust different from recognizing beauty and feeling attraction for someone,. Jesus warned us against willful sin, not natural attraction. Lust involves imagining things we shouldn't be imagining about someone other than our spouses. ( I also think treating our spouses as if they are in our lives only to please us can be a type of lust. ) The Bible tells us that we are to consider women who aren't our spouses as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers…..that implies that we do have control over where our thoughts go. I don't think men should have to go around feeling guilty for being visually attracted to women, and I don't think women should feel guilty for noticing men either. But our sexual thoughts and emotional nurturing need to be directed to our spouses only, if we are going to honor God with our bodies, our marriages and our lives. We can do this with the help of the Holy Spirit….because self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. I also think it is essential to protect our children, for as long as we possibly can, from viewing pornography. Since even commercials and TV can be viewed as porn, it is very hard to do that. But our children deserve to enjoy a time of childhood innocence! We have the responsibility to protect them, even if it means denying ourselves of certain entertainment and risking their anger when we have parental controls on the computer. We also should teach them healthy attitudes about themselves, their bodies and sex, at appropriate ages–and talk to them respectfully, so that alarms will go off when they are dating people who are not treating them respectfully. My 25 year old son, who is happily, thanked me for keeping parental controls on the computer until after he graduated from high school. He said friends of his had terrible struggles with porn because of early exposure to it on the internet, but because he had not had access to it at home, he was repelled by it when he saw it later. He also did not have sex until he and his wife got married, even though his brothers did not share his conviction. It takes a lot of courage and strength of conviction to remain a faithful follower of Jesus Christ in this cynical and PC world! Maybe if we resolved to embrace all of the blessings of marriage and to strive for purity in thought and faithfulness in our lives, whether married or single, we could achieve a greater spiritual intimacy with Our loving Heavenly Father, who blesses us by making us both men and women, and who sanctifies marriage. And since He designed marriage to be exclusively between a husband and wife, He will bless us with greater intimacy when we are faithful to one another.

  • http://jerrisblog.blogspot.com Jerri Harrington

    I meant to write that my 25 year old son is happily married…not just happily! :)

  • Kory Cochran

    John,

    Doesn't surprise me that Crosswalk.com had you take that down. The church has tried to ignore this truth and teach us to be whimps, anything but a manly-man.

    Ric is right about the "Wild at Heart" book as I just yesterday finished it and starting the next one he wrote after it.

    I do have to say though that I do no think that lust to the point that we watch pornography on our tv's or computer's is "ok". I do not think that masturbation while fantasizing about a sexual encounter it "ok" either, and at that point it is controlling the man not man controlling, let alone God controlling the man.

    Now once again, I'm a chief sinner here as I struggle with lust beyond my control a great deal and it's something I have to seek God on earnestly so I don't point fingers at other people rather I'm talking from experience. Since I've read "Wild at Heart" I've realized it's God that put this craving in my heart and I've learned to have my lust and have it with my wife much the same way that Redlefty stated above. I think I felt so guilty about any lust I'd not be enjoying my relationship with my wife the way I should be. Now, I know it's good that a man lusts as long as it is not perverted lust and my wife and I share a lot of lust nowadays and loving it. : )

    Keep challenging us brother John, I like it!

  • http://honestfaith.blogspot.com Barry

    I wrote an article about the myth of the Good Christian Man a while back. I really wish I'd written this post and attached it to that article!

    (My article is at http://www.theporpoisedivinglife.com/porpoise-div… if you're interested. It's also there if you're not interested.)

  • Diana

    "In reality, my wife is my equal in every field of life. We have different roles and abilities, but I am certainly not better than her. How, then, can I presume to rule over her and have the last word on everything just because I was born with a penis?" Thank you, Barry! This has always been my question about the "wives submit unto your husbands" thing. That was quite a good article.

  • onemansbeliefs

    I believe one can appreciate the beauty that is woman, and not perform all types of sexual gymnastics with her in his head. What we think about is the precursor to what we we do if we do not control our actions. My thought is why wait to control my actions, control my thoughts and there will not be a problem with my actions…

    There are other reasons I believe it is important to pay attention to what you think about. Here are a couple…

    2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"

    Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

    Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

    I wish to think like God thinks and He has given me His Word to help. And, if diligent enough, I just may get closer and closer to His way of thinking

  • newposter

    I have two thoughts.

    First, I have an appetite for fast food. If I indulged it all the time, I'd be a blimp. It would be truly destructive – no sugar-coating that. That doesn't mean, however, that I never indulge it, or that I'm ashamed of it.

    Second, I don't think this is something you should be arguing with your significant other about. If you are one of the ladies who thinks flesh and lust is the most evil thing on the planet, find yourself a guy who averts his eyes when a breast comes on the TV/movie screen (they're out there…probably the ones who reported this article). If you are one of the guys who agrees with John, find yourself a lady who is comfortable with that. I tend to think this is one of those things where you ought to be on the same page, whatever that page may be.

  • Renee Fuller

    As Christians it is our responsibility to examine our thought life as well as our actions. Take every unclean or sinful thought captive and analyze both its origin and consequence. Not just the lustful ones. Satan also tempts us; he often plants ideas in our heads to distract us from being our best in Christ.

    Don't be unaware thinking all these thoughts are yours and natural–this is not true. The more you give yourself over to this lie, the more you will be unable to distinguish your real thoughts from the temptations the devil plants in your minds.

    On the other hand It is also important to recognize our nature and the way God has made us. It is no secret God made men more visual. And I for one am very glad men find women attractive and desire them–it is beautiful and natural. But be sure it is fueled by something good in the right context. If not, really examine it to make sure you are not dealing with temptation, an idol, or putting lustful sin before your walk with God and the best He has for you.

    God made sex to be wonderful and it is. But it was also created to be an expression of love and bonding within the sanctity of a marriage covenant. When we misuse our bodies out of this context, we defile them-we are defiling a holy temple.

    Renee Fuller

  • Jaime

    Romans 7:14-25 (New International Version)

    14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

    21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

  • Renee Fuller

    Dear Live4Him,

    I am happy that you are trying so hard to do what God commands, but I am concerned that you have had to remove yourself from the world to do it. You don't seem to really be all the way 'onboard' with chosing not to lust, thinking holiness takes away your "zest for life" somehow. You must realize that lust is not good for you and turn from it for that reason. True repentance is rejecting sin and even if we may falter, knowing it is bad for us not just wrong.

    It sounds like you are crying out to Jesus to help you to take every thought captive and that is great! But you can become more than a conquere by claiming the power God has given us through Christ yourself. You are a Chrsitian and that means because Jesus died, we have all His power here on earth over the devil. That includes the thoughts satan plants. The Bible tells us resist the devil and he will flee. The next time you notice a tempting/ lustful thought, say (outloud only if you are alone, think it if you are with others):

    Satan, I command you to leave my mind in Jesus name; leave my mind through the door you came in and I bar that entrance with the cross of Jesus. Lord I repent of anything that I have done to invite/embrace those thoughts and I ask your forgiveness. Please show me what I have done and I will try to stop it. I thank you for helping me be the best man I can be and I know holiness and being faithful within my marriage covenant is what's best for me, my wife, and my children. The legacy I create today will effect generations of my family to come. Help me to be the spiritual leader in my home and a shining example to my children of what a Godly man should be through holiness. I thank you Jesus for coming into my life so that I no longer have to suffer under the bondage of lust. Amen.

    Pay special attention to what happens in your head physically and mentally after you command satan to leave in Jesus name. Slow it down each time and really concentrate. You can feel the struggle and you will know in your soul there is a battle going on. Once you access your power in Christ, you can have complete control over everything in your life through Him. If it is His will and you command your circumstance to align with His will in Jesus name–it will happen. You will not have to put up with any bondage in any area. You can begin to live the life here on earth he came to give us. Not just life but life more abundantly.

    Try it and let us know how it goes. and don't call the sexual feelings you have for your wife "lust" anymore; lust is a sin. Desire for your lovely wife is love, God has given you a sex drive to use in marriage to express your love for her. Only for her.

    I will pray for you. God Bless you!

    Renee

  • LIVE4HIM

    i would have to strongly agree i find this to be very very true!!

    very first things is.. as for married men.. i feel they lust for others.. because they have lost this in there wives(the lust for her) im not speaking of attraction.. we/most all still feel our wives are hot as hell:))).. now what i feel lust is to a man… lust to a man is… the exporing of somthing new.(when we first meet our wives.. they were just this.. somthing new.. an adventure, but after many years this is lost.. they become very known to us..)..men live for the adventure…for the thought of somthing new.. we live for the going and doing of somthing new…. or at least the thought of doing something ***new***…. as for the wife.. she is very loved.. and husbands/most all good husbands i feel..we remain to love having sex with there wives.. but its just simply the ***adventure*** part is missing.. so that **void** is trying to be filled in the lusting for others..

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    what ive personally experianced in my stopping of my lust within me:

    ( and yes i feel *all/most all men* do lust, lust non stop..all the time.. and normaly this is not controlable..through our power alone, but is very possible through god…. because of the fact that **ALL** things are possible through him, so with this in mind.. we must all be very careful of what exactly we ask for, as it is written.. ask and you shale recieve, but at the same time.. always ask of the father if in need.. because he does infact.. answer.. prayer changes lives!!)

