Desire is one of those touchy subjects no one really wants to touch. But we’re going there.
Depending on the way you were raised; you might consider desire to be mysterious or dirty or something to be quiet about.
In this audio snippet from our latest video, Kit and Rebecca are putting the subject of desire front and center. That deep down longing is part of your special wiring and it is worth exploring.
Desire is spiritual, emotional, and physical – that means facing it is a vital part of your spiritual journey. If you’re battling unwanted sexual behavior, let this conversation guide you into your own conversation with God about how your desire feels distorted. If you’re a parent, listen in for ways to understand your own desire and guide your children with more compassion.
Have you considered bringing your desires before your Heavenly Father? God knows your deepest longings because He instilled them in you.
Let’s reframe how we look at Desire. Press Play.
It takes a lot of work to connect what you need with what your body is telling you.
What we really need is to feel safe, to feel comfort, to not feel alone – acknowledging that can feel really vulnerable and we have to slow down to get there.
Naming the deeper longings we have can lead to deeper intimacy with God. And can be a very healing and spiritual part of our journey.
Desire is pointing you towards something. Take time to ask God these questions:
What am I searching for? What are my unmet needs?
What are my deeper longings?
What did I learn as a child about desire? How did it impact my desire today?
Who is the person God created me to be?
“The Glory of God is man fully alive.” Saint Irenaeus
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
We are talking about something really mysterious but important. Today, we’re going to talk about desire. Desire is the longing, the earnest want for something to bring us enjoyment, satisfaction, even excitement. And we want to talk about desire, in the context of our spiritual journey, as well as related to unwanted sexual behaviors. It might feel strange to relate desire to both these areas, but we want to propose that recognizing desire and longing is a vital part of our spiritual journey.
Yeah, it’s so important. God has wired us with these deep desires and longings. And as we know, these good desires can become distorted. It can be a spark of life and us, but we’ve been burned by our desire to.
Absolutely. So what is desire about? Certainly there’s desire for sex, but it’s not just about sex, either. What are we really searching for? What are those deeper longings we
have? I think we all have a deeper longing for connection to belong, we want a sense of being worthy and valuable. And of course, in a world of chaos and uncertainty, we want peace, we want power over our experience.
Absolutely. And I also think we have a deep desire of wanting to be alive, like really alive. You know, there’s a great quote by St. Arrhenius that says, the glory of God is man fully alive.
These run deep, right? They connect with all areas of our life, and our bodies and what we do with them. Yeah, and they’re good things. Yeah. So if God gives us these good desires, how do they become distorted?
Yeah, I believe that God gives us desire for good things to be connected to be fully alive, but it’s a broken world. And we see continually that we’re tempted to find satisfaction in those things that in those places, and things that just can’t really satisfy. So for example, you know, I felt so abandoned as a little girl, and for lots of reasons in my family home. And when I became a teenager, I saw that, oh, maybe a part of how I can get that sense of love and connection and values, is through relationship with boys. And I don’t understand I didn’t understand boundaries, and I went headlong into it. And that caused me a lot of pain and a lot of trouble. And I carried a lot of my love and sex addiction into my adult life and into my adult relationships. We
see this in Adam and Eve, they were tempted and desired something that wasn’t for them. They desired to be like God, but not in the ways that he had directed them. And the result was fracture in their connection with God.
And yet God sought after them. He asked, Where are you, God desires to meet our needs, and meet us in our needs. So often, in the Christian tradition, we’re taught that because of our original sin, that we can’t trust our own heart, and that our desires are all bad,
right? We have to tell the whole story. We can’t connect Genesis three, but forget the good that started in Genesis one right, that we are made in God’s image. It makes me think that a lot of this has to do with our childhood and what we learned there? How do you think our childhood experiences impact desire,
I’m convinced that that is a very significant part of this spiritual journey is understanding that, and I don’t remember learning anything helpful about desire as a child. I mean, I think my parents were overwhelmed, you know, by four kids and bills and getting food on the table. And what I remember about church is that they were just trying to keep us in line. You know, I had a nun and catechism that used to talk a lot about how, and she would just try to scare us into behaving, you know, to keep us out of hell.
I think a lot of well intentioned parents out of fear will inadvertently teach their kids to be suspicious of desire or hide it. In contrast, I remember for me growing up in some friend groups, the general rule was if it feels good, do it follow that desire. indulgent?
Yeah, I totally relate to the fear of parenting, you know, in my own parenting, especially as it relates to issues of sexuality. You know, I and I also remember being a wild child, and wishing that my parents would sit me down and talk to me, you know, about healthy good desires and unhealthy behaviors and acting out. And so Rebecca, what about as women, what are we taught about desires as women?
I think as women, we’re often taught that acknowledging our desires makes us vulnerable. Yeah. I remember picking up keys as a young woman of Don’t be too loud, don’t take up too much space. If you asked for something, apologize for it first, or diminish it, even if it’s important to you.
Wow. That’s really interesting to hear you talk about what we were told as little girls, you know, to bring the volume down because I remember that too. And I remember talking to a client that I was working with who was really struggling with the porn addiction And as we explored it, we discovered that she felt overpowered in so many ways as a child, especially by men in her life. And she was looking for many things, including a sense of power in her pornography choices. And these things are connected sometimes.
Yeah, absolutely. I think because of that we can be pretty disconnected from our body as women.
And let’s not forget that desire is spiritual, relational, emotional, and certainly physical.
I know for me, it takes a lot of work to connect what I need or what my body is telling me. Even as a kid my mom used to tell the babysitter’s that if she says she’s hungry, and it’s close to bedtime, that I probably just needed to go to sleep because I would get those cues confused. And even now, as an adult, when I feel overwhelmed or stressed, I often look for a short cut in the moment when what I really need is tied to those deeper longings that we were talking about. When there’s a pattern of turning to unwanted sexual behavior that feels really accessible. Yeah, it can be hard to uncover those deeper longings and what they may be. Yeah. And what we really need might be to feel safe, feel comfort, yeah, to not feel alone. And acknowledging that can feel really vulnerable. And we have to slow down to get there. And that can be really hard. Yeah. So how do we heal and get in touch with those good desires that God gives us? Yeah, I think we slow down, we spend time with him, we get to know who we are and our true selves. And you know, that’s a whole nother conversation. But it’s so important, you know, who are we, what’s, who is the person God created us to be? even bringing our desires to him and naming them can be hard to uncover what some of those deeper longings are. naming the deeper longings we have can lead to deeper intimacy with God and can be a very healing and powerful part of our journey. Sometimes we need some help uncovering that we can talk to friends or spiritual coaches or therapist about temptations, and what’s true and good and what’s not. Here at regeneration, we walk with a lot of women through these very things. Yeah. What else can we do in the face of
them? You know, I and I do think it’s really, really important that we slow down, and that we invite God in, that we practice self compassion. You know, self compassion is incredibly healing, especially in a moment of temptation. You know, to ask God to meet you and help you understand what’s going on. Invite him into that very place of temptation. Desire points us towards something, ask yourself, ask God, what am I searching for?
What are my unmet needs? And sometimes we don’t know what that need is just like I didn’t when I was a kid, but God is our perfect parent. And we can ask him not just for what we want as much for As for what we need. Yeah, he knows those deeper longings because he instilled them in us. Yeah, and we can heal from some of the ways that our parents may not have mirrored God’s love and encouragement as it relates to desire.
And we know this is hard stuff, but we’ve also seen God work in it, and why it’s so worth it. If something in this video has sparked something in you, please check out our other videos and other ministries that regeneration has to offer on our website.
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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.
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