I am in my mid twenties and I honestly don’t know many men both my age, above, and below who do not struggle with combating lust (I am talking about Christian men, who would call that a “struggle” against sin), including myself.
The last two years have been extremely healing for me in that area and I now know that grace and the power of God for people who struggle with addictive habits.
I want to pass along two resources which I think are excellent for any man or teenager who needs help in breaking off addictive habits in regards to lust.
Breaking the Cycle by George N. Collins
George Collins is a the founder and director of Compulsion Solutions, a counseling service in SF which specializes in
treatment of sexually compulsive behavior. He wrote this book out of his experiences as a counselor. This is not a Christian book.
This, however, is an extremely practical book. Church rhetoric about how men can overcome lust issues are often over-simplified (“Just pray more when you’re tempted”, “Get into accountability group”, “Just look the other way”, etc..). Collins will provide a first venture into the mind of an addict and how they can start to become free.
Each chapter has a 1) insight into the addicted mind and 2) a powerful technique that he wants readers to try to begin the journey of discovering themselves. After all, the key to removing addictive habits is deep (very deep) self-awareness. This book is highly recommended.
Breaking Free by Russell Willingham
This is a really good book. Probably the best.
Most guys who pick this up will scoff at why Willingham goes into emotions, past, and needs so often, thinking that their issue is a matter of self control, hormones, and “being a guy”.
The truth is, the core of all addictive behavior is deep unmet emotional need. When God gives you that revelation, you will really begin to be free. Collins, in Breaking the Cycle, may teach you amazing self-control techniques, but Willingham, in Breaking Free, will really take you deep into your heart as to why you do those things.
Reading through the chapter slowly and journaling about your own heart is really recommended. Chapter twelve (Hunt of the Malnourished Heart) and thirteen (Where Life and Death Intersect) are probably the apex of the book and you have to get to those chapters.
So there, it is, two great resources for men who struggle with lust. Enjoy.