How can I help my friend deal with lust?

Question:

“I Need some advice. I have a friend who’s outgoing and frienly, which is great, but she throws her self at every guy she thinks is cute. It has been like this for years and she has never been single. What worries me is she even dates unchristian guys and she goes pretty physically far with them (kissing & making out, sitting on there lap). I dont wanna be the judgemental friend but I don’t wanna watch her fall into a bigger pit.. she keeps giving her heart away to every guy”

I am glad she has a friend like you, and I pray that God would use your loving involvement to change her heart, character, desires, and behaviors. However, as far as what you can do, remember there is a limit to how much you can influence another person. Its very unfortunate, but you cannot force someone to change for the better, if that were so we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit to open sinners hearts, but could simply force everyone. The good news is that the Holy Spirit does precisely that, and through prayer and a gentle relationship with this girl, you may be the instrument the Holy Spirit uses to save her from her self-destructive ways.

PRAY CEASELESSLY

The first thing you should earnestly focus on is prayer. It sounds like she is a Christian or at least was raised in the church. In any case first pray that God would really reveal Himself to her and she would truly know Jesus. The Apostle Paul said three tremendous life-changing prayers that you could adapt and pray from. The man who God used to write the Bible, had similar problems with people who were falling into sin, and thus he prayed for them to have a mind which could discern (understand) what is wrong, a life that is worthy of the Savoir, and strength from the Holy Spirit that would help Christians overcome failure and sin. If you pray along with Paul, the Lord may grant her grace and lead her to repentance. Honest to goodness, prayer is the means by which God accomplishes much in our world.

1. Philippians 1:9-11: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

2. Colossians 1:9b-12: [I am] asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully thanks to the Father, who has qualified youd to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

3. Ephesians 3:16-19: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 

INVESTIGATE HER MOTIVES

I would encourage you to spend some time trying to dig deep into her soul in order to figure out what drives her. While its true that we are all sinners and our the cause of our behavior can be explained by the subconsciously desire to sin, often there are specific things that cause us to do specific sins. Try you best to discern the reasons she does what she does. Take her out for coffee and try to create an atmosphere where you two can talk privately and intimately. Sometimes when we talk about serious issues the location or people present can ruin our ability to open up, so find a way to create a very intimate environment.

Talk to her very directly, but also very gently and with genuine love and a desire to understand her. In your conversation try to search out the root of the problem that is causing her to jump into the arms of guys. If possible lead her to actually admit whatever the cause is. Once she has given that up, and it may be a combination of things, the cure will be Jesus. If she refuses to admit shes doing anything wrong and doesn’t want to talk about the motives for her behavior, lovingly remind her of what Scripture says (Song of Solomon 2:7, Matthew 5:28 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 7:8,9) and that she may be against Scriptures. If she refuses to pay attention, be friendly to her and pray for her, but you cannot proceed in counseling her problem, you need to start witnessing to her about Jesus and repentance.

 

SHOW HER THE CURE IS JESUS

If she does reveal, at some level, the reasons she does it, you ought to show her that Jesus is the cure for the issue, whatever it is. And not only tell her, but understand yourself and believe, that Jesus, indeed, is the cure to any failure or sin on our part. Below are some examples of how this could work.

Low Self Worth

Your friend may be very insecure and may find her identity and self worth in knowing that guys like her. Maybe she was abused as a child, bullied in school, or for some other reason feels unloved, and thus she yearns attention in order to regain that feeling of love that she thinks she lacks. If this is the case, you should slowly reason with her and lead her to finding identity in Jesus. Explain to her that she is valuable and loved to Jesus, not because of her body, her works, her anything, but simply because God is a father who loves her, despite all her shortcomings. Teach her to stop seeing her source of personal worth from doing to things to be loved (by guys, by other people, by God) and instead teach her to understand that God has already loved her infinitely. Avoid building her pride by telling her that she is a great and amazing person who just needs to think better of herself or have better “self-esteem,” instead teach her that Jesus came for broken people and those are the kinds of people that he loves so much (Psalm 34:18).

Licentious Lust

Your friend may simply acknowledge that she has a strong biological and hormonal desire to be physically intimate and sexually active (there are other ways of being sexually active beside intercourse, for example”kissing & making out, sitting on their lap” definitely qualifies as a sexual act).  If that is the case, that she just does it because it feels good or feels right, gently remind her that the Bible teaches this kind of behavior is not what God designed sexuality for. Explain to her that emotional and physical love is a special thing to be shared between husband and wife. Insist that what she is doing is sinful and selfish; its ultimately aimed at pleasing her own feelings, not the feelings of her spouse. Its actually hurtful for her future spouse while its pleasing for her; it is destructive to her future spouses feelings while pleasing to her current temporary feelings. This is exactly the opposite of what God made sexuality for. And finally, explain to her that the reason she cannot defeat these sinful feelings is because she needs to have her desires transformed by the Holy Spirit. Invite her to approach Jesus and ask him to change her heart, feelings, cravings, and desires. You may find more information about how to deal with Christian sexuality on the following blog: http://www.girlsgonewise.com/topics/sexuality/

Looking for Love

Your friend may have a genuine desire to fall in love and experience the thrill of giving love and being loved. She may even desire to seek a spouse. Yet in her impatience and selfishness, she is taking things into her own hands and taking a good desire (to love and be loved) and perverting it because “she wants it.” She may be unaware that her good desire (to love and be loved) is being ruined by her anxiousness and because she isn’t trusting Jesus to provide the right spouse at the right time. Perhaps she may be afraid that if she doesnt act “outgoing” she would not attract the attention of the right guy and get married. Whatever the case may be, when the “right thing” doesn’t happen at the “right time” and in the “right place” it becomes the “wrong thing.” Lead her to see that she needs to trust Jesus, because He has our lives in his hands; every hair on our head is counted by Him. He is trustworthy and instead of trusting self to get what she wants, instead she needs to trust Him. Instead of trying to only find true love in the arms of a guy, invite her to find the main source of true love in the arms of a far greater Treasure, Jesus. Invite her to understand that the best type of romantic love will only happen to those who have first found their greatest treasure if Christ.

 

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