I love a good book. I love to curl up and let my imagination take me away to far off lands or worlds. Romance books are a favorite of mine because not only do I get to travel to far off lands but I also get to be the heroine at least for a little while. For just a little while in my imagination I am that woman in the story. I am strong and sassy and confident like the woman in the story. I feel womanly and attractive.
But romance stories have a downside to them also. They set up expectations for relationships that are not realistic, and modern romance novels are usually filled with sex. They are designed to stir up feelings of lust and desire in women like magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse do for men.
They simplify the relationship between men and women down to one thing: SEX. And we have to know that there is more to those relationships than just sex. How do you know if you love someone according to romance novels? Sex.
But romance novels and magazines are not the only things in this world that are used to stir up lust in us. From advertisements to movies, sex is used in ways that pervert God’s design for it, and our world is becoming flooded with these images. Sex sales.
We want to feel strong, confident, bold, sexy, and womanly, and the world tells us that if we want to feel these things we have to dress, act and think in a certain way. These ways usually have the opposite effect in the end because we end up feeling used, hurt, and objectified.
Our world has confused love with lust, and it encourages us to continue confusing lust and love. When we allow ourselves to use and to be used in a sexual manner, we objectify other people and allow them to objectify. They become no more to us than something to satisfy a physical desire.
When we allow lust to dictate our thoughts and our actions, finding the love that we seek becomes more difficult. We begin to believe that the only way to find love is to follow our physical desires.
But when we let go of lust, we let God begin to purify our thoughts. We start seeing people as people, not just objects to be desired. We start learning about what love really is and how to give it and receive it.
As God purifies our hearts and our thoughts, our views of the world are changed. We start seeing the world through God’s eyes. We start seeing and caring about the needs of others.