Question: Doug, 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 few 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 some Scriptures on purity so you can access them when in need. Three, do what 1 Timothy 5:1-2 suggests—view all women in the context of a relationship.

Every woman is somebody's mother, daughter, sister or friend. Paul was suggesting that we see women as the people they are and not as sexual objects. Remember too that every woman is God's daughter. Imagine how God might be feeling when you're 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—just don't lust. Through God's Spirit you can love women as people. You just can't love and lust at the same time.

Also, try finding an accountability partner whom you can call daily. Make an agreement with your partner that the one who lusts the least during the week wins and the loser buys breakfast. You will be amazed to discover that free food and compensation can inspire you to change your behavior.

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author and therapist and the founder of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. This article originally appeared in New Man emagazine.

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