Lust: No Longer Just For Men - By Pastor Greg Atkinson
I'm a big fan of football and love the NFL. The NFL is unique because it's a sport that features male athletes. Other sports have a female equivalent - there's women's golf, basketball, tennis, softball, soccer, etc - you name it, but there's nothing like the NFL for women. For a long time, too long, this was how we thought of lust. Oh, only men struggle with that. Yes, you may hear of the occasional woman struggling with lust, pornography or sexual addiction, but it was the exception and not the rule.
Fast forward to present day: The enemy has launched a full-scale attack on the women of our country. This shouldn't take us by surprise. For we know that we are warned in Scripture to "be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
Though it shouldn't surprise me, as a pastor, husband and father of daughters, it does concern me. I look around and I see women starting to dabble in things that they have no idea how powerful and dangerous what they're messing with truly is. Pastor, this article is not just for you. It's for your congregation. Get this in the hands of the women of your church.
How are they being attacked you ask? In just a short time period, we have been hit with two huge attacks against women and their spiritual, emotional and physical struggles. The first was the widely popular release of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. This book has people on waiting lists at public libraries. They can't keep it on the shelf. And what is it? It's pornography of the mind, a trap and a perversion of the way God intended sex to be for a husband and wife.
My concern is that the women of our country are reading filth and being under the influence of the enemy and his attempts to win the battle of lust - no longer just a man's game. The second attack released Friday, June 29th and causes great concern for me as a pastor. It's the much heralded and highly promoted movie Magic Mike featuring very good looking actors that women don't really need any help with lusting over.
I've already seen women in my congregation posting on Facebook that they can't wait to go see it, have seen it or went to go see it and it was sold out. Is this an attack on our women from the enemy? Absolutely. Does this movie promote lust and fantasies? Absolutely. The reality is that the women that go see this movie come home to a husband or back to a boyfriend that doesn't look like Channing Tatum or Matthew McConaughey. 99% of husbands in the world are not going to look physically like those men in this movie. They're are being set up for a lifetime of disappointment because the man in their life will never quite measure up to Hollywood.
What frustrates and angers me as a pastor? It's the lie of the evil one. The deceit that is happening right before our eyes. The truth is this isn't even what women want. Women really want a man of God that loves and cherishes them and is a Godly dad to their children. They want men like you see in the movie Courageous. They want a man to love them like Christ loves the Church. This is the heart desire of women everywhere. Not a man punching them in the face (Fifty Shades of Grey) or stripping in a club (Magic Mike).
Maybe for far too long women have flown under the radar in the area of lust and men have been wrecked with lust of the eyes, sexual addiction and pornography issues that have destroyed relationships and marriages. I'm guessing strategically striking and taking one half of our population out in this area wasn't enough for the enemy's hate and passion to destroy and devour all human life. So what's happened? He's stepped up his game and we are engaged in an all out war over the hearts, eyes, desires and souls of the women in our churches.
Don't think women in your city are going to go see Magic Mike? Dead wrong. I went to go see a movie Friday night and when I came out of my movie there was a huge line of women all in the theater, down the sidewalk and around the block. Magic Mike sold out every Friday and Saturday show in my hometown. I'm writing this on Saturday, but I'm guessing it will sell out Sunday, too.
What can we do? Pray and preach. Pray for God to open eyes and preach the good news of the gospel. When sin like this creeps into our congregations, it's not something to be toyed with, overlooked or ignored. There's a battle going on and you need to fight for your people. I'm simply writing this to say what many of you are already feeling every time you hear about the book or see a commercial for the movie. You realize it "game on." The enemy has thrown down the gauntlet and he's coming for us all - male and female. Remember Peter's exhortation to be sober and alert. I'm praying for you, your church and people everywhere to not be wiped out, wounded and destroyed in these attacks. We have a Savior and a God that is greater than the enemy and helps us in our weaknesses. May we ever be on guard for all types of lust that war against our soul. God be with you.
About Greg Atkinson
Greg is the Campus Pastor at one of Forest Park campuses. Forest Park is a multi-site church based in Joplin, MO. Visit Greg Atkinson at www.gregatkinson.com.
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