Call me naive, but for most of my life, I believed that lust was something only men struggle with. In recent years, I've discovered that lust is an equal opportunity sin. Today, it reared its ugly head again.
I think lust sneaks up on women differently than it does on men. For men, I think it most often sneaks in because of something they see. That's why Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman." (Job 31:1, NIV) But for women, I think it often begins with something we hear. Well, at least that is where it begins for me.
At church, of all places, I was assaulted by a comment made by a man in an attempt to be funny. And I fell prey to lust.
So this afternoon, I have been trying to fight off the images and desires his words brought to my mind, and not very successfully, I might add. I actually ended up in tears, begging God to redirect my thoughts, because I wasn't able to do so on my own.
All of this reminds me yet again of the importance of guarding our hearts and minds (the parts most affected when I battle lust). But it also reminds me of the importance of guarding our tongues.
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:5-6)
I'm fairly certain that the man who made the "humorous" remark at church today had no idea what a fire he was starting in me, but I do feel certain that if he knew, he would feel bad that he had caused such a struggle for one of his sisters in Christ.
So let this be a warning to you, men. Lust is an equal opportunity sin, and your words may be as harmful to a woman as an immodest outfit worn by an attractive woman is to you!