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What Do You Desire?

November  17th,  2020
By Danielle read
Posted in Culture

Have you ever found yourself asking, is it okay to be physically attracted to other people? I have all of these desires for intimacy and a strong desire for sex, is there something wrong with me?

Growing up, there was always a negative connotation surrounding the word “chastity” and I think this is because I was made to think that chastity means our natural attractions and desires are wrong and dirty and that we should shove all of them into a box, duct tape it shut, and throw it off of the Brooklyn bridge never to be seen again. This didn’t make any sense to me. How can all of these innate desires I have be bad? 

GOOD NEWS! This isn’t what chastity is at all.

In fact it’s quite the opposite. Chastity teaches us that our desires are good, our bodies are good, our natural attractions are good and necessary! All of the desires we have and the fact that we are attracted to other people are both beautiful gifts given to us by God. How we choose to react to our desires is what makes the difference. 

Here is a little scenario to think about: 

If a young person is bored and lonely on a Friday night and consequently goes on Tinder to find a “hookup”, what do we assume he or she is desiring? Sex, right? 

I would dare to say that we are wrong, they may be desiring sex, but there is something deeper happening here. Are they really desiring to have transactional sex with a guy or girl that doesnt love or care for them, purely using them to fufill their own sexual desires? Or are they, on the deepest of levels, desiring connectedness, intimacy, to be loved, seen, wanted and known in the most intimate way? 

Call me a hopeless romantic, but I think they are desiring what all human hearts long for, whether they know it or not. To be seen, to be wanted, to be known, to be chosen, and to be loved by someone special. 

Unfortunately, just like the young people in the story, we often don’t know where to go to fulfill the desires that are written on our hearts. If we choose to respond to our desires in ways that let them control us, we can be left hurt and broken. But if we order these desires towards the place they are intended to lead us, authentic love, we unlock something beautiful.

So, how do we order our desires towards the love we are made for?

  1. Recognize your attractions are good. 

Why? Because our attractions are what bring us into relationship with others. Without them we would all be lifeless pieces of cardboard wandering the world all by ourselves. God gave us our attractions because we are made for communion and relationship. Life-giving relationships with our friends, our family, or that special someone add so much to our lives. How we choose to respond to our attractions is what makes all of the difference. 

  1. Discern the proper response.

What is the proper response when we are physically attracted to someone? I would start by asking yourself a few questions.

  • Is this person currently dating or married to someone else? If this person is married or currently in a dating relationship you should not pursue it any further. 
  • Am I living in a fantasy world or my own imagination? Chastity is about living in reality, so if you find yourself picturing a relationship that doesn’t actually exist, your desires can begin to consume your thoughts. From my own experience I urge you to either pursue the relationship in real life or let it go. 
  • Am I able to get married right now? Think about logistics. Are you realistically in a stage of life where you’re ready to get married within a couple of years? The purpose of dating is to discern marriage. If you are not ready for marriage you are not ready to date!

If you can confidently answer all of these questions, I say go for it! It’s hard to discern a relationship that you are not in. 

  1. Recognize that physical intimacy has its place and time.

I have found that in the culture we live in, we are told that sex is synonomous with love. In order to show someone you love them you have to have sex. It seems to be the “obvious next step”. I have found that we have been lied to. Here is the thing: when we have sex, we are telling that person “I give myself wholly and completely to you, and I promise to love and honor you for the rest of my life”. The only time we are ever truly able to keep this promise is within marriage. Our bodies have the incredible ability to speak a beautiful language of truth, but we can also lie with our bodies. When we are participating in sex and sexually intimate acts outside of marriage, we are essentially lying to that other person. So, I invite you to ponder a few questions:

  • If this person is not willing to commit to all of the responsibilities of marriage are they really deserving of the gift of my sexuality?
  • Do I love this person if I am willing to use them to satisfy my desire for sex? 
  • If the most exciting part of my relationship is sex, am i geninely interested in this person just or what he or she can do for me?

So now that we have considered all of these things, I want to affirm you one last time: 

You are good. Your desires are good, and they are meant to lead you to the love that you desire. 

Have courage, and be bold! The Lord is meeting you exactly where you’re at, and He’s giving you all the strength you need in this journey.

About the Author

Dani grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she did as much singing, dancing and theater as she could. She graduated with her license to practice dental hygiene in 2019 then moved to Orlando, Florida to work for The Walt Disney Company. There she found herself longing for deeper love and greater fulfillment. Shortly after returning home, she encountered The Culture Project at a FOCUS conference and was set on fire with their message of authentic, self-sacrificing love. “The Culture Project’s proclamation of Saint John Paul the Greats’ message was exactly what I was looking for. I felt a deep call to become a missionary and share this message with today’s youth and help them find what we’re all truly looking for; to love and to be loved in the most true, radical and beautiful way.”

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