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When Romantic Fantasies Get the Best of You

By: Kristen Clark

I was at a major league baseball game recently with my grandparents when the strangest thing happened. As the game reached the ninth inning, an entire flock of teen and college age girls began swarming towards my section.

They quickly formed a line right across the aisle from where I was sitting. Apparently they were lining up to get photos with some guy.

I couldn’t figure out what was so special about this guy, so I asked one of the girls rushing past. She looked at me in slight shock and said. “It’s Juan Pablo Galavis!” I stared blankly back.

“Who’s that?” I asked. She looked even more shocked. “He’s from the TV show The Bachelor!” She said enthusiastically. “Oh…” I replied.

I sat back and watched this scene unfold several feet from where I was sitting.

Random girls took selfie after selfie with this “Juan” guy. They didn’t personally know him, but they were crazy about him.

He was their celebrity crush. He was their fantasy dream man. He was their picture of an exciting romance.

As girls, we love to dream. We love to imagine. We love to fantasize.

And that is exactly why shows like The Bachelor (which I’ve never actually seen and am not endorsing) are such a big hit. That’s also why chick flicks and romance novels are so popular amongst the female crowd.

The reason women are so drawn towards romance is because God created us to be highly relational beings. He created us with a natural bent towards nurturing relationships, loving people, and desiring that love back.

That’s why (on average) most of us women love to communicate about everything, love to chit-chat more than guys, desire romance more than guys, stick in groups more than guys, head to the public restrooms like a social event, and use the word “love” more than guys.

We are highly relational beings which is why we love romance.

And this is a great thing – when used in the right context.

Sadly though, because of our sin nature and our enemy (Satan), we are highly tempted to use our relational bent in the wrong ways. When we don’t receive as much romance and “love” as we desire, we start looking for alternatives. We look for others ways to fill our love tank.

I believe one of the biggest outlets women turn to to fill their void is secret romantic fantasies. I’ve been guilty of this and I bet you have too.

Instead of being content with where God has us in life, we take a shortcut. We open up a romance novel and fantasize about the guy in the story. We pop in a chick flick and quietly re-live in our mind what’s on the screen. We turn on a sex-saturated TV show and fill our brain with sensual scenes.

We escape. We dream. We fantasize.

And in doing all of that…we lust. We allow something fake to arouse our sexual desires. We undercut God’s design for marriage by pursuing sexual pleasure outside of His design. And in doing so, we pollute our hearts and minds with chocolate covered garbage.

Here are 3 reasons why romantic fantasies are bad for us:

1. Romantic fantasies make it easy for lust to flourish.

Romantic fantasies almost always go hand in hand with sexual arousal and lustful imaginations. As Christian girls, we know that all forms of sexual pleasure are created for one purpose only – marriage. Outside of marriage God calls it sinful lust.

Song of Solomon says, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” As modern women we have countless opportunities to “awaken love before the time is right,” so we must be extra careful with what we watch, read and listen to.

2. Romantic fantasies create discontentment during your singleness.

Instead of being grateful for your season of singleness, all you can think about is the “day you’ll meet prince charming.” Dreams about your future “bachelor” consume your thoughts. Being single seems like the worst fate ever. You try to numb your discontentment by filling your mind with exciting love stories. You waste away your single years wondering if cupid will ever shoot your direction.

3. Romantic fantasies create wrong expectations for real love and romance.

One of the worst side effects of engaging your mind in romantic fantasies is that it distorts your definition of love. When you constantly fill your mind with dazzling sensual movies and unrealistic romance novels…real life romance might seem a little bland.

Without even knowing it, you create huge expectations for what your “future husband” must look like, act like, talk like, and treat you like.You create a dream world of romance that is completely centered around one thing – you. This is a very false and selfish picture of true love.

I’m not sure where you’re at in all of this or how much you’re struggling with romantic fantasies.

Whether it’s a little or a lot, I pray you will do whatever it takes to break free. Sexual sin will never satisfy you.

Ever.