    —————————————————————————————————————————————

    (what you gain in the removing of lust from a man)

    -you become humble

    -you become rightous

    -gain a strong spiritual happiness

    -purity

    —————————————————————————————————————————————

    (what you lose in the removing of lust from a man)

    -un modivated – to take away a mans lust is to take away his modivation to do anything..

    -life becomes dull – without lust, it feels like my last adventure in life has already been taken..

    -no lust for life – seems my lust for woman much equals my lust for life.. they go hand in hand..

    -life feels very limited – lust enables a man to feel like theres no limit to the possiblilitys of what exactly he can do in life.. with lust theres no mountain to high.. that would be attempted to climb.., without it.. a man feels like.. why even attempt to climb.. whats the point in climbing at all?

    -a feeling of no possiblillitys in life – remove lust from him.. he feels powerless and feels like life has no possibliltiys, feels like everythings off limits.. and wrong.. and should be avoided

    -physically sad, left feeling like somthing is missing in life.. unable to be physically happy, spiritually happy.. but physically devistated.. and misserable

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    **my story**

    im a 34 year old happily married man with wonderful 3 kids, been very blessed:), been married for over 12 years now… but unfortinately my wife has been unable to share that feeling of happiness with me, due to the lust within me.. sooo…recently i have made huge efforts.. and took much time in.. the removing of (kiliing of) the lust from within me.. given the fact that my wife has the spiritual gift of “empathy” and the fact that she is “un-askinglly” knowing of my thoughts… theres no hidding/ lieing about them…. 100% purity is a must in my marriage, for it to ever be able to work… and with me being a very very lustful minded person, so out of my great love for my wife.. and my want to live a good and godly life.. pleasing to the lord..i have took on somthing huge.. in a last dieing effort to save my marriage.. i have taken on the “impossible” , took on what i felt was unchangeable in me… this was not easy at all.. was very hard to change.. it took me many many years of prayers.. and with the lords help(could not have done this alone).. along with the restricting of my self.. i have successfully acomplished near full purity, i would say i must be 95% free of lust now..

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    **how i did it.. how i killed the lust within me**

    to accomplish this.. i had to do many things..

    first thing is, and i still do.. is pray from morning to night.. begging of the lord.. for purity.. for the lord to help me to be better.. for him to clean my mind up.. form it to how he would have it to be… i *had* to gain control of my thoughts… the devil had complete control of my mind(i didnt realize this at first).. i had none.. i could not stop them despite the greatest of my efforts(could we ever fight the devil on our own?)…. but in time.. along with gods help… i was able to infact.. gain this control i asking for..

    myself personal efforts, in addition to just prying.. i replaced all “un-pure” influances from around me to godly influances…. to the best of my abbility.. and avoided places that had **ANY** form of anything lustful.. any un-pure influance had to go… this included.. tv, music, computer, internet, pictures, porn of any form, everything.. containing any form of lust had to go..

    avoided most all public locations.. avoided pretty much any place that had any woman there.. just to be safe.. no beaches..no malls.. no parks.. avoided most all places..

    i noticed most everything in life influance my mind.. so i had to be very strict in what i allowed to be around me.. to the best of my ability..

    a few places like “work” for example were un-avoidable.. in such places…. i had to place that in the lords hands.. had no control of influances there.. no choice.. in what exactly was placed before me..

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    *******best conclussion i have been able to come up with:***********

    so in conclussion.. i feel.. lust.. is a must!! but we need to create/bring back that in our wives..and not seek that in others..

    the best.. and only conclussion i could come up with is this(after much prayer.. and the doing of all this written above).. i had to gain a lust for my wife.. to gain a lust for my wife i found only one way this was possible, i had to limit how much i was with her(maybe once a week.. or two)… sucks really bad to do this, but it works wonderfully… would love to have sex everyday.. but the little sex you do have will be the greatest you will ever have…:))))

    a few side effects… wife will never fully understand this.. and will wonder why you dont want her everyday, dont even try to explain trust me..

    (remember… lust= a longing for somthing you dont have, so let us create that in your wife)

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

  • live4him

    Thank you for your advice, I will take it into consideration, but truth is I've already been empowered by god through jesus, to shut out all forms of lust, that is not the core issue, the huge problem I'm having now is I'm misserable in doing so, in doing so.. I have lost most all interest in sex alltogether, allong with this has gone my interest in most all things in life, lust to me is what causes me to have any real desire for sex, just as a real hunger would give us a real desire for food, in the removeing of that great hunger, i would be rendering the food as mostly unappealing, the food may still look just as beautiful as ever, love it just the same, but without that great hunger, i would have no Extreme desire to eat of it, just as If I was starving, this would cause my mouth to begin watering, even to the extent of a mear thought of food I would have a great desire for it , take that extreme want and desire away, the food would just be eaten to survive, the thrill in eating it would be lost, in my restricting of my self from lust, it feels as if I have limited my enjoyment in sex, just feels rutine, normal, not adventurous at all, rutine and normal has never been enough for me, no matter how I try to fool myself to believe so:(….

    so lastly what it appears all that I have accomplished here is simply replaced my extreme want and desire for sex with an extreme want and desire to live out gods will, but it appears I can't have both at the same time, so my flesh is left un-satisfyed, but I'm now spiritually filled, seems one will always lack, eather the flesh, or our soul one will always be un-satisfyed.

  • LIVE4HIM

    further note: a few things that have been going with me personaly since my feedom of lust (from what my wife has told me)

    -bad dreams – from what my wife tells me..ive been having many bad dreams at night (that i never remember) guess i toss and turn in my sleep at night.. (im guessing this is due to the fact of exactly how hard i have been on myslef throughout every day, with my constant prayers to be free of lust, and the constant avoiding of anything lustful, with me denying of myself, what my body really is wanting to think of, what its really wanting to desire, i cut myself no slack.. because i realize if i give myself an inch i will take a mile)

    -doing sexual things in my sleep – now this one blew me away to hear!.. but i guess ive been done sexual things in my sleep, this was very upsetting to me to hear.. i have been able to fully control my lustfulness all day long.. but at night.. i guess my body has been finding a way of *filling the void*…guess its been trying to fill the sexual need i been denyed all day long in its own way at night.. i could only imagine the things i must have been saying in my sleep, while this was going on.. :((!!!

    seems to me our bodys have a NEED to lust, regardless if we deny it or not.

  • Nathan W.

    1 Corinthians 7:9

    But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

  • live4him

    It is out of my great love for my god, my wife, and my great desire to set a good godly example for my children, that I’m willing to sacrifice the lust in me, for *there* greater good *not* mine, I have set my own personal wants and needs aside In the doing of this, I feel I have shown gods love in the followed of gods example, in his “sacrificing out of love” as he so willingly sacrificed his son jesus on the cross for our sins, for *our* greater good *not* his…. so as you can see my love for my wife must be great, for what I’m willing to sacrifice out of my love for her, but at the same time there definitly has been much harm caused to me in the complete killing of the lust within me, I do feel lust is an important part of what make a man a man, I have definitly lost a part of myself in the giving up of my lusting.

  • LIVE4HIM

    ok…. so as it is written as quoted above.. "but if they cannot contain, let them marry" this is nothing i havent herd before, and a nice thought that getting married would be an instant cure to my "lust".. i shure wish it was just that simple.. shure i agree.. its very easy to "physically" be faithful and loyal and commited to one woman(my wife), but thats seems to be as far as it goes.. ive been physically commited and loyal to my wife for as long as we have been together (16 years) and i love her very much,.. but the mind is another story.. getting married never seemed to help my "lust of mind", i lusted before, and i still remain to lust..(normally i would be lusting for all women if i wasnt trying so hard to resist) and if i ever attempted to stop my lust (like i am now). then along with my lust for other woman goes.. my lust for my wife.. i become unsexual.. its eather woman look good to me… or they dont.. … i lust for them… or i dont…

    ok this is where i begin to get a little respectfully upset with god.. first thing is..and im shure everyone would agree.. god is the most talented artist in the whole world… is he not?? he made sooo many beautiful things… the sky… the trees… nature… waterfalls…. **woman**…..

    now… if we were to look upon his creations… we would be lieing if we were to say that there anything other then mind blowinglly beautiful.. and amazing… all the detail he put in each item he made…. everything made to perfection… nothing that man has made.. could ever compare to the beauty of what god has!!

    heres the thing… he also made woman with that same skill… they have been made to perfection… theres no way i could ever look upon some of these woman he has made.. at be honest.. and tell you i dont lust for them… (i feel if we look at something.. and it beautiful.. we will long for it…. in some form or another wish to be part of it.., even if its just to enjoy the site of)

    maybe im crazy… or strange or something.. but the way i view the world is simple.. and plain..the way i see is… up… is in fact… up….. down is down… right is right.. and left is left… ….. what is… is…. and what is not is not……. whats beautiful…. is beautiful…. ……………

    and here we go…. whats sexy…. is just that sexy… what god made to be beautiful and sexy is just that.. beautiful and sexy.. theres no way to get around it.. if god made to be that way.. thats how it is…

    i can only see very few options here…

    eather..

