Lust

How To Have Self-Control When Feeling Lust

It is normal and natural to feel physical attraction for others. If you’re in a dating relationship, you will feel sexual attraction for your girlfriend or boyfriend. But lust, if not properly understood and controlled, can lead to harmful behaviors that can damage self-esteem and ruin romantic relationships.
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What is Lust?

Lust is different from the biological sensations of attraction. Lust is a sense of intense sexual desire that can feel like it is dominating your thinking. The difference between love and lust is not an exact science, but lust is different from love and expresses itself in different ways.

Lust is selfish. It doesn’t have anything to do with who someone is, or what you love about them as a unique individual. When you love someone, you care about them and want to help meet their needs, whether or not they’re ready for sex. Lust, on the other hand, is focused on wanting to be with someone sexually only because of how that sexual contact can gratify your desires. It is more of a hunger or craving for someone’s body than a deep, unconditional love for who they are.

Physical

Lust is defined as having an intense passionate desire for something. It is most often associated with a sexual desire. The difference between lust and love is that lust focuses on the physical desire whereas love focuses more on the emotional desire. When you feel your heart rate increase, notice your palms are sweating or you get butterflies in the stomach.... these are just a few common signs of lust.

Emotional

Lust can form an intense sexual desire that can feel like it is dominating your thinking. It's natural to have a sexual desire for your partner, and it's important to understand that having a sexual desire is not shameful. But when you let the sexual desire control you, it can potentially lead to harmful behaviors that will leave you feeling ashamed. These harmful behaviors can damage your self-worth and lead to various emotional crisis.

Spiritual

If you were shamed for speaking about anything that revolved around the topic of sex., you could have a history of "religious guilt." It's important to have healthy conversations about lust and sex. It is a natural and beautiful part of life between two people in a committed relationship. It's important to know how your sexual behavior affects deep soul ties with another person. Additionally, if you are struggling with lustful thoughts about someone check yourself. Are you seeing a person with a soul or just their appearance? Learning how to control your lust can play a vital role within your spiritual growth.

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Lust and Risky Behavior

It may seem like lust is a private feeling, but it can influence how you treat your partner, and it can lead to other risky and harmful behaviors, such as:

• Having sex before you or your partner feel ready
• Crossing physical boundaries that you don’t want to cross before marriage
• Using pornography or masturbation to gratify sexual desire, which can become an addictive behavior
• Sexting, which has high risks of exposure or discovery, and could impact you or your partner’s future success.
• Pressuring someone else to masturbate, watch you masturbate, or have sex in order to make you feel satisfied, which is sexual assault.
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How to Face Lust: 
Self-Control, Not Shame

It can be difficult to know where to turn for help, especially if you grew up in a church or family where lust (and anything related to sexuality or sexual behavior) was either never talked about, or was shamed so much you felt like you could never discuss it again. But sexuality is a normal part of how we’re made, and it’s not something to feel ashamed of.

The key is understanding attraction in a healthy way. It’s important to learn how to express your feelings of attraction in a way that makes you and your partner feel safe, and doesn’t compromise your boundaries or beliefs. If you are struggling in this area, know that you can learn healthy thought patterns and self-care practices that lead to greater self-control, and stop damaging your romantic relationships with risky behavior.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

If you are struggling with lustful feelings, be prepared for how to handle it when lustful desires randomly sneak up on you.

The goal is to train your mind and body to reject the lust. It's about choosing to focus on relationship instead of desire. The Bible gives clear guidance for choosing what's right over giving into your desires. As it says in 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT) Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

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