It’s a bitter water that never quenches your thirst.

I can’t encourage you enough to cut the lines that are feeding your romantic lust. Do whatever it takes. Stop watching the sappy love shows, stop reading the unrealistic romance novels, stop browsing the glossy magazines.

Stop feeding yourself this stuff.

It’s not going to help you maintain a pure heart and mind before God, or honor your future husband.

The thing that personally helped me the most when I struggled with this was to put down my Christian romance books, stop watching Chick flicks (10 Reasons I Don’t Watch Chick Flicks Anymore), and pray for God’s strength to control my thoughts. I had to remove the fuel from my mind and life.

I stopped filling my mind with garbage and focused on filling my mind with truth.

I memorized verses like Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” And guess what? God helped me find freedom! He helped me find satisfaction in my relationship with Him! And He can help you too. He will help you if you seek Him.

I want to close by challenging and encouraging you to get your focus off of yourself. Put your eyes, heart and attention on loving God and loving real people. Serve your family around you. Love the people around you. Thank God for your season of singleness. Cultivate a heart of gratitude.

And most of all, choose to wait for real love in God’s timing.

And when Mr. Right comes along, you’ll experience the beauty, excitement and purity of a God honoring romantic relationship.

What about you? I’d love to chat with you below.

  • Do you have some coming clean to do? Do you have some fuel sources to cut off?
  • What things in your life tempt you the most to have romantic fantasies? What helps you overcome your temptation?
  • What advice would you give to a girl who is really struggling in this area?

P.S. Comment on this post to be automatically entered into our Valentine’s book giveaway!

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | 4241112147

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  • kmc

    This is a big downfall for me and I really needed to hear this. It’s something I’ve been struggling with. The hardest thing for me would probably be my Kindle. There is so many things available on there that are a temptation to me. Thank you for posting this 🙂

  • Rosalie

    Hey! 🙂 Thanks so much for this post! 🙂 This blog has been a huge encouragement for me to get my life back on track and banish any fantasies. Thanks so much for the time you invest! 🙂

  • Karissa

    This is so common for me. Like I have struggled with this so much. I have a question though. I have read this series, Love finds you… (For example, like that title would be Love finds you in Silver City, Idaho) anyway, these are Christian authors and I can tell if the author really wants to put Jesus or His relationship to the character in the story or not. I just would like to know if you still advise me to run away from these books, even though they have good Christian morals or display how we should live in a situation like in the book in a godly manner. So do you advise me to not read those books? These are fiction books, and I know that very well. I appericate these series, because it just has taught me alot in ways I want to act towards my relationship with friends, family, guys, and God, but it is more important to me to keep my mind pure and to not be tempted. 🙂 Thanks! This post is a good challenging one for me!

    • Hey Karissa! You ask some great questions and make some good points. I am not personally familiar with that book series so I can’t speak from experience. However, I have read books in the past that sound similar. Even when the books were “innocent” (as in they had no explicit sexual material or didn’t paint visual pictures) my problem was the constant focus on “romance.” The books encouraged me to dream about romance and my future prince charming waaaaay more than I needed to. As Christians, we have to consider the time factor too. If we’re spending hours and hours reading books that are mostly for entertainment, is that a great use of our time? I would encourage you to carefully evaluate whether or not those books are helping you keep your focus on Christ and others, or causing you to waste time and dream about romance. Hope that helps!!

      • Karissa

        It sure helps! I was just thinking this morning, I should re-ask God about the books and movies I watch! Your message reconfirms that I need to pray about it and see what really God wants of me regarding this topic. 🙂 Thank you so much!

