Sex, in and of itself, is an amazing gift. Like so many of life’s gifts, mismanagement or excessive pursuit can rip us apart from within. Our carnal human nature already flaunts temptation across our pleasure-seeking minds. The mass media then hits our minds with sexual steroids, perpetually bombarding us with a feeding frenzy to sensationalize lust: the misuse of sexual desire. Our desires aren’t the problem—it’s what we do with them that can lead us down a bad path.
Biologically, we are hard-wired to reproduce. As testosterone and estrogen drive sexual attraction, we are compelled to mate. As these normal impulses intersect with our innate need for emotional connection, sexual desire is inevitable. The word “desire” conveys the idea of hope or wish for future fulfillment. In contrast, those who lust are not just thirsty—they are also drinking from the cup.
Products and services drive the economy—and sex sells. Unscrupulous marketing agencies seldom care if there is a genuine connection between the portrayal of sexuality and whatever it is they are trying to sell. On social media, people showcase shapely bodies and beautiful faces, seeking attention and validation. More accessible than anytime in human history, pornography and other sexual sins run rampant. With a seemingly unending influx of sexually-themed influences, the distraction of lust is very real—creating unrealistic expectations about the role of sex in our lives. These forces manipulate our vulnerable psyche to reinforce shallow, harmful, and dehumanizing attitudes about relationships and sexuality.
Beware of Lust
Lust is the objectification of men and women, viewing our human brothers and sisters as pieces of meat—rather than as individuals with their own important thoughts, feelings, and high-level value. This lack of respect can lead to unhealthy dynamics within relationships, distrust, and infidelity.
Role Modeling & Responsible Motherhood
As our children’s first and most important role models, mothers should demonstrate respectful attitudes and responsible behaviors in all of our relationships. We do this by creating a stable and secure environment for kids to grow and develop, free from the turmoil caused by infidelity and other consequences of a lustful heart. Show them how to express affection in healthy, respectful, and responsible ways.
Avoiding Family Harm
Lust can manifest as emotional pain, heartbreak, damaged relationships, or even legal consequences in cases of sexual harassment or assault. Impulsive and irrational sexual behavior can cause emotional distress in the form of guilt and regret. Infidelity can scorn a good father or a good mother into a war of attrition, ripping children away from the far healthier upbringing associated with access to both parents. With trust being foundational for healthy relationships, keeping lust in check helps mom build and maintain trust with her partner—essential for a strong and lasting connection.
Discussing Sexual Desire with Children
With simple language and easy-to-understand concepts, have age-appropriate conversations about feelings, relationships, and boundaries—early in a child’s life. Teach the correct names for body parts, explain that certain feelings and behaviors are private. Conversations about sexual development are an important aspect of every child’s overall education. Foster a judgment-free environment where children feel comfortable asking questions, sharing thoughts, and discussing concerns.
As attraction starts to drive their lifeforce, pre-teens and teenagers experience a massive range of emotions. Explain that these feelings are normal—and need to be managed responsibly. Help them recognize the unrealistic portrayals of sexuality in the mass media—exposing our minds to the false narrative that we should somehow try “living up to” some impossibly high standard of physical appearance. Remind them to engage their logical reasoning and critical thinking regarding how these messages can influence mental health and well-being. Teach them to embrace the values of respect, kindness, empathy, and treating others as they would like to be treated.
We are all capable of having self-control as we manage our sexual desires and impulses. As a mother, what we do matters a lot more than what we say. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. Model appropriate attitudes and responsible behaviors to showcase respect—both for ourselves and others.
“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.”
—1 John 2:16 NLT
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.