Guy Talk

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
so now that summer is upon us, i need some advice.
how do you deal with lust?
its so hard to get away from it all because it seems like everywhere you go there is something tempting you - at the mall, school, and even at church
i dunno what to do, because during summer i tend to drop in my spritual level alot
and i've caught myself up in the sin of masturbation and i really need help. Please share your experience and advice, thanks

Comments

  • Fill your days with prayer, service and study.

    Concentrate on one day at a time.

    Absolutely and completely abandon all sense that YOU can do anything about any sin, earnestly seek the grace of God for any improvement.

    Control your eyes. As soon as you notice a girl or woman avert your eyes and ask a blessing on her and forgiveness for yourself.

    Don't waste time. Idle hands and minds do the Devil's work.

    Find some sort of community service to fill the Summer with.

    Ask others to pray for you, and confess to your priest and ask his advice.
  • Servant33, I have to give you credit that is something the majority of men do not admit. But to put your mind at ease so you dont feel like the only one Ill give you some statistics. The internet is probably the biggest culprit because of its anonimity, it eliminates the whole degrading process of driving to the local porn store, and the shame of going in.

    51% of pastors say cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity Today, Leadership Survey, 12/2001).
    Over half of evangelical pastors admits viewing pornography last year.

    In a 2000 Christianity Today survey, 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week. (This is referring to the Latin Clergy not Orthodox)

    "At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago." (Divorcewizards.com)

    As of 2003, there were 1.3 million pornographic websites; 260 million pages (N2H2, 2003). ----This shows that pornography is omnipresent, and like the god of the internet, no matter where you go, it is there in some form, enticing you.

    47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003).

    The Internet was a significant factor in 2 out of 3 divorces (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2003 - divorcewizards.com).

    9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the Internet, in most cases unintentionally (London School of Economics January 2002).

    Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old (Internet Filter Review).

    While these statistics probably wont help you in controlling the issue, it is nice to know these things. I think most of us have been exposed to it, many of us struggle with it, and all of us have to live with it in some form, be it a billboard with a half naked woman on it, or one of those terrible jeans commercials. Another major problem with pornography addiction is that it becomes like a drug. Your brain does release significant amounts of dopamine creating a drug like effect, therefore it becomes addicting. After a while it starts to leak outside of the home, you cant control looking at women, constantly thinking of sex, and not that you would act upon it, but it is the fantasy OF the act that you are after.

    It would be wise to take Fr. Peter's advice and follow it strictly. I also suggest surrounding yourself with Iconography. Pornography is the iconography of the devil, therefore by surrounding yourself with the iconography of God you minimize the chances of having a fall. I like this idea because it seems almost as if the saints are looking at you, I converse with them alot, but of course I am a little strange, but it helps me.

    ANYTIME you feel that feeling in your gut and you think that you cannot control if you fall or not you  need to pray! Cross yourself and continue to say "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" Over and over until its gone. If you listen to worldly music, abandon it and replace it with things like Tasbeha, hymns in Coptic, the new Metonia CD that recently came out, Sermons from Orthodoxsermons.org. All these things will give the devil little chance to destroy you.

    The importance of daily hymns? The job of the angels is to sing praises to God, by you doing this, they come to your aid.

    Endure my friend, endure to the end.
  • Thanks for the advice guys. Please pray for me.
  • I would also say that most often what begins as the sin of lust ends up as a habit, and as a false and defective means of dealing with some other issue. A great many of those addicted to this sin as a habit are actually seeking an intimacy with an other, rather than the fulfillment of a lust, and in fact find the habit entirely unfulfilling and unsatisfying. There are few/no faithful Orthodox who find pleasure in lust. Most/all find it a burden and yet are attracted back to the habitual practice of this sin because in their heart there is a need that has been wrongly associated with this sin.

    It is not much different to those who eat when they are also lonely. That is another habitual practice, a sin, which has become wrongly and falsely associated with a particular need.

    For those of us who are Orthodox Christians there is a requirement for us to realise and appreciate and embrace the truth that God is and must be the centre of our lives. There can be no spiritual maturity if this is not so. And this does not mean that we should be constantly bothered about pleasing God, or even worse about being a failure. Because in fact both of these attitudes are all about us. They show that we are still self-centered. *I* want to please God. *I* am a failure.

    Once we realise that we cannot please God by our own actions, and that we are always failures when we act in our own strength, then we can begin to make progress in holiness. While we are trying to conquer this habit, or any other sinful habit, in our own strength we will achieve nothing of eternal value.

    Therefore we must accept the fact that we are failures and weak. We must accept the fact, if it is the case, that we do not enjoy this habit, and wish to be free from it, but that we can only be set free by relying on the grace of God. It has been said, and it seems to me to be true that we need to practice some other habit-breaking behaviour 21 times to re-inforce the behaviour we want to adopt. It has also been quoted from one of the Fathers on Tasbeha somewhere that there is no point doing the same thing over and over if we want to change the outcome.