  • Elisabeth

    Wow Kristen, what a great article!!Yes,I have really suffered with this, to the point that I didn’t even know I was suffering! I have always Loved, correction ADORED romance.Since there never seem to be any of it in my life, I would turn on the tv, and see, “Know what good looking sweetly romantic tv couple can I find on Netflix”.I had just basically watched westerns before that, and funny things, and sadly thought”There are no couples on tv that actually get to gether, and stay together.The girl always dies or leaves or something any way.”But then I started watching some space stuff,Little did I know it but at my stage, and time of life, “Big mistake!”The first space thing I found was a really good show back from the 1960, and I loved it. Actually, I went Nuts over it.At first I just liked it, then I was it knowing it started almost drowning my self in it. I would watch the ‘re runs over, and over, and over, and talk about it till even my parents couldn’t take it anymore, all I wanted to do was think, write additions on to it,(because it didn’t end the way I wanted it)and like you said fantasize about it.I did that until my brain was Sour!!Plus Some!!I tried to endrinch my loneliness, not with God like I should have, but with Love!!I thought “OH th I s is wonderful, Love will make me happy!!Actually, not really, it just started eating up my time, my thoughts and my brain!I wouldn’t have continued on, unless every space thing I watched always had “Enough good in it “to take away for the Few occasionally bad things, or so I thought!Sorry to be so long winded, but to make a long story short, Eventually, it wasn’t just a part of my life, it was My Life!!Every hard time or problem, another episode, even if I seen it before, or my romance music about the shows couples that I loved!!I was Soo blind I couldn’t see, that it was not only leading me down a dark road of depression, but it was also becoming the mane everything in my life!!I would even let things slide that where iffy, or bad, just so I didn’t have to get along without the show, because I didn’t think I couldanymore !!That became my savor, not God.One day though, with God’s help, and my parents help, I finally started to see my terrible mistake, and went about to try and fix it!!Though it took a long time, and I can’t say that I’m completely over it yet, but was God’s most Gracious, and Merciful help, I’m trying rtf o be!!Just yesterday, I decided to get ride of almost all my songs, and for a long time I’ve cute back on watching it on tv, not watching, any parts or episodes, and liking myself.Now, though I ::) ave finally decided, like I wish I had a long time ago!!To try and devote all my time, energy, and focus, to not just e some silly show or shows, where they act like hero’s, and everyone’s so nice looking, and the cute, couple is so romantic, and sweetest.I can honestly say, I feel better, then I have in a long time, If not Evere!! Than Jk s so much f2f or the posts, they inspire me, and Keep me trying to follow God’s word!!Please pray, that I will be able too keep trying to completely give that stuff up, and not fall back, and Keep trying to. stay in God!!Our my Wonderful Savor, and Lord!!

    • Hey Elisabeth! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I’m sure your personally testimony will be encouraging to other girls facing the same struggles. I will pray for you! Keep fighting the good fight. The more we can “live in the world but not be of the world” the better. That must be our goal as Christian women. 🙂 I think you are VERY wise to remove some of those unhelpful things from your life. I have done the same thing in my life many times. May Christ continue to show you more truths as you strive to honor Him!

      • Elisabeth

        Thanks so much!!It means alot to me to hear from you!You two are one my inspirations to keep Liveing for God!!

  • Anne

    This is something I struggle with, and this was very helpful and encouraging. Thanks!

  • Anna

    Thank you so much for this post! What an absolute encouragement. Waiting can be so hard, and yet, fantasy is so fake and it is nothing compared to His Love that passes all human understanding. Even if all we ever have is the love of Jesus, we will be overwhelmed!

  • Melissa Borgens

    Unfortunately go through this kind of situation, I have to “cut” what always makes me fantasize and imagine these things.

    And thanks to this article I could understand why I fall into sin related to my sexuality, I understood why I’m easily taken the lust.

    Really: “Romantic fantasies make it easy for lust to flourish.”

    See that you won and today are enjoying their freedom in Christ, gives me hope.

    Even going through this, I know you leave books, movies and love songs is the ideal to live a life free. Pray hard and declare what the word says I am in Christ, help me.

    I hope you understand me, I am using a translator HAHAH

    Thanks

    • Allie

      I understood you 🙂 thank you!
      Where are you from????

      • Melissa Borgens

        Haha 😀
        I live in Brazil *-*

    • Thanks for sharing Melissa! I understood you as well. Keep fighting the fight and do whatever it takes to remove temptation from your life. Spend lots of time filling your mind with God’s word and He will renew your thoughts. May God bless you in Brazil!

