What Is a Nipple Bleb?

By 

Donna Murray, RN, BSN 

Updated on November 29, 2022

You may be concerned if you notice a white spot on your nipple while breastfeeding. However, these white spots on the nipple are relatively common during breastfeeding. They form on the nipple at the end of a milk duct or nipple pore and are called nipple blebs, milk blebs, or milk blisters.1 These small, milk-filled cysts or blockages are thought to be created by breast milk that has become thick and hard during breastfeeding.

If you have a milk bleb, it might look like a smooth, shiny, singular white or yellow dot (similar to a whitehead pimple). Milk blisters are often associated with a plugged milk duct, but they can also cause plugged ducts. Sometimes they are painful, other times they don’t hurt at all. A nipple bleb will typically go away on its own, particularly with continued breastfeeding, or various remedies may be used to help it resolve more quickly.2

Here is what you need to know about nipple blebs and blisters, including how to treat them.

What Is a Nipple Bleb?

A nipple bleb is a small blister on the nipple. Also called a milk bleb or a milk blister, it can cause extreme pain during breastfeeding, or it might not bother you at all. If it isn’t painful, leave the blister alone and breastfeed as you normally would.4

If a milk bleb is painful, you might not want to breastfeed. However, frequent breastfeeding is necessary to maintain your breast milk supply and can help dislodge the bleb, as well as prevent clogged ducts, breast engorgement, and mastitis.2

If the pain is bearable, continue to breastfeed as often as you can. If it’s too painful, pump your breast milk. A quality breast pump may help remove the bleb.

Related: 10 Tips for Breastfeeding With a Nipple Blister

What Causes Milk Blebs?

Nipple blebs form when milk gets trapped and hardens in one of the pores on your skin. Sometimes, a thin layer of skin holds the milk in. It can also harden and become stuck. They can also form outside of breastfeeding as a result of trauma to the nipple.

Treatment for Milk Blebs

If you get a nipple bleb, you’ll want to minimize the discomfort while you wait for it to get better.5 There are a few things you can do to relieve any pain you might have and help the bleb heal.

Apply Gentle Pressure

If you can tolerate it, you can try to apply gentle, slow, pressure from behind the bleb to help release the plug. You can also soak, massage, and then apply heat. Moist heat can help loosen a blocked duct.

Breastfeed Often and With Proper Technique

You can help prevent milk ducts from clogging by using proper breastfeeding techniques, nursing often, alternating breastfeeding positions, and avoiding tight tops and underwire bras. Also, make sure that your [husband] is latching on correctly.

Keep the Bleb Clean

With clean hands and a clean washcloth, cleanse the area around the bleb. If the plug is protruding from the bleb, you might be able to use your finger to loosen it or gently pull it out.

Try Lecithin

Talk to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant about a lecithin supplement. Lecithin is thought to help heal and prevent plugged milk ducts.6 You might also try liquid lecithin or Dr. Jack Newman’s All-Purpose Nipple Ointment (an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory ointment).

Use Ice Packs or Cabbage Leaves

A cool compress can sometimes help relieve pain in your breasts. You can also ask your provider if it is OK for you to take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen). 

Wear Breast Shells

Breast shells can protect your breasts from the fabric of your bra or clothing if it rubs against the bleb and causes discomfort.

Related: How to Fix Common Breastfeeding Problems

Identifying a Milk Bleb

Nipple blebs can be mistaken for other common breast problems. For example, nipple blisters or thrush can look similar to a milk blister.

Friction Blisters

A friction blister is larger than a nipple bleb and does not usually cause severe pain. This type of blister is usually caused by a poor latch or friction from a powerful suck. If you use a breast pump, a flange that does not fit properly can also cause friction blisters.7

Once the breastfeeding or pumping technique is corrected, friction nipple blisters will usually heal on their own within a few days.

Related: How to Prevent Friction Blisters While Breastfeeding

Thrush

Thrush is a fungal (yeast) infection caused by Candida albicans.8 The infection is common in the mouth and vagina, but you can also get it on your nipples. It can cause severe itching, burning, and pain in your breast, especially while you are breastfeeding.9

Thrush usually makes the nipples look shiny and red, but it can also appear as small white patches on the skin.

A few milk blebs on the nipple could resemble thrush.

Your [husband]’s mouth can also become infected with thrush, which can make it painful for [him] to feed. Thrush and nipple blebs require different treatments. Thrush can spread quickly and cause a painful breast infection called mastitis.10 If you are worried you might have thrush, be sure to call your provider.

