Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Have a got a topic of conversation for us today - LUST.

That word just sitting there on the page of my blog makes me slightly uncomfortable. It's as if the four letters posses some kind of bold, memorizing power when I look at them. Like they don't quite sit still. We're talking one of the "7 deadly sins" here, and I want to know what you think about it. Honestly. Authentically.
Anonymously, is fine.

  • Is lust something you ever wrestle with?

  • How would you define lust?

  • Who is most often the target or trigger of lust for you?

  • Are you married or single?
  • What do you think influences one's tendency to lust?

And what I most want to ask you is, how do you handle it when you find yourself wrapped in lust's feel-good trance?

I'll be the first to admit that lusting feels good. It's fun to entertain ... at least until you want to stop, and find it's not so easy to push out of your mind. Suddently, you no longer feel in control of your thoughts. For real, right?

I'm helping my pastor research this topic for an upcoming sermon series, and would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and questions about LUST in the comments. Last week we had a meeting where we discussed this topic some. I was the only female in the room, and I could tell the guys didn't think this was much of a big problem for women ... but I suspect lust is more of an equal-gender, equal-opportunity tempter than they realize. So I'm hoping you'll at least let me know if you agree or not.


  1. Come on girls, gather some courage, hit the anonymous comment button and talk.

    :) Rachel

  2. I absolutely agree that lust is a huge problem for women just as much as men. However, I think that we are different in the reasons that we do lust. That we struggle with sexual sin. Lust and sexual sin has been one of the biggest struggles I've had in my life. The biggest struggle I have is with those I know. Not with those I don't know. I am single; however, I know that married people struggle just as much. I think that handling it becomes difficult when I don't rely on God's grace. God's guidance.
    Have you ever read Joshua Harris' "Not Even a Hint"? It's a great book dealing with this topic. I would talk more; however, I chose to publish this publicly, not anonymously, but I don't feel *as* comfortable as I thought I would in the beginning.

    The question the sermon going to deal with only lust or sexual sin as an entirety? I don't think that lust the issue. It goes much deeper and is very interconnected with many other sexual immorality....

    Feel free to hit me up if you want to know more...

    God bless you Rachel! I always enjoy reading your blogs!

  3. Wow! This is the least number of responses I've ever seen on one of your posts. As for the topic...I think in the general sense, I define lust as an attraction and desire for someone not your spouse. I fall into this every once in a while (you know, "wow, he is attractive!"), not that I would ever follow thru. I don't say this to be judgmental or say I'm better than others who may have taken this road, but at the moment I have no close male friends (partly because I think that can be a starting point for problems). What I consider lustful thoughts generally happen to me in a passing moment - you know the guy at the mall, crossing the street, etc....and of course with at least one child in tow, I'm not in flirt mode so nothing ever comes of it.
    Now, most people only think of the sexual side, but I think I fall into the trap of desiring my husband to be more like "so and so's husband." You know - ".."'s husband always goes to church, or leads family devotions, or look at the birthday gift he gave her. Maybe this is more coveting? It isn't really that I want a relationship with that other man, but is more a "grass is always greener" scenario. I think this can lead to "what if I had married X instead" ... and if X is from a past relationship I think re-living those intimate moments (whether sexual or not) can cause discontent in current relationships or life in general.
    As for life before marriage, I made some poor decisions in this area that were both just thinking where can this go and what would it be like, to crossing the line to acting on things. I also think that past involvement leads to problems in later relationships (already sort of said this, oh well).
    Not sure if any of that helps or if it even makes sense, hopefully it can start some dialogue.

  4. Lust: we lust for more than sex! Women lusting? I never get over the way men, particularly pastors, view women's passions.

    T.W. Hunt, Baptist leader and author, wrote in The Mind of Christ that Jesus "lusted" for the things of Father God in the Kingdom of God. After 7 years of commitment to have the mind of Christ he developed a wonderful list of words we have limited viewpoints on in our culture. One of those was "lust," and as I heard him describe this at a conference I viewed my lust of food and tv with mercy to others who were intensely tempted to lust sexually.

