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Women Who Win

Love or Lust?

When youthfulness buds and adolescence blooms, the heart of a maiden blossoms with rosy imaginations. But her eyes are blinded by flattering approaches of young fellows to see the thorns hidden under the charming foliage. Beware of the thorns, my dear child, because they will prick too late; to harm you and not to warn you. You are just out of the nest flying in the vast attractive world unaware of hidden snares. Mother nature spreads her arms wide, inviting you to her enticing wonder-world 

to satisfy your instincts. But before you lean on her comforting bosom, stop and hear a Voice say, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Many a young girl has mistaken lust for love and fallen a prey for beastly instincts. Alas! An un-retraceable path has been trodden on virgin soil! An un-erasable history written on an innocent life! An unforgettable painful memory embedded in the
heart! “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to God’s Word”(Psa 119:9). This is the one and only sure way to keep yourself safe. There is a story in the Old Testament, pregnant with meaningful lessons for us. It is in 2 Samuel 13th Chapter. Please read the story carefully in your Bible and then read this article further.

Tamar was a beautiful young girl. She had a half brother by name Amnon who fell in love with her. Amnon was a good young man and he did not want to do any harm to Tamar because she was a virgin. But he was sick of love for her. Amnon’s cousin and
friend Jonadab was a very cunning fellow. He observed Amnon and wanted to get the truth out of him. Amnon also foolishly confided in his friend of his love for Tamar. Needless to say, Jonadab misguided his friend, and Amnon followed his ungodly counsel. Accordingly Amnon feigned ill-health, and when his father came to see him he requested his father that Tamar should cook in his sight and serve him food. His busy and careless father complied with his request. So Tamar came and cooked before him but when the food was served he refused to eat. He ordered all the men out and when they had gone out he asked Tamar to bring the food to the inner room. Why Tamar did not protest to this, is a question but we will discuss it later. Tamar obliged to his request and when she was alone with Amnon inside the chamber he suggested that they had sexual play.

Now, Tamar was a virtuous maiden. So she refused and advised Amnon against this foolish act. Forcing a virgin was against the laws in Israel. But if only Amnon approached her father he would surely give her in marriage to him and then they could have all the sex they wanted without any touch of guilt. But godly counsels and sensible suggestions are not helpful in climax. If love is blind, lust is deaf! Being a strong man, Amnon raped her. As soon as his sexual desires were fulfilled, his fleeting love vanished and he hated her so exceedingly that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he loved her; and he ordered her out. Tamar pleaded that this causeless evil act of sending her away was worse than his sex crime. Her pleas were to no avail. She was thrust out of his house. Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her multi-colour dress that was on her, and laid her hands on her head, and went on crying. She took shelter in her brother’s house and remained desolate and held her peace. Amnon was later killed by Tamar’s brother Absalom who took vengeance on him for defiling his sister.

Beloved, let the fate of Tamar serve as a red signal for you. Tamar was well brought up, she had high moral values, she was righteous, intelligent and would not easily yield. She had strong will-power and she knew the laws of Israel. What then was her fault? Tamar’s only crime was that she was too innocent. In other words, Tamar was ignorant. May be she was flattered by her brother’s request and went to cook him food. Even when Amnon ordered all the men out she said not a word. When Amnon asked her to come to the inner room alone with him, she obeyed him without a protest. She went too far in pleasing her boy. By then she knew his intentions for sure, but thought she could enjoy his company but keep him at a safe distance. She knew it was “shame” to have premarital sex (2 Sam 13:13). But she had already fallen into the trap and could not escape. She gave way. She was confident that after this affair Amnon would surely take her for his wife and then all would be well! Since that was the law in Israel, she found no reason why it should not be so (Dt 22:28, 29). This is understood by her shocked remark when she was asked to go away. “No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me” (2 Sam 13:16). Only now it dawned on her that Amnon’s intentions were just a passing lustful satiation of sex and not true love. Alas! It was too late. She could do nothing but make her last effort to save her face by refusing to go. But she was thrust out and the door bolted after her.

