Every where I turn I hear language that implies or outright states that lust is uniquely a male struggle.
It’s in our conversations. I’ve had more than one woman walk me through the differences with men and women by explaining to me that men struggle with physical desires while women struggle with emotionalism.
It’s in our sermons, when the pastor uses the ‘men stop looking at pornography’, ‘women stop watching romantic movies’ illustrations. Do I think men should stop looking at pornography? Yes. Do I think women should fight their emotional and mental day dreaming? Yes.
I also think that having our church culture peppered with the implication that lust is a uniquely male struggle is a pretty successful way to get women who struggle with lust to feel like they are made wrong.
I want women to have illustrations that make sense to them. I want to challenge those who struggle with emotional sin to fight it the same way they challenge men to fight pornography. I want women to stop laughing about their sins of approval or anxiety or coveting and start begging God to let them feel the weight of the horror of those offences.
I also want us to stop pretending that sexual sin isn’t a very real issue for women. At least 1 in 3 visitors to pornography sites is a woman. And add to this the fact that 70% of women keep their pornography habit secret and we can guess that number is actually a lot higher. If 70% of the women living in the world don’t tell anyone about it, imagine how many women don’t talk about it in the church.
A friend posted a blog the other day that made me literally want to clap my hands. She’s a teacher and writer and in her many years working with women she’s noticed the same things I have. She’s noticed that pretty much any women who confesses struggling with sexual sin is convinced that she’s the only one struggling.
How did these women arrive at [the conclusion that they are the only ones struggling]? Because for years most churches herded the men off to talk about lust, while gathering the women to discuss modesty. While those are valid and much needed messages, they are incomplete for the culture in which we now live…
We need to clearly teach that lust is a human condition, not just a masculine one.
I want to be a part of creating a culture where women can confess a fight with lust without being treated like a leper. I want to be a part of creating a culture that really believes that mental masturbation is the same as physical masturbation. I want to be a part of creating a culture where the word ‘approval idol’ fills us with the same horror as the word ‘masturbation’; horror over a grave offensive against a Holy Creator.
But I’ve somehow written this whole post talking about ‘those who struggle with lust’ rather than talking about myself in the first person.
And I don’t know why. Because I have the luxury of knowing I’m not alone. My most successful blog post of all time was about lust. It’s my most commented on post and the post I’ve received the most emails about.
Satan’s biggest weapon in the fight against lust is convincing us that we are alone in the battle.
So here’s the news flash: you’re not alone.