      • Melissa Borgens

        Amen, I’m going to continue!
        Thanks for everything.

  • Kristina Miller

    I’m a teenager and this is something I also struggle with, the desire to feed myself romantic things. Thank you for the wonderful advice. God bless you!

  • Elizabeth Williams

    Thanks again for your transparency! I used to love watching these movies that were set back to the older days when men were men and women were women. I would see how sweet of a love story it was, how the guy just swept the girl off of her feet, and would want that SO much. I have definitely NOT lowered my expectations for guys. However, I have realized that you can’t look to movies or whatever else as encouragement. It’s not real. I’ve started to look to real-life couples who waited for God’s timing. People like you and Zack, Eric and Leslie Ludy, and many more!

    • So grateful you found this post helpful Elizabeth! I agree…looking to real life couples is waaaay better. I look up to Eric and Leslie Ludy in many ways as well! Keep seeking truth! -Kristen

  • Trish

    Thank you for this post! This was just something I was praying about last night. I usually don’t watch chick flicks or anything like that but I am a hopeless romantic and sometimes (ok, a lot of the time) I find myself dreaming about this celebrity and his band not sexual things but I think he is VERY good looking. Is it wrong to obsess over celebrity’s/bands???

    • Hey Trish! Thanks so much for being honest. We live in a culture where “celebrity crushes” are normal and accepted. However, as Christian girls we have to think different about things. For one, your future husband is alive and out there somewhere…do you think it’s very honoring to him to “obsess” over some good looking guy in a band? Do you think you’re being faithful to your future husband by doing that? Also, when you allow yourself to obsess over good looking guys, you unknowingly train yourself to value guys based on their looks and not their character. Instead, you should take your thoughts captive and use your mind to focus on God and loving real people. Save your “obsessiveness” for your one true husband some day. In doing so you will honor God, avoid impurity, and bless your future husband. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • Halee

    So Kristen, what were some of the titles of the books that you had to get rid of? If it’s not to personal, I would love to know since I’m an extreme bookworm and would love to know which books to steer clear of.

    • Hey Halee…I can’t think of all the titles…but a few come to mind. I read “Redeeming Love” by Francene Rivers and that book tempted me to fantasize and “imagine” intimate scenes. It wasn’t helpful for me in keeping my mind pure. I also read a bunch of those Amish book series. Those weren’t as intense as Redeeming Love, but they did cause me dream about romance a LOT. MY mind became filled with stories about love and all I could think about was having romance in my life. I felt like I “HAD” to have a guy in my life in order to be complete. In whatever you read, I encourage you to always ask yourself if the book is helping you maintain purity or hindering it. Even in small ways. 🙂

      • Christian Country Girl

        Wow! I know what you mean! I got rlly drawn in to a whole bunch of amish novels…My mom didn’t realize they were romance novels and she said that I probably shouln’t read them, even though they are considered Christian. So, I don’t read them now and I find that it helps a lot. I spent large amounts of my time reading those. Like…a book a day basically. Thanks for this post! It’s very helpful. 🙂

  • Sue

    Great post! Every girl needs that advice!

  • Preeyanka

    Wow I wish I could just stop, but I like watching the bachelor and so many other shows.. I guess it’s just that choice. When did you stop watching those kind of shows? And I mean how- bc it’s so hard, like It’s so part of the culture and time and I don’t want to miss out! I don’t want to carry false expectations into relationships though. For sure. So if this is the only way.. Idk. I guess I have no choice rly if I want to follow Christ?