    #1 I can lie to my self.. and try to fool my mind to seeing something that is beautiful(desireable)… as something that is not… (brainwash myself)

    or

    #2 i can take these items from my site(shun them).. so i have no opinion of them.. (cant have an opinion or lust after somthing i havent seen) (this is the option i have chosen)

    actually all this is very upsetting to me.. for god to have placed me in a world (dont get me wrong.. im very very thankful for my life).. with all these beautiful creatures everywere, and for there to be no way to fully get away from them… there everywere!!….. and for god to say its a sin.. if im to like what i see.. and lust for them (what i see as sexy in my wife.. i also see as sexy in others, all the things that make a woman a woman i lust for) to me this feels like torture… make me wish god wasnt sooo skilled in his creation… sucks to think… im only allowed to see what is seen as un-appealing … i want to enjoy all of gods creation.. but if i do soo.. i sin… so now im left longing for heaven… in heaven i will be free to look at all he has made there.. and be fully free of sin…. i will be free to enjoy everything in site, all god has made… nows this is were i begin to envy what adam and eve had, in the garden of edden.. in the begining of creation… shure looks good…would have been nice to be put there.. with just one woman.. with the one and only woman.that im free to enyoy.. and her only… so my lust may be for her only..

    • Diana

      Are you sure that you're not somehow misunderstanding God? Maybe what you think of as lust isn't what God means by lust. Maybe God understands and forgives your lust. Maybe your very attempts to avoid feeling lust only multiply your lust and if you accepted and forgave yourself for lusting, you'd actually find yourself lusting less.

      I'm not saying that you should go out and do things that you know are wrong. No. I'm saying that there are feelings and there are actions and most of us have very little control over our feelings but a lot of control over our actions.

      I tend to experience a lot of anger. I have found it helpful to just lift my anger up to God–pray about it–not ask him to rid me of it necessarily, but just acknowledging that it's there and that I need his help to control it–to help me see what I'm not seeing that might change my feelings. What if you were to do the same thing with your lust? Just kind of lift it up to God, let God look at it (he already sees it, of course, but consciously acknowledge it before him) and ask him to help you see what you need to see in that situation. Do you think that might help?

  • LIVE4HIM

    Ok I know what some will say next…

    "Its ok to desire things, but not to have an overwelming desire"

    Fist thing is, if I'm looking in the first place,(opening the door to a possible sin) how can I be shure my desire is not going to be an overwelming one?

    Second, what's the thrill in looking or thinking about that what is only somewhat desireable? If I'm lookin, chances are my eyes will seek out that which is greatly desireable.

    So to me it don't seem possible to look at all without a lust

  • LIVE4HIM

    seems a bit confusing to me when it comes to marriage and husbands and wives and attraction and love.. and how they all mix together..

    i do feel love can be expressed through sex between a husband and wife.. but where does lust and brute attraction fall into place??, in the mist of love? i can see **at times** there may be special moments where a husband and wife feel very close, filled with love.. and they may feel pulled to express there love through sex, but most of the time at least for men.. or at least men like me… its how attractive she is, her sex appeal that gets us.. the desire(lust) we have for her that gets us wanting to be sexual. at times its nice to just have our love for our wives as a given, and just be caught up in the passion of the moment.. … does it always have to be strictly about love every time?

    just a thought..

  • LIVE4HIM

    Last thing I will say, sorry about my many postings, I'm shure your all very anoyed with me by now, lol, just wanted to share my experiance with avoiding lusting.. To summerize this is what happens to a man when lust is removed:

    A lust free man feels as if there 80 years old and imptotant, he feels as if his last adventure in life has already been taken, he feels it as if he is just waiting to die and go be with god, life becomes very dull, nothing feels worth doing, love alone doesn't feel *enough* for a man to fully desire sex, without lust *most* all of a mans interest in sex is gone…

    but on the good side a man is now for the very first time in his whole life able to look to the skys, look to the heavens… Look twards gods thrown… free of guilt, and sin (at least for the most part) with a completely clear consious, he becomes spiritually filled and at peace, humble, and rightious

    So looks like there's good and bad on both ends, perhapts it is best to find some happy medium between the two, but only god knows what's best so in al things look to him.. ;)

    • Renee Fuller

      It sounds like you are really trying to justify lusting. Lust is a sin. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. Christians are supposed to crucify their flesh, and not just the sins we enjoy least. Believe me I am familiar with how hard it is to crucify the flesh, but justifying sin is not going to make it right.

      I think you are using the word lust to describe many things that are not necessarily sinful. Innocently appreciating the beauty of a woman is not sinful. It is when you give yourself over as a choice to think sinful thoughts or entertain them give them space and relish them, that is when your heart is lusting. Your body is not doing it on its own–it is a demonic influence, plain and simple.

      We can sometimes carry curses in our flesh of our past transgressions, so your flesh may be remembering/carrying your past sin. But make no mistake, If you repent and command lust to leave you in Jesus name and thank Him for empowering you to be released, you will be free. If you are not happy you are free from lust, you are not truly repentant and will no longer be protected by Christ. Then you invite lust back in again. The demons cloud our perceptions and will plant lies in your mind to influence you to sin.

      The devil's greatest trick is to get everyone to believe he really doesn't exist–HE DOES. There are spiritual rules and laws that God has set up–there is a structure. God has outlined how to wage spiritual warfare and win in Jesus name in the Bible. It is not complicated, but we must be obedient and dilligent..

      We cannot change the rules to suit our purposes.

      I am not judging you and I will continue to pray for your clarity and strength in defeating this demon.

      God Bless you.

      • Matthew Tweedell

        Whoa, Renee! "Crucify their flesh"? Do you even know what you really mean by that? I think you may have rather seriously misunderstood some things. Demonic influence: Tell me, what is a demon? Do you know what it means? By the way, you don't just command it to leave, and simply expect sincere penance to keep it away for good (cf. Luke 11:24-26).

        Certainly the devil exists (or–depending on your definition of existence–which I would be interested in hearing about, btw–certainly doesn't), but your understanding of him seems less than complete, for you appear to lump him in with God in the category of supernatural omnipresent beings. No wonder God hasn't simply wiped out the evil one—according to this theory—he's a veritable god himself!

        There are certainly rules that we (if by this we mean you and I) cannot be change. These absolutes are formed when the subjective element of love, grace, merciful kindness meets the objective element of truth, faithfulness, reason. That which misses the mark formed of their intersection (over the entire universe and every soul therein) is sin. Always has been, and always will be. So how do you define lust? That definition should hopefully make clear whether, in the sense you use the word (which you assert seems less broad than how live4him is using it, while I think the concept might be slightly different from what either of you are thinking), it is indeed an antipole in some dimension to the mark of righteousness (the illuminated logo that guides us to God's Perfect Light by the One True Way that is the path of righteousness, the Life, the Light of men).

        And who is your God? As you say, you cannot serve two masters. Is your God some imaginary guy in the sky? Or is there more to the universe than the world that we know? You say that we "cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom," so I guess you know all about the Kingdom and how to distinguish it from your world (which, by its very definition, is everything you do know about, actually). Please, enlighten us.

      • Joyy

        Wow, that is Truth given from the Holy Spirit. Here’s a great testimony of mine personally. I loved the taste of food, I had an insatiable, never ending, never satisfied lust for food. the smell of it, the taste of it, the way it made me feel (for a short while). Bottom line, it was SIN! I chose to repent of this sin by having surgery/literally to be free of this horrible, all consuming lust for food. Extreme some might say, but if I hadn’t, I would be over 300 pounds today. Today I am 138 pounds and if I still weighed 300 lbs., I believe I would not be up to the task of caring for my mother who now lives with me and my husband. There are ways to “remove” the temptation of our lives. For men, it’s might simply mean to turn your eyes to God’s word int those weak times, consistently, faithfully, believing nothing other than God’s truth. Do whatever is needed to remove the strangling stronghold in your lives. God’s mercy and grace to all.

  • live4him

    Thanks for all your advice again…and please don't get me wrong I'm well aware of the fact that lust is a sin, I'm aware that it does in fact pull us away from god.. and aware of the fact that its a common tool used by the devil, in wich I've been consumed/trapped by most all my life.

    (I would consider the lust in me a "thorn on my flesh", that god will not fully remove, no matter how I try, the thorn remains, deep down within me, stuck till I die, "my cross that I carry dayly")

    and also I know I've been going over-board with what I fear *may be lust*, I've done this becuse of two things, 1- I don't trust myself to look at all (I know if I give an inch I will take a mile) and 2- I have no idea where the line is drawn between what's ok with god and what's not so I have simply considered everything and anything involving other woman Sinful and lusting…

    so let me ask you this, if my eyes seek out other woman, everywere I go, is this sin? Lusting? Because this would be what i normally be doing, and there normally always on my mind, I'm allways **going out of my way** to see them.

    In fact, women are my *core* interest I have in most all things of **this life**.. (While it is that I'm in the flesh)

    I seek out woman in Things such as:

    Tv

    Movies

    The beach

    The mall

    The park

    Music

    Internet

    And most all things in life..

    I become misserable if I refuse myself the site of woman while I'm there, and I cannot enjoy the place/item at all.