    What is the normal practice of those who wish to break this habit? It seems to me that it is usually a definite decision of the will not to succumb to temptation. But then within minutes we have fallen, so we give up and carry on. Then a little later we try the same thing, screwing up our will and insisting that we will not fail this time. Perhaps for a day we succeed, and then we fail, and give up again.

    There is no point doing the same thing over and over.

    We must change our attitude, change our circumstances and change our behaviour.

    Perhaps we can ask ourselves a few questions.

    i. Why do I do something I don't want to? What is the hidden and deep-seated need in my life that I am trying to fill?

    ii. Is God the be all and end all in my life? Or am I more concerned about career, hobbies, friends and achievements?

    iii. Have I given over my weakness to God and confessed to him that I cannot even begin to live a holy life without him providing all the grace I need.

    iv. Am I filling my time with the presence of God? Nothing else will make a difference.

    v. Am I praying more, reading the Bible more, using the Jesus Prayer more, fasting more? But this all needs to be done seeking God's grace and not in our own strength.

    vi. Am I setting short achievable targets to achieve with God's help? There is no point saying 'I will never commit this sin again' if it is a deep-seated habit. But we can pray earnestly, 'Lord, give me the grace I need to pass this day without committing this sin'.

    If God is not the centre of our lives then we cannot make progress. If he is becoming the centre of our lives then we will not become distressed at the loss of friends, or when facing difficult circumstances, or when struggling with sin. He will be the source of that intimate relationship which all humans are created to desire, and which so many fruitlessly seek fulfillment of in people and habits which can never satisfy.

    God bless all who struggle with this habitual sin. There is hope and freedom in Christ.

    Father Peter
  • [quote author=peterfarrington link=topic=9385.msg115860#msg115860 date=1277215703]
    Fill your days with prayer, service and study.

    Concentrate on one day at a time.

    Absolutely and completely abandon all sense that YOU can do anything about any sin, earnestly seek the grace of God for any improvement.

    Control your eyes. As soon as you notice a girl or woman avert your eyes and ask a blessing on her and forgiveness for yourself.

    Don't waste time. Idle hands and minds do the Devil's work.

    Find some sort of community service to fill the Summer with.

    Ask others to pray for you, and confess to your priest and ask his advice.


    I'm not kidding, but I just wrote the exact same thing as Fr. Peter, and before posting it, i just had a quick look to see who else had posted, and found that he had in fact thought of the same things as me. Good minds think alike.

    But I want to add more thing:

    You really need to ask for God's Grace in dealing with this. Not just to overcome sin of lust, but to change this weakness so that rather than lust, you love instead.

    I think once you have overcome the sin of lust, your regard, or look towards a woman will completely change.

    Also, there's a very real problem here. You no doubt live in a society where everyone (most people) have a girlfriend or boyfriend. They no doubt have sex outside marriage, or perhaps do not even believe in marriage. Even if you turn your eyes, as fr Peter suggests, you will be bombarded by images of porn, or naked, semi-naked women wherever you go through advertising etc.

    It is quite hard to have a pure heart in any such environment, and no doubt it is impossible without God's Grace. But what is sad is that you will no doubt find yourself alone. I mean, once a christian decides to live a holy life, it will distance yourself automatically from others; on top of all of this, being Orthodox, although it is amazing, and we do have the fullness of the Christian life, we are few and far between - and so you may not have many good Orthodox friends.

    I was in the same position ages ago, and I was fortunate enough to have some amazing Christian friends and probably the most exhaustive social life you could possibly imagine; but that depends on what country you are in. Where are u?
  • what i am doing this summer is going to church everyday except for one day in the week because everyone needs their sabbath
    (day of rest, and that doesnt mean sunday specifically, it could be anyday because you need a day for your own personal growth)
    inshalla i will just be hanging around the abounas and the repair guy at our church to be my hands busy with something (no pun intended)
  • [quote author=Ioannes link=topic=9385.msg115862#msg115862 date=1277217230]
    ANYTIME you feel that feeling in your gut and you think that you cannot control if you fall or not you  need to pray! Cross yourself and continue to say "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" Over and over until its gone.
    Do this. Even if you've sinned.

    [quote author=Ioannes link=topic=9385.msg115862#msg115862 date=1277217230]If you listen to worldly music, abandon it and replace it with things like Tasbeha, hymns in Coptic, the new Metonia CD that recently came out, Sermons from Orthodoxsermons.org. All these things will give the devil little chance to destroy you.

    I think "worldly" music could be useful; he could use it as a replacement of his lust.
  • Thanks everyone for your posts.

