On Lust

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! Tonight, we’re going to continue what I was discussing a bit about dating yesterday with a look at lust.

Part of this comes from reading an atheist giving a testimony of what he struggled with growing up in church. For him, it was anathema to think about sex. He was told not to do it. We all know what happens. It’s the same thing that would happen if I told you not to think about a pink elephant for five minutes.

Honestly, I resonate with a story like this. I can understand it. I grew up somewhat legalistic. I was very sheltered. I still have a highly sensitive conscience. It is good to be moral, but sometimes we can overdo things. The intention of the Pharisees was good, but they overdid it.

The church has not been good with its attitude towards sex. All we’ve told young people numerous times is “Do not! Do not! Do not!” Now I believe the “do nots” are important. However, what is important is also why we observe the “do nots” as well as giving some “dos.”

Also, we need to watch how this is being presented. At a church I once attended, we had an event called the Silver Ring Thing. I kid you not. The pastor who spoke was boring me to no end. It is a shame if you can speak about the topic of sex and end up having your congregation be bored.

What was also ironic was he was giving reasons for not having sex before marriage. He was saying the reasons for having sex would be selfish reasons, and I agree. He did say in contrast to “Think of what you would say to your future spouse” or “You could get pregnant” or “You could get a disease.”

Maybe it was just me, but those were also selfish reasons to me also.

Nothing about what the nature of sexuality is. Nothing about what the nature of marriage is. There was no theological content to it. Instead, there was only applicational content. I’m not against application, but application needs to rest on something stronger and this atheist was obviously just given application without a background of sexual thought.

So let’s talk about lust then. First off, it is not “thinking about sex.” On the contrary, I think young people should be thinking about sex. God created it and it is something that falls into Philippians 4:8. I think my single friends should look forward to making love to their future spouse.

Second, it is also not admiration. You should have the right to admire someone of the opposite sex who is attractive. If the problem of lust is admiration, then you’d better never go on a date because I guarantee you you will be admiring that person who is sitting across from you. (By the way guys, don’t make a movie the first date. With a movie, you stare at the screen and don’t interact. Get a date where you interact. My wife and I went to an aquarium on our first date for instance)

Third, that person was also made beautiful for a reason. God made the aspects of the human body to be desired and to be appreciated. Go read the Song of Songs some time and look at how the body is emphasized. I get tired of Christians saying it’s an allegory. You could find some parallels with Christ and the church of course, but could it be the main reason for this was to celebrate the joy of marriage and the beauty of sexuality? Would it be that hard to read that in the text?

Of course, some of you are thinking I am giving a free pass. I’m saying anything goes in your thought life, and I’m not. I see lust as excessive desire. This is desire that cannot contain itself. When you start objectifying that person and treating them as just an object, you are guilty of lust.

This is also the problem with pornography. Pornography tells you to view women as simply objects of desire. (The reverse for women who struggle with porn of course) I would remind men that that girl in that picture is someone’s daughter. That is someone special. For Christians, that is someone who bears the image of God.

Porn is wrong because it treats a human being as just an object. Now to an extent, we do utilize human beings at times. If you bought something at a store today, you had to have a human being likely check you out. Still, that human being was serving a functional role, but if you treated them as just that role, you’d demean them.

Well guys, if you want to show a girl you’re devoted to her and she can trust you with herself, that’s a great way to do that. It’s called marriage. I would like you women to think about the alternative. Picture a man saying to you “Dearest. I love you. I want you to take all your clothes off for me, make yourself entirely vulnerable to me, and let me enjoy you. I just don’t think I want to make a lifelong commitment to you.”

No Romeo would say that with their lips, but several do with their actions.

To those who think they’re struggling with lust, I would say, lighten up. God gave you hormones for a reason. It doesn’t mean you have to get married and you’re under no obligation to get married. If you really want this gift of sex however, then the Bible only has one option for you. Marriage. It’s also a great option. (90 days today!)

If you really need someone to talk to, find a good group of guys that you can talk to about sex. Make them Christian men of course. Having others share your struggle is excellent. If you are struggling with porn, I have been told that the ministry of xxxchurch.com is one of the best you can go to.

Also, really think about sex. Don’t just think about “doing it”, but what it really is. What is the meaning behind this action? Why is it the way it is? What can this tell you about God? Yes. Sex can tell you about God. An excellent look on this can be found at www.peterkreeft.com with his talk of “Is There Sex In Heaven?” (I confess to listening to that one more than once.)

And if you’re a Christian and really struggling, remember the grace of God is there. It’s a battle, but he can help you overcome sexual addictions.

Above all, remember to honor people of the opposite sex in your life. Do that, and you will not lust after them, but rather desire them appropriately and love them.

We shall continue tomorrow.

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