    I'm not saying its always "porn" that I'm seekin out, just anything and everything to do with woman in general, I find them breathtakingly beautiful, misterious, each one made unique to the next, and I very much so like the site and thought of them

    But given the fact that I'm married, isn't my everything, supposed to be fuffiled through my wife alone?? My eyes shouldn't be wanting to see other woman even to the extent of somthing as simple as thinking there beautiful, and even a simple look would be hurtful to my wife.

  • live4him

    There's To many Grey areas in lusting-it feels there are sooo many "grey areas" when it comes to what exactly is lusting and what is not, seems way to risky to even look at all… like for example, if its ok to "acknowledge a womans beauty", like some christians may say.. but in our acknowledgeing and looking at them how long is to long to continue looking? And there are many different ways of looking.. Just to glance.. Or to carefully study every crack and curve.. To name a few… So how is one to know what exactly falls into the catigory of lusting and what does not?? So is there right and wrong ways to look at woman? How long in looking is to long? What is ok? What is not? If we desire to look in the first place is that wrong? How long can the memory of what we seen remain in our minds and sill remain non-lustful?

    So to me, it seems the only safe method is to not look at all.

    Besides isn't looking in the first place, a risk in a possible planting of a seed of lust?

    Besides… If we are liking what we see.. Then we will be wanting to see even more.. We will not want to stop looking.. We will keep looking back again to get another glance…

  • LIVE4HIM

    renee,

    -about me being happy to be free of lust…

    -at times im very happy to be free, this has been a wonderful experience… a very hard one.. but a good one… even if it dosent stick… even if i did in fact return to my old ways…. im very thankful for god to have shown me what is like to be free of lust…., but i do feel no matter what, after all this.. i will remain changed to some extent.. i dont feel i will ever be as bad as i once was.. god continually is working in me..

    -but at other times.. i get very frustrated.. as my body at times craves it badly.. at times.. i find it very difficult to enjoy living without lust.

    -i would consider myself at the moment as a "lost saved person" as crazy as that may sound, thats were im at.

    -at the moment im tossed between two worlds.. lust and purity..

    -so far im very happy (and able to resist lust with not to many problems) as long as i avoid sex, sex confuses my mind and body.. it reminds my body of how it love the feeling of lust, so im not so quick to be sexual to remain in my purity.

  • Renee Fuller

    Dear Live,

    You are on the right track. It does say in the bible that if your eye continues to lead you to sin pluck it out, better to enter the Kingdom with one eye than to burn in hell. I am obviously not advocating you gourge your eyes out. This explains we need to shed our lives of the things that drag us down or we may perish because of them.

    I know you will conquere lust and it doesn't have to be something you struggle with the rest of your life.

    How close we get to God depends soley on our ability to be repentant and willing to let God cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We just have to be willing and obedient and you are working on those things. God knows your heart . You may find reading about deliverance and spiritual warfare an interesting subject. Let me know what you discover if you chose to pursue it.

    It may not feel like it right now but it is possible to be completely free of lust and you are making progress. Look back at where you used to be and ask yourself: Did I ever think I would have made it as far as I have? Have faith in your ability to follow God's plan for your life. And faith in God's ability to deliver you.

    I will continue to pray for you…

    Renee

  • live4him

    Somethings different in me today, I feel I'm not the person I once was, I feel the lord has blessed me with a greater understanding in all this, I feel the lord telling/showing me he would have christian men to be more "love" driven then "lust" driven. I'm beginning to see the world in a new light.

    These words kept repeating in my head today "love driven"…."Be love driven" as I kept thinking about this posting, the lord has shown me that lust should be replaced by love. He has shown me that love can be all as powerful as lust, in what we use to drive/modivate us to keep on going in this life.

    I'm finally happy for the first time being fully lust free, wow this is great! I been miserable for so long avoiding lust, thank you jesus! For finally opening my eyes, and heart!!

  • LIVE4HIM

    its all so clear now!! the lord has finally blessed me with a complete understanding!!

    its very very simple actually!!!…

    think about it..

    God created the whole universe..

    everything as far as the eye can see…..

    and what was his motivation in doing so??

    tell you what… it wasn't lust!!

    God was moved/motivated by love..

    why did he send his son to die on the cross for our sins??

    what was his mediation??

    it was love for sure!!

    and we all know as Christians.. we are to live as he did and follow Christs example…

    so let us do so..

    i can finally see and feel this now… i was blind for so long!! my eyes are open to see how love can be all as powerful or even more so.. then lust…. its just a simple matter of what exactly we are using to "drive" us in this life… and "love" should be our main focus… not lust… so anyone struggling to understand this.. pray to god.. never stop!! keep praying.. and in time.. you will see, just as i now can!!

    i would like to personally thank all those on here.. who have kept feeding me Gods truths.. those who have tried to help me to find my way.. thank you so much:)

    ****just a word of warning to those who confront/try to help people like me.. people trapped in lust… they are very angry at what you say… they don't/cannot understand… they will shut out what you are telling them/wont even read your words.. after the first few lines……. what you are saying is not what they are wanting to hear… but you must keep on speaking those truths… but mostly what they are sooo in need of.. is they are looking for someone who can relate.. someone with a full understand of there specific struggle the struggle of "lust" …seems easy for someone to speak/preach on a topic they never even faced there self… actually all ive been searching for all this time.. is some guy who has **already been** trapped in lust like me, and made it through** (i could find no one) now i can be that person for someone else who is struggling!!.. all to the glory of god!!

    • Matthew Tweedell

      I'm so happy that you’ve found what you were seeking!

      I believe that this is exactly what Jesus is getting at in Luke 11:24-26: "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."

      To me it seems like he's saying that unless you move a new spirit into the place once occupied by the demon, the demon will keep coming back. But if you look at women with love–not the same as for your wife, but love for a brother/sister in Christ—with which you'll see a God-given beauty that goes much deeper than the beauty one lusts for, then you replace the demon of lust with the Spirit of Love (which is God–see e.g. 1 John 4:16).

      The sin in lust is when we fail to see a person as a real person, but rather as an object of one's desire—a coveted "thing" instead of a truly beautiful person. It's not just about sex at the heart of it: there is such a concept as "bloodlust" for instance, and for the "luster" of soft, shiny pebble called gold, men have done the most insane sorts of things. Love, though, means seeing the real person behind the potential object of lust, and so to try to understand him/her and to care about more than that possession of theirs that we wish was ours—whether it's their body, their wealth, their status, or their life.

      We have a choice when we see one of God's beautiful creations: try to ignore it, give in to the temptation to make fantasy about it, or try to see it for what it truly is in every dimension of its being. The first is nearly impossible; the second is meaningless wandering off the path to what should be our aim; but the third is Life and the Way to the Kingdom we seek.

  • LIVE4HIM

    sorry about my poor spelling in my postings on here.. its not an area im gifted in, god bless you all:) hope anyone out there that is struggling like me.. finds this.. reads.. and may experience what i have.. its great, once you make it through, and see the light!!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I was gonna say stuff. But … not so much. Carry on, mates.

  • http://none Don Rappe

    Very interesting thread. People trying to understand in different ways their very powerful motivations!

  • Andrew

    “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.”- Philippians 4:8

  • George P.

    New International Version (©1984)

    But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    What a fraud…

    • Diana A.

      I think it was a good thing for the woman taken in adultery (John 8) that you weren't among her accusers. Otherwise, she would've been a goner for sure.

      • Diana A.

        Okay, I'm ticked! I intended to reference John Eight, not John smiley face!

  • Will

    As a pastor, I've had to spend countless hours helping young men unravel the destructive mess that legalism has exacted on men. Some finally realize that wanting someone you can't have (lust) and wondering how a given woman's breast feels like are two different things. If I admire a woman's breast, is that lust? Or, if I admire her figure, is that lust? How about her hair, or teeth, ear lobes, fingers, etc? Where's the 'lust' line? If the line is drawn by a woman or some clerical committee, then it is not from thr Holy Spirit. Jesus already drew the line for us. It's in Matthew 5.

    John is in agreement with what I teach young men, without a man's powerful sex drive, humanity cannot fulfill God's command to be fruitful, increase in number, and rule the earth (Genesis 1). Every marriage, family, road, bridge, automobile, airplane, building, business, and nation owes it's creation to men's powerful desire to ejaculate into a woman, most particularly into his wife.