    Our American media seems to exploit our sexual lusting to elaborately pressure us to buy products. Our youth are bombarded with visual stimuli on every front that is sexually explicit. I don't believe previous generations had such severe daily viewing in everyday life of sexual images.

    The cost of sexual immorality is huge. As an older woman I have painfully had to watch the prophecy of Solomon in Proverbs be played out from the pulpit to everyday Jane and John Doe's with their families, friends and business associates also paying the pain cost.

    Good for you to speak truth on your blog. No comments....ummm, I find the Christian blog world lines up like most churches: keep it nice and safe. Isn't this part of the reason we are becoming so ineffective in influencing our world?

    Jesus Christ is the answer to all of our temptations. He is the answer to our lust: sexual or otherwise that is not in line with God's best.

    Women's sexual lust must be addressed in the time invested in reading romance novels, watching movies or tv shows that emphasize sex. Also women's tendency to daydream when life isn't working for them. As I counsel women I spend much time sharing how I learned to guard what resides in my mind daily. Daydreams are not innocent pastimes without consequences.

    You may not have had many commments, but this one is getting too long. I'll hush now; but know I applaud this great post.

    Love you being real!!!

  5. Lust is what broke up my first marriage. It is something that I have to be on guard for all of the time. It seems to sneak into my thoughts and sometimes even my dreams. It has really helped me to have scripture ready to use in battle with this problem.

    I don't know about others but in my case I think my lust comes from a low self esteem. I don't think that I am worthy so I can conjure up a fantasy that has me being someone else and that person is often someone that is desired by men etc.

    Trying to stay rooted in the Word and knowing that I am someone because Jesus loved me enough to die for me is something that I need to remind myself continually.

    Thanks for trying to tackle this subject. I read your blog often but I don't often feel that I have much to contribute. Many of your readers seem to have lived much more of a fairy tale life than mine has been.

  6. I aways thought of lust as a strong desire. Strong desires in & of them selves are not bad. It is how we act a upon it. I lust after my husband this is not sin. However if I start day dreaming what's like to be with someone else, that is sin. I then visualize Christ on the cross & put the thoughts at his feet. I ask him to take my thoughts & to forgive me. Not an easy thing to do when I am lusting after food while I am fasting. You see lust is, I want what I want when I want! It is the 'I' thing that gets in the way. Putting Christ 1st takes it away when it becomes obsessive. You might have to come before the cross several times before it is gone. It is not easy. Sometimes lust just takes over & you don't even know that your thoughts & actions are impacting your life until someone or something brings it to your attention. That is when shame enters & we feel how can I have forgiveness. Jesus is the answer & He forgives all. We need to daily put 'I' & our burdens at the feet of Jesus. The power of the blood will heal & forgive.

  7. Happy to help!

    1)Yes. Lust is something I deal with. Always have.
    2)Define: Lust is inappropriate thoughts or unchecked emotions towards someone. It can turn into something physical, of course, but it starts in the mind.
    3)The trigger? A few things - Rebels. Power. Physical appearance. And even seeing another man be really godly and spiritual can do it.
    4)I'm married, yes :) Being married doesn't seem to keep people from lusting, though. I've seen it make them worse - wanting what they can't have.
    5)Influences? Media. Worldly advice about love. An unhealthy and lonely marriage. Your past. Lots of things.
    6)How do I handle it? Pray, of course. But my husband and I have become very open about this. And its a good thing. He knows where I struggle and I know where he struggles. We pray over each other when we are struggling. It took us a while to mature enough and trust each other enough to be this open, though - without fear of judgment and jealosy :) In my experience, a lot of healing occurs when my husband prays over me when it comes to this issue. It's humbling and it brings such healing.

