Looking at Other Women: A Tough Battle for Every Man

In writing for Got Questions ministry, I was recently asked to address the following question: How do I stop myself from looking at other women?

I certainly understand your struggle and have found through the years that there is no quick solution. It takes relying upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen you. There are some keys that I think will help in this struggle.

1. Ask yourself how you consider women in your subconscious. Do you see them as creations of God and His daughters? I have noticed in my own life as a man, that when I find myself slipping in this area I have to remind myself of who women are in God’s eyes. In fact, even in dealing with my wife, I remind myself that she is God’s daughter and that I need to treat her with honor. I try to remember Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” 2. In Psalms 101:3 (American KJV), the Psalmist says, “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not stick to me.” If we really understand lust to be an evil thing in our life, the Psalmist here is saying he takes deliberate actions to protect his eyes. Certainly, when you see a woman it is not sinful to say to yourself, “She is a pretty lady.” But, don’t allow your eyes or your imagination to linger and think lustful thoughts towards her. I have found this becomes an increasingly difficult task in the warmer months of summer when society is accepting of scant clothing. But, it is a discipline to practice.

I would hope your wife isn’t going to leave you over this issue. There is a book called Every Man’s Struggle. I have not personally read this book, so I neither endorse nor judge it. However, you might consider sitting with your wife and reading through that book or a similar book to help her understand the battle that man does have. It’s widely taught in Christian circles that men are stimulated by sight whereas women are not as much.

In the meantime, pray intensely about this and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and guide you. It will likely be something Satan will attempt to tempt you with because it’s a weakness at this point. This will be much like someone who has lost a great amount of weight continues to be tempted with food or an alcoholic whose mouth waters when he sees a beer on another table in a restaurant. Let this issue be a barometer of your spirituality. When you find yourself struggling, practice what is taught in James 1:21, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

The world today is designed to draw people into the lusts of their humanity whether it be money, sex or power. When you feel yourself losing in this realm…recognize that you need to increase your Bible study and fellowship with God. There is victory to be had on a daily basis if we attempt to replace our lust with the things of God. I have also found that if I pray for a person, I am not lustful, not willing to cause them harm, etc. So, when you are somewhere and your eyes see a woman say a quick prayer to God that He would bless her, that He would lead her into salvation and ask Him to let you see her as a creation of God to be respected and not lusted after.

A book called “Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It” by Jerry Jenkins has helped me to set safeguards in my marriage. In that book, Jenkins suggests erecting ‘hedges’ to protect yourself. He draws upon the example of Billy Graham who has ministered for over 50 years with integrity. Graham doesn’t dine alone with a woman. Through the years, I have made it a practice to call my wife if the demands of the job put me in a situation where I will be dining alone with a female. I Thessalonians 5:22 speaks of avoiding “the appearance of evil”.

I know of a man who would lay his Bible on the TV when he was in a hotel on a business trip. He said there was no way he was going to watch an inappropriate television show with that Bible sitting there. I know of another man who carries a picture of his family in his luggage and sets it near the television. Certainly these are examples of true commitment. We as Christians owe it to each other to be faithful to our calling as Christians. If we are truly seated with Him in heavenly places as we are told in Ephesians 2:6, we have the responsibility to protect our testimony so we don’t bring reproach to the cause of Christ. I will pray that God gives you great victory in this realm.

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