One thing I have noticed about men is that they see windows of opportunity everywhere. They see them in business, getting praise and even lusting. Lust is always our choice and responsibility. Lust will highlight the fact that there's "opportunity."
Lust will try to convince you women are its, things, objects, something to be consumed, and even that they exist just for your pleasure. The truth is, women are holy. No matter how they dress—women are made holy by a holy God.
Lust will lie to you, but when you start seeing all women as holy, you change the lens through which you view their bodies and personhood. Seeing a woman in the light of holiness gives you a permanent and reliable exit from any lie lust may give to you.
From this, you begin to view her with compassion and honor rather than consumptive feelings and attitudes of lust. This is your decision to make. Is every woman holy? When you decide yes, you decide to view her as God's heart and nature views her. Any other decision is lust, which is intent on dehumanizing a holy being into parts to justify temptation in your soul. When you see women as holy, you will really see how this affects your walk into a lust-free lifestyle.
Lust will tell you that women are not holy and want to be looked at. "After all," lust tells you, "look at the way they dress, the time they take to fix themselves up!" Lust lies to us and argues that some women send off a lot of sexual energy and dress to get attention.
Those women are usually broken in some way. They may have been sexually abused, neglected, financially needy or have low self-esteem or a mental health disorder. They are hurt women. Looking at them as an object or thing reinforces their pain. Lusting doesn't help them in any way.
Healthy women, which are the majority of women you see on a daily basis, feel slimed or creeped out when they are looked at lustfully. They know they are a person, not an object, and when they feel you objectifying them instead of seeing them as holy, it hurts them and leaves them feeling like you have to wipe your dirtiness off on them.
Women don't want to be lusted after—even broken women. At a deeper level, they want to be respected and valued as people. Lust makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution. Never believe this lie from lust. Treating women with respect and dignity makes you part of the solution.
Lust uses opportunity because men like opportunity. When we capitalize on opportunity in other areas of life, we feel a sense of accomplishment. However, when we follow the lies of lust, we will do something. This "something" will bring harm to us, and later, guilt and shame.
The real opportunity to be lust-free is to see a woman as holy. Begin to pray for her, yourself, and your wife and kids. Make a phone call to an accountability person when lust highlights an opportunity and you will win. At that point you will have done something good, something you won't later regret. You will feel the confidence that comes from accomplishment. All opportunities are times to live lust-free. It's your choice.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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