What a sad story of a charming young virgin! The petals of her rosy imaginations dropped and the cool foliage withered away exposing the thorns. The thorn had pricked; not to warn but to harm. She put ashes on her head and rent her multi-colour dress which was the glory of a virgin in her days. She went on crying, her head in her hands. What more could she do, being a woman? The saddest part of the story is that she remained desolate in her brother’s house and held her peace. That was her ultimate fate.

My dear child, I want you not to be ignorant as Tamar. You must know well about this world you live in. If only Tamar had known that a man’s sexual drive is much stronger than a woman’s, she would not have taken the risk. The truth is this: A woman is sexually rather passive. Her emotions are milder and mostly satisfied with imaginations. But conversely a man has a stronger sexual drive which is triggered by petty acts; even a smile or suggestive look from a woman. He attains his sexual climax much faster than a woman and has much less control over his emotions. If possible at any cost he satiates his thirst. After the sexual act he is fully satisfied and relaxed, whereas the woman’s emotional decline is gradual. A woman’s desire is to be loved and cherished without which she hardly ever enjoys sex. This is why a girl should never move too closely with a boy and at all cost should avoid being alone with him. Apostle Paul counsels youth to “flee’ youthful lusts (2 Tim 2:22). Beware of the so-called “self-control.” It is like having
live coals in your dress and not being burnt. Girls often mistake a boy’s advances for love whereas in truth it is just lust. If the affair is not checked at that stage it progresses on to petting. Once a girl gives herself for petting, the boy is always on the lookout for an opportunity for a complete sexual experience. The fear of displeasing her boy and losing him compels her to give herself away freely for his use. But true love never enjoys at the cost of the other person.

Lust should never be encouraged. A suggestive look, a provocative dress, etc., are the attention-getters for trouble. Do not dig a pit for yourself. Men never respect such girls but use them only to fulfill their lust. If you want to be respected by the opposite sex, keep them at a distance. Never, ever imagine that anyway your marriage is not far off. See the fate of Tamar. She was counting on it but miserably disappointed. Never take the risk. Like Tamar you will be forced to remain silent (With whom can you share your shame?) and desolate. Innocence and ignorance are foolishness as far as sex is concerned. The man loses hardly anything; but for the girl it means (i) loss of virginity (ii) loss of peace and (iii) loss of future.

Incidentally there are a few other lessons also for us in this story. It is foolishness to confide your secrets in ungodly friends. Either go to your parents for help or if you feel delicate, share with a God-fearing friend or a motherly servant of God. Like Jonadab ungodly friends will only encourage your lust and be the least bothered about your fate. He knew of Absalom’s plot to kill Amnon since the incident but never bothered to warn him. Surprisingly he was the least upset at Amnon’s murder (2 Sam 13:32).

Parents have a warning note in this story. In the 11th and 12th chapters of 2 Samuel we read of David’s sin with Bathsheba. God’s curse for his sin was, “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you” (2 Sam 12:11). This is immediately fulfilled in the 13th chapter. God cannot tolerate this sin because this brings dishonor to His name (2 Sam 12:14). David was too careless in allowing Tamar cook for Amnon. Then and there he should have checked it. After allowing his children to go extremes with his own consent, he got angry with them too late (13:21). He should not have stopped there. He should have punished his son according to Israelite laws. By this he allowed the wrath of God come to his son.

Here is the folly of many parents. They never check their children early. Constant vigilance and counseling should start even from the age of 12. Any questionable behavior and misconduct should be checked or punished then and there. There is no point in getting angry after letting them go too free and allowing them to return home at whatever time they like and so on. Parents these days literally encourage their children to commit sexual crimes unconsciously by sending them to movies and getting filthy literature at home or unrestrained TV. These are the seeds for sex crime. Some parents may feel free and relaxed because they have only sons and no daughters. But remember if the girl suffers early the boy late. Like Amnon, the boy’s fate is also decided.
“You who are young, be happy While you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” (Eccl 11:9)


   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com

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