A Better Way Than Lust Management

Andrew Bunt 3 months ago
Blog 2 mins
Found in: Sexuality

Many of us will find ourselves having to wrestle with how to support people engaging in sexual sin. That could be pornography usage, sexting, sexual hookups or sex in a non-marriage relationship. It could be in the lives of others or in our own lives.

I recently came across a podcast episode that has really helped my own thinking on how to support people in this area. It was an episode of ‘The One Conversation’, a podcast from Axis, whose resources we have reviewed a few times before (here and here). The episode is an interview with Jay Stringer, a therapist, minister and researcher who has a particular focus on helping people to break free from unwanted sexual behaviour.

A better and more effective approach looks deeper.

In the discussion, Jay describes the common Christian approach to unwanted sexual behaviour, an approach he calls ‘lust management’, which tries to tackle things by just engaging with the surface level. A better and more effective approach, he suggests, looks deeper. He encourages curiosity and questioning about our sexual struggles. He talks about the benefit of not just rejecting our sexual desires but reflecting on our experience of lust so we can learn from it, thinking about what need we are trying to meet in an unhealthy manner. This, he observes, is all part of heeding Scripture’s call to have our minds renewed (Romans 12:2) because that renewal can’t take place if we don’t first understand our minds.

The podcast goes on to apply some of these insights to parents and other adults who are involved in the lives of young people. Jay suggests parents should be looking to have 100 one-minute conversations with their children about sex, not one 100-minute conversation, and he helpfully talks about the importance of being an empathetic witness as a way of seeking to protect young people from some of the impacts of trauma.

I found the episode such a helpful discussion. It’s caused me to reflect again on my own battle with sexual sin and equipped me to better support others in their sexual struggles. I’d highly recommend giving it a listen.

You can listen to the whole episode below or on your preferred podcast platform (e.g. Spotify or Apple Podcasts).