  8. I think lust is a huge problem for women, as well as for men. I believe that when a person feels like their spouse doesn't understand him/her or she/he feels neglected by a spouse, she/he thinks life would be better with someone else. Even for a single person, I think sometimes they long for someone's attention. We all want to be connected and feel that we matter to someone else. We want intimacy. We want to feel like we are at the top of our spouses' list. I believe when the communication between husbands and wives breaks down, it leaves room for the devil to get a foothold. The devil starts spewing his lies and we begin to believe him. A few years ago my husband had an affair. We did have a breakdown in our communication. We had two children at the time, ages three and four months. We both were under a load of stress. We both felt neglected and lonely. At the same time, he started to disclose our problems to a female coworker. Needless to say, he felt she understood him. He could talk to her, and she would listen and was very attentive. She made him feel good. He was getting from her what he felt he couldn't get from me. He thought I just didn't care how he felt. That was the beginning of the end for our marriage. We did divorce, but have since reconciled and married again (each other). What brought us back together was knowing God could restore what we had lost. I believe a breakdown in communication first between you and God, and then between you and your spouse is the ultimate demise of a marriage. When you start wondering if life could be better with someone else because of troubles in your marriage, you leave God out. I don't think lust is always related to sexual desires. I think it begins simply as longing for a connection with another person, wanting to be understood, wanting what you think you'll never have. You can lust for many things: fame, fortune, money, material things, love, etc. However, what your missing, and in need of, is the intimacy of a relationship with God. God put the longing for "something more" in our hearts, so that we would seek Him. Nothing and no one else can fill that longing. When I get to that "I wish I had..." or "I wish my husband was like.." feeling, I get on my knees and ask God to forgive me and remind me that He's all I need.

  9. I have never tried to specifically define it, but in this context I'd say that it is an overwhelming desire to have something we shouldn't. I saw one lady define it as desire for someone not your spouse, but I'm not married and I occasionally suffer from it just as much as would a married woman.

    Before I began my serious walk on the Christian path, I had problems with experiencing lust with too many men. Usually someone I found extremely attractive. Now I am able to keep it under control for the most part, although the occasional extremely handsome fella can set it off.

    I think the situations we place ourselves in can contribute to lust. This is especially important for us single gals. Everyone knows it's inappropriate for a married woman to be alone with a man not her husband, but how many people (non-Christians especially) would find it inappropriate for a single girl to be alone with a man? I have found that by setting myself specific rules and sticking to them, I can avoid lust much more easily. If I am not in a position to be tempted, it's easier to avoid the temptation.

  10. 1) Yes, lust is something I wrestle with. Originally I was thinking of lust for a human and in a sexual way, but on thinking further, I agree lust for things or situations is also something I struggle with (idolatry?)

    2) I define lust as longing for something different; the quest to fill an empty place in me. It could be a different physical/emotional relationship with someone, or not.

    3) The trigger of my lust (if I stay focused on the "human" as an object of lust) is looking for love. It may strike in times when I am feeling insecure in my relationship, or mis-understood. I usually am not lusting for looks, but for connections; understanding, intimacy. And the object of my lust is usually someone I know or work with rather than someone famous. I agree with one of your readers that romance novels also satisfy my lust at times. I used to be much more drawn in to romance novels, but over time they all read the same and didn't satisfy me. Lately I carve into my heart Ephesians 3:18-19; [and I pray that you...]18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    God is sufficient for me. He is the only one who can fill my "God-shaped hole". I need to rest in that and turn to Him when I am finding myself dissatisfied with my life or my relationship.

    4) I am married. I don't think marital state affects anyone's tendency to lust. I think lust is rooted in dissatisfaction and anyone can be dissatisfied in any situation.

    5) So I think I covered this from my perspective; covetousness, lust, longing for something different stems from loneliness, insecurity, dissatisfaction, low self-esteem... It is vapor though and has no staying power. All the things we long for fall into "the grass is always greener" category. I think when we finally have tired of pursuing all these things, and turn our loneliness, insecurity, etc. over to God and stop trying to solve the situation on our own, we will find lasting peace and satisfaction with who we are. We will also find the strength to tackle our current situation and with His help, be filled with joy.

  11. When someone makes you feel wanted and attractive, especially if your husband (or wife) has been negligent toward you,it can be the first step towards "lust." You may feel that you are no longer desirable to your mate, or perhaps he is no longer so desirable to you. Routine and habit can often produce those feelings.

    Singer, Jack Jones, cut a record many years ago called "Wifes Should Always Be Lovers Too." One of the verses is, "Day after day there are girls at the office, and men will always be men. Don't send him off with your hair up in curlers, you may not see him again."
    Chorous: "Wifes should always be lovers too, run to his arms the moment he comes home to you......" Those words have always stuck in my mind.

