Lust Is Not a Sex Problem
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | August 22, 2018
In the years I’ve worked with women struggling with sexual addiction, their hardest battle has been a mental one. They can believe God loves them (in theory) and they know their sin is wrong, but to move from heart to mind…this shift is the hardest. The lies circulating in their thoughts take them back to the same patterns of addiction and sin. To the degree they believe those lies, they are in bondage to lust.
One of the lies women believe about lust and sexual sin is that lust is a sex problem. They think, If I could only get married and have sex, then this would all go away!
But that’s not how this works.
I’ve walked this road long enough to know: Marriage does not cure sexual sin. That’s because marriage can’t fix something that starts in your mind and heart. It might help for a little while, but the root cause—sin—won’t go away without a transformed spirit.
Sex is not the problem—sin is!
If you struggle with lust in any area, you’re most likely aware of it, so I’m not going to hammer this point too hard. Women struggling with sexual sin are already under a heavy weight of shame and are hyperconscious of the grief it causes God. Though we shouldn’t dwell in condemnation, we DO need to acknowledge that erotica, porn, masturbation and having sex outside of marriage (in all its forms) offend the Holy Spirit in us. While sexual sin cannot threaten your saved status in Christ (nothing can separate you from His love; (Romans 8:31-39), it can make you ineffective for Christ and hamper your walk with Him. If you want to hear God clearly and walk in peace with Him, you have to take sexual sin seriously.
Beating lust starts with your heart
The lies you believe about your sexuality and identity in Christ directly impact your heart. Your mind and heart are vitally connected! To beat lust, you have to replace the lies you’re believing with the truths of God.
Every sinful act begins with a lie. Just like the Enemy did to Adam and Eve, he offers us just a little doubt, a little questioning of God’s goodness to lead us down a road of rebellion.
Did God really say you shouldn’t sleep with your boyfriend?
If you don’t do this, he’ll leave you, and you’ll never find another guy who likes you.
Just one look won’t hurt. You can stop later.
You’ve done too much already. Why bother waiting now? Just give up.
When these lies are believed, we distrust God’s grace and kindness. The ensuing callousness makes sin seem much less grievous than it is.
Celebrating godly sexuality releases you from bondage
The solution is not to white-knuckle obedience. Even setting new physical standards—while good to do—will not be enough if your heart hasn’t changed and your thought patterns haven’t been renewed. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We are transformed by God when our minds release the old patterns of thought and embrace a NEW pattern of truth. This only happens when we recognize the lies and replace them with God’s truth. To replace lies with truth, you have to KNOW God’s truth. You have to be in the Word, asking “Who is God?” and letting Him reveal Himself to you! As you do this, you’ll learn what God’s will is for your life, first and foremost of which is your sanctification—to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
God is an advocate for sacred sexuality. He wants you to celebrate your victories and celebrate sex done the right way. His grace and love for you motivated Him to send Christ as your intercessor; He is on your side! So don’t run from Him, run to Him. Realize that lust is not a problem with sex, it’s a problem with sin—and Jesus is the ultimate solution.