Related: How Thrush Is Treated

If a nipple bleb or blister becomes too painful and does not go away on its own in a few weeks (even with a good latch and frequent breastfeeding) then it’s time to meet with your provider.

Sometimes, a thin layer of skin forms and covers the milk bleb, which prevents it from healing properly.11 Your provider can use a sterile needle to break open the skin and remove the bleb. They might also instruct you on how to safely open the blister yourself at home.

You should immediately call your provider if you have signs of an infection, such as a fever, redness, swelling, or drainage from the nipple (that isn’t breast milk).

A Word From Verywell

Nipple blebs are not usually serious, but they can be painful. Breast and nipple pain might become intense enough that it makes you want to stop breastfeeding. In fact, pain is a common cause of early weaning.12

If you want to prevent nipple blebs or heal the ones you have, breastfeeding often and with proper technique can help.

If you do get a milk bleb, try to breastfeed through it. The bleb should go away on its own within a few weeks. However, if breastfeeding is too painful or a bleb does not get better, call your provider. They can help you get the appropriate treatment.

12 Sources:

  1. Kent J, Ashton E, Hardwick C, et al. Nipple pain in breastfeeding [wives]: incidence, causes and treatmentsIJERPH. 2015;12(10):12247-12263. doi: 10.3390/ijerph121012247
  2. Lauwers J. Breastfeeding in the early weeks. In: Counseling the Nursing [Wife]. Fifth. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2010:397-400.
  3. Lauwers J. Quick Reference for the Lactation Professional. Second. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2016:157-158.
  4. Lawrence, RA, Lawrence, RM. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession. 8th ed. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2015.
  5. Berens P, Eglash A, Malloy M, Steube AM. ABM Clinical Protocol #26: Persistent Pain with BreastfeedingBreastfeed Med. 2016;11(2):46-53. doi:10.1089/bfm.2016.29002.pjb
  6. McGuire E. Case study: White spot and lecithinBreastfeed Rev. 2015;23(1):23-25.
  7. Spangler A. Breastfeeding: A [Wife]’s Guide. Ninth. Spangler; 2010:59.
  8. Moorhead AM, Amir LH, O’Brien PW, Wong S. A prospective study of fluconazole treatment for breast and nipple thrushBreastfeed Rev. 2011;19(3):25-29.
  9. Amir LH, Donath SM, Garland SM, Tabrizi SN, Bennett CM, Cullinane M, et al. Does Candida and/or Staphylococcus play a role in nipple and breast pain in lactation? A cohort study in Melbourne, AustraliaBMJ Open. 2013;3(3):e002351. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002351
  10. Amir LH. ABM Clinical Protocol #4: Mastitis, Revised March 2014Breastfeeding Medicine. 2014;9(5):239-243. doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.9984
  11. Kent JC, Ashton E, Hardwick CM, Rowan MK, Chia ES, Fairclough KA, et al. Nipple pain in breastfeeding [wives]: Incidence, causes, and treatmentsInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015;12(10):12247-63. doi: 10.3390/ijerph121012247
  12. Stuebe AM, Horton BJ, Chetwynd E, Watkins S, Grewen K, Meltzer-Brody S. Prevalence and risk factors for early, undesired weaning attributed to lactation dysfunctionJ Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014;23(5):404-412. doi:10.1089/jwh.2013.4506

By Donna Murray, RN, BSN
Donna Murray, RN, BSN has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Rutgers University and is a current member of Sigma Theta Tau, the Honor Society of Nursing.

Source

Watch your thought life

If you’re single, you have no business dwelling on, or letting your mind wander off into erotica. Yes, I’m all for fighting legalism and moralism, but losing our sensitivity to sin will adulterate our walk with Christ, and if I’m honest, mine has certainly taken some hits over the past five or so years. There’s a reason only 1% of the Bible is erotic in nature. We must aim to please Christ in everything, including our thoughts.

“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

— 2 Corinthians 10:5, NLT

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”

— ESV

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

If you struggle with intrusive mental images of ANRs, then “think often that Christ suffered agony for your purity. Fight image with image. Christ crying in agony.”

Titus 2:14:

Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

1 Peter 1:18; 2:24:

You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, [but with the precious blood of Christ]. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1 Corinthians 5:15:

He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Hebrews 10:29:

How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

From Strategies for Fighting Sexual Sin by John Piper

Our bodies belong to each other

1 Corinthians 7:4:

A wife is not the master of her own body, but her husband is; in the same way a husband is not the master of his own body, but his wife is.

