Lust is an issue that most women and even men tend to avoid talking about. It is, quite frankly, uncomfortable and makes one feel embarrassed when one tackles this subject. However, I think its fair to say that most women at one point or another have struggled with the issue of lust, perhaps though, being very different from the way a man might struggle with it.
The reason why I think its important to tackle this issue is because I think society and (sadly to say) even the church thinks that the idea of lust is only a male struggle. My aim is not to criticize the church by an means, but to bring awareness to the fact that it is fairly common for women to also struggle with lust and it is something that I believe should be talked about more openly from a women’s perspective.
Growing up I also held the same view that it was only men that struggled with this issue; however I soon became aware of the fact that it might not just be a “male problem”. It was a YouTube clip by John MacArthur that first exposed me to this idea when I was one time listening to him speak on the topic of lust. I then came across a testimony by a woman who had openly given her story about her struggle with pornography. This came, as a huge shock to me because up until that point I did not ever think that porn would be something that a woman would struggle with. It was a very eye opening experience to have learned that so many women struggle with this issue and yet it is never talked about. It was also months later when I was out to lunch with a friend of mine who also admitted to me that she too was struggling with lust. I think that many women struggle with this topic and yet are too afraid to admit or seek any kind of counsel.
What Society Says
In today’s society, unfortunately the idea of a woman selling herself has become the norm and is rampant in almost every form of media that is out there. It has become so widely accepted for one to give in to their desires and has been labeled as one having the right to express them in a way that seems comfortable to them. The idea of lust has turned into something that we as a society should embrace and become a part of.
If a woman outside of the church were to speak on the notion of lust, it would automatically become accepted and encouraged. It would be applauded for a woman to indulge in such derogatory acts. The world of “Sodom and Gomorrah” has seeped into our world today. With songs by Katy Perry “I kissed a girl” and movies like “Fifty Shades of Grey” becoming popular and even enjoyed by both men and women, its no wonder that all this exposure has caused many women to struggle with lust and not have a clue on how to handle it.
Sadly, when many Christians are exposed to these ideals about lust, a lot of the time they are played off as just being “normal, a phase, a time to just experiment and see what’s out there”. Some will even go as far to say that its good to be exposed to what kind of sins are out there so you can be better equipped to fight them off. I can with the utmost confidence say that all of these nothings are a lie.
What God Says
Our God does not applaud at a woman’s desire to give into lust nor does He accept it. His word is clear and straight on what our attitude is to be towards all things impure and more importantly what His attitude is on the matter. In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 it says
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do some more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before hand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
The struggle of lust is not just a phase for some, unfortunately is turns into a life style and sends one down a path that leads to only destruction and hopelessness.
There Is Hope!
Despite this being a hidden issue for many women, there is still hope for those who have fallen into this kind of sin and I truly believe that there is victory over any and all sin through the working and saving power of Jesus Christ.
When I was first thinking about this topic, one specific passage comes to mind is Romans 6:20-23
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to the righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When one thinks about this passage, it is clear that God is trying to show us that giving into our desire for lust only brings about a deeper root in sin and the outflow of our lives is never a positive one. When one becomes so consumed by lust, their viewpoint on what actual intimacy is becomes jaded and distorted with images and thoughts that are not what God has in mind for the Biblical definition of intimacy.
I want to offer some pieces of hopeful advice that I hope and pray will bring encouragement to hearts and will help foster the desire to recovery and healing and ultimately pursuing Christ.
- Admitting your sin.
The first step to any road to recovering from an addiction is admitting that you have one. You need to take the time to confess your sins to firstly to yourself and then more importantly to God. Living in self-denial will only increase your appetite for your sin and will give you the false notion that you yourself can “control” your desire to fall into temptation.
- Pray steadfastly.
I think that it is vital that you not only confess your sin to God but that you are praying daily that God will protect you from falling into sin and ask for God to renew your heart as the Psalmist urgently cried out that God would “Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”. Make that your daily prayer and trust that God will work a change in your heart.
- Memorize Scripture.
You may be thinking to yourself, what does this have to do with overcoming my sin? Well, everything! Daily scripture reading and memorizing will not only calm your heart but will be your greatest weapon in fighting off the temptation to fall into sin. Psalm 119:9-11 says “9. How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 10. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11. I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Internalizing the word is a believers best weapon to defend against encroaching sin.
- Seek Accountability.
We are not meant to life the Christian life on our own. Seek a Godly woman in your life who you can trust, and admit your struggle and ask for help in keeping yourself in line and in doing so, you will find that having that daily check up and encouragement will help lessen your opportunity to fall into sin. You will no longer be fighting this battle on your own and having a friend come along side you, praying with you and encouraging you will lighten the burden that you are alone in this struggle.