“For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)
Just before Valentine’s Day, I wrote a two-part series called Song of Solomon & The Single Woman. As the 50 Shades of Grey movie was about to be released, the attention it received even by Christian women made me stop and think about our sexuality. More and more, books and movies are coming out “celebrating” exploiting our sexual drives and the latest one is Magic Mike XXL.
“Are you ready to be worshipped?
Are you ready to be exalted?”
These questions are asked by Jada Pinkett Smith’s character in Magic Mike XXL to a female-dominated audience. Who better to ask these questions to a woman than a woman?
Women have often been the object of sexual lust but lust is not a male problem, it’s a sin problem.
lust is not a male problem, it's a sin problemClick To Tweet.
Men are labeled as the visual ones but in our visually saturated society, we are not far behind. Women are now coming forward with porn addiction, which leads to shame and secrecy (just what the enemy wants!!).
As fallen, sinful creatures, everyone has their temptations. To be transparent with you, it has been harder to turn my eyes away from the Magic Mike commercials then the 50 Shades of Grey trailers. Why? I’ve asked myself that question and while it is not as blatantly manipulative as 50 Shades, it does the same thing. It speaks to my deepest desire to feel wanted, to be the focus of a man’s attention and desire. I feel a sense of control and at the same time, the thrilling possibility to become completely undone. It also fuels a fire that can’t be set free as a Christian woman. Here are reasons why movies and books like these are so dangerous:
We’re called to purity.
You may have been saved after being sexually active or have made your mistakes afterward so it’s hard living a celibate life. Memories may unexpectedly flash in your mind or in times of loneliness, you may want to be physically intimate. I can relate to both! Yet, in Christ, you can take those images captive. Your thoughts and actions are called to be set apart from the ways of this world. Please don’t get me wrong. No one, not even myself, has perfected this! The sad truth is that I’ve spoken to so many single women who have had the notion that sex is bad beaten into their heads (even by spiritual mentors). When it’s time for them to finally get married and physically enjoy their commitment to their husband, it’s a difficult mentality to break free from.
It’s not just your body that you need to think about but your mind and heart as well. Sin starts with a seed, a thought, and it snowballs from there until it is manifested in the physical. The bedroom is not where sin is conceived but where it is consummated outside the boundaries of marriage. God created sex for the married man and woman. When it is within those boundaries, it is sacred and beautiful. Until the time you’re married, you’ll have to grapple with your sexual desires and keep them at the foot of the Cross.
We’re called to persevere through temptation and not give in to it.
James 1:12-16 says it best, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation…Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when it is full-grown brings forth death.”
Your desire for love and acceptance as a single woman may bring compromise once you get into a relationship. You drop your guard when it needs to be fortified. I love the story Joshua Harris shares in When Boy Meets Girl about being in a hammock with his now-wife. Lying together, he started to become aroused by her legs and made the choice to walk away. Some may go, Really?!, but I believe it was a brave decision not only to stop the temptation for himself but to protect his girlfriend as well. That story summarizes what love is: it is the choice to deny self while lust is the choice to fulfill the self.
We’re called to confess our sins one to another.
Lust is a human problem and not just a male problem. If you’re dealing with lust speak to a trusted, older female counselor who can pray with you and help keep you accountable. The enemy believes in equality as well – to make us spiritually defeated and in bondage. Having someone that knows the deepest, darkest parts of you will help to create vulnerability, trust, and healing. God has not called you to live this life alone but in community where you can share your struggles and pain.
We’re called to set the standard of masculinity and sexual desire to your future husband and not Hollywood movie stars.
When you see the images of Channing Tatum dancing to a provocative song like “Pony” by Ginuine or Matthew Bomer ripping off his shirt, temptation is staring you in the face. So what if you don’t have a husband just yet? (and you’re seriously tempted by the good looking actors in Hollywood or real life men for that matter!). You’re still a woman with feelings and desires. It has to go someplace doesn’t it?! Why not prayer?
Praying For Your Future Husband
Have you prayed for your future husband? I’ve started praying for him again and if you’re still waiting, I pray you’ll do the same. The fact is that Matthew Bomer, Channing Tatum, and all the other Hollywood actors whose faces and bodies are on People magazine or Men’s Health won’t always look the same. Exploiting their physique will only be good for a season as long as they retain their six pack abs.
I’ve had my fair share of celebrity crushes (a major freak out in Whole Foods after seeing Matthew Bomer in person comes to mind). The question that keeps buzzing inside my head is, Are we setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment because of the incredibly high expectations we’ll put on a future spouse?
God takes marriages very seriously as expressed here in Malachi 2:15, “Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife?…So guard your heart and remain loyal to the wife of your youth” (NLT version). As your future husband ages, his appearance will be your standard of desirability. Not what he looked like 5 or 10 years ago.
You’re called to guard our eyes and our hearts because the world won’t do that for us.
You live in this world but we’re not of this world. Jesus has broken the bondages and chains that have held so many people, male and female, captive for too long. You have the choice to look away and to mediate of what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8).
As much as your flesh wants to be “exalted” or “worshipped”, you have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer you who live but Christ in you (Galatians 2:20).
Lust brings you into bondage while the love of Christ has set you free.
If you’re struggling with lust or any type of sexual sin seek out a trusted, mature woman in the Lord who can help you.
You are not alone in Christ.
Sharing Is Caring – What affect are movies like Magic Mike XXL or 50 Shades Of Grey having on women?