lustvanity.

This is legit. In my worldviews class today, my professor revealed the most profound facet of immorality to me. At the beginning of the hour, he passed out blue sheets for the men and pink sheets for the women which stated:

The greatest sin that men struggle with is: _____________________ The greatest sin that women struggle with is: _____________________

We handed them all back in anonymously and he read each paper off out loud to the class. We all decided on a generalized, median word for each group. The tally stood:

Men  => (according to) Men: lust Men => Women: lust Women => Women: vanity  Women => Men: ? 

Without a doubt, most everyone wrote down some sort of sexual sin or lust for men. Women for women wrote down all different forms of vanity: gossip, comparison, slander (which is really to put someone down in order to bring yourself up), and skewed visions of body image. Men for women stated an entire range of sins...everything from honesty to lust to contempt to being catty. The class decided to state that it was pretty clear that men have a hard time pinpointing a specific sin on the female gender.

We discussed the logistics of the results...the professor kept the discussion open-ended about why it is commonly assumed that men struggle with lust and it is a bit harder to understand what women struggle with. He wasn't by any means saying that men are more sinful than women, simply that it was puzzling why men's most common sin is blatantly blown up before the church and women's most common sin is not.

And then there was the conclusion that floored me. Somehow it had just been a disconnect in my mind:

Neither of these two deeds was originally created to be a sin...

Lust and vanity are deformed, immoral versions of two beautiful characteristics that are mainstays for marriage.
You see, within the context of marriage, the desire for sex and a need to take care of yourself & try to look your best is essential. The Lord made us that way. Without a man pursuing this kind of intimacy and without a woman taking delight that her beauty is being pursued, these weighty ingredients of marriage would be obsolete and possibly cause much harm. We weren't created for for lust and vanity. We were created for the original atlas of marriage that the Lord laid out. Love instead of lust, humility instead of vanity. It's as if these glorious images were stenciled, punched out, and xeroxed into grotesque and disfigured shapes. And we've gone so far as to assume that these clashing elements are similar to each other. Love is not lust...they cannot compare.

It would make sense that Satan would want to take these amazing notions and twist them into ugly, tangled things.