My Weak Flesh Part One

26

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

26 thoughts on “My Weak Flesh Part One

  1. thamy says:

    Reeeeeaaaally looking foward to part 2 !

  2. Lisa says:

    wow….this is great…def have struggled with this very issue in my past….can’t wait for part 2!!!

  3. Trish says:

    It blows my mind that whenever I read “A Girl Like Me”, it’s exactly what I need to hear exactly when I need to hear it. <3

  4. “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.”

    I think that is the key here…lust is short lived, and those few seconds of pleasure are not worth it. At the time it may seem like it’s worth it, but it causes a lot of problems. My problem was that I wasn’t a Christian girl before I was married so I didn’t have that guilty conscience to keep me from doing things…..the most stupid thing we can do as girls is think that fulfilling that lust & having sex with a guy to feel loved and appreciated is the only way, because it’s not. You don’t need a guy to feel pleasure, and if you want to feel appreciated get a puppy! LOL I wish I had done that instead of being used by guys because my self esteem was so low back then. That’s what it comes down to most of the time- self esteem. You have to know that you are worth so much more than that few seconds of lustful fame….and that’s exactly what you are to a guy usually…as much as dogs can be real scum bags they will tell you they would be less likely to settle down with a girl who puts out too easily. I know when you’re a teenager your hormones are racing, and you’re just trying to handle things the best way you know how…but it’s all fun and games until you get pregnant or an STD. I got pregnant when I was 16. I do not regret having my son, but I do regret the way it happened. I was in a committed relationship & we thought we were in love. He was my first real boyfriend. Needless-to-say here I am 16 years later & I am now married to another guy. What I had back then was not real love, it was lust. Now I know the difference.

  5. “as much as dogs can be real scum bags” was supposed to say guys, not dogs…but I must have been thinking they were dogs! LOL sorry to any guys reading this. :-}

  6. A Very Impressed Reader and Christian Feminist says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS! I gave my virginity to my very Christian boyfriend during my first year in college (who now, I kid you not, preaches from the pulpit of his church that I am some sort of demon used by “the enemy” to torment people. And my mother wonders why I like to spit and swear when the subject of my first boyfriend comes up); and I had acted out the scene written above, per verbatim.

    My boyfriend at the time was deeply ashamed as well, and his way of dealing with it was to silently place the blame on me. He would start to act ashamed of me if we were seen together, to the point where he would roll his eyes at me if I reached out to hold his hand in public. It got to the point where it was almost like a “bi-polar” relationship, if you will: when in public, we would barely even touch each other, but once we were alone, BAM. THAT was where I got ANY affection from him AT ALL (through sex). It became somewhat of a swirly-viscous-cycle-vortex of lust, sex, shame, embarrassment, and insecurity. I became addicted to those few yet “fiery” moments where I, in my young and foolish mind, was reassured that I was desirable/pretty/lovable. Sadly, all this ended in a massive disaster breakup, during which I had a miscarriage. I had to deal with ALL of that, while my (then ex) boyfriend proceded to, since I was no longer there to defend myself, preach to our friends that I was a “horn-dog”, that I was “crazy” (pregnancy hormones and going through a miscarriage tend to do a number your mental health, ladies. Just sayin.), and that I was the SOLE cause of our sexual sin. I still get snide remarks, Facebook comments, and emails from former classmates about the whole thing six years after the fact.

    I feel that, as Christians, we tend to hide our heads in the sand when it comes to these VERY uncomfortable subjects. Not only do we need to do a better job of teaching ALL young people about the miracle that is our sexuality, but we need to stop pretending that women should be responsible for keeping men’s “temptation” in check.

    Thanks again for writing this! I’m very much looking forward to the rest of these posts!

    • Elizabeth says:

      How sad that you are still being judged for what happened. I feel the chirch as a whole is not teaching true forgiveness, compassion etc. I say this humbly;
      John 8:7 (KJV)
       So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

      • A Very Impressed Reader and Christian Feminist says:

        You know, I honestly don’t think it has to do with “The Church” necessarily as much as it has to do with the hypocritical and ridiculous behavior of the members of said “Church”.