    • Hey Preeyanka, wanting to fit into the culture is really temping. It’s one of the hardest things about being a Christian. However, we must be different. Our lives should be focused on pleasing God and not the world. We should care more about what God thinks than what our friends think. John 15:19 says, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
      Being a Christian means we go against the popular grain a lot of times. We choose to honor God over engaging in the world. And yes, that means we “miss out.” But we’re not really missing out…because true fulfillment and satisfaction can only come through a relationship with Jesus. 🙂

  • Guest

    I struggle in this area esp when life is difficult. but real life isnt a fairy tale

    • You’re right. Real life isn’t a fairytale. It’s hard. Really, really hard. No matter what we’re going through, true peace and satisfaction can only come through a real relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to turn to Him during your hard times. He will give you the strength to make it through.

  • Curious

    So I have a question: What about “making up stories in your mind that are “realistic” “? I know this sounds silly, but what if I like to imaging life with a Godly husband, and how we would deal with hardships, joys, and all around life? Sometimes I like to think I’m brainstorming for a book. I’ve always dreamed of writing! It isn’t quite the same as watching a chic flick, is it? I know the Holy Spirit will convict me in the way God sees best, but can anyone relate to this?

    • Jesusfreak17

      I can but for me at least, and I think this is what the article is trying to say, it’s a lot wiser for our minds and souls to not dream in the future. Whether or not your imaginings are realistic or not, it’s probably going to be different from your actual future so your still giving yourself false expectations. The real question is not “is this sin?” It’s “is this wise?”
      I’m totally preaching to myself by the way. It’s so hard!

      • Curious

        Very true! Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    Does anyone watch “Once Upon a Time”? I really enjoyed all the story lines. When watching any movie, I like to see who they are “borrowing” their GOOD morals from. It usually always ends up being God’s morals. They never seem to give Him credit though. In writing fairy tales, man can use the realm of mystical creature, princess, and princesses to get across a point that directs people toward God. But what about a show where reality and fantasy are mixed? These thoughts have been circuiting in my mind for some months now. Any other ideas girls?

    • Elisabeth

      I do, I love that Show!!Yeah, I have often also thought that.Wonder if the show creatures are Christians?

      • Elizabeth

        I don’t really see how they could be Christians because they come from the fairy tale world where good is based on the “good” things they do. The morals and magic get kinda sticky when it’s real world/fake world characters. Just a thought.

  • Allie

    I haven’t had lust problems recently, but this is something I really struggle with!
    For months I thought of a thousand ways certain guy would propose me…

    I just couldn’t stop, it happened all the time, somehow I realized I was “I do”
    It was distracting me from the truth. My lies didn’t ley me think of pure, true, fair, honorable things.
    But it’s destructive and it steals your joy!

    I prayed, and prayed and have continued praying for a miracle in my heart. I’ m trying to memorize a lot of the Scripture, I’m trying to focus on people’s needs and to pray for them. And I’m trying to flee from everything that causes me to dream….

    The Lord has been faithful and has answered my prayer. I do want to be a wife and a mom, but today I want God to find me faithful to Him and the work He has for me, and I want to learn to love Him with all my mind!
    I trust He will send the perfect man for me on His perfect time; and if He doesn’t, I know I will have a wedding more beautiful than I could ever imagine or dream of in Heaven!!

  • Christina <3

    Okay so I’m not for sure but it seems like these devotions are mainly targeted at the college age girls, but I love that because girls like me who are still fifteen can learn now and be ahead when we face this stuff. Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to use you and minister in this way. (: <3

  • Elisabeth

    Kristen, can I ask a question?What are you and your sister’s views on Contemporary Christian Music?Just wondering.Your all are such Godly examples, I would really like your advice!

  • Roanne Grace Legaspi Celiz

    On point! I’ve been trapped in these romantic fantasies for years that I ended up with a shattered heart and being stagnant or stuck up, I felt discouraged and hopeless that nothing is happening with me and that I’m getting old without someone by my side. But God is good. Through His grace He helped me through it. He alone can ever fill all the void in my heart. It’s been a hard battle and I’m still fighting but with God on our side we’ll have the victory! Thanks you for sharing this. God bless you ^_^<3

  • Silvia Venturini

    Hey girls, Id suggest you wrote something about 50’s movie that is coming out now, i read the book 2 years ago and definitely struggle cause a part of me wants to watch it!