  • LIVE4HIM

    Personal update: I'm remain tossed between two worlds.. Tossed between Lusting, and loving.. But for the most part my walk in life is now completely pure, at times my flesh does remain to long for lust, but the good news is its no longer such a huge struggle to avoid it, but sadly my sex drive has remained dirt low, and I continue to avoid all forms of lust and sex to remain In my purity. I'm now 100% spiritually complete and at peace before god, I now have a want for nothing "extra" in this life, I'm very thankful for all I already do have, I'm very humbled. And most all I do in this life now is for others.. When I stopped lusting.. Along with this has gone my want for anything for myself. I just do for others now…

  • LIVE4HIM

    A few of my thoughts as I sit in my new found purity…. I'm tossed between love and lust for this reason, to me.. It appears that (my lusting much = my fuel to have any real desire for sex) and with sex being a very important part of any working marriage, I would have to say, we must actually have a half way decent drive for it.. So from all I can see.. For us To fully go and kill all forms of lusting from within us.., this would actually brings more harm then good to our marriages, we would be rendering ourselves as mostly "un-sexual", I can honestly say this from personal experiances.. As you would already know if you have read my prior postings on here.. So to me.. I would have to say, there is definitly a need for some level of "lusting" In life.. But only God knows to what extent.. (Not shure if all men are this way, but as for me.. Love alone has never been enough for me to have any real desire for sex)

    • April

      Sounds to me, live4him, you don’t need to be married. God created sex FOR married people and if you can’t find pleasure in sex, you don’t need to be married. It’s selfish because you’re married to someone and you are causing her to lust because she’s not getting fulfillment in her husband where she should be finding it. You don’t just need to talk to someone, you need to talk to your wife. The way that God thinks about marriage, you are destroying and misrepresenting. Just because you are not lusting, that is just one thing, you are destroying a union of God. God tells men to love their wives as Christ loves the church, he gave his LIFE for the church, he PROVIDES for the church, he loves the church unconditionally, more than himself. He was not selfish as you are being but unselfish and here you are so concerned with yourself that you have not once thought about her…that’s the problem with lust, the intent and selfishness behind it. Adam and Eve were the mother and father of how many lines, and I don’t remember the Bible saying anything about him CHEATING or LOOKING AT ANOTHER woman to KNOW his wife. So I think all this is a bunch of crap, men always want to justify something. Lusting isn’t about God, it isn’t about your sex drive, it’s about selfishness. Read Ephesians 5; Colossians 3:9; 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

      I honestly think it’s time for you to start working on your marriage and stop letting lust consuming. Your prayers will remain hindered if you don’t.

  • LIVE4HIM

    After much thought and much prayer, and after all that I've experienced on both ends of this.. With "lusting" and also in the "shunning of all my lust" along with the seeking of the lords guidance… I would have to conclude.. A happy medium is needed here, seems its not good to be "overly lustful" nore to be "overly religious in the complete shunning of lust" seems to me lust will remain in moderation and within gods guidlines as long as we continue to have "love" as the core of all our modivations in life. Because where the heart is.. The body will follow…

  • LIVE4HIM

    The author of this posting is correct.. some amount of “lusting” is a must! I don’t care what anyone says.. Ive gone done killed all my lusting.. and now Im left a mess.. but also Ive come to realize to remain true to God we must find a happy medium.. I look to God to find that.. I haven’t found this yet… but I can say this.. from what I have learned in my complete killing of my lust. Its very damaging to a marriage.. trust me.. It does Great wonders for our relationship with God, you will become closer to him then ever before in all your life… but very bad for a marriage.. you will become “anti-sexual”..

    Simply put..

    **action:** If we kill **ALL** our “lust of mind”..

    **result:** You will have little to no interest in sex, along with that will come much frustration and anger as your body will be left longing for something its not being allowed, along with that will come very little to no motivation of any kind to do anything.. you will fear the world.. as you will now see how it pulls you into lusting.. you will be to scared to go anywhere.. or do anything.. so you will just sit home… trapped in your box.

    life will feel so limited that you will feel like why bother do anything at all? feels like everything in this life is off limits and a sin.. like your trapped in that box not allowed out. and actually you will become scared to even have anything to do with sex in any way.. even with your wife..as it now feels like a sin all in itself.

    No matter how I look at this.. I cant get around the fact that Love inst enough all in its own.. for us to have any real desire sex, and It is in fact.. a huge part of what motivates men.. to do great things.. but this is just my personal experience with this.. If your a brave person like me.. willing to even attempt.. killing of your lusting.. go for it!.. but sure your result will much resemble mine.. I hope to spare you that.. so take my advice.. find that “happy medium”..
    God bless.. LIVE4HIM

    Its like this.. i feel sexually limited.. trapped in a box.. completely shunning lust.. mentally.. thus.. i now also feel like there is huge limits to all the things i can do in life… like.. why bother have great dreams? why bother do anything?..

    simply put.. it feels like nothings allowed.

  • Jerry

    Did it say anything about Jesus Christ in the flesh having issues with Lust? He had no sin. The bible says let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Do you think Jesus Christ had a problem with worrying about women or was he about his father’s business? Galatians 5: 19-21 talks about the works of the flesh, before it goes on to describe the fruit of the spirit. It says that they which do such things (the works of the flesh) will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

    Romans 8:5-9 says that they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit, so they that are in the flesh can NOT please God. If you have the works of the flesh, you are not walking in the spirit. Nor do you have it.

    For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die, but if ye through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of your body, ye shall live. Getting into heaven is not easy, but if you are still carnal minded, and are not walking in the Spirit, if you do not have the Spirit of God you are not sealed until the day of redemption. You are not saved. You can have all the faith you want to that you are “saved” and you will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Man cannot overcome lust and things of the flesh on their own, so they need the Spirit of God to quicken their mortal bodies. Romans 8:11. If there sin is never overcome then it never died, and thats not what the bible teaches, if you study it.

    No wonder it says that the path is narrow. There will literally be few that makes it. Alot of “christians” will be shocked during the rapture. Because they are going about what people say and not what the bible says. Lean not on your own understanding.

  • Live4him

    I once was blind but now i see!!!. God intended us to LOVE woman!!!, not lust after them, LUST is a trap!!. .. i finally escaped this trap..with Gods help.. prayer and shunning of the world… Thank you JESUS IM FREE!!, I now have been blessed!! I CAN see clear enough to see past lust.. I now can speak on this.. its truthfully is a trap!! IT will hold us back from where God had intended us to be.. destroy our marriages..LUST will never be satisfied like LOVE can.. I would encourage all believers/Christians to runn!!! shun lust with all you got!!.. escape it!!.. We were meant to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds.. and love others just as we love Christ.. lust hinders this from happening!! become humble.. become righteous.. shun sin.. and the world.. (were to be in the world, but not of the world) now that Ive shunned lust and all sin.. i can look to the heavens unashamed.. complete peace with God like never before!!

    • Michael Rowe

      Bitch, please.

      • DR

        Lust is what makes the penii head north, am I right? And not to look at the Christmas lights!

  • Live4him

    thus.. “making love” now makes sense!!!.. seemed it was more like “making lust” when i was trapped all up in it!!.. .. devil had my mind warped!!! he likes to twist things.. especially within our minds..

  • Jane

    I’ll be honest here. I think the church has oppressed men and made them feel wrong or bad about anything sex related. I’m not sure exactly where all this tyranny originates from but it saddens me. Monogamy, fidelity and marriage are present to protect a union, perhaps a sort of ‘line drawn in the sand’ so someone knows your committed elsewhere. But when we’re getting down to the mind aspect, the private mind of a I’ve rarely seen men so tortured by a subject. I was married to a Christian man who was tortured by the shame that the church puts on ‘sexuality’. I’m not sure what the answer is but I will say this; I know many non Christian men who have healthy monogamous relationships and are free in their minds from shame because it has not been put upon them as an evil. I feel that this is a disease in the body of Christ. My heart goes out to those men living with this pain and feeling like they are bad or broken because of a natural biological state they are born in to. I belive in monogamy and protecting our relationships but somewhere down the line that turned in to Christian men feeling like a pervert for noticing a woman’s breasts. God help you that your not a robot. Because king of shame only pushes people into fear and repression. Like I said before, I don’t know the answer but I do think it’s important to acknowledge when we’ve taken a wrong turn as the body and just like we’ve made gay people feel shame we do the same thing to heterosexuals.

    • tera

      I agree with you. There is no shame in having normal attractions, but lusting is another thing. Lusting implies more than being attracted (at least in my mind it does) – it means an active pursuit and thought of action. Thoughts are powerful. If we can mange to keep them only as thoughts, then more power to us. But some people cannot and not just men but women, too. Also, if we are constantly having these types of thoughts that might be saying something to us. Maybe our sexual needs aren’t being satisfied at home? I think John shore and other Christians who speak out about rethinking how to communicate and translate what Jesus said and what he meant by what he said is very appropriate. We seem to be caught in some outdated thinking and understanding that is causing harm by shaming people into doing and behaving in a certain way. That is far from an empowering way to live and not at all what Jesus would have us be doing or thinking is right.

    • LSS

      i’ve also heard about guys whose church really made them flip out about masturbation, too. and not just ancient catholic where they had it as one of the 10 commandments but regular mainline presbyterians or some kind of very populous protestant church.

  • Juliet

    PREACH!!

  • Michael Rowe

    Man, I loved this post. In my observational experience, it’s when men STOP lusting that many Christian women start to wonder if it’s A) that they’re not attractive, or B) whether the men are closeted gays.

  • Christy

    Likewise:

    The ancient, persistent, pervasive idea that being a good Christian woman means being a freeze dried prune is something that I think we need to reconsider. Women are women. Women lust. They lust regularly and coincidentally around the time of ovulation. They can’t help it. And I get real uncomfortable whenever I hear anyone say we should want them to help it or that they don’t have desires or that they are somehow different.

    No woman should disrespect men, of course. And certainly no woman should lose control of her behavior. But being a woman means that in the privacy of your imagination, you are going to think a great many lustful thoughts. That’s just a fact about being a woman. That won’t change. It can’t change. It shouldn‘t change. The whole idea that somehow Christian women aren’t really supposed to think about sex is ridiculous, and harmful.

