I am sick of it. This excuse pisses me off. Yep, a Christian blogger said it pisses her off. I’m furious that Satan is filling men’s heads with this crap. I’m furious that men are believing this lie. I’m furious that the church is encouraging this. I’m furious that men I love and care about are being tortured with this sin because no one is willing to speak up and say, “ENOUGH!”
I was recently talking to a male friend about changes he has to make in his life because of his struggle with lust. And I commend him for wanting to tackle this sin, especially because some of these changes will be drastic.
But what he finished the conversation with sent a familiar chill down my spine and made me want to punch a brick wall. He said, “I have to do this, because this is just how I’m wired up. It’s great that some guys can avoid these feelings, but I can’t. It’s just a consequence of having a man’s brain.”
My heart hit the ground. Lies. All lies. My poor friends has forsaken what He knows about His God and has given himself over to these lies. And quite honestly, I’m scared for him.
I am sick and tired of hearing otherwise intelligent and Godly men say they have no choice but to learn to live with their lust because that is just how men are.
NO! THAT IS NOT “JUST HOW MEN ARE”! The idea that men just have these sex crazed brains just because they are male is a lie. It is a bold faced lie from Satan!
I can just hear what you are probably saying…”You’re a woman. You don’t understand. We can’t help those urges.”
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before. Trust me, if these beliefs weren’t so deeply ingrained in your testosterone filled brains, I wouldn’t have to write a blog post pointing out what should be obvious. Just because a lot of people are saying it doesn’t make it any more true. And I would argue that there are plenty of women, including myself, with sex drives just as fueled up as yours. Trust me. I’ve been friends with many, many guys who were very open about their thoughts and my tendency towards lust puts theirs to shame.
So, as a woman who struggles with lust, but who isn’t being fed all the drivel about how “I can’t help it because of my gender” crap, I’ll keep my objections to this nonsense as simple as possible.
- No…you were not wired up to have lustful thoughts. You were created by Almighty God. You were created to be pure. You were made in His image. Satan has tricked you into believing that lust and libido go hand in hand. They don’t. Even if you have the strongest libido in the world, God intended you to direct that fully toward your wife in a pure and God-honoring way.
- God is bigger than your sin. Think about it…is there any other sin that God says, “Well, you’re always going to do this so just learn to cope with it”? NO!!! The world may say that, but God doesn’t. He doesn’t care about your coping mechanisms, because behavior modifications are nothing but crappy bandaids. God knows the behavior is just a symptom of the bigger problem…your heart.
- Being a man is no more a sin than being a woman is. Stop acting like testosterone is a license/excuse for your sin. Are you a slave to Jesus or a slave to your flesh??
And the church makes it worse
An older Christian gentleman once told me that the reason he respects Billy Graham so much is because he made it a rule to never be alone with a woman. Maybe some people admire that. It actually caused me to lose some respect for him.
Only in the church does it seem “logical” to separate men and women because men might have sexual urges toward women.
Out in the real world, if you are struggling with lustful thoughts towards a woman, you, preferably, deal with whatever feelings you are having and get over it, or you avoid the woman and get marriage counseling because there is something seriously wrong in your marriage if some random woman can threaten your marriage to that degree. If you repeatedly have sexual thoughts that you can’t control, you see a therapist, because obsessive/compulsive thoughts are a mental issue. You may even be a sex addict.
In the church, though, we like to jump right to the avoidance part. You can never watch R rated movies. Men can never be alone with women. Men demand that women must all wear black garbage bags so that nothing can show that would tempt these poor hapless guys who are nothing slaves to their hormones. And we venerate people who do these things as being “so holy” and being “men of honor”. Those are nothing but a bunch of rules and rules turn to pride.
Here is why that is crap, and why my respect for Billy Graham got knocked down a peg: avoidance is the cheap way out of having to work on your heart. Avoiding your sin is much easier than actually having to do the hard, humbling work of examining your heart and letting the Holy Spirit convict you. And let’s just be honest, in this world we live in today, just because it’s two men in a room alone together or two women doesn’t mean something sexual isn’t going to happen. Evil loves to hit when no one is paying attention.
