Hey ladies, scripture is pretty clear about lust. Jesus Himself told us that just looking at someone with lustful intent is considered adultery (Matthew 5:28). But what is lust? When looking up the definition and its synonyms, terms like “sexual desire,” “sexual appetite,” “sexual longing,” “find sexually attractive,” “crave” and “covet” are offered. Whoa!
So then why is lust such a common sentiment, even for Christians? Why do we lust like it means nothing? Well, partly because we’ve forgotten that lust, even in its most diluted form, is still sinful. And probably because our culture has relied on lust to get attention.
Opportunities to lust are everywhere. And we’ve become a culture that has lost control. Causes for lust are found in the media through commercials, movies, books and magazines. They’re in women’s fashion, through plunging necklines and short shorts, and for guys it’s tight tees -or just shirtless- and low riding pants. And they’re even in our everyday relationships through flirting, sexting and social media. And lust doesn’t discriminate, ladies. Both guys and girls lust.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
Think about these truths when it comes to lust.
- It turns body parts into things and people into animals. Whether it’s a girl checking out a guy’s abs and muscles or guys eyeing up a girl’s long legs and cleavage, the truth is the same. You’re not taking into consideration a person’s intellect and character, personality or inner beauty when lusting after them. Instead, you’re looking at them physically and with a sexual appetite, similar to how animals relate to each other.
- Lust represents a lack of control. Sure, lust can have a stronghold if you allow it to. And in some situations it takes over you and you feel as if you just can’t help but fall for it, but you have control over all your feelings. You need to control your sinful desires, just as you would any other sexual sin. It can be done, but it takes strong self-control and an even stronger desire to follow Christ’s commandments.
- It reflects a lack of respect. When acknowledging someone in a sexual way, disregarding their character, intellect and emotions, you’re viewing them in the most crude sense. You’re not holding them in high regard or valuing them as a person.
- Lust is self-gratification. Lust is selfish because its intention is to indulge in sexual pleasure, even if it’s just in thought—for example, if you’re watching a movie with an actor you’re attracted to and you take pleasure in imagining yourself with him, or you take pleasure in watching a scene in which he is intimate with a girl.
- It’s not flattering to be lusted after. Many girls feel it’s a compliment when a guy checks them out or says something inappropriate about a physical attribute. But it’s not flattering to be looked at like a plaything. If a creepy old guy were checking you out, you’d immediately think he was a pervert. So why is it okay if a cute guy does the same? The intention is the same, right?
- It’s dangerous and affects your future marriage. It destroys your self-worth when you’re lusted after. And it distorts the way you view guys. As to the former, you’ll continue to allow yourself to be treated poorly, which could cause issues in a future marriage. And as to the latter, you’ll continue to devalue others, including your future husband. In both instances, lust becomes such a destructive mindset, and as has been proven in our current culture, people begin devaluing themselves and each other.
- It destroys love. This is because lust is the opposite of love, but many people confuse the two. They assume that if they’re physically attracted to someone, then that’s love. But love and lust come from two different places. And eventually, when that difference becomes noticeable and lust trumps love, it causes resentment and insecurity. Not to mention the false belief that if there’s no longer lust, then the love is gone. For more on love, check out 5 Truths About Love.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)
Regardless of what you feel about lust, it’s a sin. You may think it’s harmless, but scripture begs to differ. And if you’re a follower of Christ, then you’ll recognize lust for what it truly is: a destroyer of the soul. It takes true inner strength to overcome lust. But if you take one moment at a time, one day at a time, you can build the strength you need to combat lust.
Ladies, did you know that lust was so destructive?