So – lust right? I feel like this is an issue that is generally brought up pertaining to men (kind of like eating disorders for women). It is assumed that men are going to lust, look at porn, and are otherwise much weaker in the area of sexual temptation. I’m curious if this is something that women deal with a lot as well or if it’s less of a common occurrence.
Does openness to lust potentially stem from one’s views on when sex is appropriate, the meaning of sex, what love looks like, etc? I feel like it does. I was having related discussions this weekend on the topic. And what came out of each of them (from me – so potentially inaccurate) is the notion of honor. What is love?
1 Corinthians 13
[New American Standard Version]
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails;
4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
So as we love another, these characteristics will begin to come out. Do we lust after someone we love? What is lust? Very simply it is – desiring something that isn’t our own/right (as I see it, please correct me). How does lust and love mix? I don’t think they can as we see above. Lust may seem ok when marriage is around the corner, but that doesn’t embody the patient attribute of love. Is it kind to lust after someone? I encountered a situation where one had disclosed the lustful thoughts to the person whom they were about. But, the individual being lusted after felt violated after this. Is that honorable? Is that kind? Is that “not rude”? Is that “not self-seeking”? Just because the act happens only in the mind, it is still a sexual violation felt by the victim when realized. It seems that lust would be insisting on one’s own rights for sexual gratification (aka self-seeking). Is fornication unrighteous? Of course. Didn’t Jesus say that thinking it just as committing the sin (Matt 5:28)? And it seems that the victim in both cases feels/is violated. Sure, there are temptations, sexual desires, and even sexual rights (within marriage). But love “endures all things” (even these struggles) “patiently”.
I would beg to say that lust is not enduring all things patiently, is self-seeking, acting unbecomingly, and is not kind (because it violates the victim).
But, who cares about love anyways. I don’t love the person I’m lusting after, I just think he/she is hot and would like to have sex (or at least thing about having sex) with him/her.
Apparently, love is pretty important under the new covenant:
Matt 22:39, John 13:34, John 13:35, John 15:12, John 15:17, Rom 13:8, 1 Pet 4:8, 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:7
How do we practically address the topic of lust in our lives? It clearly needs to be a heart change. But how does that happen?
I remember hearing a Christian motivational speaker (I think it might’ve been Dr. James Dobson, but I don’t remember) that “boys play at love for sex, but girls play at sex for love.” Women and men are both struggling with the same thing- a need for intimacy. Men express and want to receive intimacy in a physical manner, while women look for it emotionally. So, while a man is lusting after a woman, he seeks intimacy with her in the only way he knows- through a sexual nature.
So your question: how does love and lust mix? People crave intimacy. For women, that is emotional, because women are feelers. For men, it is physical. The thing is, when we’re married, we have sex; it is part of the whole package of intimacy that God created for us. But sex shouldn’t be taken out of context; it should be saved for whomever you marry. And by lusting after a woman, you are taking away from your vow to your future wife as well as the future husband of that woman. Though the physical pull isn’t as strong for women, the emotional need is strong. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Ss for the question of is lusting bad, it says specifically in the Bible that it is. It Proverbs states explicitly about how extra-marital sex is evil and one should stay away from an adulterer. It also states “The righteousness of the upright deliver them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires” (11:6).
So, how do we overcome our worldly desires? Galatians 5:16-17 says, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” Okay, so why the heck would you follow the Spirit instead of the sinful nature of man? Because, when we were saved, we became new creations, we are no longer our old selves. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Basically, we’re not perfect but we should strive to be because we are under the Grace of God now.
I have personally never had a problem with lust, but, like everyone, I have craved intimacy. I think we all have a hole on our heart, dying for approval, to be loved and cherished. But there is only One that can fill that hole, and that’s God. Spending more time with Him will take away those desires, as our lives will be filled with His love and intimacy.
In general, lust in my opinion is very selfish. Lust by definition is desiring something that you can’t have. When two people love each other, specifically in a marriage relationship, they may “lust” for each other, but that is not lust at all because they belong to each other. Lust is allowing yourself to experience something (whether in reality or in your mind) that you know is wrong.
So how do we overcome lust in our lives? By staying in constant prayer with the Lord and binding our minds to the minds of Christ. If this is truly a struggle, He is the only one that can set us free.
· Binding your mind to the mind of Christ: continuing to pray that God will transform you thoughts and desires to what would be the thoughts and desires of Christ would be. We need to recognize that Satan attacks peoples’ thoughts and reject thoughts that we know are not of God.
· Stay in Constant prayer with the Lord: Not much of a definition to give pretty plainly we need to talk to God all day long as if he is a friend. Our thoughts and conversations with God can be short, but they should be frequent. We need to actively make him a part of our lives. A relationship with a friend would not grow if we did not talk to them frequently…it is the same with God.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
· worldly passions: Tit 3:3
· self-controlled: Tit 2:2,5,6; Tit 1:8
· Decisively reject ungodly passions: Rom 1:18-32; 2 Tim 2:22; 1 John 2:15-17
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
· “Gave them over” – God has abandoned these persons to intensified lusts
· “sinful desires” – passionate lust for forbidden sexual pleasure (2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3)
· God has two purposes in abandoning the unrighteous to sin: (1) allow sin and its consequences to accelerate as part of his judgment on them (2:2), and (2) to make them realize their need for salvation (2:4).
