In our previous post on this topic we looked at three steps to dealing with lust:
- Acknowledge it, but realise that the woman is a shadow of who our hearts are really looking for.
- Realise we have a higher calling: we men are made to love women sacrificially like Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25), we are called to give (love) not take (lust).
- Act according to our calling by praying blessing on the woman we see. For example “Father, I thank you for this beautiful woman. I thank you that you have made her to be loved and cherished. I ask that you would pour out your blessing on her, that she would become aware of your presence, that she would find her value in your love and not how she looks….”
In this second post on this topic we look at how to prevent lust entering into our relationships with women in our Church.
For three years I led an organic church which ministered to those broken by traditional church. I had the honour of serving a number of young beautiful women. With one woman in particular she needed much prayer, counselling and support on her journey to wholeness and I soon realised that an attraction was growing within me.
This was not surprising due to the amount of time I was spending with her and the prayer counselling process which forms a bond between spirits. It was becoming distracting and was starting to interfere with my ability to serve her. But yet I was praying for her like I mentioned above. So what was I to do?
There’s this great passage in 1 Timothy that holds the key:
“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”
1 Tim 5:1-2 (emphasis mine)
We were family! As someone much younger and in my care, she was my spiritual daughter and I was her father. Once I saw this truth it started to change how I related to her. I started relating as a father loving his daughter rather than a man relating to an attractive woman. I started calling her my “daughter-in-Christ” to help outwork this view into our relationship and my mind.
The desire that I had felt inside me began to be transformed now I knew where it was to be focussed. The sexual energy that God had given me as a man was now channelled to the correct godly destination. No longer was it being hijacked by the worldly view that it must always result in physical gratification.
It was such a delight to love her as a father and seek her mature into a woman of God and the delight and pride I felt at her wedding to a godly man was overwhelming.
The phrase “brothers and sisters” occurs more than 100 times in the New Testament which speaks of the reality of our new relationships in Christ. In addition, Paul called Timothy his son (1 Cor 4:17, 1 Tim 1:2a; 1:18, 2 Tim 1:2a; 2:1, Tit 1:4, Phile 1:10) as did Peter call Mark (1 Pet 5:13). Paul also treated the Thessalonians as his children (1 Thess 2:11).
So may you start calling the women in your church your sisters (or if you’re much older like I was, your daughters) and see your relationships transformed as your sexual desires find their true purpose in Christ. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.