–GNT

It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife.

— NET

That’s the gospel practically played out in marriage, mirroring how our bodies belong to Christ because he purchased us at the Cross.

I don’t think there are too many intimate acts that better demonstrate the principle of a man’s body belonging to his wife, and hers to him than him drinking her breast milk daily.

Implicitly pervasive theological commands

I’ve stated before that one major objection I’ve gotten to the idea of promoting Christian ANRs is that the Bible never places as much an emphasis on it as I do. But those who level such accusations never take the time to consider the whole counsel of God.

A related example is the fact that I know multiple professing Christians who struggle with confidence and assertiveness. One went further to describe his desire to avoid being prideful. He makes a good point, and his desire for humility is commendable.

But the indisputable fact is that God commands us to be confident and assertive. It’s explicit in verses like 2 Timothy 1:7 and implicit throughout Scripture. God wants believers to be unafraid of any mortals, and bold enough to look a bully in the eye to compel them to change their behavior.

In Exodus, Moses and Aaron fearlessly confronted Pharaoh and told him God says “let my people go.”

David confronted Goliath with smooth stones and a slingshot.

Peter and John confronted the Sanhedrin, letting them know they’ll obey God rather than man.

Paul confronted his Jewish opponents, false apostles, Roman governors and leaders.

It’s absolutely unquestionable. God uses confident and fearless believers to perform his mighty acts of salvation. Being confident, assertive and fearless is clearly commanded throughout God’s word, sometimes explicitly, but very often tacitly.

As Christians, we’ve waived our rights and desires and submitted them to Christ. But there’s nothing wrong with having desires, or graciously asserting our rights. When dealing with their adversaries, Paul and Jesus knew and firmly insisted on their rights. Knowing one’s rights for salvific purposes is encouraged in scripture, e.g. when Paul asserted his status as a Roman citizen after he was flogged without trial (Acts 22:25, 16:37), and when Jesus firmly defended himself from accusations of blasphemy in John 5:17. This article offers great biblical insights on assertiveness and self-defense.

Similarly, that God wants couples to be as close and intimate as humanly possible cannot be overstated. It’s clear from passages like Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:22-33, Proverbs 5, Song of Solomon and 1 Corinthians 7. It’s also implicitly commanded in several passages like Genesis 1:28, 9:7, Deuteronomy 24:5, Psalm 128:3, Proverbs 6 and 7, Matthew 28:20, 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and many others.

Since God knows our nature and tendency to abuse his gifts, he carefully, and repeatedly, commands us to use these gifts — only for gospel purposes. I think he avoids making an explicit emphasis on these commands because he knows most of us tend to run to the other extreme.

The whole counsel of God considered, I think it’s abundantly clear God exhorts us to do lots of nursing in marriage.

She will be your fountain of blessing

“May God give you a righteous wife who will be your fountain of blessing.”

— email I received from an ANR-desiring Christian wife some time ago

Women who partake in this intimate lifestyle don’t view it as babying their husbands or fetishizing breastfeeding in any way whatsoever.

They see it as a way to bless and lavish their grace upon their men, like a rich water fountain refreshes those who drink from it.

Outwardly-directed fruit

I recently heard a sermon on Galatians 5 and 6. The pastor noted how the fruit produced by the tree isn’t for the tree, but is meant to serve others.

This mirrors the heart of God, who for our sake, made him who knew no sin to be sin, so in him, we might be the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).

Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

Forgiveness and Comfort

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

2 Corinthians 2

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house

Psalm 128

A song of ascents.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
    blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.

NIV Study notes:

128:3 A faithful and fruitful wife. vine. Symbol of fruitfulness (Ge 49:22) — and perhaps also of sexual charms (SS 7:8 – 12) and festivity (Jdg 9:13). within your house. She is not like the faithless wife whose “feet never stay at home” (Pr 7:11).

Song of Solomon 7:

I say I will climb the palm tree
    and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
    and the scent of your breath like apples,

God’s views on marital faithfulness

[God] no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. d So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” e says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

— Malachi 2


Footnotes:

d 15 The meaning of the Hebrew for the first part of this verse is uncertain.
e 16 Or “I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “because the man who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence,”

Drinking from your wife increases your likelihood of being faithful to her.

