I’ve come to the realisation recently that looks matter. Quite frankly, if they didn’t, we’d all just have a bowling ball for a head. We’d only write in Times New Roman and we’d all think it’s ok to eat Smart Price corned beef, even though it looks as though it’s been made in a test tube. God has given us eyes, tastes, the ability to be creative and a unique set of features and characteristics. Looks matter.
Sometimes we see something and we like it. It stirs something in us. If there’s a possibility we can have it or own it, you might say that we desire it. You could even say that we LUST after it. Ever found yourself doing that? Me too. Probably on a weekly basis. Probably when it comes to attractive men. It’s this particular facet of lust that I want to address.
“But you’re sinning, Andrea! Lust is a sin. A deadly sin. Call yourself a Christian (always a helpful comment), beauty is on the inside (is the inside all up in my retinas, though?), he’s not a piece of meat (I love meat),” and so it goes on. At the end of the day, it’s his shoulders that are deadly. I’d like to claw at them to be honest. I’d like him to push me against a wall and kiss me, like they do in films, possibly not wearing any clothes…
Gulp. True story.
But let’s be honest, this idea has crossed the mind of many a female, so is it really so wrong to feel this way?
The dictionary uses the words: passion, craving, longing, desire (and I would add the word ‘yearning’) to describe ‘lust’. All of these things I have experienced at some point in my life and would consider them a normal part of the human condition, so what’s the issue?
Oh alright then, my crude example of lust aside, I strongly believe that objectifying men and women is wrong – don’t even get me started on the miscreant that is pornography – and I know all the reasons why; but it happens. And not just to men. We live in a hyper-sexualised society that makes #lusting part of every day life. These days it takes more effort trying to suppress sexual desire than it does to cultivate it. Sometimes I can’t help it and it takes me to all sorts of ‘unhelpful’ places in my mind, emotionally and physically.
However, I’m not entirely convinced that lust is bad. Surely when experienced in the right context, passion, craving, longing and desire are not inherently sinful? Rather the mere outworking of deep desires within us. (Theologians, calm yourselves!) Maybe lust is just misunderstood and over indulged. Maybe all lust needs is a makeover. It’s what we do with it and the context in which it happens that needs a good talking to. I want my desire to be for my husband (if and when this miracle occurs), NOT for Beyoncé in her new H&M summer campaign – although the girl does look mighty fiiiiiine. I want to yearn for God and a world where there is no passion? Shoot me now.
Ultimately, ladies (and gentlemen), the context for lust is key. I think when our eyes see the prize we have a choice: appreciate the beauty and acknowledge our deep-rooted desire for intimacy, or feed the fantasy – the illusion of fulfilment that ultimately leaves us dissatisfied, horny and with nowhere to go except further into the trap of objectifying and consuming. Give your lust a health-check today. It might cost you a fair bit, but the real causes and relationships that require your passionate input are depending on it.
This article is from our Seven deadly sins edition. You can read the other articles here.