Lust: When Looking is Sin
This is a continuation of how we can apply the Sermon on the Mount to our marriages.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” [Mt 5:27&28 ESV]
We don’t have to stretch to find a marriage application for this passage. However, the verses may not mean exactly what you think they do.
The Greek word we translate as lust in this passage is epithumeo. Unlike our English word, epithumeo is not specifically about sex, and it does not indicate sin; the word means nothing more than a strong desire. (For more see Lust: I WANT you.)
So, what Jesus was saying is strong desire to be with a women sexually is sin, even if there is no intention to act on those desires. This means “I would never actually do it” doesn’t excuse us. If we’d like to, we’re in sin. On the other hand, a momentary reaction to a woman showing far too much of her body isn’t necessarily sin, if it’s not accompanied by a desire to do something.
To me this is both less and more than what most of us have been taught about “lust”. Just seeing and being aware of what we saw doesn’t make us guilty of sin. Even a bit of arousal doesn’t mean we’ve sinned. The real issue is our thoughts – our desire. It’s God’s intention for us to sexually desire our wife and only our wife. Desiring any other woman is wrong, even if we’d never do anything about it.
Does this change how you look at lust? Are you relieved noticing a woman isn’t sin? Are you convicted about desire you’ve justified because you’d never act on it?
Great tweet of the week:
Obsessed with our past -> shame. Obsessed with our future -> worry. These are the twin thieves that rob us of our present -> love. chuckdegroat
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Featured Post – A must read article I saw this week:
Black and Married with Kids posted Cherish the Moments: When My Kids still Called me “Daddy” ◄ Maybe I am biased since this was written by a friend, and was in response to something I wrote, but I think it is excellent and a must read for any parent with kids at home.
Black and Married with Kids
4 Ways Men Can “Win” In Their Marriages and Relationships ◄ A new kind of point system.
The Generous Wife
Hot, Holy and Humorous
Hot, Holy and Humorous: Holy or Happy? What’s the Purpose of Marriage? ◄ J tackles on of my pet peeves – and gets it right (IMHO).
Intimacy in Marriage
10 Confessions of a Sex Blogger ◄ Sex bloggers are real people too.
Joe Beam’s Blog
Joe has three great blot posts on staying married for the kids:
Should We Stay Together for the Kids?
Can a Couple Be Happy if They Stay Together For the Kids?
How Does Staying Together for the Kids Affect the Kids?
Marriage Missions International
Warning: Bad Mood in Progress ◄ Bad mood? Give her a warning!
Sex After the Baby Comes ◄ Got a new baby? Check this out.
Redeeming Marriages with Jack and Janet
Just Say No To Naysayers ◄ When your marriage is in trouble, don’t listen to those who say it is over.
Gratitude ◄ Some nice ways to show gratitude.
The Romantic Vineyard
Our Sex Life Has Changed ◄ A cautionary tale for some men.
…to Love Honor and Vacuum
Romance in the Movies: What Does it Teach Us? ◄ It’s not ALL bad.