        I’ve accepted the fact that people are going to think what they are going to think. Let them throw their rocks, I’m used to it. There’s only one person I need to worry about impressing, and he reigns on high in heaven. If things get too hard, I know where to turn.

        I also take great comfort in the fact that for every bovine-plop I get from these cretins, I get love, support, grace, and fellowship from other men and women who, in my mind, are miracles sent to me from my Savior.

  7. Lindsey says:

    Thank you soo much for sharing this I have been exactly where you were more than once and just like you hid in the shadows of shame and guilt and for months and months said nothin to anyone but revert I started working with a Christian band and one of the guys wives and I began getting close I chose to confide in her all my dark secrets she then revealed to me that she had had sex outside of marriage before her husband i was amazed. But she then told me Lindsey you can be forgiven you can stop carry this guilt around with you you just need to repent so I began to study what repentance truly was and I did I repented I cried out to god for mercy and he showed me what true grave looks like this past summer I led a group of high school girls at a Christian camp and god placed it on my heart to share y struggle with them but I was nervous and scared but I trusted god and let him speak through me and two other girls spoke up and shared their struggles with lust one of them being a 29 year old leader who came with us I’m 21 she came up to me later and told me that she has been struggling with it for years but that she ha always felt alone in the struggle until I shared. Thank you for sharing your story you have no idea how much god is using you!!! Thank you so much

  8. Jeannette says:

    Keeping it real! I like it!

  9. Maddie says:

    Thank you so, so, so, so much for posting this! I’ve never heard or read about lust from this point of view and it really helped me. God bless you. Looking forward to part 2!

  10. Brenda says:

    I have been struggling with lust for the past few years. I was trying to avoid this post because I know what I am doing is wrong. Now I can’t wait to read the rest. It’s comforting to know I am not alone and that I can be saved from it!

    • Emily says:

      I am a senior in college, but I had a very similar beginning to my freshman year. I went from a fantastic group of Christian girls to a college campus where my beliefs were tested, tried, and not accepted. Please hold onto your purity. You will not regret it. But if you do falter, remember that His grace and mercy is enough to cover you. He loves you deeply and passionately. I will be praying for you, Kat.

    • Emily says:

      Sorry, I meant for that to be on the post below. I will be praying for you too though Brenda :)

  11. Kat says:

    This is something I really needed to hear today. I’m a freshman in college and I’ve been here for 3 weeks, now. It’s definitely been a struggle to keep my thoughts clean and pure, and now I’m dealing with a lot of these issues. At home I was surrounded by my best friends, girls whom I look up to… who are faithful and understand my choice for purity. Here, I am feeling confused on what I believe in, and lost. I’ve managed to keep walking on God’s path, but not without coming close to straying off it.

    Please pray for me.

    Thank you for posting this. I REALLY needed it today.

    • Jess says:

      Kat, you should try (really hard) and find a Christian group on your campus. I am a sophomore and I have struggled with these things, and being able to take time out of my week to be around people who have the same morals and beliefs I do really does help!! I’ll be praying that you will find a group! Look up Intervarsity Christian Fellowship online and see if there is a chapter at your college!! :)

      • Kat says:

        Thanks! I joined CRU a few weeks ago and I just hung out with one of the girl leaders yesterday. Such an amazing woman of faith and she and I had a great talk about faith in college. God answers prayers :)

  12. Barbara says:

    Thank you for posting this, this is is something I struggle with at times, and I felt peace and healing while I was reading.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Nice job ladies!!!!

  14. JLotz says:

    Thanks SO much for this helpful and candid post. REALLY appreciating being able to share these lucid and normalizing thoughts with the female adolescents I support in my therapy practice.

