Lust: The Right Way to Deal with This Powerful Drive
NOTE: This weekly post—the eighth of ten—is adapted from The Christian Man and syncs to the currently available episode of “The Christian Man” Online Bible Study series. Join us online for an inspirational journey to help you become, or affirm you as, the man God created you to be. Become part of The Christian Man Mentoring Experience.
In the story of David and Bathsheba, it’s clear God wanted to preserve a story that answers many of the questions men have about lust.
One night, King David couldn’t sleep. He was walking around on the roof terrace of his palace when he saw a woman—a very beautiful woman—bathing on the roof of another man’s home. So far, not a problem. As men, the main way we experience sexual attraction and arousal is through sight, and as I understand the story, David didn’t go up to his roof to look for naked women. This is a huge point: seeing isn’t seeking, looking isn’t lusting.
Next, he sensed attraction. That’s still normal. Whether it’s being surprised by an attractive server at lunch, the coed at the gym, a movie with a sex scene you didn’t seek out, a scantily-clad model as you’re scrolling through your newsfeed, or any other unexpected visual cue, it’s not a sin. Attraction is a natural response—essential to procreation and the perpetuation of our species.
Sex, of course, is everywhere. But in our cultural moment, seduction can feel inescapable. We’re bombarded. These images burst into our minds like a guest who doesn’t knock.
When this happens, is that a temptation to lust or the sin of lust? It depends on your response. It’s not lust to be tempted. Having a thought suddenly pop into your mind is not itself immoral. But you must take personal responsibility to control what happens next.
You can’t keep someone from knocking on your door, but you can decide whether you invite them inside.
Consider David. Noticing Bathsheba was not the problem. A moment of attraction was not the problem. The problem is letting your thoughts linger, until attraction turns into lust—essentially mental adultery. And we all know how David’s story with Bathsheba ended; the consequences of his sinful actions are breathtaking.
When it comes to lust, the stakes are incredibly high, which is why I encourage you to look at this chapter in The Christian Man, The Christian Man Coaching Guide (free download), and/or check out the Man in the Mirror Bible Study on “Lust”.
Remember: it’s what you do next that counts.
Yours for changed lives,