God promises a way to escape temptation, but what happens when we are chasing it?
I would like to think I am a decent woman in real life. I know that I have a weak mind, and heart, but my body is strong. If you know me face-to-face, you know that I esteem modesty and purity very highly. The only “boyfriend” I ever had I dumped (on his birthday- because I was a very cruel teenager) because he had wandering hands. He never said anything inappropriate, but his physical boundaries were a little too loose for my liking. Nevermind the fact that this happened when I was 16, heavily involved in sex chatting and pornography- sin comes with its fair share of hypocrisy.
Years have passed since then and God has brought me down this journey of healing and continues to bring me through new waves of grace. There’s just one problem:
There’s this guy…
It was pretty smooth sailing, until the Ladies Man came along. You know who I am talking about. This isn’t your scumbag chauvinist pig that makes my skin crawl and boils my blood. No no. Ladies Man is a gentleman. He is a defender of women. He is a down-to-earth, intelligent, fun-loving, deep-thoughted guy… who knows how to toy with women.
When I signed on to work in a secular work environment, I expected the crude humor. My years at a public high school taught me how to combat that and to establish an aura that demands decency. The men at my work place caught on quickly that I am not, nor do I prefer to be considered a sex object, so they could just take their filthy mouths and chat it up elsewhere, thank you very much. I was not prepared for one guy in particular to toy with me.
Never having been in this situation before, I toyed back. Just friends, right? If there is anything I am known for in the secular world, it is my quick wit and dry British humor, which he understands. It was fun, fun to tease back and forth. Then, three weeks ago, I went to work as a guest for a special function all dolled up. The air conditioner wasn’t working so I was perspiring (women do not sweat), and one man came up and said, “You look hot.”
I immediately took offense, and began to step onto my “Excuse you?” soapbox when he clarified that I looked warm. Moments later, Ladies Man came up behind me and told me I was hot- the other kind of hot. And I laughed.
I reflected back on that later and had to ask myself the question, “What made the difference?” You may think it was just a compliment, and while I did appreciate it as such, I also know where my heart and head went in that moment and it made warning bells go off.
What made me pure with one man and sexual with another just moments apart?
It is an important question- one that bothered me for a while. It led to internal conflict and more questions. I am not like this. Maybe I am. Maybe I really am a seductress and should just throw in the purity towel and deal with it. How had I let this happen?
The answer: I lowered my guard.
I know this guy. He brags about how he is going to the club and picking up a girl for the evening. He smokes, is an alcoholic, curses like a sailor, hates the church, and is an all-around wild child. He is the poster child for “not my type.” How on earth had he rooted himself so deeply in my head that I was willing to be an object for him, that I searched for that acceptance from him?
I let him.
I let him in little by little. He didn’t come in dragging me to his bed, but I realized, that instead, over the past few months all of the mind games and toying was leading him to mine. I knew my own weakness, and knew he would be a danger to it, but I still let him linger. I let him slip into my words, my thoughts, and eventually my actions. I had been flirting with temptation instead of fleeing. A couple of nights ago, he invited me to go clubbing with him. Where did he even get the idea that I was that kind of woman?
He had weasled his way into my heart and he did not belong there and now he was attempting to take me and my heart places it didn’t belong. What once started as ‘innocent fun’ had now grown to have a life of its own and it was out of control. I praise the Lord for that one slip of the tongue a couple weeks ago and for the fact that this man is leaving soon or I firmly believe, for the first time in my life, my physical purity may have been at risk. He had gotten that close.
God promises to give us a way to avoid temptation. But we cannot lock ourselves in a gas chamber and expect Him to pump in oxygen. There is responsibility on our part to be keenly aware of our boundaries and to flee things that attempt to breech those boundaries.