September 4, 2012 by A Girl Like Me
“How did I get here?” I am lying in a bed barely clothed, next to a guy who had been my boyfriend for only a matter of four months. We said we “loved” each other, but was this what love was really supposed to feel like? I felt used. I felt like I had handed a part of my body over to him only to receive it back in pieces. But I wanted him to touch me. I craved him physically and even sought out a way for us to be together. I loved him and I thought that this would be the way I could best show him my love. But I was wrong. How is that possible? I am a girl…a Christian girl nonetheless…and we are NOT supposed to feel or act this way. I bury my head in my hands and begin to silently cry. I tell myself, “I am a ruined woman. It’s all my fault that I am here.” But yet….I still want more.
This is not a scene in some torrid teen melodrama, though I wish it was. This moment…this was real. It’s a real moment where I was confronted with a very harsh and very terrifying reality. I had been lied to.
For as long as I could remember, I was always told that boys are the physical beings and girls the emotional ones. In our girls only church talks, we were instructed that our role as a woman was to remain modest and pure so that our weaker, lustful brothers would not be tempted to stumble. I was told that as long as I helped the man keep healthy boundaries, all would be ok. It was a nice and neat, prim and proper, do and don’t way of educating me biblically on sex. And I am here to tell you today, it was completely wrong.
I think before Kelly or I could ever dive into the deep trenches that is the world of sex, we first have to release you of the biggest lie that our church community has placed upon you as women. The lie being that we as women do not struggle with lust. Because the truth is, we do struggle, and we struggle A LOT. Ladies, I need you to know first and foremost that if you today are battling with lustful thoughts and desires…this is ok. You are not less of a woman. You are not deficient. You are not less desirable to a man. You are not a disgrace to your gender. You dear girl, well, you are perfectly NORMAL.
In my thirty years of life, I have yet to find anywhere in scripture that references males as being the sole gender burdened with the sin of lust. In fact, there are more scriptures referencing females who wander then men. Take for instance Rahab the prostitute who protected the Israelites coming to spy on the Promised land. Or Gomer the harlot who Hosea was commanded by God to marry. Or the woman at the well. Or Mary Magdelane. There is woman after woman mentioned in scripture who were plagued by the sin of sexual immorality and lust. Why do I tell you this, you might ask?
I tell you this because in order to see sex in the beautiful and holy act that it is, we must first come to terms with the fact that we are sexual beings created by God to desire sex. And if we are created by God to desire sex, then we are therefore just as susceptible to the temptation of lust. When we can wrap our minds around this truth, it will allow us to be more prepared when that temptation arises. And it will arise.
I remember the first time I was kissing a boy and the thought entered my mind that I’d like to go further than I thought. It scared me because I had no idea that I was even capable of thinking such things. Because I had never accepted the fact that sex was something I as a woman would want and desire, I was ill-prepared to wage the war against my flesh and thoughts and seek purity and not pleasure. And because I was never told that it was normal and ok that I might feel this way, I lived out those moments in the shadows of shame and guilt, never allowing myself to share any of it with others.
Now let me stop right here and tell you that I am by no means saying that lust is ok. God has made it painfully clear that it is not. What I am saying, is that I want you to first live in the grace of knowing that we as women are free to battle in this arena and still be women. We need to see lust for what it means to the heart of a woman, and once that is achieved, we can then be ready to combat the issue head on. So, what is lust?
Websters would define lust as an intense longing, and I suppose that is the case. I liken it more to the idea of craving chocolate. Picture with me if you will….you are sitting in your house and suddenly get the urge to consume massive amounts of chocolate. You begin looking through your home, peeking in every cupboard, trying to just find one little candy bar. The more you look and don’t find any, the stronger the desire becomes. Now it is all you can think about, so much so that you have forgotten all about whatever you were doing and decide that if the chocolate won’t come to you…you will go find the chocolate. And out the door to the store you run seeking that delicious milk chocolatey candy bar to satisfy your hunger. Next thing you know, you’re surrounded by candy wrappers, chocolate smeared all over your face while looking at the all too high number on the scale and screaming “WHYYYYYYYY??????” up to the heavens. Sound familiar to any of you?
Well ladies, this is what lust looks like. Lust is not some big climactic moment that bursts onto the scene. Lust is slow, it’s sneaky, and then it becomes consuming. It may start with watching a show on tv and finding for a second you have become slightly aroused. Next it moves to kissing your boyfriend and wondering what it would feel like to do such and such. Next you may try such and such and realize how nice it is. After that, you find that you are sneaking away to dark parking lots or hidden areas so you and guy can continue to go further and further and you can have that nice little fix of momentary pleasure.
Lust has a power and sway over our hearts and bodies unlike any other sin out there. It not only wounds our walk with our Heavenly Father, but it wounds us as well. Author and Pastor John Piper describes lust in this way. He says: “Lust is a sexual desire that dishonors its object and disregards God. Its a sexual desire minus honor and holiness.” Take 1 Corinthians 6:18 for example. It says, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (NLT) What scripture is trying to essentially tell us is that lust is the only sin that we not only commit against God, but against ourselves. It is separating the spiritual and the physical, pleasing one, while damaging the other. That is why Paul is telling us in this verse that no other sin affects the body in the way this one does. For that reason, we need to grasp the depth to which this sin can plague and destroy our life.
If any of you are like I was, you are feeling those pains of shame and guilt right about now. And yet again, may I remind you that what you are struggling with is normal. You are not just a woman, you are a human. A human uniquely designed by our creator to ache for a physical intimacy that is unlike anything else in this world. But because you are human, you are susceptible to sin. So please sweet girl, know that you are not alone and you are not eternally damaged. There is hope, there is forgiveness and there is a way out of this bondage called lust…
To be continued