Women And Sexual Temptation

By Kelly Needham

For as long as I’ve been in church, I’ve known that sexual sin is a guy’s struggle. Lust, sexual fantasies, pornography, masturbation. These were all things common to man, not common to woman. So what was I to do when my mom’s Victoria’s Secret catalog arrived, and I secretly ogled over the pictures wishing I looked like those women? Or when I replayed intimate and sexual scenes from Titanic in my head? Or when I discovered certain parts of my body felt great when touched in a certain way? A Christian girl ought not to deal with such things.

But the truth is lust is a temptation common to humanity, not just men. Lust is a desire for something that isn’t yours to have. And plenty of women, myself included, have lusted for the pursuit and intimacy of a husband way before it was ours to have. We might not struggle in all the same ways as our brothers do, but every one of us knows the pull of lustful temptations. For most women, the lust battle is birthed in the emotions. Give us a gushy romantic comedy or a sensual book like The Notebook, and it can do us in. For women, the idea of emotional intimacy and sensuality can be a lot more tempting than a naked body.

But regardless of where the temptation arises, giving into lust is sin. And like all sin, we need to confess it and be reminded of the blood of Jesus shed for it. But I’m afraid far too many women leave sexual sin undealt with because they believe the lie that lust is a man’s struggle. This is my reason for even bringing up such a sensitive and somewhat controversial topic: Unconfessed sin inhibits the healing our souls need and keeps us from an experiential reality of our forgiveness in Christ (James 5:16; 1 John 1:9).

Angry African American couple standing back to back

Start the Conversation

When was the last time someone in your prayer group confessed to looking at pornography? Or masturbation? Or entertaining sexual fantasies? Or replaying certain sensual chick-flick scenes over and over again? Guaranteed, these sin struggles are happening in your church. (I know they are in mine.) But when we don’t talk about them, a subtle message is conveyed: Sexual sins are unacceptable among women.

My husband and I lead the college home group at our church. Every year I make it a point to bring up sexual sin issues when just the ladies are together. I share my hope that our home group would be a safe place for them to bring sin into the light, even the “messy” ones like masturbation or fantasies or pornography. I briefly share that I struggled in silence with masturbation and fantasies for years. Learning to confess my sins to God and others was the beginning of my victory through the Good News of all Jesus has done for me. I remind our college girls that we all carry the filthy stains of sin and that Christ can cleanse them all.

Every year many young women confess hidden sexual sins and battles with lust for the first time. Some share that lust became a struggle after they were abused. Some were simply curious children when they discovered the parts of their body that felt good when touched. Some were exposed to movies and books that opened the door to lust far too early in life. Some were sexually active before they were saved and, though now remaining abstinent, still battle an intense desire for sexual intimacy. Others have been so sheltered they didn’t know the weird things they did in the shower had a name. All of these women knew these things were wrong but didn’t know how to stop or who to talk to.

Frank and straightforward talk can take away the “power” these sexual sins seem to have. These conversations open the doors for the cleansing flood of the gospel to wash over all our filthy stains. Until we feel the glorious truth that there is no condemnation for those in Christ, we don’t find the confidence to run to our Savior for victory over sexual sins.

Whether you have battled these sexual lusts yourself or not, you can help start the conversation many of your sisters in Christ need to have. Share your own story, or briefly mention how the passage of Scripture you’re studying together applies to lust or sexual temptation. And when lust is mentioned, don’t discuss it as just a guy struggle.

Source: crosswalk.com

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