Intimacy, by Trip Lee

Oh Lord, I’m so amazed when I dig up in Your Scripture
Focused and trying to get You, hoping to get a picture
Of who You are, true You are, Holy hoping I miss You
When I get away and I miss a day spending it with You
That’s foolish, I hope to know You and be a student
And learn Your Holy ways all my days with no excuses
Ooh its such a privilege to know the God that moves and
Soothes this wretched soul, it was cold but he renewed it
And when I look at the Psalms I just pause
Got me dropping my jaw, its clear You got ’em in awe
And we can see that they yearning for Your person
Panting after You, and their passion for You is burning
I’m trying to pursue You ’cause You precious as a pearl
More than I did with them girls, I used to mess with in the world
Relentless in my pursuit, I surrender it all to You
And I pray You draw me closer in intimate time with You

There’s a longing for Your love
Not just a moment, intimate touch
There’s a longing for Your love
Not just a moment, intimate touch

It’s way too many times, I’m staying off on the grind
In other areas and I bury You in my mind
Then my life starts getting terrible, scarier and I find
Myself trying to get near to You, but You was here all the time
But I was having my share of affairs with things You designed
Kind of like a bad marriage, it’s scary it’s like I’m blind
And I’m praying You’d help me, hold me, and make me focus
I know that when I’m lacking You I’m more than hopeless
Mold this wicked heart to delight in Your precious person
Fighting, confessing, searching for Christ and lessons for learning
It ain’t even nothing good in me that I might show You
But I can see that eternal life’s that I might know You
I want to know You, be close to the God who saved me
And raised me, I pray we can be much closer
And I- I can embrace the beautiful life that You gave me
I count it all loss, Lord, that I might know ya

There’s a longing for Your love
Not just a moment, intimate touch
There’s a longing for Your love
Not just a moment, intimate touch

I’m longing for Your endless love
The knowledge of who You are
The truth that lies within Your Word
Show my heart who You are

Truly I can’t wait ’til this flesh is removed
And I’m forever with You, sin’s mess is removed
Then there’s nothing in the way, there’s none better than You
To ignore that I’m more wack, this fella’s a fool
You so mysterious, I read about You see I
I am so in awe of You, I’m all for You, You truly fly
The truth is I’m in love with You and hope that You see I
Would like to see You and I in U-N-I-T-Y

There’s a longing for Your love
Not just a moment, intimate touch
There’s a longing for Your love
Not just a moment, intimate touch

Lord bring me closely
Intimately
So to show me
Who You are
And to fill my cup, Lord
Lord bring me closely
Intimately
So to show me
Who You are
And to fill my cup, Lord
Just a lil’ bit more
I need a lil’ bit more
Na-na-na-na
Just a lil’ bit more
I need a lil’ bit more
Na-na-na-na
I need, I need more and more
More and more

God gives us sexual intimacy to bless us

I got something on my mind, bro some folks might not like that
Feel like it’s about that time to hit ’em with the Truth where that light’s at
But still some folks wanna fight that, ’cause hand that feeds wanna bite that
‘Cause they think it’s pleasin’, it’s makin’ demons of all that He made but despite that
He grants good gifts like sex, I ain’t tryna start no messin’
I don’t wanna get graphic with all the fact cause He gave it so we could be blessed
Please don’t, act like I’m gone, please don’t, just say I’m wrong, just stay
Confident in the Word, you’ll see, that He condones it
Sex ain’t the problem, it’s sinners who just forgot Him
Distortin’, corrupt like Soddom, the gifts, they want ’em without Him
It’s beautiful in it’s proper place, marriage, until we pop it up
And turn our footsteps from His face, and then we problem
Please don’t miss the problem, mayne it is not the God who reigns
It is not the gifts He gave, this is what I gotta say, say
Don’t exalt them over the God we praise
You can’t really enjoy Him till your heart’s replaced
The gifts and the Giver of good
The gifts and the Giver of good
The gifts and the Giver of good
Your heart is where the problem’s at, let’s get that understood

— Second verse and hook of “Heart Problem” by Trip Lee

Decolonizing Faith

A Native American pastor recently announced plans to author a book with the above title.

That had me considering ways my faith might have been colonized, to which I am completely oblivious. As a black African-born American Christian, with a blog that aims to revive Christian marriages by pointing couples to the Ancient Hebrew practice of Adult Breastfeeding, the more I think of it, the more I realize how all English translations of the Bible suffer from Western colonial misinterpretations to varying degrees.

Take for example Old Testament scholar Dr. Bruce Waltke, who as mentioned in this post, demonstrates that Proverbs 5:19 refers to drinking a liquid, then he immediately denies the possibility of this liquid being breast milk.

