“Looking” at the opposite sex, admiring “beauty”, “lusting” after your spouse… What’s godly, and what’s not?
A couple of days ago, I was in a reception room waiting to be called for my appointment. To “fill time”, I was perusing a “Christian” magazine, glancing over its contents, and not just shocked, but mortified at the lies I was finding! Normally, I would dismiss some of what I read as merely a disagreement of opinion/theology and move on. Yet this one was so glaringly untrue, I was left wondering how many innocent people believed these lies, and the potential impact of them on their marriage.
The article discussed the topic of lust from a male perspective. It was an interesting topic that I knew plagued many marriages. I read the article waiting for the “victory”, but none came. Instead, I was confronted with a very worldly perspective, and one that is biblically inaccurate. As convincing and as well-written as the article was, I was concerned about how many people had read its message. Worse yet, how many people read it and believed its message.
It was indeed a very worldly message with hints of truth, but mostly lies that if believed, would destroy most women and spiritually destroy most men. The article indeed discussed lust, however the focus was on women over-reacting to it.
The Myth And The Danger
It took a very Darwinian approach to the topic (first red flag) citing that men’s evolutionary tendencies are what cause men to look at a woman lustfully. It was due to the purpose of men to procreate (be fruitful and multiply) that cause men to look/desire other women in a sexual way. It used the phrase that “men are animals” and are “filled with testosterone” to justify a wandering eye. It further justified the statement with the phrase, “this is how God made us” and encouraged ladies to accept it.
This information would discourage any wife who desires to be her husband’s only focus! For a man to desire another woman other than his spouse devastates a woman who wonders why his desire isn’t for her. It causes her to feel inadequate in his eyes, and she should never be made to feel that way! It’s not an insecurity on her part. She would feel differently if she had a better self-concept. The only way she would feel differently, perhaps, was if she bought into this lie! However, the insecurity would still lie at the core of her being.
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28
“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.” Proverbs 6:25
Her insecurity is justified. Men claim that they are just admiring her beauty, but that’s a lie, too. The reality is that men fall into the temptation of porn more than women. Men are visually wired, which is why wives wearing lingerie will quickly grab their husband’s attention! However, it should be the wives grabbing the husband’s attention, not another woman’s.
When a man looks at another woman’s “beauty”, he is admiring her in his heart. His focus is not on his wife. This is danger number one: there is a seed that has been planted in his heart “That woman sure was beautiful”. Satan plants further seeds in men’s minds with, “Did you notice how short that skirt was? Did you see that ____?” and it spirals from there. As time passes, if the seed hasn’t been uprooted, the image in his mind.
While men usually have a larger sex drive than women, at some point, they will want to engage in intimacy. If his wife “isn’t in the mood”, the image pops up and engages him into temptation (sometimes followed by resentment towards his wife at having to commit sexual sin). If she is in the mood, because that seed is there, he may recall it and fantasize about it- while having sex with his wife! He is having sex in his mind with another woman. Even though men justify it as “just fantasy”, he is still committing adultery.
There are other dangers, and many of our back issues address this very topic (and how to be victorious over it). Due to length, we will not go over it here, but I would encourage you to read up on the topic.
The strong “voice” of the article that lustful behavior was natural, was also glaringly false. It attributed this desire to be inherently from God. Yet it ignored what the Word said:
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16
Lust is a heart issue. Lust says is a strong desire to engage in intimacy with someone (even if it’s imaginary) or be attracted sexually to someone that is not your spouse. It removes the desire away from your spouse, and detracts from their beauty. The person being lusted after, is indeed objectified as there cannot be any real connection- you don’t know the person! They are merely an object of your desire.
Women are not excluded from lustful thoughts and actions. Men are also often just as equally offended, although for different reasons. Men generally do not like being compared to others, and will tend to act possessive if their wife is “ogling” another man.
So, men, is it truly just men who are wired this way? Many women battle lust as well. How many ladies have fallen into this trap? Ladies, if you have gone to a strip club, bought calendars of naked men, read certain “racy romance novels”, fantasized about another man, or even compared your husband to another, you are still sinning.
Over the next few articles, will discuss whether is is godly to lust after your spouse. We will answer whether Christian couples should lust after each other or love each other, the “groping” issue, love versus lust, and taking intimacy to the next level in your marriage, and the biblical key to better sex.
Yes, we did say that we were going to discuss sex! *lol*
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