Big news: women struggle with lust.

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.

I could write all day long on this blog about my fight with my power idol.  It’s easy to tell you about my battle with insecurity.

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.

Comments

  1. Hi, please help me understand what you mean by ‘mental masturbation’. I’m struggling with how I’m supposed to embrace my sexuality as a christian woman…like, how it’s not a sin to have sexual feelings vs what you do with the feeling. Not sure if I’m making sense. You may email me your thoughts. Thanks

  2. This is why I love your blog, Fabs!!! You see through so much of what our culture tries to hide. It pains me when church leaders (both male and female), who are normally extremely discerning and wise, paint lust as a male struggle. As a woman who sometimes doesn’t fit into a stereotypical female mold, hearing one of the sins I struggle with most be referred to as something only men deal with made it worse than it had to be.

  3. I think another major flaw of this is how it applies to dating. I remember having this picture painted that the guy would always push for more and the girl would always say no….when I was in my first major relationship in college and sometimes I was the one wanting us to go further and I was the one sinning, I was shocked….wasn’t I just supposed to be saying NO to his sex drive, not saying NO to mine? I had not prepared myself for how to deal with my own sexual feelings because I believed this would mainly be a male struggle.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was one who read and re-read the article you refer to in your post on lust. I have been one of those women who feel all alone in the stuggle against lust because it is something that is just not discussed among women (although we can talk about a lot of other things) or even in the church. Thanks for your honesty and willingness to discuss this issue in an open way.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. Sometimes I feel so horrible and that God hates me because of things that pop into my mind. God loves us. He hates it when we sin though. If we let Him, He can take that sin and blow it away as if it never existed. We must fully rely on Him and His Perfect Love and Power :)

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling with lust for years and even though I have come a long way, I still get caught up in it again. I have been dating a boy for a long time and we’re talking about getiing married in two years or so. I could really use some tips for getting my mind out of the gutter, on to Christ, and staying sexually pure. Sometimes I can’t bear the thought that I have to wait two or more years…

  7. A blokes perspective. I have been struggling with issues of lust as a Christian every so often; it creeps up on you, and catches you unaware. As a celibate Christian, I have understood that being celibate involves a lot more than just not having pre-marital sex, it involves keeping away from all kinds of things that may stoke your desires, even though you will never go out and seek one night stands. You have to actively police your mind, and always accept that your natural desires are going to be there, and when they are strongest, no matter how holy you are, no matter how much you go to church etc, this will be a time of struggle that can only be overcome by leaning on Jesus completely. Praying honestly and frankly and openly, not being coy with Him because He knows all your dirty secrets! And everyone else’s too! That’s meant to be light hearted but serious as well. Bible study, and perhaps seeking counselling if the addiction is overwhelming or you are acting out fantasies.

    I am now celibate because I want to meet a woman to fall in love with and want to serve God too. The church in England, the denominations don’t deal with this at all, often church here is traditional, rather respectable and suburban and decidedly Middle class, and of course people like that don’t have any problems at all do they, certainly not issues with lust!? We all have problems of this kind, and many more. At least in the US you deal with it more openly; I Googled it in the UK and could hardly find any group to help me. That needs to change.

    Anyway ladies, accepting you have a problem with lust is the first step to struggling against it. I am writing a post on dating on my blog, this may give women a perspective on decent guys. Not all of us want one night stands. We too want to be loved and cherished for who we are as people as well, warts ‘n’ all!

  8. nisshhaa says:

    Please pray for me i have been struggling with sexual sin since i was molested as a baby…then started regular sexual activity at 14 with many partner . I had my first baby at 15 next baby at 16 next baby at 19 last baby at 22…married at almost 18 yrs…now divorced practicing abstinence a year and 1/2…i have been ok with my new celibate life and love it finally feeling pure for the first time in my life…now im on a daniel fast for 40 days and i was first awaken with a wet dream and feeling really guilty…that dream has lead to mental sex twice in one week…i dont touch myself how ever i can think on it hard enough that its so real my body will respond with an orgasm…i then feel guilty sick unworthy and dirty as if i was that baby being molested that 14 yr old with many partners…i need serious prayer and help but i cant tell this aweful secret so today im letting it out help me pray for me as i also pray for myself

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