    Think about it girls. Once we know that we have our man, we can often let ourselves go....and there are those gals at work, at the supermarket (as Kate aka Jottinmama, found out,)
    at the post office, the utility companies, the sporting events, community events, company picnics, the waitpersons where they have lunch, that beautiful and, oh so helpful, gal at the department store cosmetic counter that helped him pick out the perfume he bought for you, and....yes, even at church!

    In today's world, women are much more bold and brazen then they were when that song was written. They think nothing of flirting or, "hitting," on a man, and don't care whether or not they are married, have no children or 8 children, have money or not. It's not up to the man to make the first move, as was so common back then. Anything is game now, in the world of the "flesh."

    On the other hand, for the women who don't work, or work from home; once their
    husbands have gone off for the day and the kids are off to school, they get themselves together and ready for their day. They may need the services of a plumber, electrician, delivery man, neighborhood handyman, etc...perhaps this man will start off with a little joke or compliment, an accidental brush against the woman....well, I think you get the picture. The most innocent of moves, eye contact, or words can cause sparks to fly! And, by the way, there is no such thing as "innocent flirting!! We just like to tell ourselves that to make it justifiable!! Flirting, more often than not, leads to action, no matter which way you cut it!

    Then there are the spouses that carpool with members of the opposite sex. Conversations, after just leaving the house, can lead to divulging facts and feelings that should have remained unsaid. Perhaps there were unkind words between the spouses and their "other halves," or the "other half" looked particularly unattractive that morning and the car pooling partner looked fresh, well-attired, and unresistably appealing. Exchanging stories and offering a sympathetic ear, can easily lead to bonding and the mistaken identity of "love" disquised by "lust."

    Often members of the opposite sex are teamed up at work. Now, they are engaged together for hours each day sharing their strengths in their professional lives and connecting in a way that neither of them can connect with their spouses. Pretty soon they are having lunch together, or perhaps stopping off for a "drink" after work to discuss business further. Then come the late dinners....all this time they are venting over how misunderstood they are at home, how the kids are screaming and the house is a mess when they arrive, how their spouse has no interest in, or is completely ignorant as to what they do at work and, of course, the old standby, "they are sexually unfulfilled."

    It is so easy to let that "little boost to your ego" expand into an uncontrollable monster. As soon as you any signs, or excitable feelings muster up, you must turn to the Lord for immediate help. However, first and foremost, don't let yourself get into these situations.

    Do not allow yourself to be alone with the member of the opposite sex, even your husband's relatives, if you can at all help it.

    Do not singlely get involved with the member of the opposite sex in any activities, even at church.

    Watch the way you dress! Do not invite sexual advances. Dress modestly.

    Watch your body language as well as your verbal language. Make sure that you aren't sending off the wrong signals.

    And, always, always, without any hestiation, put the Lord first in your mind and your heart, knowing that He is the answer to everything. Through Him everything is possible, without Him, nothing is.

    Let our only "lusts" be for the Lord and our husbands, or husbands to be!

    God bless all of you lovely ladies. Rachel, many thanks to you for bringing us all together to face our daily challenges in such an open and heartfelt manner.

    In his love,
    Bonners Ferry, ID

  12. Hey Rachel,
    I noticed that we can no longer request that we be notified anytime there is a comment posted on a particular subject. Also noticed that we no longer can removed a post in the event we accidentally post twice. What happened?

  13. Interesting. I was just thinking about this topic this morning and it has been something that I believe that God has been bringing to my heart lately. So I find it "God sent" that you posted on this topic today.

    I am happily married but sometimes can get caught up in so many emotions. For me recently, I have been reading a series of books and have recently noticed myself wishing that my hubby was as much of a romantic as the character in the book. It is not even that, like Angie wrote, sometimes it can be the thoughts of "Oh why can't he be more like..."

    This is definitely not a good combination because in my mind I am setting my husband up to fail.

    I definitely think that this is an issue that both men and women face just in different varying degrees.

