Friday, April 22, 2011

40 Daysof Lint, Day Thirty-Nine:Lust Bunnies

Playboy bunnies aren't just in magazines anymore. They're everywhere we look. Even when we don't want to see them they pop up on our computer screens, in television ads, and on storefronts. Unrealistic images in all forms of pornography cause dissatisfaction in intimate relationships and destroy our understanding of what is meant to be pure and holy. And lust affects us all.

An increasing number of women view pornography regularly or innocently feed on material that distorts their view of healthy relationships. How can our men compete with fictional characters portrayed in romance novels and movies? Those men are charming, thoughtful, well built, and seem to have all the time in the world to think of how to please their beloved. In real life, men and women gain weight, have bad days, forget important occasions, and say stupid things. We don’t always have energy to spend on romantic gestures. Relationships built on lust and unrealistic expectations run when trouble comes, but love stays.

Each of us hunger to know that someone in this world will stand by our side, even when times are tough and we're not the hottie we once were, or thought we were. We long to be loved for who we are in our soul - our personality, talents, thoughts, dreams, and even quirks.

The enemy wants to ruin our chances for happiness by luring us into the trap of make believe and momentary pleasure; it takes diligent awareness to guard our hearts against lust. Job,  the oldest book of the Bible, even talks about lust. Job fought it all the way (Job 31:7-8). Many participate in pornography, affairs, and binging on romance novels seeking forbidden pleasure, but look where it leads. The woman called Folly sounds inviting, at first: “‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’ To those who have no sense she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!’ But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead” (Proverbs 9:16-18, emphasis mine).

How can we fight against this temptation when it’s everywhere we look? The first thing is to look to God. The kind of unconditional, satisfying love we all long for is only found in Him. Married or single, young or old, Jesus Christ is our forever Love and the only One who can meet every need to love and be loved. He never gets tired, has a bad day, or gets tired of our neediness.

Secondly, we need to learn the biblical definition of love, and commit to loving our husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends in that way. God created women with a need to be cherished, protected, sought after, and held. God made men with a need for respect, admiration, praise, and to work for a worthwhile cause.

Not long ago, my husband and I had a misunderstanding. After talking it through, he offered to rub by feet while I read aloud. We ended the day dancing in the bedroom to music and candlelight. It would have been easy for each of us to stay mad at each other, comparing the other’s present unattractiveness to magazine models or romance novels. Instead, we remembered why we chose each other in the first place, and renewed our commitment to our relationship. In that soil, love flourishes.

Be on the watch for lust bunnies lurking in dark corners of your mind and heart. They do so much damage, even among faithful God-followers. We will only stay pure if we dedicate ourselves to Jesus’ cleansing forgiveness and resist the temptation to wandering eyes and hearts.
Lint Removed: Lust
Cleaning Process: Let True Love Satisfy   

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