· Homosexuality: Gen 19:4-9; Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Dt 23:17; 1Ki 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; Isa 3:9; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1Ti 1:10; 2Pe 2:6; Jude 7
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
· sexual immorality: 1 Co 6:18
· “sexual immorality”: (Gk porneai), immoral sexual conduct and intercourse; it includes taking pleasure in pornographic pictures, films or writings (Ex 20:14; Matt 5:31-32; 19:9; Ac 15:20,29; 21:25; 1Co 5:1)
· “impurity”: (Gk akatharsia), sexual sins, evil deeds and vices, including thoughts and desires of the heart (Eph 5:3; Col 3:5)
· “debauchery”: (Gk aselgeia), sensuality; following one’s passions and desires to the point of having no shame or public decency (2Co 12:21)
· “orgies”: (Gk komos), excessive feasting and revelry; a party spirit involving alcohol, drugs, sex, or the like.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
12 “Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”-but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”-but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
· “The two will become one flesh”: Gen 2:24; Mt 19:5; Eph 5:31
· “sexual immorality”: 1Co 6:9; 1Co 5:1; 2Co 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; 1Th 4:3-4; Heb 13:4
· “flee”: Gen 39:12 [present tense used – continually flee]
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
· “sexual immorality”: 1Co 6:18
· “body”: 1Co 7:2,9
· “passionate lust”: Ro 1:26
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
· “sexual immorality”: 1Co 6:18
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
· “adultery”: Lev 18:20; 20:10; Nu 5:12,13,29; Pr 6:29,32; Mt 5:27; 19:18; Mk 10:19; Lk 18:30; Ro 13:9; Jas 2:11
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
· “sexual immorality”: 1Co 6:18
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
· “heart”: Pr 6:25; 2Pe 2:14
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
· “sexually immoral”: 1Ti 3:3
Standards for Sexual Morality
Above all, believers must be morally and sexually pure (2Co 11:2; Tit 2:5; 1Pe 3:2). The word “pure” (Gk hagnos or amiantos) means to be free from all taint of that which is lewd. It suggests refraining from all acts and thoughts that incite desire not in accordance with one’s virginity or one’s marriage vows. It stresses restraint and avoidance of all sexual actions and excitements that would defile one’s purity before God. It includes controlling one’s own body “in a way that is holy and honorable” (1Th 4:4), and not in “passionate lust” (4:5). This Scriptural instruction is for both those who are single and those who are married. With regard to the Biblical teaching concerning sexual morality, not the following:
(1) Sexual intimacy is reserved for the marriage relationship and is approved and blessed by God only in that state (Gen 2:24 [2:7; 4:12]). Through marriage, the husband and wife become on flesh according to God’s will. The physical and emotional pleasures resulting from a faithful marriage relationship are ordained by God and held in honor by him.
(2) Adultery, sexual immorality, homosexuality, sensuality, impurity and degrading passions are considered grave sins in God’s sight, since they are a transgression of God’s law ([Ex 20:14]) and a defiling of the marriage relationship. Such sins are severely condemned in Scripture ([Pr 5:3]) and place one outside God’s kingdom (Ro 1:24-32; 1Co 6:9-10; Gal 5:19-21).
(3) Sexual immorality and impurity include not only forbidden intercourse or consummated acts, but also involve any act of sexual gratification with another person other than one’s marriage partner, achieved by uncovering or exploring the nakedness of that person. The contemporary teaching that says sexual intimacy among “committed” unmarried youth and adults is acceptable as long as it stops short of full sexual union is a teaching contrary to God’s holiness and the Biblical standard of purity. God explicitly prohibits having any kind of “sexual relations with” (literally, “uncovering the nakedness of”) anyone who is not a lawful wife or husband (Lev 18:6-30; 20:11,17,19-21; [18:6]).
(4) The believer must exercise self-control with reference to all sexual matters before marriage. To justify premarital intimacy in the name of Christ merely on the ground of a real or a felt commitment to another flagrantly compromises God’s holy standards with the world’s impure ways and, in effect, justifies immorality. After marriage, sexual intimacy must be confined to one’s marriage partner. The Bible names self-control as one aspect of the Spirit’s fruit, the positive and pure behavior that is in contrast to immoral sexual play, gratification, adultery and impurity. One’s faith commitment to God’s will with regard to purity will open the way to receiving this gift of self-control through the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24).
(5) Biblical terms used for sexual immorality, describing the breadth of its evil, are as follows: (a) Sexual immorality (Gk porneia) describes a wide variety of sexual activities before or outside of marriage; it is not limited to consummated sexual acts. Any intimate sexual activity or play outside the marriage relationship, including the touching of the intimate parts of the body or seeing another person’s nakedness, in included in this term and is clearly a transgression of God’s moral standards for his people (Lev 18:6-30; 20:11-12,17,19-21; 1Co 6:18; 1Th 4:3). (b) Debauchery, or sensuality, (Gk aselgeia) denotes the absence of clear moral principles, especially disregard of sexual self-control that maintains pure behavior ([1Ti 2:9]). It includes the inclination toward indulging in or arousing sinful lust, and thus is a participation in Biblically unjustifiable conduct (Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 1Pe 4:3; 2Pe 2:2,18). (c) Exploiting or taking advantage of someone (Gk pleonekteo) means to deprive another of the moral purity that God desires for that person in order to satisfy one’s own self-centered desires. To arouse in another person sexual desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled is to exploit or take advantage of that person (1Th 4:6; Eph 4:19). (d) Lust (Gk epithumia) is having an immoral desire that one would fulfill if the opportunity arose (Eph 4:19,22; 1Pe 4:3; 2Pe 2:18; [Mt 5:28]).
25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
or let her captivate you with her eyes,
1 Peter 4:3
3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
· “sensitivity”: 1Ti 4:2; Ro 1:24
· “sensuality”: Col 3:5; 1Pe 4:3
1 John 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.