So, I’ll come right out and say it – my roommate and I are almost dating. I say ‘almost’ because we are compatible in almost every way, except he’s still spiritually a bit young. But when I ask God if it’s ok to date, He says ‘not yet.’ He doesn’t say no, He just tells me to wait.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. And Jesus has been seriously protecting me. When we first started talking, conversations were very flirty and always seemed to go in a decidedly lusty direction. I prayed heavily over that, to the point of almost not coming here. In true amazing fashion, God must have worked in his heart because once I moved here, the lusty part of our dynamic has all but disappeared. Jesus is protecting His daughter and bride, and I am so grateful to that. I have not been perfect during the whole year I’ve lived here. But Jesus has definitely done some pre-emptive damage control.
At least, I think I’m grateful. Well, of course I am. But still, some worldly insecure-girl part of me is thinking “what’d I do wrong? Why doesn’t he want me anymore?” Thankfully, that’s not at the forefront of my mind too often. However, it hit me square in the face today. I was cleaning out his closet (hasn’t been touched in decades, though plenty has been thrown up on the shelf in there) and what do I find? Old pictures of bikkini photo shoots, old pictures of spring break, pictures of porn stars (signed! and thanking him for the ‘great night’), all kinds of swimsuit calendars, and pictures of ex girlfriends in various stages of clothing….or lack thereof. The clincher: he didn’t want to get rid of a single one of these.
Now, I had two thoughts about this. One was “Jesus how amazing are you that you took this man, who is clearly so driven by worldly desires, and tempered his heart so that we wouldn’t face as much temptation together?” But that part of me that still belongs to my Babylon, the part of me that wants to live up to worldly standards surfaced stronger. That part of me once defined my self-identity….and that part of me was saying today “here’s proof of desire, he likes this stuff and I used to be queen of this stuff….so what’s so wrong with me now that he doesn’t want that with me?” That line of thinking of course brought me nothing but insecurity and tears for a chunk of the afternoon.
Then, while texting with my prayer partner, it hit me. This is not a slap in the face. This is not meant to dangle a carrot in front of my face and show me what I can no longer participate in. All these beautiful women are not meant to set a standard for me to fall into. God is allowing them, and allowing them in the house, so that I have a chance to practice what I preach. I have a chance to stare my Babylon in the face and shed it anyway. I have a chance to be like the women in Timothy, and be so markedly different from the current trend that people look at my life and wonder what I AM living for, since it’s certainly not for those worldly things. Yes, we as women all want to be desired. Sure. But we have to be careful of the kind of desire we want to attract. Here I have a chance to be a Christian example to a person who needs one. And I’m squandering it – all because I’m upset that I’m not being lusted over? I’m not supposed to have anything to do with lust anyway! It’s so silly to be wasting such a golden chance – a chance essentially handed to me on a platter – to grow in God over some petty worldly, temporary, and flatout wrong desire.
Luckily, I caught myself and submitted it to Jesus. I can’t wait to see how He works in me from here! How much of a spiritual leap will my heart make when I stare those things down, and emerge as righteous? When I recognize that until Jesus hands me an earthly substitute, my only husband and love interest is Him.
I apologize to you all for the graphic nature of this post. I just feel like it’s such a hidden issue. Because lust is so clearly a sin, people rarely discuss struggling with it. And for women, especially young or unmarried women who are still navigating the dating scene, the insecurity of avoiding it in a sex-filled society can be tough. ESPECIALLY for women who used to follow those trends and had to shed them to follow Jesus. So I’m risking a few dropped jaws and head shakes, and bringing it up. And I’m issuing a call to all women everywhere who are struggling with this, to stand with me. As the women in Timothy had to set themselves apart from society and stand separately, so must we stand and let ourselves be marked as God’s and God’s alone. We must shed that part of ourselves that wants to be wanted the way all the other girls are – we must hold those thoughts captive and submit them and let God take their place. So let’s submit it and stand together!