    Father Peter, yes your post really related to me. I find the sin to be a big burden and wish it were gone. Regarding the sin emerging from another need, I think you are right. A while ago I met a really great young lady and we hung out a lot and for those 6 months, I just didn't have a problem with the sin - like I almost completely forgot about it. Unfortunately, she got engaged to someone else and within a month I fell back into the sin. So it may be out of a need for intimacy or friendship, since I tend to feel pretty lonely during the week.

    About your question Zoxsasi, yeah I'm in the US.

    I'll be sure to rely on God's grace to deal with this problem and not my own ability. Thanks Ioannes and sodr2, I'll be sure to cross myself and ask for God's mercy to help deal with the problem.

    Crazy4Christ1- cool I hope you have a good time and God bless your service

    Pray for me
  • [quote author=sodr2 link=topic=9385.msg115976#msg115976 date=1277563534]
    I think "worldly" music could be useful; he could use it as a replacement of his lust.


    I don't understand what you mean. How would that help? It seems it would only lead to sin..
  • When I commit the same sin I remember the verse:

    Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be the light to me  MICAH 7:8
  • [quote author=Hizz_chiilld link=topic=9385.msg116137#msg116137 date=1278001927]
    [quote author=sodr2 link=topic=9385.msg115976#msg115976 date=1277563534]
    I think "worldly" music could be useful; he could use it as a replacement of his lust.


    I don't understand what you mean. How would that help? It seems it would only lead to sin..

    Music can satisfy you, and you'll feel like you don't need to partake in these lusts.
  • Depends on what you're listening to actually. I'm not talking about music with bad lyrics, I don't know what kind of music u listen to
  • just occupy your time with other things. I'm not gonna lie, when i dont feel all so spiritual, i occupy my time with basketball to keep my mind off of lustly thought. Man, i feel NBA ready becuase of all the time i've used up doing so.
  • Servant, there is a good book you should read called "Porn Generation" by Ben Shapiro. Its a very good book about our sex obsessed culture. It also discusses Ted Bundys last interview before execution where he describes how porn became such an addiction he reached a point where there was nothing else but to act out.
  • I believe that these distractions have truly made the West Docile.  Just look at how the US Economy was looted by the Banking Cartel (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc.).  Yes there is indignation but not enough.  Birth rates are on the decline, men are not men anymore and women... well they are trying to be the men.  America was once a great Republic and look at it now!  In all honesty I believe that the socialization of things like Education (from the early 20th Century) really began all of this.  Public Education put children in the hands of the state to be programmed to support the agenda of the state.  Today the goal is devaluation to make the children understand their place as chattel property of the state.  Dehumanization is what its all about.  Why do we teach Evolution in the schools?  To downplay our divine origins!  That's why!  Dehumanization.

    Look at the content of television and mainstream media.  The banality of it all!!!  What do we as supposedly free men and women engage in intellectually if at all?

    Its more than just morality, it is really about Liberty!
  • forgive me for the sake of God if I repeat anything, but I will respond to a few things that my eyes caught as I scrolled through the posts!

    so now that summer is upon us, i need some advice.
    how do you deal with lust?
    its so hard to get away from it all because it seems like everywhere you go there is something tempting you - at the mall, school, and even at church
    i dunno what to do, because during summer i tend to drop in my spritual level alot
    and i've caught myself up in the sin of masturbation and i really need help. Please share your experience and advice, thanks

    when summer comes along, temperature rises, free time becomes much... everything becomes more... except... clothes! so next time check how many times you look at the opposite sex's body, and how many times you take a second glance, or a third... some people go to hundreds! don't you think that will have an effect on your though?

    what I usually do, is I try to look away... or view the girl as if she is my sister... and if the girl is close and I know she will accept me telling her to wear something different, I usually do... but make sure you are very close because not every girl is accepting to such advice from just any guy!

    also what happens in the summer, because you probably don't have summer school or classes, your life in less order, you wake up late one day, and early the other, you sleep on time one day, and sleep in the morning on the other! so a person needs order in their lives, they need to have a set schedule.

    Masturbation, or what I heard it called before, the sweet and sour sin... its so sweet, it will make you feel great while you do it, or when your brain is under the understanding you will do it... but then after you feel so sour and guilty and wonder why you are doing it in the first place!

    an exercise I was told by one of the monks about a close sin, was before you clean yourself, stand up and pray! so do that, before you clean yourself, stand with you dirty body, and dirty hands, and stand for prayers... this will show how committed you are, how you don't care if you fell, you have faith God will save you, and you will get up and pray, and believe me it will work!

    another thing that I've seen a lot of correlation with when I look into the researches, is stress levels, when a person is stressed, they will seek anything that will gratify them or give that "good feeling" which is usually done by masturbation, or drugs/drinking, or forms of sex... there are many things that person will get that "gratification" from... and by the way prayer is on the list of "gratification"

    music, again depends on what you listen to... I usually listen to songs in a "special" kind of way... I don't really know what I can tell you about that... but "if it doesn't bring me close... then adios"


    Akhadna el abaraka... neshkor Allah!
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