Caution: This topic may not be appropriate for younger audiences. Without being unnecessarily graphic, my hope in writing this two part series is to offer helpful biblical counsel for the many Christian girls who are struggling in this area.
This is the second half of a two part series on the topic of masturbation. If you missed my first post, I highly recommend reading it before you read this one. In the first post I shared about my journey to finding freedom from this struggle as well as 3 reasons masturbation is wrong for Christian girls. You can read the first post HERE.
Understanding the damaging effects of lust and masturbation in our lives is only the first half of the equation.
The second half is actually doing something about it. Old habits die hard, and sin’s grip is tight…so breaking free from a habitual sin isn’t easy, but it CAN be done. With the power of Christ on our side, we can be more than conquerors in this area.
In this post I want to give you 8 practical strategies that helped me overcome lust and masturbation in my life, and will hopefully help you overcome these struggles too.
8 Strategies for Defeating Lust and Masturbation:
1. Confess to God and Tell Someone
The biggest problem with our sin isn’t that we feel sad and guilty about it…it’s that we’re sinning against a perfect and holy God. We are ignoring Christ’s death on the cross and rebelliously choosing to be obey our flesh. The first step to finding freedom from any sin is to humbly confess it to God.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
The next step is to confess your struggle to a godly Christian woman. Personally, I chose to confess my sin to my parents even though it was the hardest thing ever. But through that confession, I found an abundance of freedom and peace. Be willing to humble yourself and share your struggle with someone.
2. Choose to Fight the Battle
Although this may seem obvious, it’s not. So often we struggle day in and day out with a certain sin because we’re not choosing to aggressively battle against it. In our minds we say, “I hate this, I want to defeat this!” but then we do very little to actually defeat the sin.
Galatians 5:17 says, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Our flesh is weak and craves what is contrary to righteousness. Therefore, we have to actively battle against our flesh in order to conquer our sin. The rest of the strategies on this list will show you how to go to battle.
3. Memorize the Word Daily
God’s Word has power. If we want to overcome our sin, we must be faithful to fill our minds with His truth. As we resist the desires of our flesh and the seduction of this world, we must saturate our minds with God’s truth.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
God’s word has the power to convict us of sin, and to remind us of the hope we have in Christ. If we’re not actively filling our minds with truth, we will default to believing lies. Whenever you feel the temptation coming on, redirect your thoughts to some key passages that you’ve memorized. Here are some great verses to start with: Psalm 19:14, Psalm 51:10, James 4:7, 2 Corinthians 12:9.
4. Pray Your Heart Out
You are not alone in your fight. You have a loving heavenly Father who cares for you and wants to hear from you. Talk to Him through prayer. Confess your sins, cry out to Him for strength, and praise His holy name. Be intentional to start every day off with prayer.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. We cannot conquer sin on our own, so cry out to our powerful God who has conquered sin and death. Pray when you wake up, pray throughout your day, and pray before you go to bed.
5. Get an Accountability Partner
Confessing your struggle to someone is a great first step, but don’t stop there. Since the flesh is weak, it is extremely helpful to have someone holding you accountable on a weekly basis. Don’t fight this battle alone. As hard as it may be, humble yourself and ask a godly woman to hold you accountable in this area. Ask her to follow up with you on a regular basis (via text, email, phone call, or in person) and ask how you’re doing.
James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16).”
Have your accountability partner pray with you and for you throughout the week. This is a huge step (and one many people neglect) in finding freedom from ongoing sin.
6. Ditch Unhealthy Media
Since sexualized media is so widely accepted, we often fill our minds with endless garbage and wonder why our thoughts stray. When I was younger, I made the choice to ditch ungodly media from my life. This made a massive difference in my fight against lust. If a movie, magazine, song, or book contained sexual content, I ditched it. This includes Christian romance novels.
Filling our minds with scenes containing passionate makeout sessions, sexual acts, and partial nudity isn’t going to help us win the battle against lust.
Romans 13:14 commands us to, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Make no provision. I want to encourage you to examine your media intake and intentionally ditch anything that is making a provision for your flesh. Choose to throw it away and instead fill your mind with God honoring content.
7. Exercise and Eat Healthy Foods
On a practical level, taking care of our bodies is extremely helpful for keeping our female hormones balanced. Choosing to eat a whole food diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will help keep your mind clear, body strong, and hormones in order.
Rather than coming from a physically weak state, be intentional to maintain a healthy body and that will aid you in fighting your internal battles.
8. Focus on Serving Others
The more we focus on ourselves, the more we will be consumed with ourselves and our desires. One of the best ways to beat temptation is to actively serve and love others.
When you notice that lustful thought creep in, instantly redirect your thoughts by praying for a friend or family member. Rather than filling your mind with brainless late night entertainment, keep your hands and mind busy by serving others (i.e. write encouraging cards, help with household chores, call someone, etc.).
As Galatians 5:13 reminds us, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
If there is a certain time of the day that you struggle the most, be sure to fill that time with intentional prayers and actions that are others focused.
I pray this strategy plan is helpful for you as you fight the battle against lust in your life!
In addition to the 8 action steps above, I also encourage you to grab a copy of Josh Harris’ little book titled, Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is. This book was – hands down – the most helpful tool God used to help me gain freedom from masturbation. I can’t encourage you enough to read it.
May God give you the wisdom, strength, and courage to take serious steps toward freedom today. And may your life be another testimony of God’s power, grace, and freedom from the bondage of sin.
I’m praying for you, girl!
Photo Credit: Here