  • Abigail Cotton

    Thank you so much for writing about this issue! God has been working on me in this area for a while, and I did have to go through my books and get rid of some. This is such and important area that a lot of times I know I gave myself slack in, but God wants ALL of me and I can’t have half of my mind going in un-edifying directions! So thanks for the encouragement–its so wonderful to know others are fighting the same fight as me 🙂

  • Addy Buchholz

    wow. that helped me a lot. i tend to be a little boy crazy, and if i can keep on asking God to help me thru it, i will be ten times better. thank you a lot!! 🙂

  • Taytay

    Thank you for writing this post.

  • Abby

    Great post! Especially around Valentine’s Day. During the Valentine’s Day season, it can be even more tempting to fantasize yourself with romantic fantasies. You provided some thoughts I hadn’t thought of before. 🙂 Thanks for posting this!

  • Sarah

    Staying IN THE WORD, staying close to God, hearing His voice, communicating with Him – that’s the best way to overcome temptation! I’ve found that when I’m close to Him, I turn from temptation much easier. When I don’t have that fellowship with Him, temptations are so much more of a struggle! I know you’ve probably heard this already before, but it’s true!!

  • Ash

    This is crazy on-point! For the last 6 months I’ve been feeling like God has been asking me to fast my secular music for 30 days and I genuinely had no idea why. Needless to say, I’m still battling and sometimes intentionally disobeying God. I knew the music I was listening to was feeding my fantasies but it was always one of those “I know what it is, it’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t figure out what it is exactly” things until just this moment. Having read this really put it ALL into perspective and I finally understand what my problem has been. I felt like my singleness is almost God being a party-pooper and my music-fed-fantasies were totally okay because I wasn’t going out and physically sleeping around. Man, oh man! I have been so wrong – thank you for shedding this truth! MAJOR perspective change and has definitely challenged me to rise to something so much high – Gods plan for my journey. Thank you BIG time xx

  • Another good thing to remember regarding this, is that if your romantic fantasy involves a specific person, you are in fact using that person. Whilst guys tend to use girls to satisfy their physical urges, girls tend to use guys to satisfy their emotional urges, and it’s just as bad.

  • Rebecca

    Two years ago I’ve read a romance novel without sexual content and now I want to read it again. Should I do this?

  • A girl

    yep, Uh-huh. . .Amen!

    I totally agree with you, I struggle with lust and immoral daydreaming a lot, and it has lead to some unpleasant actions. . .(not actual sexuality) but today I am coming clean! I’ve read a bunch of your purity posts, am taking action, ready to memorize verses, and stop all of the sexual sin in my life.

    Personally that means no more ”free surfing” the web. No more foul memes or jokes. No more staring at people in immoral clothing.

    Advice? Well, I would say, don’t free surf the web LOL. Don’t hang around dirty people, if that’s a temptation for you.

  • Anna

    Hi Kristen, regarding those Christian romance novels – why did u choose to give them up since they are clean and usually involve God and the heroine overcoming certain issues? And now that you’re married, wouldn’t it be ok to read them? Or are they so far from real courtship and marriage that they make us yearn for something that is unrealistic?

  • Lilly

    I am not very exposed to romance novels, pop music, or any of the secular romantic fantasies. However, romance is the main thing I think about! Its everything to me. My room looks like valentines day all year around. I cant stop thinking about it. I am super boycrazy, even though I don’t read or watch or listen to romance stuff. What should I do now?

    • Katrina Jones

      Hi Lilly,
      The more you can think about Christ the less room your thoughts will have for other thoughts! The Psalms are especially helpful in turning our thoughts on the Lord – read them every day memorize a favourite Psalm or two and try to keep it in your thoughts. Remember: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure; of there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” You may need to clear your room romantic of mind-triggers (decorations) and instead put up some verses or other generic decorations. And read some good non-fiction Christian books. This blog has several really great book recommendations.
      If you can set your mind on Christ you will find Him filling your vision and satisfying your heart!


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