There he was—my dream come true.
Not long ago, I saw Divergent for the first time. I instantly fell in love with the exciting plot, Tris’ great courage, and Four’s breathtaking charm. Especially Four’s breathtaking charm.
The romantic relationship between Tris and Four was beautiful, but it was almost too beautiful. After I watched it, I daydreamed about Four—his smile, his hair, his abs. And I wanted them for myself.
I started thinking about Four and Tris together…holding each other tightly…kissing passionately…with Four shirtless.
And I started to imagine myself in Tris’ place…with Four and I holding each other tightly…kissing passionately…and Four shirtless.
Is This Even a Thing?
Woah, I thought lust was supposed to be a guy problem—at least that’s what all the Christian dating books seemed to say. I thought girls were supposed to wear modest clothing so they wouldn’t cause their brothers in Christ to stumble. And “stumble” = “lust,” right?
If you hear enough youth group messages and read enough Christian dating articles, you’ll probably conclude that lust is a guy sin and immodesty is a girl sin. And I happen to think lust is a girl sin, too. Because I’ve done it.
Obviously, I’m not a guy, so I have no idea what it’s like to be so strongly wired visually. But even as a young woman, I know what it’s like to send my mind racing in the wrong direction. I know what it’s like to stimulate my body for intimacy while I’m all alone. So, no, lust isn’t just a guy sin.
You’re Not Alone
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: lust is not a new sin in my life. When I was younger, I imagined what intimacy would be like. And as I got older and remained single, I kept giving into the sexual fantasies and gooey daydreams. Lust is still a part of my life, honestly.
I know how you feel, single girl. You don’t have a guy—no husband, no fiancé, no boyfriend, and no prospects. So you choose (what you claim is) the second-best alternative: lust. Since you lack a romantic relationship, you create one. With all the kissing and the sex and the intimacy you could ever want, whether it’s with a figment of your imagination or your next-door neighbor.
That’s why I don’t think lust is just a guy problem.
While I do believe women are called to modesty (both in heart and in clothing choices), I also believe there should be a shift away from the idea that lust is a guys-only sin. Because if we treat lust like a guys-only sin, then girls will either not feel convicted of their lust or they will feel alone in their struggle. Neither of those things is okay.
Of course, I understand that not every young woman struggles with lust. But if you’re one of the young women who does, I want you to know that you’re not alone. And please don’t believe the lie that you’re a freak. Because you’re not.
The Best Alternative
Single girl, I don’t want you to feel alone in your struggle with lust. But I also want you to realize how serious a lust problem is. Not only is it a sin against God, but it can also produce unrealistic expectations.
For example, using my personal story with Divergent, what if my future husband doesn’t hold me as tightly as Four held Tris? What if my future husband doesn’t kiss me as passionately as Four kissed Tris? What if my future husband doesn’t look as perfect as Four did without his shirt?
As Bethany Beal wrote about in a post on Girl Defined, it’s so easy to come up with elaborate scenarios about how we expect Prince Charming to kiss us the first time or what we expect the wedding night to be like. But that’s putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves and on our future husbands. Spoiler alert: when two imperfect people get married, their sex is imperfect.
Of course, I have to address the fact that lust is sin, whether a guy or a girl chooses to lust.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 ESV)
Every day, we are confronted with choices that will help us fight lust or give into it. Just like you have likely been encouraged to get rid of the clothing that causes guys to lust, get rid of the things that cause you to lust. The lingering, obsessing, and fantasizing isn’t healthy.
My dear single ladies, I’m letting you know from personal experience that lust is indeed a girl problem. But God has better things for you than imagining great sex or kissing or cuddling. As you navigate the single life, remember that your sanctification is better than your greatest sexual fantasies. Give those over to Him.