    • LSS

      good point. all sex (etc.) involving women would have died out with the arrival of feminism or maybe before, if there weren’t something in it for us, too.

      • LSS

        (ehhhh… i mean, a lot of us. not all of us.)

  • tera

    I do like the gist of what you write in this article – that it is s harmful to expect that people don’t have human tendencies that come from unmet needs or desires and that some of these tendencies, such as lust, can be useful when that energy is redirected. And that shame is not a useful device in helping people redirect this energy. But don’t you think there are impulsive people who don’t know how to control such urges or people who are addicted to sex? Those latter two can have a tendency to manifest lustful thoughts into unhealthy actions with unwanted consequences.I think that is what Jesus was speaking to. The power that our thoughts actually have in conjunction with our beliefs about our reality to influence and possibly control our actions if we don’t get reign on our impulses and desires.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Tera: Yeah, as I said, “And certainly no man should lose control of his behavior.”

      • tera

        Yes, I saw that. But you didn’t emphasize it much…and I think it’s useful to understand this scripture hat lusting is different than feeling an attraction. Don’t you think? I responded to another comment on here just below that explains more about what my mind defines lust as versus healthy attraction and the fantasies that sometimes can come to mind from that attraction.

        • Michael Rowe

          “Attraction” is what prissy fundies say when they mean “lust.” It’s the same thing, in a different dress.

          • tera

            well, if you think it’s the same thing, you don’t understand words very well and their different connotations. It’s not the same thing to lust and entertain thoughts as it is to simply feel an attraction and be reminded that you are a human being with normal desires yet not entertain those feelings long enough to have them take hold or form any type of longing. And there is no need to call names. I’m not a fundie anyway – maybe I am a bit prissy sometimes, though ;-)

    • DR

      Is what you’re describing “lust” or “emotional/spiritual immaturity”? I’m puzzled as to why you are drawing an extreme conclusion (i.e. not being able to control one’s urges or abuse as a result of lust) = the normative experience of “lust”.

  • tera

    And I meant to add that it seems likely that in order to reign over our own impulses and desires that may be inappropriate and have unwanted consequences and hurt not only the people we love but also ourselves, we often have to start with having reign over our thoughts and basically learning to control such thoughts when they come into our head so they don’t end up controlling us.

  • tera

    I also don’t agree with your statement that EVERY man “CONSTANTLY

    imagines himself in SEXUAL situations with all kinds of women.” I do

    agree that it’s normal for a man to occasionally entertain such thoughts

    just as it is for women to do so about other men. How often

    will depend on different factors in regards to the sex drive and

    whether the person has learned to discipline their thoughts in this

    regard, so that those thoughts do not control them nor dictate their behavior.

    • Michael Rowe

      Men think about sex approximately every seven seconds in one way or another.

      • tera

        I don’t think there is proof of that statement. I think some men think about sex that often, but how many men that is I don’t think anyone knows. I think clarifying what that “one way or another” is in regards to thinking about sex is also important to the conversation. I’m sure it is also different from one man to another.

        • Jeremy McNabb

          The statement “Men think about sex approximately every seven seconds in one way or another,” is both axiomatic and wrong. It doesn’t stem from a scientific study, and no one has ever been able to come up with a controlled test to determine whether it’s true or not. But the lie is so pervasive that Snopes has an article on it, here: http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/thinksex.asp

          I found this article both insulting and emasculating. Not all men do have a strong sex drive, and this paints those men as poor protectors, providers, fathers, and says in the closing line that they’re probably gay.

          Guess what? That’s not the first time someone has called me gay for being wired a little less potently. It makes me just as angry to see it in print. There are at least a dozen factors that figure into a man’s drive, and I the first four that come to mind have nothing to do with the quality of his manhood.

          • Ken

            I’m a guy. I have a partner in life who I love and adore, without whom I fear life would be… less than worth living. And a dozen years later we still have, ahem, a lot of drive. Yet unless I’m concentrating on something (a stinkin’ steamy pile of bad spaghetti code, what the other cars on the road are doing, where my gate is, how not to fall off a ladder, whatever) I don’t even think I can even make it 7 seconds without, you know, thinking, however briefly, about… it. And if somebody hot of either gender steps into view when I’m not otherwise focused or engaged, yeah, I totally look.

            I’m sure there is a lot of variety among folks. Some guys and gals have less interest in that sort of thing, some, more. But frankly, only once every 7 second s sounds positively generous. For men I’d have pegged it as every other second.

            (Sometimes I almost look forward to old age on the theory that, maybe, certain parts will even calm down. LOL. But till the day, I say there’s a big difference between thinking and doing, or lusting and… just admiring God’s handiwork.)

  • Don Rappe

    I agree with the comment that there is a sexual sickness in the body of Christ as we experience it. If I interpret the comment of Jesus as a reminder of the commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife”, It helps me. I find there is a difference between coveting and noticing how hot my neighbor’s wife is.

    • Michael Rowe

      I think it really means “thou shalt not fuck the neighbour’s wife” and/or plan to. It would be interesting to have inconvenient sexual drives removed, but that is not, alas, how the Lord made us.

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Another aspect of this issue (i.e., mental adultery) is whether Christ meant sexual thots in general or sexual thots about a particular person one had to right to have sex with. I.e., it sounds pretty clear that thinking about sex with Joe’s wife is mental adultery, but what about thinking about sex with Joe’s unmarried but available sister, or for that matter, with an idealized fantasy female?

    In fact, is it mental adultery to wonder what it would be like to have sex with another person’s spouse if one recognizes one is not entitled to have sex with that person?

    In Matthew 19:9-12 Christ famously refers to anyone who divorces his wife (presumably spouse in today’s unerstanding) without reason (KJV cites fornication, others adultery, Young’s Literal Trans. sez whoredom, which suggests something more mercenary & calculating than a simple romp in the hay) is committing adultery & causing anyone who marries the divorced spouse to commit adultery as well. His disciples respond that if that is indeed the case, it’s better not to marry. Christ then says, “All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (KJV)

    So, yeah, there are people (again presuming all are equal in the eyes of God) who are asexual or have a very low sex drive, others who are not interested because of physical reasons, and a few who are so dedicated to God that sex runs a poor second place.

    They are the exceptions, not the rule.

    I think it is clear Christ is not talking about the occasional stray thot or temptation (because being tempted itself is not a sin, otherwise Christ would be a sinner), but a deliberate pattern of desire for a person one is not morally/ethically entitled to have intimate physical relations with. The problem is not w/the physical act in question, but in the attitude it fosters in one’s heart & mind.

    • tera

      Amen! This sounds right in line with truth about human behavior and the power that our thoughts and motivations have on our behavior. It also is in line with scripture about God looking at the heart in connection with the behavior. Some people have the right motivations but the wrong behavior. Some people have the right behavior but the wrong motivations. And still some have no clue about what they are doing or why they are doing it and need help in understanding what all of this means in terms of their own personal experiences and reality and how rethinking our behaviors, thoughts and ideas can help us to have healthier expectations and empower us to think before we act and stop thinking about things that are motivating us to act in ways that hurt us and others.

  • ann

    thank you, john. as a female, i have been trying to find meaning with this very thing for the past couple of months and i found this piece very helpful. thank you for the perspective.

    • Katie D.

      Ann, I really found two books helpful on this subject … “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge is AMAZING! I literally went out and bought copies for all my girlfriends. It should be required reading in church groups. The second is “For Women Only :Inside the minds of men” by shaunti feldhahn, it’s all those things that you “know” about men, like “men are visual” and “men need respect” clarified. because “knowing” something is different then understanding it, and this book translates what those statements actually mean to and for your man. They are SO good!!

  • melissa

    Perfect, John! One of the very things I love about my man is, well, he’s a man’s man! And I wouldn’t have him any other way. He’s not afraid to point out an attractive woman to me nor would I want him to be. I think it’s healthy to be able to look and to appreciate what you see. I think there is a definite line between liking what you see and actually leering at someone. Bottom line, no matter what he sees, my husband is coming home with ME! (I consider my husband to be a deeply Christian man, btw.)

  • Lymis

    You had me with you right up to the gratuitous gay reference at the end. I understand your point, and understand the way that you were trying to make it.

    But the way you did it manages to be either dismissive of or insulting to gay men. Going on and on about the good qualities of men and why they are linked to high sex drives works, and as long as the whole thing is about straight people, no problem – we’re used to being excluded in this sort of conversation.

    By adding the reference to gay men only at the end, you leave the implication that no gay man can be ambitious, protect his spouse and children, lay down his life for his country, explore new territory, or any of the other great things you mention. No, men are either highly sexed heterosexuals, or weak and flawed – liars or gay.

    Please either leave gay men completely out of the discussion, or start off by making it clear that you are only talking about straight men. Please don’t leave orientation out until it’s time to make it clear you are talking about the undesirable.

    I had come to expect better of you. God made us, too.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Calm down. Read the final line again.

      • Lymis

        John, I am calm. Did you make any attempt to consider my comment?

        All the positive things about being a man are specifically linked to being heterosexual? Or just the positive things about being a Christian man?

