Single Christian women struggle with lust and sexual temptation as much as single Christian men, and for the sake of discipleship, the church needs to start addressing this issue with much greater integrity than what it previously has.
Women naturally have sexual desires, and are tempted by that desire as much as men are with seductive marketing, books, T.V shows, movies, and images all over social media. Worse still, for the most part we are the ones being sexualised, which attacks our identity as women; dictating to men and women alike that the centre of femininity is sex – needing it, weaponizing it, driven by it. This twisted, poisonous and belittling distortion of what sex truly is, and of our beautiful, strong, and Christ-centred identity as women in the church, is ultimately more problematic than merely being tempted by sexual thoughts and desires.
Yet, our struggle in this war on our identity, purity, and Christian discipleship has been silenced by the church. We are not taught, heard, nor equipped as young men are; and, surely a work of the enemy, we are shamed when we try to talk about it and seek help in this fight for Christ-likeness.
While church leaders sit around and wonder why so many of their young women have turned to living lives of sexual gratification, it is, largely, due to their unwillingness to accept women as they accept men: as created by God for partnership in marriage – created feminine and masculine, and equally sexual, with the responsibility to steward that sexuality in righteousness and purity.
Women and Sex
Sexual temptation for women comes primarily on two fronts: physical, and emotional.
Physically, women are sexual beings as much as men are. There are differences, of course, but we have a reproductive system, which means we have hormones that produce the physiological desire to have sex.
For many women, seeing an attractive man shirtless is just as distracting and exciting as it is for men to see an attractive woman in a bikini. Yet, while young Christian women are taught to dress modestly to protect young men from stumbling in their faith, young Christian men are rarely told to consider their actions or lack of modesty on the faith walk of young women.
Sex is a deeply emotional and spiritual connection between two people. While this is no less true for men than it is for women, typically it is known or felt by women more tangibly than it is by men – including those who have never even had sex.
What this means is that many women desire sex not just (or even at all) for physical pleasure, but for that deep connection with someone.
In this society, my generation and the next are being seriously deprived of meaningful emotional connections as early as infancy. It’s no wonder young women have either turned, or thought of turning, to sex in order to find it. It is the outworking of a desperate need and desire, whether known or unknown, for emotional and spiritual connection with others in this world. Unable to find this connection in healthy friendships, and family and peer relationships, we have turned to the most sacred and intimate connection we can find; and in doing so, have destroyed that sacred intimacy.
Young women who need positive male role models in their lives are being held at arm’s length because of this society’s stance on political correctness. The danger of a man being accused of inappropriate conduct or evil intentions is too high, and not worth the risk in taking a young woman under their wing. While this separation protects both parties from multiple dangers, it is leaving more and more girls with no positive male influence in their lives.
In a world where young women have been isolated or neglected from healthy and friendly connection with men, for many of them there is nowhere left to look for it than in unhealthy sexual relationships.
Not only are women physically affected by sexually suggestive media and marketing, but our identities as women are being attacked and distorted by a society driven by lust.
On almost all platforms, women have been portrayed as one or more of the following:
– Obsessed with sex
– Needing sex to relax
– Needing sex to feel empowered
– Wanting men to lust after our bodies
– Using sex to be able to get whatever we want
– Needing to be willing to have sex to be deemed valuable
(None of these are true, but the church is not doing enough to show us that)
When sex is constantly being used to shape our culture, and women are the ones being used to do so, we subconsciously start to identify womanhood with what it is being subliminally and incessantly portrayed as.
And with no significant fight against this culture being put up by the church, it is losing their girls and young women to it.
The Struggle of Christian Women Fighting with Lust in the Church
Covenant Keepers vs. Bloom
Mighty Men vs. Beautiful Woman
Prove It vs. Redefined
Covenant Conference vs. Adore Conference
The naming attempts of womens’ conferences and ministries are not the problem, but they accurately depict it. While men are being equipped to wage war against the temptations, lies, and attacks of this world on their Christian manhood, women are being reminded that Jesus loves us, and told that we are beautiful.
While young men are given practical tools and strategies to resist temptations and develop a healthy masculinity, young women are being taught about how to look for the right husband, and how the Bible tells us that we are loved.
I am not the only woman outraged by this – and not the only woman who refuses to attend these events because of the overt sexism that is being condoned and supported.
Femininity is being attacked as much as masculinity is in this world. Young women are struggling more and more with purity, self-respect, identity and maturity; but the church continues to ignore the obvious need to equip us practically and spiritually.
We need to be encouraged to be strong, faithful, fierce women in this world! We need to be practically equipped to fight for righteousness and purity in our own lives, for our sake and for the sake of the gospel.
Possibly the most evident and effective strategy of the devil within the walls of our own churches is silencing young women who would try to speak up and find help in this fight for purity. As a teenager, I was laughed at by other Christian girls for even trying to discuss the hardships of having a period. In the church, I know too many girls and women who have been similarly mocked or shamed for trying to discuss the struggle of sexual desires.
The lack of maturity to discuss temptation and purity in the church pushes girls and women to discuss it outside the church with friends who are not Christian, and who ultimately have different views and unhelpful advice about how to handle these desires.
Christian women are still, after hundreds of years of social evolution, essentially being presented with Delilah vs. the virgin Mary. The evil, lying, manipulative seductress who has sexual desires, and is on the prowl to attack the integrity and purity of young men; or the innocent, pure, faithful and righteous virgin, who is essentially a nun, has no ovaries, no hormones, and thus no desire or thought whatsoever of sex.
The latter being very clearly unnatural and unobtainable, young women are made to feel ashamed and sinful for having sexual desires. This stands in stark contrast to how young men are assured of how natural and normal their sexual desires are.
To help our girls become women of integrity and wisdom, living according to our loving Father’s Word and to who He has designed us to be, we need to break the stigma, break the silence, and talk practically and prayerfully, with wisdom and discernment, about sex and sexual desire.
The lack of integrity on the church’s part in helping its young women to walk in Christ-likeness is, in the best-case scenario, disappointing, and in the worst-case scenario, hindering women from walking with Christ.
Some women, like some men, do not struggle with lust or desire for sex. But for those who do, the struggle is spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally burdening. It is a difficult and extremely wearisome battle. Some women, because the church has not supported them in this fight, have been worn down. Some have walked away from the church; some have not even tried to walk into the church. This is a serious issue of discipleship that, for the sake of our young (and old) women, needs to be addressed practically, spiritually, with honour, with grace and with love – for the glory of Christ and His church.