Let’s dig a bit deeper with this issue:
We as women can be very quick to condemn men who objectify and use women as sexual objects – and rightly so. For someone (male or female) to use someone sexually for his/her own selfish gratification without any concern for the other person is very unloving, not to mention sin in the eyes of our holy God.
We may not realize that we are often guilty of the same thing – using a man to try to get what we want without loving, respecting or truly caring about him.
If we are not careful, if we are not in right relationship with Christ, we may just be interested in a man for what he can give us:
- material things
- a committed relationship
- a diamond ring
- a home
- the feeling that we are loved
It is possible to want all of these things from a man and not love him or care about him or be interested in him as a person.
It is also possible, in my view – to actually love a man, but then to end up focusing on what he can give us more than focusing on him.
This is a VERY serious issue, one that I want to get to the bottom of so that we can get rid of these wrong ways of thinking about other people.
WHERE DO WE LEARN THIS WITH MEN?
- almost every Disney princess movie encourages little girls to fantasize about romance, marriage and “happily ever after” but in many of the movies, especially the earlier ones, the prince doesn’t even have a name. There is no focus on his personality, his character, his dreams, his desires, his thoughts, his ideas, his goals. It is all completely about the woman becoming a princess or about marriage and a fancy gown and royal lifestyle and feelings of romance.
- playing Barbies – for many little girls, Ken is just an accessory. We get to totally control Ken – what he does, what he wears, what he says. He can be just a status symbol, something to add to all the fashion, jewelry and makeup.
- love songs, romantic movies, romance novels – it is ALL about our feelings of being loved and about romance by our definition. I have heard some people call these things “emotional porn” and I was appalled at that description at first. But – now I get it. These romantic fantasies in all these books, movies and songs are not realistic. They are not about what men are like in real life. They create false expectations of what men are like emotionally, maybe even spiritually. Then real life men can never satisfy us because they don’t “measure up” to these fictional characters we want them to be. That is a huge problem. It is one reason why I personally stopped reading or watching or listening to these kinds of things a few years ago. They feed a spirit of discontentment, covetousness and fantasy that do not promote contentment in Christ or healthy real life relationships with our husbands/suitors. It is easy to think that these influences and messages are harmless. They are not! If you have to see a romantic movie or hear a love song, listen for the false messages they are sending about men to women. Ask God to help you take each thought captive and to only think about things that honor Him.
- If we didn’t have a godly mother and father, we may not have examples of loving men, honoring them and caring about them as people. We may have learned it is ok to use people to get things instead of loving people and using things.
- If we are not living under the Lordship of Christ, taking every thought captive for Him and living in the power of His Spirit – we are vulnerable to and capable of this kind of sin. It is part of our sinful nature to be unloving to others or to try to take advantage of others.
- Many times, we don’t even realize what we are doing – we may have deceived ourselves and we may not really see our true motives.
- If our parents showed love by giving stuff, not by really emotionally and spiritually connecting – we may have learned to use “love” to get stuff.
Using men (or anyone) just to get what we want from them is wrong.
This has got to stop.
ROMANCE and PERSONAL HAPPINESS have become THE GOALS OF LIFE for many of us in our culture. We are willing to do ANYTHING to have what we want, even sin. And when something is THAT important to us – it is an idol.
Our idols of romance and feeling loved can cause us to look on men as objects to be used for our personal gain instead of people made in the image of God who have dignity, purpose, worth, value and importance just because they are made in God’s image.
We are deeply wounding our brothers in Christ when we do this whether we know it or not. We are deeply grieving God’s heart when we do this, too.
I had these idols myself. I believe I did love Greg deeply, and I also respected him before we got married – but I also made idols out of having a boyfriend, getting engaged, having a diamond ring, getting married, having children…
Every time I did that – I hurt my relationship with Greg and I broke fellowship with God.
- These things are good things. But if I make them more important than the man I love, I have a big problem.
- Even worse, if I make them more important than God – that is SERIOUS sin. Sin doesn’t get worse than idolatry. To God, that is me committing adultery on Him. That is me breaking His holy covenant with me.
This is what we so easily do to God, too!
We seek His blessings or just STUFF from Him
- a man/marriage
- help with problems
But do we really want to know God? Do we truly seek His FACE not His HAND? Do we really want a RELATIONSHIP with Him? Or do we just want things from Him?
The only way for us to learn to love our brothers in Christ (and everyone) – is for us to
- repent of all of our sin, turn from it in disgust
- humble ourselves greatly
- exalt Jesus Christ above all else
- turn to Christ and commit to Him being LORD of our lives, being fully and wholly devoted to Him in every way
- abide in Him
- feast on His Word daily
- stay in constant prayer
- desire Him above all things – the God of the Bible – not a god I make in my own image – but the REAL King of kings and Lord of lords as He reveals Himself to be in the Bible
- desire His will, not my own
- seek to honor and obey Him no matter what the personal cost
- seek His glory above all
- take every thought captive and shoot down any ungodly thoughts, not allowing them to stay in our hearts and minds, but replacing them quickly with the truth of God’s Word
- allow His Spirit to fill us and give us the power to live in obedience to Him
When we are in right relationship with God/Christ, THEN we have the power, wisdom, eyes and heart of God to properly love others.
When we are Spirit-filled, we will have all the qualities of God’s character in our lives on a daily and increasing basis: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
GODLY LOVE (I Corinthians 13):
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
This is how God loves us. This is how God commands us to love others.
- I want to see us be more interested in knowing God and loving Him than “what’s in it for me?”
- And I want to see us be more interested in knowing and loving others than thinking about “what’s in it for me?”
I pray God will refine our motives and empower us to love Him and to love others for His glory. 🙂
I give myself FULLY and completely to You. You are my God. I am Your servant. There is nothing You could ask of me that I would not be willing to do. I long only to know You more and more. Please let me have Your Spirit and Your Word. These are the only true needs I have. I trust You to sustain my life and to provide for my daily physical needs. I seek Your will, not my own. I lay down all that I am and all that I have and present myself as a living sacrifice to You each day. Use me for Your kingdom’s work. Let me be a pipe through which Your Spirit can flow like Niagra Falls and spill into the lives of everyone around me. I hold back nothing of myself. I give you ALL. You are worthy of having everything. Let my life be about You. Be greatly glorified in me today. Empower me to honor and obey You. Empower me to love others with Your love.
In the Name and power of Christ,
1. How is your relationship with God? Are you putting Him on the throne of your heart? Or is something else there?
2. What is it that you believe you MUST HAVE to be happy/content in life?
If the answer to that last question is not Christ – you have a HUGE sin problem on your hands.
3. What sin is in your heart that is separating you from God that you need to repent of today?
4. Have you been guilty of wanting to “use” a man (or have you actually already used a man) to try get what you wanted from him when you really didn’t care about him as a person? That is a HARD thing to admit. But, we have got to be brutally honest with ourselves before we can truly repent. We have to see our sin and realize how ugly it is to God – and how hurtful it is to Him and to our brothers in Christ.
5. How can you improve your relationship with God this week? What do you need to start doing?
6. How can you better love your brothers and sisters in Christ?
7. Is there anyone you need to repent to and apologize to?
FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC – A PEACEFULWIFE YOUTUBE VIDEO