Just the word alone is cringe-worthy, isn’t it? Almost everyone agrees that it’s a bad thing, but there are very few who reference it in their day-to-day conversations, or even really know what it means. Christians often acknowledge it as a common sin, but do little more than whisper it under their breath at prayer meetings. Uttering it loud enough for normal ears to hear is seen to be almost as bad as committing the sin itself.
While there are many detriments to treating lust this way, perhaps the biggest consequence is a plethora of young men and women who are unable to combat it. However, for many, the problem is not their willingness, but their method. Too many people continue to fight a losing battle.
What is the key to fighting?
Know Your Enemy
The first step toward success in anything always begins with preparation. Fighting lust is the same. A warrior who runs blindly into battle not only looks foolish, but plays into the enemy’s hands. Too often we think that lust is an action that we can simply turn down. Just say “no” to premarital sex, pornography, etc. However, doing so is like blindly swinging a sword in the middle of battle every time you hear a noise. You may strike something down, but something else will always get you from behind. The key though, is realizing that lust is not an action, but an attitude of the heart. Lust is selfishness. Lust distorts. Lust is fleeting. Lust is demanding. Lust objectifies. Lust takes. It is an irrational trade – eternal joy for temporary pleasure.
Fighting on God’s Ground
If lust is a selfish, personal disposition, why do we so often try to fight it on the same grounds? Here’s what I mean:
I think we get so caught up in fighting against something, that we forget to fight for something. A warrior who fights to stay alive will almost always fall before a warrior who fights to keep another alive. Yet this is what we do so frequently in our fight against lust. We fight for our own personal purity and lose sight of the bigger picture. I think the enemy wants you to fight only for your purity, because he knows that is what’s easiest for you to give up. Sacrifice your purity for your pleasure. That’s an easy deal to swing.
But what if there’s more to it than that? What if there’s more at stake? What if there is a prize to win? What if there is a princess to save?
Fight with Purpose
Here’s the main point: you are not fighting against lust – you’re fighting for marriage – both the principle and the person. The opposite of lust is not purity, it’s marriage – and purity is a part of it.
Marriage is everything that lust is not:
Lust is selfish – marriage is selfless.
Lust distorts – marriage enhances.
Lust is fleeting – marriage is binding.
Lust is demanding – marriage is submissive.
Lust objectifies – marriage personifies.
Lust takes – marriage gives.
Lust is physical pleasure – marriage is spiritual joy.
Marriage – your marriage – is certainly something to fight for. It is a divine, eternal concept that represents God’s love for the church. After all, Christ remained pure, sinless in fact, not just for himself, but for us. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Fight for that picture. Fight for your future spouse – for when your bodies become one. Purity is the most beautiful wedding gift. Remember, there is a grand purpose to the fight. It’s not an easy battle, and you will not always win. But, there is a prize waiting, and a marriage worth fighting for.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
You are not fighting against lust, you are fighting FOR marriage.