by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D.
Question: I'm married and know that 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says, "Treat older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity" (NIV). But I struggle with impure thoughts when I'm around women. What is the best way to keep my mind sexually pure?
Answer: I recommend a couple strategies.
- One, wear a rubber band on your wrist and every time you lust at a woman, snap it. This will stop reinforcing this behavior.
- Two, memorize a couple Scriptures on purity so you can access them when in need.
- Three, do what 1 Timothy 5:1-2 suggests, put all women in a relationship context.
Every woman is somebody's mother, daughter, sister and friend. Seeing women as people not as objects is what Paul was suggesting for us to do. Remember also that every woman is God's daughter. Imagine how God might feel toward you about lusting after His daughter. Exodus 20:17 commands us not to lust after our neighbor's wife.
So look up, down or in another direction if you must, but don't lust. Through His Spirit, you can love women as people. You just can't love and lust at the same time.
Also, you might try having an accountability partner you can call daily. Set it up so that the one who lusts the least during the week wins and the loser buys breakfast. You would be amazed what free food and compensation can do to change your behaviors.