        I truly appreciate your voice in your other writings about not discriminating against us and about not oppressing us.

        But here, you’ve clearly made no effort to include us. We’re still clearly “other” to you when it comes time to talk about the positive aspects of being a Christian man.

    • DR

      Huh? Gay men aren’t sexually attracted to women. That was the point.

      • Lymis

        No. It wasn’t, unless you take the last line completely out of context of the rest of the piece. Read it again.

        Want a man who is ambitious? Then find a man who lusts after women.

        Want a man who will protect his family? Then find a man who lusts after women.

        Want a patriot? Then find a man who lusts after women.

        Want an explorer, a champion, a builder? Then find a man who lusts after women.

        “If God didn’t want men to be men—to do their part to help that world go around—he wouldn’t have filled them with all that testosterone. But he did. And part of the effect of that does mean that men are bound, by their very nature, to, in the sacred privacy of their imaginations, lust for women.”

        Men are bound by their very nature to lust for women. Not straight men. Men. You know, the real men. The important ones. The ones God likes.

        • Katie D.

          That’s not what it said. It said with “strong sex drive” it made no reference to sexuality in that part of the article. This applies to gay men and their sex drives too. The only point of this article is that christians, in particular christian women, try to mentally neuter their men. This is primarily due to gender differences and women not understanding how mens minds work. I imagine that this is a much less complicated issue in gay relationships because of the lack of gender differences. John was not saying that gay men are less manly. Comprehensive reading people, c’mon! :)

          • LSS

            we know that he didn’t mean it that way because he’s into gay rights but it does kind of SOUND that way. i also think this article could be read as dismissive of Asexual guys and guys with a low libido (there are some, right?) and intersex people some of whom (or who sometimes) might identify as guys.

            the end bit could have been a little better explained, how that doesn’t make other kinds of guys less… useful? as males of the species than their extremely hetero peers.

          • Katie D.

            hate to be a jerk, but if someone doesn’t have a strong sex drive there probably is something wrong with the. Sex drive is a huge indicator of health.

          • Katie D.

            them* geez! hit the buttons Katie!

          • http://somaticstrength.wordpress.com somaticstrength

            Uh, asexual here.

            And there’s nothing wrong with me.

          • Katie D.

            I’m sorry if I offended you. I don’t really know a lot about asexuality, but I looked it up. I just used to work in a doctors office and lack of sex drive is definitely a symptom to be concerned about. however, that was an ignorant way to state that. I apologize.

          • Libby

            Another asexual here (hi!).

            Thank-you for taking the time to look up asexuality and apologize, Katie.

            I would just like you to keep in mind that it’s a sudden lack or decrease in sex drive that is a symptom that someone should be concerned about. On the other hand, if someone has had little to no sex drive for the entirety of their life, there is most likely nothing to worry about.

          • LSS

            i thought i was asexual for a while but in my case it was just a combination of a lot of inhibitions due to religion and neurological stuff, plus low libido. the OBGYN even says low libido is a natural variation and not something to be worried about. as the latest comments attest (Hi!), there are plenty of people who are really born asexual or identify as asexual and that is just as much a natural variation as all the other gender variations.

          • Libby

            Agreed. The fourth paragraph gives a strong impression that only men with strong sex drives are able to be ambitious, protective, powerful, etc. Not to mention it seems a little absurd to say that sex drive has such a strong impact on non-sex-related abilities and skills. If you want to ascribe these abilities to testosterone and then connect that to sex drive, that’s fine, but if you skip that step in between it starts to sound incongruous and absurd.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Ahh. Thank you, Katie.

  • Val P.

    So…I had to ask my husband if he had sexual thoughts about other women…and he said “of course not honey!” And then he smiled and said “But I do admire God’s handiwork on occasion.”

  • Ken

    I think there is a big difference between “lust” and checking out if a woman is stacked better than a Las Vegas poker deck (or, to be fair to the gay contingent, has a but you could bounce a silver dollar off of).

    Sexual desire in both men and women is healthy and normal. But lust is more about possession, a kind of unlawful taking of another human being by reducing them to an object to be used. Lust reduces the object of its gaze to something less than human. Lust isn’t even about sex or sexual desire alone, per se, it’s about ownership, utility, use.

    Unfortunately when it comes to sex, I think a lot of people are not honest with themselves about the many many forms of physical desire, its roots within the psyche, and how to find its proper healthy God-given expression.

    • Diana A.

      I think you have a good point.

  • Janey

    It’s sickening how churches try to tell kids they are capable of avoiding lust if they just try hard enough.

    I’ve seen responsible compliant teenage guys try so hard not to lust they won’t even look at attractive girls in the eye or talk to them. They cannot even treat them as people, because they are so worried about lusting. I know one guy who dates a girl only because she isn’t a turn-on for him. I know another guy who abandoned Christianity after high school due to the shame and guilt of having lusted several times. What kind of sick teaching in youth groups does this?

    I’ve had to pull these guys aside and have a talk. Hard to believe a nice fuddy-duddy Christian woman like me is saying: “It’s okay to have the right kind of lust. How else could we marry and reproduce?”

    You know what I’m saying.

  • Katie D.

    There’s a difference between appreciating a beautiful person, and what you’re describing as “constantly imagine himself in sexual situations with all kinds of women”. I completely diagree with you on this. As christians we are supposed to control our thoughts. It is wrong to imagine yourself committing adultery just the same as it is wrong to imagine yourself committing a murder. There’s a huge difference between giving it a passing thought and actually marinating and indulging in either of those ideas. I think your last statement is pretty offensive to a good number of men who do have strong sex drives but actively channel that towards their partners. My husband, who you are probably just going to say is lying, always says that whenever he sees a beautiful woman or a naked woman in a movie it just makes him of me, because I’m HIS woman and that is where HIS sex is. He sees boobs, he thinks about HIS boobs (my boobs). He’s not saying that he doesn’t find other women beautiful, but when it gets to the “imagining sexual situations” he imagines me. On purpose. It’s a choice. My husband is not a christian, but he is very faithful and honorable has a VERY strong sex drive. Oh, and he’s not a liar either. He has proven over and over that he would rather be honest and fight with me than lie and tell me what I want to hear or spare my feelings, it causes some (read lots of) fights, but it is one of the things that I truly love and respect about him. So I believe him and am offended that you called him a liar. Also, who are you to speak for all men?

    On the whole I agree with you that the church takes it too far most of the time (as they have a tendancy to do) with the demasculization of men. There is an amazing book called “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge that comprehensively addresses the subject and I highly recommend it to anyone who is at all interested. There is also a companion book about women called “Captivating” by John and his wife Stasi. Both wonderful books.

    • Katie D.

      “makes hime *think of me”

    • Floyd

      Yeah…your husband’s a liar. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you completely, in fact, it’s probably proof that he does.

  • Lisa

    Christian men don’t hold themselves accountable to God’s instruction manuel. They love you, but her and her and her too, they re with your body but another women mentally. Lust for them and controling itis no different than a non christian.

  • skywalker

    I have not had the chance to read through all the comments but i did read the main topic and this what i have to say. First of all i believe in my Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly regarding the issue of lust, i believe that God created men to have a sex drive and it is good and healthy. I also believe that God created women to be physically endowed and so we can say that men and women are different both physiologically and psychologically. I also now believe that a woman’s physical anatomy (whether clothed or naked) was not created to be a stumbling block or to be a source of temptation to any man or vice versa (This is where the Church is indeed guilty because many are blindly ignorant). The human body is the most wonderful entity the Lord created because He made it with His hands, everything else He spoke into existence. We have been socially trained to believe through the Church and the media that a woman’s body (breast, buttocks e.t.c) will surely cause men to lust after them and so we believe that the best way to deal with it is to limit such opportunities or look away. The real problem is that we have held a false perception of the human body as a source of temptation instead of as a temple of God He created!!! So i personally believe that it is a CHOICE to either admire how beautiful any woman is; respecting her as a person and giving Glory to God or to selfishly indulge her in your mind and abusing her. The fact that a man finds a woman he sees beautiful is normal and right and as long as he respects her in his heart, he is not sinning. Even if the person happens to flaunt her body through suggestive clothing does not in any way give us the right to disrespect and take pleasure in her wrong doing. The real issue is always the HEART OF BOTH THE OBSERVER AND THE SUBJECT OF OBSERVATION. There is a sight that will throw more light into this: http://mychainsaregone.org/MCAG-welcome.htm. Have a blessed day.

  • skywalker

    Most importantly, we as Christians cannot do this of our own because it is the nature of the flesh to disobey the Lord. We need the Holy Spirit and we need to know the truth concerning His word to set us free from bondage. Shalom.

  • Jonathan

    To John Shore:

    Amen! It really needed to be said.

  • Milano

    You’re confusing the distinction -

    It’s okay for men to be sexually driven, but NOT okay for channeling it into lust and most importantly, thinking that it’s totally fine, that lust was meant to be.

    Trying God’s patience indeed. And this is coming from a liberal.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      It’s impossible to “channel” one’s sexual drive in such a way that it never becomes sexual lust. If you think it is, then … then good luck with that.