But many times I’ve seen men who take the avoidance route still crash and burn, or even just get trapped in a cycle of constantly failing. Why is this? In a word…Satan. Satan doesn’t care what sin consumes you. That is just a tool for His end game, which is taking your eyes off of God and putting them onto yourself. That is the root of all sin, veneration of self.
So you’re avoiding being alone with women…guess what Satan will do? He’ll find some other way to get you. Maybe it’ll be to hook you on porn. Maybe it will be a completely different sin. Satan knows all sin is the same. All we are after is knocking God off the throne and putting ourselves there. One sin will work just as well as any other.
So what do we do?
First off, if you do need to avoid someone, or at least not be alone with them, because you are in danger of engaging in some sort of sinful act, then do as scripture says and “Flee!”. Avoidance is okay as a way to be rescued from imminent danger. But if you stop there, you’ve left an open door for Satan to come and wreak havoc on you and you’ve committed yourself to living on a roller coaster of trying and failing.
What you need to have is a long term plan for your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit for the answer to this question…why am I having lustful thoughts? What need inside of me is not being met that is causing me to have these fantasies? What feelings are causing me to want to look at porn/think about sex? The answers could be a crazy, complex knot of emotions, or it could be simple.
I can tell you what the answer is not. It has nothing to do with placing the blame on anyone or anything but yourself. First, blame is not an emotion. We need to get down to feelings. And second, you are the one responsible. If you are looking for real change, then you need to look for the problem inside of yourself.
If you can’t figure out what the emotions are or you are bothered by what they are, then seek the help of a therapist, clergy, or someone else experienced in walking through these things.
Once you figure out what the underlying emotions are, then you need to work on changing them. Are you bored with your sex life? Then make it not boring…with your spouse! Do you feel lonely and unloved? Then work on your relationship with your spouse, preferably in a marriage counselor’s office. If you aren’t married, then go make friends who love you and get close to the one Friend that will love you more than you imagine…Jesus. Is it insecurity, anger, depression, or shame? Then focus on healing the wounds that cause those negative feelings and you won’t want to turn to lust as often. Is it envy or competition or even a sense of conquest? Then focus on being content.
One of the worst things you can do is to only focus on the lustful thoughts. What happens when I say, “Don’t think about an elephant?” You think about an elephant. If you go around all the time saying, “Don’t have sexy thoughts. Don’t have sexy thoughts. Don’t have sexy thoughts,” guess what your brain will be filled with…yep, sexy thoughts.
In all these, bathe yourself in scripture that says who you are in Christ, and who God is. You are more than a conqueror. Make sure that God’s word is speaking to you more than any other word, whether that is through scripture or Holy words of wisdom and encouragement from your brothers and sisters in Christ. You need ten Godly words to undo every one evil word that you hear.
And as you work through healing the REAL causes of all those emotions, think about the consequences of what would happen if your thoughts became real. Even if there were no horrible consequences like losing your family or ruining another person’s life, what would it do to your soul? Would you be the person you really want to be? Is that part of your identity that you would want to wrestle with and carry around on your shoulders?
You may argue, “but I have no intention of having sex with the girl in the video or the woman at the office.” If you haven’t been introduced to the concept of emotions->thoughts->actions, look it up online. Time and again, thoughts lead to actions. Also, read through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). That is one big sermon from Jesus on how the heart (emotions) leads to thoughts which leads to actions, which is why God is so focused on the heart. Everything else are just symptoms of a sick heart.
Brother (or sister…I addressed it to men, women struggle too), trust me. I feel for you. You have your body you have to keep under control in a world where “they” realize that sex equals money. Clothing designers design clothes so that the person buying them looks sexy. Sex is used to sell everything from cheeseburgers to life insurance. Men are told that their value is in how many women they “conquer” and women are told their value comes from how much men want to “conquer” them. And the church, as if it doesn’t have enough problems on it’s own, doesn’t seem to know if it should pretend like sex doesn’t exist or if it should demonize it or if it should just throw caution to the wind and let the culture do it’s thing.
Your struggle is real, but please, don’t give into Satan before you have even started the fight. You were not “wired up” for sin. You were wired up for purity. Testosterone does not equal lust or else Adam would have been sinful in the garden of Eden. Satan is using this to destroy the church in a million different ways. Please, don’t fight a battle you’ve already decided you will lose. Believe in what Christ says about you and share in His victory. He, and He alone, is the reason you will be set free.