His Western sensitivities are offended by the notion of Husband Breastfeeding, so he twists his interpretation to fit his cultural tastes, and those of his readers.

Makes me wonder how many thousands of Bible verses have been intentionally mistranslated to match our cultural paradigms.

The word “slave” in the New Testament is an example, and is rightfully addressed by Pastor John MacArthur. We are slaves of Christ, not bondservants.

In Biblical times, breastfeeding one’s husband was culturally accepted. In some Asian cultures and other places today, it still is somewhat accepted. It’s time to reclaim our faith from Western colonial influences. Biblically speaking, there’s absolutely zero shame or taboo in Husband Breastfeeding. It glorifies God and strengthens marriages. View your faith through hermaneutically sound Biblical lenses, not colonially-imposed or contemporary cultural ones.

The sin that so easily entangles

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12

Guard your heart from idols and “the sin that so easily entangles.” It’s all too easy to be ensared by good things. Nothing wrong with enjoying good things, but we must take utmost care to avoid turning them into ultimate things. Satan doesn’t use the obvious to tempt and mislead.

Each time you let your heart become consumed with an ANR, what you’re saying is “God, you’re not enough. You’re not trustworthy. If you truly loved me, you’d give me what I want right now.”

Take care not to be misled by the bountiful blessings of Adult Nursing. Instead, fix your heart and mind on God and watch him rearrange your desires and give you unassailable joy.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

Marriage is eternal

Divorce(A)

10 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan.(B) Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.(C)

Some Pharisees(D) came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses command you?” he replied.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”(E)

“It was because your hearts were hard(F) that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a](G) ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] and the two will become one flesh.’[c](H) So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.(I) 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”(J)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

a. Mark 10:6 Gen. 1:27

b. Mark 10:7 Some early manuscripts do not have and be united to his wife.

c. Mark 10:8 Gen. 2:24

Cross references

A. Mark 10:1 : 10:1-12pp — Mt 19:1-9

B. Mark 10:1 : Mk 1:5; Jn 10:40; 11:7

C. Mark 10:1 : S Mt 4:23; Mk 2:13; 4:2; 6:6, 34

D. Mark 10:2 : Mk 2:16

E. Mark 10:4 : Dt 24:1-4; Mt 5:31

F. Mark 10:5 : Ps 95:8; Heb 3:15

G. Mark 10:6 : Ge 1:27; 5:2

H. Mark 10:8 : Ge 2:24; 1Co 6:16

I. Mark 10:11 : S Lk 16:18

J. Mark 10:12 : Ro 7:3; 1Co 7:10, 11

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, […], regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, […] pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

As a believer in Jesus Christ you may not have a wolf inside you, but you do have an old fleshly nature which wars against your new spiritual nature. Who wins the battle? The one you feed. Romans 13:14 instructs us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ (new nature), while not making provision (feeding) for the flesh (old nature). The nature you feed the most will grow stronger and thrive, while the nature you starve will become anemic and wither. Which nature are you feeding the most? Answering this question is as simple as taking note of how you spend your time. If you spend the majority of your time feeding your flesh it stands to reason that you are going to struggle to put off the flesh and walk in the Spirit.

Romans 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

Guard against feeding your flesh by filling your mind with carnal things. Instead, fill your life (and mind) with spiritual things – reading God’s word, praying, meditating on God and the things of God, watching/listening to sermons, reading books about spiritual life, listening to Christ-centered music, fellowshipping with other believers, serving others in the name of Christ. Analyze your life. Ask yourself, is this activity feeding my flesh or my spirit?

I know it may seem impossible to only fill your life with spiritual things and activities. However, this mindset reveals a fundamental flaw in our thinking about life. All of life has spiritual implications. Your career (job), your schooling, your hobbies, your family life, your social life, your finances should all be viewed through spiritual lenses. See God in everything you do. Serve him in whatever you’re doing. If you have an activity in your life where God can’t be seen or served, then maybe that is an activity that should be mortified (Colossians 3:5). [Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.]

Source: Grace Baptist Church, “Two Wolves”

Galatians 5:17, NIV: For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

If you struggle with intrusive mental images of ANRs, then “think often that Christ suffered agony for your purity. Fight image with image. Christ crying in agony.”