    I would be interested in hearing how the sermon series turns out. Do you guys by any chance record them or post them on the web?

    In Him,

  14. I think men often underestimate the temptation of lust for women. Specifically, I remember a conversation with the leader of my ladies' bible study at the time, and she share a conversation she had with some males in our church. They assumed our biggest temptation was gossip, and that men were the one's who struggled with lust. Disbelief would explain their reaction to her clarification, that lust can often be our biggest temptatation too.

    I am recently and happily married to a man who loves me and respects me with his eyes and committment of his mind to purity (one of the things I first found so attractive about him). However,I have found that one of my greatest difficulties in the area of lust, is lusting after the women I see around me, on tv, at the mall, etc. that I deem more beautiful than me, more attractive than me, more gifted, more interesting, etc. And instead of trusting God to honor my husband's obedience in purity, I worry that I won't measure up to the other girl.

    If I'm not careful, I can find myself getting angry at the workout instructor, or the singer who has a beautiful voice and body.

    What a dangerous place to be.

    Men may struggle differenly with lust, but women definitely struggle. For both genders, it it is important to obey God, and commune with Him so much that we want to fix our mind on Him, dying to our selfish desire, whether we are men or women. Fill our minds with scripture until there is not room for sinful pleasure. Sometimes it only takes a quick prayer, and other times it is an all day battle to keep focused on Christ. But that's part of what taking up our cross means, right?

    And God's Word makes it very clear that He loves us all, made us all, and has purpose and desire for each one of us. What an encouragement!

    I love that our God loves us through all sin, if we repent and seek forgiveness. There is a lot more to say too, and I agree with some other comments that so many things affect this area of sin and tempatation. But I will stop here with my thoughts :)

    Thank you for your honest posts, and desire to share and hear with/from others!


  15. I definitely struggle with lust from time to time. It is hard to stop the cycle. I've recently been in contact with an "old flame." We are both married and have children. It makes no sense to me why I have let memories of him take hold of my thought life...he was obviously not the peron God intended for me. That fact has been made so clear through conversations that we've had. I am so extremely blessed in my marriage and I love my husband dearly...thoughts of "What Might Have Been" do take hold though. I think the memories of him and reconnecting after so many years (even just through Facebook...where our conversations are sporadic and both of our spouses are members and can view our comments to one another). Sometimes my "lust" for him can cause my head to doubt the path I have chosen...even though I know it is wrong. I have not made any of these feelings known to anyone, and just keep trying to work through them on my own. I am very curious to read your findings on this topic. It would be nice to know I'm not the only "good Christian woman" who goes through feelings like this.

  16. I've struggle with this myself.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with looking.A quick look in my opinion, is normal.It's when you start imagining yourself being with that person or,comparing that person with your husband/boyfriend, that's when things might get ugly.Most times I feel that light bulb in my know that feeling when you know something is not right but you still do it.
    Also,I always tell myself,the grass is not always greener on the other side.The Lord has given us self control so, I think this is not out of our control.

  17. lust is simply...I want what I want when I want it.

  18. AnonymousMay 14, 2009

    I just found this blog, so forgive me for posting so far behind the original, but this is a huge weakness of mine and one I daily have to lay at the foot of the cross.

    I am married, and have been a Christian since I was young. I don't think that people realize what a struggle this is for us a women. My pastor will make comments from the pulpit about men having affairs and men dealing with pronography and sexually explicit images. I've got news for them...there are a TON of christian women today who struggle with these same issues.
    Satan doesn't care what your gender is. If he can get a foothold, he will take it.

    I agree that while lust is usually thought of in a sexual manner, it should be applied to an unhealthy desire for anything. I struggle not only with sexual lust, but lust for food and also for self worth in the form of glances, or comments from the opposite sex...even affirmation from other women.

    Lust is a powerful thing. It can lead to discontent, affairs, overindulgence, and an all around hedonistic attitude.

    I am praying daily that God will just supernaturally hedge my mind in and help me hold my thoughts captive unto Jesus. That He will help me stand strong in the face of temptation and that He will give me strength to flee from evil. Its not something we can do without Him.

    Thanks for addressing this! I'd love to hear the sermon series...


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