Do Over, Session 5: Walking With a Limp

 By Phil Callaway

walkingwithalimpLust: It’s one of the reasons I almost didn’t write my latest book. When asked to keep a diary of my attempt to live without telling a lie for an entire year for the book To Be Perfectly Honest, I knew I couldn’t do so without confessing that I’m still capable of lust. I know what you’re thinking. Are you kidding? At your age? You’re 50. Man, you have one foot in the grave and the other on a skateboard. 

I understand. When I was younger, I thought, If I live to be 40, then this lust thing will vanish and I can live in complete victory like all these old geezers around here. 

When I was well past 40, a romance novelist whom I had met at a writer’s conference sought me out and began pursuing me, a married man. Having a face for radio, I wasn’t prepared for this. Unwisely we became friends on a social networking site, and the next thing I knew, she wanted to get together.

I sat down and wrote out a list titled “Benefits of an Affair.” I could think of only one: “extreme temporary pleasure.” Then I wrote “What I’d Forfeit If I Had an Affair.” That list was longer. “Money. Peace. Joy. Body parts. Really good home-cooked meals every day. Pleasure without guilt. My wife’s trust. My trust. Credibility with my sons. My ministry. Friends trusting me around their wives. Being able to look everyone I meet straight in the eye. Guilt-free family reunions. Walking my daughter down the aisle with people crying for all the right reasons. Staring at the ceiling late at night when everyone’s asleep and grinning like a carefree little kid.”

I logged on to Facebook, lost a friend, and gained a clear conscience.

Guys, when you sin, confess immediately. Give thanks that Jesus is on your side. 1 John 2:1 tells me that He defends me before the Father, that I’m forgiven and loved. That love is not a license to sin, but it compels me to walk on with Him. And I walk with a limp. So do my greatest heroes of the faith. Maybe that limp is why so many can catch up to us and ask for help.

One more thing: Flee youthful lust. And when you get to be my age, push your walker away from it as fast as you can.

In 2012,  Phil Callaway celebrated 30 years of marriage to Saint Ramona (his pet name for her). Visit him at

© Getty Images / Ray Pietro

homelife darinThis article originally appeared in the September, 2012 issue of HomeLife. Subscribe


  1. john young says:

    Question: When you lost your dear wife to lung cancer and your 72 years old and lonesome is it still lustful to think of the opposite sex as possible companions?

    • James Jackson says:

      Hi John– thanks for the comment. I am so sorry for your loss. Your question is difficult to answer because I don’t know you or your heart. There is nothing in the Bible that would prevent you from remarrying after the loss of your wife. My best advice for you would be to get involved in a small group of men your age (ideally, men that have also experienced loss). Talk to them about what you are feeling, and let them help you discern whether the healthy desire for companionship is crossing the line into unhealthy lust. Praying for you. Blessings on the new year.

    • James Jackson says:

      John, I was converting the articles for one of our upcoming sessions, and when I read this one, I thought of you and your question. I hope this article ministers to you. Blessings.

  2. Bill Shepherd says:

    I loved your illustration concerning the “Benefits vs the Forfeiture of an Affair!” I have a friend that is haired this story with! Thanks for sharing as when I was a younger man I wish I had that illustration to think about! Praise be to God I have Jesus as my personal Savior!

  3. Hi. Any advice for a wife that is deeply hurt by the actions of a husband’s lust?
    Help, someone, I need healing. I love my husband. I hate his actions of lust. It hurts too deeply.
    Thank you.

    • James Jackson says:

      I am so sorry for your pain. The best advice I can give you, though, is to talk to your pastor or another spiritual counselor about this. There’s no amount of counseling anyone can give online that can substitute for wise counsel from someone who knows you.

    • Jay Peavley says:

      I felt led to share this with you. I’m not sure what your situation is when you say “actions of a husband’s lust.” If it is concerning Adultery already committed, I will just say keep on keeping on with drawing close to God. He will never leave you or forsake you and He is the only one that will ever love you with a perfect love! If your situation is just a matter of your husbands eyes wondering and endless flirtation, etc., then I want to recommend a book to you that deals with the war that ALL men deal with daily, called “everyman’s battle,” written by Arterburn & Stoeker. Be advised, this book is written by men for men to equip them for victory over Satan’s greatest war on men…lust and pride. You will be angry when you see the downfall and failures we men can have over and over, but It will help equip you to understand the war your husband faces many times a day and with that understanding, you can be a better help meet that God created you to be. If your husband will read the book also, it may be the key God uses to help free him from this common bondage of sin. Prayers going up for you both!

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