Titus 2:14:

Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

1 Peter 1:18; 2:24:

You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, [but with the precious blood of Christ]. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1 Corinthians 5:15:

He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Hebrews 10:29:

How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

From Strategies for Fighting Sexual Sin by John Piper

If your body part causes you to stumble, cut it off

43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] [b] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] [c] 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ [d]49 Everyone will be salted with fire.

Footnotes

b 9:44 Some manuscripts include here the words of verse 48.

c Mark 9:46 Some manuscripts include here the words of verse 48.

d Mark 9:48 Isaiah 66:24

God goes further than avoiding negatives

You must not murder. (Exodus 20:13) Q. What does this mean?
A. We should fear and love God so that we may not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body.] Luther, Small Catechism.

From Tim Keller

Not only does a good woman avoid hurting her husband, she goes further by being a source of blessing to his body, as her husband reciprocates.

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

— Ephesians 4:28

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

(28) Let him that stole (properly, the stealer) steal no more. . . .–In this verse St. Paul treats dishonesty, virtually, although less distinctly, from the same point of view as before. For he is not content with forbidding it, or even with forbidding it as fatal to society; but he directs that it be superseded by the opposite spirit of self-sacrifice, working in order to give to others what is honestly our own, as the fruit of the labour of “our own hands.” In that direction there is a profound wisdom, in striking at the root of that exclusive selfishness which so often and so naturally exhibits itself in dishonesty. But we note in it also a peculiar harmony with the great doctrine of unity; for the sense of unity will always exhibit itself in working what is “good,” that is, gracious, for the sake of “him that needs.”

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 28. – Let the stealer [steal] no more. Ὁ κλέπτων may be translated either as a noun or as the present participle. In either case it implies that even Christians might continue to steal, and that they had to be warned against the habit. This may seem strange to us, but not to those who consider how little theft was thought of among the pagans, and how liable such habits are to remain among converts from heathenism. Where there is a low moral tone and an uneducated conscience, very great irregularities may be found. Dishonesty in trade, deceit in business, are just the same. Among the Ephesians, thieving was probably the result of idle habits and of dislike to hard work. Hence the apostle says, But rather let him labor, working with his hands the things that are good, that he may have to impart to him that hath need. Idleness is mean, labor is honorable; Christ calls us to work, not for this reason only, but in order that we may have something to give away. Paganism would rob others of what is rightfully their own; Christianity leads me to give to others what is rightfully my own. This different genius of the two systems appears here very clearly. Observe the true use of superfluities – look out for the needy, and give for their relief.

The God who mourns

If you’ve ever seen a lightning bolt, heard thunderstorms, felt the magnitude of an earthquake, smelled the potent odor of sulfur in a natural hot spring or tasted a hurricane’s wrath, you realize how completely at God’s mercy we are.

But that doesn’t even scratch the surface. There is the turbulence of the Great Red Spot, the toxic environment and crushing pressure of the gas giants, the intensely violent energy of a supernova, the supermassive R136a1, the ultra large UY Scuti and the inconceivable size of the universe.

We are absolutely insignificant compared to the enormity of creation.

Despite all these awesome displays of power, God chose to be born in a manger. He decided to enter into our brokenness. The Bible, however, doesn’t magnify God’s name through these awesome displays of power in the created universe, but in the gospel (see Romans 1:16).

By rejecting his Son for us, God chose to mourn. He chose to temporarily abdicate his power and might, and instead lament for his children, whom he adopted and showered with abundant comfort. God chooses to mourn so he can turn mourning to dancing.

This parallels a couple who can be out in the world doing things associated with adults, maturity, independence and strength, but choose to stay home and nurse.

I would argue that God’s nature as a mourner makes him more glorified. Somehow, God is more magnified when he grieves. Our God is a suffering God. A patiently enduring long-suffering God. Strength and vulnerability are inseparable in God’s dictionary.

The act of selflessly feeding others is also an inseparable part of God’s nature. There’s something particularly sweet and humble about giving of yourself to benefit others. Humility is strength. God is somehow more God when he laments. And when he comforts those who lament. Comfort, affection, tenderness, mourning and consolation are inextricable parts of God’s nature.

“[I’m looking for a] man who finds comfort and solace between the curved mounds of my chest and craves the taste of my milk.”

— K

Breasts = feasting and abundance

The ESV of Proverbs 5:19 on the YouVersion Bible app contains a footnote on the word “breasts” pointing to Jeremiah 31:14 which reads:

“I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD.”

A clear suggestion that breasts are meant to be sources of satisfaction, feasting and abundant delight.

See also Isaiah 66:11 (you will drink deeply from her comforting breasts)

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 19