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Lust, Porn and Dating

How can young men best cope with their struggles with lust? And is it wrong to pursue a wife before that sin has been conquered? Join me as I discuss this issue.

Transcript

What advice do you have for young men struggling with lust & porn?

Like a lot of men, probably most young men struggle with sexual purity at various times and for many, it’s an ongoing struggle all the way through their lives. But for young men, in particular, I suppose first I’d want to help them understand that their struggle is normal in the sense that there is that sexual awakening and that is a normal thing guys go through. But then sexual sin is abnormal in the sense that it’s not okay. God doesn’t give you permission to act out on those sexual desires except within marriage. So I want young men to really commit to holiness, young men to really commit to purity and to look forward to the time when those sexual desires can be fulfilled in the right context, which is marriage.

And in those younger years, there’s this long period of trial, long period where you have desires but they cannot be fulfilled and I really see that as a training ground where you can learn self-control, sexual self-control. It used to be called continence. To learn to take those desires and to give them to the Lord. To say on my own, I can’t withstand this temptation, but with You, I can. And then to learn self-control, to bring that self-control now into marriage. That’s a great gift to bring a bride in marriage, is the gift of, I have these desires under control. I’m now bringing them to you under control. Rather than doing what so many young men do, which is let themselves go completely out of control. Then they enter into marriage having to learn self-control, they bring a lot more hurt, a lot more bad habits, a lot more bad patterns into the marriage.

So, young man, this is a time for you to learn to be self-controlled. Now, to be properly self-controlled means you need to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. That is fruit of the Spirit. So, turn to Christ, be saved and then the Spirit lives within you, so you can put that sin to death, so you can come alive to righteousness, which is the self-control, the purity that is yours through Christ.

Should a young man who is currently struggling with lust & porn pursue a dating relationship?

Yes, I get that question all the time; what does a young man do when he’s struggling with porn, yet he wants to pursue a girlfriend and does he need to be completely over that sin? Does he need to have tremendous victory over it before he can pursue a girl? Some people would say that. Other people would say, go ahead and pursue a girl and get married, and that is the antidote to your struggles.

Well first, you can not expect that your wife and the ability to have sex in God’s way is now going to take away your lust. These are not the same thing. A sexual relationship with your wife will not cancel out a porn addiction. Those are very different things. So, you need to gain victory and you need to really find significant victory over that sin and not think that purely the ability to have sex with a wife will take that away. So, pursue, pursue victory.

On the other hand, you’ve got to be careful that you probably will still have some temptation that you’ll bring into marriage. Many men struggle throughout, many women struggle throughout their lives in this area. So you can’t expect complete perfection, complete lack of desire toward any sort of sexual sin.

So, somewhere between these two is the balance and that’s where I think, really appealing to some Godly couples in the church and asking them to provide guidance, appealing to a pastor and asking him for guidance, and really working this through. So, do not expect that getting married will take away your problem with lust. On the other hand, don’t think that you’ll completely conquer every lustful thought before you get married. Somewhere in there, there’s this balance you’ve got to find with older, wiser people and of course praying constantly to God, asking Him to grant you wisdom.


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