Lust of the eyes is among the top causes of divorce and sexual sin in the world today. This is because most men like to look at pretty ladies. This too includes married men and also some Christians. Lust of the eyes can happen in public scenery or even privately on one’s smartphone, for example through social media posts.
The mature Holy Spirit-filled men may be able to focus their gaze ahead as they walk. The young believer men, however, find it very daunting and tempting when a pretty and, worse of all, half-naked one passes by. There’s an urge that comes from within the heart. It makes you turn your head towards the pretty lady who passed and look once, twice, thrice, or even more.
In the society we live in, fashion has taken a very tempting turn as covering up has become very optional. The internet and social media have also made nudity the fashion of the age and thus, the lust of the eyes has become a very tricky sin to overcome. When you lust at a woman or man with your eyes, you feel a strong desire in your heart to have him or her. This is sexual fornication to the unmarried and adultery to the married. That’s according to the Bible.
The issue of the lust of the eyes is a very critical one as it makes even the strongest men of faith stumble in their walk with God. This article is a direct help to men and women who want to overcome the lust of the eyes and build up successful marriages.
What does the lust of the eyes mean?
From Wikipedia, lust is a force that produces intense desire for something and can take any form such as lust for:
- Food (gluttony) etc.
Lust may seem like passion but passion propels you to achieve benevolent goals whilst lust doesn’t. Passion is a positive feeling that results in positive outcomes. Lusting, on the other hand, results in negative and regrettable results, which is sin.
From the definition, the lust of the eyes means a sinful desire to have the things that seem visually appealing to our eyes but are not ours. These things may not necessarily be the opposite sex but includes other material things of this world such as wealth, a good car, a good house, clothes, etc.
This article focuses on the lust of the eyes that comes from a man’s or woman’s desire to sexually possess someone who’s not his/her marriage partner.
Lust of the eyes in Marriage
It’s not sinful or bad to turn your eyes and look at someone who passed you down the street. Nope. Maybe you know them but were uncertain and had to glance once again to confirm? Maybe their fashion style captivated you? It’s not wrong.
What’s wrong is turning your eyes to them with a sexual desire or want. You turn your head and look at them, look at them again, and then look more at them lustily. Now that’s what is sinful and a trap in your marriage.
When you allow your eyes to lustily look at the pretty lady or handsome man on the sidewalk you give the devil a chance to whisper sinful thoughts into your ears and you may end up desiring to be with them. In fact, the initial step of adultery in marriages is lust. You lust at what your partner doesn’t have. This may be a voluptuous behind, a curved body, a masculine body, big or small breasts, etc.
If you are with your partner and they notice you lusting at the other person by looking at them desiring, you are not only undermining your partner but also endangering the foundation of your marriage; faithfulness.
How to deal with the lust of the eyes
To overcome the lust of the eyes, you must know how your sight determines your state of mind. What you see with your eyes is processed in your mind and heart and an outcome is given out in the form of action. The eyes are very vital members of your body and the devil has millions of years of experience in how to trap mankind through them.
The lust of the eyes is what led Eve to fall in the Garden of Eden. When she lusted at the forbidden fruit with her eyes, the lust was processed in her mind and heart and an outcome came out in the form of an act of disobedience. This led to the fall of mankind.
The following are ways to deal with the lust of the eyes as a Christian
1. Be filled with the Holy Spirit
The work of the Holy Spirit is to help us in our infirmities and weaknesses. One of the greatest weaknesses of mankind is the lust of the eyes and lack of self-control. We lust at what is not ours and yearn greatly to possess them at any cost. Most of the time the cost of getting what we lust for with our eyes affects the innocent who doesn’t deserve to suffer for our sins. Children, for example, are affected when their parents divorce because of cheating in marriage; which started simply as the lust of the eyes.
The Holy Spirit comes into your heart to help you overcome the lust of the eyes by teaching you not to love the world or the things in the world…
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes, the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
The Holy Spirit comes with spiritual gifts (Galatian 5:22) to equip you in this spiritual warfare.
These gifts include:
- Faithfulness, and
- SELF-CONTROL-key to overcoming lust of the eyes.
“Those who are in Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:23
A man who’s filled with the Holy Spirit will look at other women with love just as they will look at their mother, sisters, or daughter. The same applies to a Spirit-filled woman; she will look at the other men like their father, brother, or sons, depending on their age.
2. Study the WORD of God on a daily basis
When you study the Word of God daily, your focus will shift from the “things of this world” and you will focus on the things to come, of heaven. The Word of God is a Powerful Weapon, a Spiritual Sword, which the devil fears. Jesus overcame the devil’s temptation in the desert by quoting the Word of God.
When you know Scriptures that speak against the lust of the eyes and sexual sin, quote them when you feel your eyes want to turn and lust at the opposite sex who’s not your marriage partner. Some scriptures against the lust of the eyes:
3. Avoid turning your head in lust and intercede for them instead
The devil uses various ways to make you stumble to sin. One of the common ways is to use his demons to whisper tempting thoughts to your mind. If you’re a mature Christian, you know that the devil and his demons are at war with the Christians. It’s easy to differentiate your thoughts from the devils since if you are filled with the Spirit of God, there’s no way you can harbor sinful and lustful thoughts; they must be coming from the devil.
When a pretty lady is coming in front of you, irrespective of her looks or clothes look at her as a beautiful creation of God. If she’s dressed in a sexually tempting way, avoid lusting at her in your heart; instead, intercede for her to God through silent prayer. When she passes you, avoid turning your head and keep on interceding for them instead.
4. Speak to your partner about what makes you lust
Being open to your partner is one way of healing up in cases where the lust of the eyes was deeply rooted in your heart. Tell your partner why you think you turned your eyes and lusted after the man or woman who passed you down the street.
If your partner truly loves you, they will understand that you truly want to overcome the lust of the eyes and will assist you. They will try to change physically by taking weight loss classes they’ve been avoiding for long, gym sessions, etc.
You will find that the biggest ingredient to the lust of the eyes is self-control. Learn to control your desires by treating your partner with love, respect, and affection.
5. Avoid situations that encourages lust of the eyes
This may include public and private beaches, movies, secular music (which in fact is sinful to watch as a Christian), social media, etc. Avoid being in places that will make you lust at the opposite sex. When you are on social media such as Facebook, scroll over posts that depict sexual lusts and nudity.
I’ve learned that scrolling over these posts immediately without delay is the way to overcome the lust of the eyes on social media. When you linger just a second on a semi-nude post, you will encourage your brain to start lusting. The devil will also get a good chance to trick you into doing the same on each post the way he tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Overcoming the lust of the eyes is a daily battle that you should be willing to fight as a Christian and also as a married person. A victory today doesn’t mean a victory tomorrow and a defeat today doesn’t mean a defeat tomorrow. Live each day by totally relying on the Holy Spirit to overcome the lust of the eyes.
Study the Word of God and spend time with your marriage partner and your children. Strengthen your family bond by reading the Bible and praying together as a family.
Kindly share to reduce the rate of backsliding and divorce occurring as a result of cheating in marriage caused by the lust of the eyes.
God bless and help you as you overcome the lust of the eyes.