    Sincerely,
    A grateful therapist

  15. Catherine says:

    Thank you so much for this. God has finally set me free from the lust that reigned in my life for literally years. I felt like less than a woman and even “man-ish” and I felt too much shame to talk with anyone about it (I still can’t face to face). Let me say again, it took years to find freedom and it took one night of an encounter with God to finally break free. I’m still a virgin because of other factors in my life and not from a pure heart. God looks at the heart. I even prayed my desire away until I learned that I was trying to pray away part of my humanity (Joshua Harris helped me see that). God didn’t make a mistake when He gave us sexual desire and He won’t deny Himself by taking it away. I’m in my late 20s and still single, but I am slowly learning to live with unfulfilled desire and trusting in God who knows best.

    Looking forward to part 2.

    • JP says:

      Thank you for your sinserity Catherite. I fele like am in a similar boat as you: late 20s, single, still a virgin not because of a pure heart but due to other factors, and feeling lustfull “man-ish” thoughts & feelings. Now I feel like I am not alone in this struggle. I’m still not set free, but your sincerity just gave me hope

      • Catherine says:

        I still very much struggle today, but I can look back over the years and have seen the steps of freedom. I feel humble to think on how much I rely on God’s renewed mercies everyday and above all…His REDEMPTION. God showed me how I was putting my struggle of lust above everything else and one night God showed me how I was failing in many other areas…I was giving lust undue attention. After that revelation I had no choice but rely on His mercy and cry out for it. I feel changed since that night (not too long ago either) and even though old habits die hard (including old habits of thinking) there is a change.

        Hang in there.

      • Godsgirls:) says:

        THANKYOU for writing this .. this is soo what ive been needing to hear.. i have been praying for this for a while .. not really know what to do with it ..at first even denying i was even struggling with it .. but the thing about wanting to get closer to God is that you start seeing how sinful you really are and God starts showing youwhats really inside ur heart.. some Good .. some not not soo Good.. and it can be kind of painful .. and uncomfortable .. but the point of it all is to bring to Him instead of trying to hide from it . or running away from it .. in our shame .. in our weakness .. in our imperfection and for him to show us himself.. his love .. his mercy and forgiveness.. he knows us .. nothing is hidden from him and he still loves us ..and he wants to heal us. ( isaiah 1:6, 6:10)

        “I’m still a virgin because of other factors in my life and not from a pure heart. God looks at the heart. I even prayed my desire away until I learned that I was trying to pray away part of my humanity ” -catherine

        YES, I am a virgin today solely because of the Grace of God ..i might of never had a boyfriend or kissed a guy but in my heart .. and in my mind .. i have sinned and its sin nonetheless.. i have struggled with pornography and masturbation thinking in the begining that this was ok.. that it wasnt sin because it didnt involve another person but its its sexual inmorality .. i now know this .. and i have to surrender to him over and over and come to him in my weakness .. and he is setting me free and teaching me about himself .. he is kind.. i always expect him to be mad at me and to tell me he is disapointed .. but he is kind and even when he corrects me he is loving .. i now know that instead of hiding and thinking i can run away or even pretend it never happened i can run to him instead and he is always there .. and he truly does satisfy .

      • Catherine says:

        Nice to know I’m not alone either. :-)

  16. love this post, so good to know that we are never alone. Reading these comments is so. encouraging too. I love my sisters in Christ and I will pray for all of you, and please pray for me too. :)

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“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her." Hosea 2:14 No matter how far you've wandered, God will always seek to draw you back to Himself. Let Him romance you today. #mondaystruth Guess who now has a snapchat!! WE DO!!!!! Follow us: agirlikeme "Some of us are called to be behind the curtains. Just like a show can’t happen without a lighting crew, sound crew, caterers, and someone to clean up the mess…just like a game can’t happen without someone caring for the field, taking care of the players, making the uniforms…the big missions and callings can’t happen here on earth without the supporters, the prayer warriors, the ones giving the front men a night off…. Don’t get stuck thinking there is one formula, one way to love, one way to serve."
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