  • Ian

    Hm, I disagree with you on this. I think reducing men’s sex drives would actually benefit men and men’s rights hugely – since you’ve just pointed out a million ways in which women and society are able to EXPLOIT men because men have a high sex drive. For example, men are apparently expendable in wars (defending their nation) purely because of high testosterone levels – isn’t that just a little sexist? And isn’t it horrible too? Would you really want to inform your son he life is worthless, compared to a woman’s life, and he must die or exhaust himself in a ruthless competition for a mate (i.e. fertile female partner). Is it okay that men take physical risks, abuse their own bodies, or become workaholics (ambitious) in order to impress a potential mate. It seems to me that men would be far happier if men had lower sex drives. Of course, women and society would be miserable, since women and society would no longer have the means to exploit men and take advantage of all their free labour/sacrifices.

    • DR

      There is so much bitterness in that last sentence – through this entire graph – that I have a difficult time even knowing how to start. The confusion we have about men and women is so nuts right now.

      No one ever remotely suggested that men are “expendable” because their testosterone levels drive them to action and risk (women have testosterone as well, by the way, just lesser levels generally speaking). That we were designed with certain levels of hormones is genetically tied to our role in propagating and protecting our species. The abuse comes from sin but even without sin, men as they are designed today would want to show their strength and dominance.

    • Hannah Grace

      There’s definite injustice, but getting rid of sexual urges isn’t the solution. Not to mention that that’s something John has no control over, and neither do we.

      The solution is just more respect and equality. And that is everyone’s responsibility. If society structurally exploits people and maintains inequality, the best way to deal with it is activism to change these structural problems.

  • Kirsten A.S. Mebust via Facebook

    You’re defining lust as healthy sexual desire; the word as I understand it means obsession with possession and control. I agree with your letter writer that pornography feeds that obsession, and it’s inherently violent towards women, who are not created by God to satisfy men’s perceived needs for possession and control. I think you have something important to say here, John, but I don’t think I can hear it when you use this language.

  • Hannah Grace

    Um. Implying that men have the sex drives and women don’t reinforced all the same patriarchal women-are-pure, women-are-sexual-gatekeepers BS that the fundies teach. Women like sex too, and that’s ok too, and I constantly talk to women who are upset because they want more sex than their husband does but they’re ashamed of it because of patriarchy.

    Also, some people aren’t interested in sex and that doesn’t make them gay. Maybe instead of continuing to define what men should be, and how that is different from women, it would be better to allow diversity. Especially since many women have protected their families during personal attacks, and are able to be successful and ambitious even without all the testosterone.

    • Hannah Grace

      But I think it was really useful and helpful to show that sex is positive, not dirty or wrong. That’s definitely needed within the Christian community andI’m so happy you put that out there.

      Was just reading this earlier and thought you might be interested:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/24/moral-case-for-sex-before-marriage?fb=optOut

      • Valerie

        Thank you Hannah for this link. I very much enjoyed the article! How absolutely right the author is on how women are taught to think about sex and their bodies.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Did I once say women don’t have sex drives?

      • Jill H

        No of course you didn’t. Perhaps some of us girls just wanted in on the fun. ;)

      • Chris J

        Nope; I just think she misunderstood the subject of the article. Women can definitely be just as sexually charged as men.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          I can’t imagine who would argue it.

  • Melissa Hovey via Facebook

    It is what it is….thanks John, for your honesty and “balls” (bad choice of words?) concerning many issues that others are afraid to address. Your are appreciated, whether or not everyone agrees with you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KristiOutlerByrd Kristi Outler Byrd via Facebook

    Humans are a strange species, to be sure. We are so confused and troubled by our own sexuality! Sad…

    Men ( women, too, but since since this blog post focuses on men, I will limit my comments, as well. Besides there are differences in how males and females experience their respective sexual natures) ARE lusty; it’s pure biology. Therefore, I think it’s wise to just accept and embrace this as reality. This lusty nature of men can be used for good or for ill; actions matter. Yes, the heart matters and one’s inner thoughts can lead to action. But there has to be a balance. The answer can’t lie in denying lust as an essential nature of man’s inherent nature. That leads to self loathing and shame which are intimately harmful. God is the creator; He made man this way so either that nature isn’t bad OR it’s at least partially God’s responsibility since He created men to be that way. Take your pick; I choose the former.

    As I said in another comment on another post, I think when Jesus refers to lusting after a woman as sinful, it was more an attempt to keep people humble and to prevent them from feelings of superiority over others (“I’d never do what that poor schmuck did. I’m so much better” kind of thinking).

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken LeonardPO

    Too lazy to look and see if I left this comment when the article was first posted, so here goes:

    Jesus was, in this passage, describing the futility of trying to live a perfect life according to the law, and thus the universal need for forgiveness and grace. Love your enemies, don’t call people fools, divorce is bad, etc.. No one but no one has ever lived perfectly according to the law — WHICH WAS THE POINT!

    So, He said to a bunch of guys that the law says don’t commit adultery, but that if you really want to be perfectly pure, then you can’t even look lustfully. Unsaid, but understood by any guy, was “and you know you do that pretty much constantly, don’t you? In fact, Mark, would you please stop looking at Martha’s chest long enough for me to finish my point?”

    This was an illustration of a point, not the creation of a new law. It’s weird how people don’t get that Jesus didn’t rebuke the Pharisees for legalism just to come in and make stricter, more-impossible laws.

    • Jill H

      holy cats that’s good!

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    I agree with Kirsten. I also disagree that a man’s sex drive is the main cause of his wanting to protect his family, for instance. But it’s an interesting post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Jones/50402231 Chris Jones via Facebook

    This is one I wrestled with for so long, especially growing up. As an early teen, I felt wrong for thinking about sex, that it was an invasive problem for my faith. I was brought up in a very conservative church that would have frowned on that and sex outside of marriage. Now that I’ve grown and learned a little more, I realize that I cannot deny my natural impulses and have learned to get them under control, that God would not ask to completely repress or eliminate them but rather to understand and regulate them. Thank you, John, for posting this.

  • Male Nurse

    For crying out loud people, stop hyperventilating and some may even need a Xanax or two. Let’s cut to the chase. *Disclaimer: this is in no way meant to offend any asexuals, or anyone for that matter*. High testosterone, whether you’re gay or straight, is a good indicator of being as healthy as you can be, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. (Women, this next comment is in no way meant to demean you or say you can’t get stuff done). Men with high T levels get sh*t done. We pull people out of burning buildings, we carry pianos up ten flights of stairs for a pretty girl, and we assemble bookcases you buy from the store that are harder than Hellen Keller playing marco polo. High T levels are what give us men the subtle and not so subtle traits that we are biologically wired to notice that indicate greater chances of healthy offspring and the ability to protect said family. That’s why when Hugh Jackman is on the big screen, women, gay men, and straight guys say hot damn. That’s also why you see cougars chasing every pool boy within a ten mile radius: she’s at the age when estrogen declinees, leaving a greater T ratio. When you have the qualities of a man’s man, people are going to notice, no matter what they try to say. That’s not to say men aren’t meant to care and be in touch with their emotions, we are just focusing on one aspect of being a man at the moment. We all know what John meant by this passage, whether or not he used the exact vocabulary you wanted him to use is a different story. You know what he meant, move on with your life. For asexuals that want to think that you are just as healthy as someone with a high sex drive, consider this: aside from underlying conditions, a good sex life reduces your risk of prostate cancer. When you don’t have sex, hormones etc., start building up in your prostate. That’s why you see many middle aged men with prostate cancer- the sex is their life slowed or stopped. *I’m not saying you will never have prostate cancer if you’re active, it just reduces your risk*. Frequent sex also increases your IgA (immunoglobulin alpha) levels by up to 30%. Oxytocin and endorphins released during orgasms reduce pain, decrease stress/anxiety (which many commenters here need reduced), and help you sleep better. A study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that followed 914 men for twenty years revealed that men who had sex twice or more a week reduced their risk of a fatal heart attack by half, compared to men who had sex less than once a month. I know some of you were ‘born without an inclination towards sex.’ That doesn’t mean hormonal levels aren’t out of alignment and it does put you at risk for certain illnesses. The bottom line: we’re meant to be wired for sex and lots of it. It creates intimacy, helps keep us healthy, and help keep our species alive. Just be a responsible person about it and stop whining about everything.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Ahhhh … feel the sanity. Thank you for this, Mr. Nurse.

    • Chris J

      The more you know! :D

  • Pat Hux via Facebook

    snap

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    good point here. (those titles still don’t quite do it)

  • Hannah Grace

    “I’m not a misandrist but women are naturally competitive so that they can provide a healthy and stable environment for their offspring. Males are passive and agreeable because they cannot bear children and therefore lack this inborn drive to succeed.

    It’s not sexist, it’s just science.”

    http://imnotamisandristbut.tumblr.com/

  • Larry Petry via Facebook

    John, you acknowledge that pornography and over-indulgence in lusting CAN be a bad thing, indeed. What’s to stop a guy from using his that God-given energy, strength and mischismo to exercise some self-control?

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    I don’t know, Larry. What is to stop a guy?

  • Pat Hux via Facebook

    lusty men and women make the world go round….. just sayin’

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    In the post I actually DID say pretty much exactly that.


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