Understanding the teaching of the Bible on lust, love, marriage and sexual desires can provide guidance in honoring God with your relationships. In this article, we are going to explore what the Bible says about lusting after your wife.
Understanding the Concept of Lust in the Bible
Lust is often mentioned in the Bible as one of the sins that people are admonished to avoid. But what exactly is lust according to the scriptures?
Before delving into the depths of the biblical understanding of lust, it is important to recognize that the concept of lust is not limited to sexual desire alone. While it is true that lust is commonly associated with intense or unrestrained sexual desire, the Bible expands the definition to encompass various forms of excessive and selfish desire.
The biblical definition of lust, therefore, extends beyond the realm of sexuality. It encompasses a broader spectrum of human desires that are driven by a relentless pursuit of self-gratification, often at the expense of others. Lust can manifest itself in the form of an insatiable hunger for power, an insidious craving for wealth, or an insistent longing for recognition.
The Biblical Definition of Lust
Simply put, lust in the Bible is intense or unrestrained sexual desire. It is important, however, to note that the Bible often uses the term to refer to excessive or illicit sexual desire. Thus, not all sexual desires qualify as lust according to the Bible.
When examining the biblical teachings on lust, it becomes evident that the focus is not solely on the act of sexual desire itself, but rather on the motivations and intentions behind it. The Bible warns against allowing sexual desire to become an all-consuming force that disregards the well-being and dignity of others. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy and respectful approach to human sexuality, rooted in love and mutual consent.
Furthermore, the Bible highlights the destructive nature of lust when it is allowed to run rampant. It warns of the consequences that can arise from unchecked desires, both for the individual and for society as a whole. Lust, when left unchecked, can lead to broken relationships, shattered trust, and a distorted view of human worth.
Therefore, the biblical understanding of lust goes beyond a mere condemnation of sexual desire. It serves as a cautionary reminder to exercise self-control and to approach all desires, whether sexual or otherwise, with wisdom, discernment, and respect for others.
Differentiating Between Lust and Love
Confusing lust with love is quite common. Both can feel intense and passionate, but they are fundamentally different according to biblical teaching.
Love, as defined by the Bible, is patient, kind, not envious, and always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. It is a selfless and sacrificial love that seeks the well-being and flourishing of others. Love is characterized by a genuine concern for the needs and desires of others, without expecting anything in return.
Lust, on the other hand, is unrestrained desire that seeks self-gratification at the expense of others. It is a self-centered and self-indulgent form of desire that focuses solely on satisfying one’s own cravings, without regard for the well-being or dignity of others. Lust takes, while love gives.
While love seeks to build and nurture relationships, lust seeks to exploit and consume. Love fosters intimacy, trust, and genuine connection, while lust reduces others to objects of personal gratification. Understanding the distinction between lust and love is crucial in cultivating healthy and fulfilling relationships, both romantic and otherwise.
In conclusion, the concept of lust in the Bible is multifaceted, encompassing not only sexual desire but also excessive and selfish desires in various areas of life. It serves as a reminder to exercise self-control, to approach all desires with wisdom and respect, and to differentiate between lust and genuine love. By understanding the biblical teachings on lust, we can strive to live lives that honor and uplift others, fostering healthy relationships and contributing to the well-being of society as a whole.
Biblical Perspectives on Marriage and Sexual Desire
Understanding the biblical perspective on marriage and sexual desires is essential to answer the question of whether it is possible to lust after one’s wife. The Bible has quite a lot to say on these matters.
The Sanctity of Marriage in the Bible
The Bible teaches that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman. It is a commitment before God to love, honor, and cherish each other for a lifetime.
Marriage is not simply a legal contract or a social institution; it is a divine institution established by God Himself. In the book of Genesis, we see that God created Adam and Eve and brought them together in marriage. He declared that “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Within this covenant, sexual relations are not just permitted—they are celebrated. In fact, sex in marriage is considered a gift from God, with the potential to bring joy, intimacy, and procreation.
God designed the sexual relationship within marriage to be a beautiful expression of love, trust, and unity. It is a way for husband and wife to intimately connect with one another, both physically and emotionally. The Song of Solomon, a book in the Bible, celebrates the passion and desire between a husband and wife, depicting their love as a flame that cannot be quenched.
The Role of Sexual Desire Within Marriage
Contrary to what some might believe, the Bible does not condemn sexual desire within marriage. In fact, it encourages husbands and wives to take delight in each other’s bodies and to fulfill each other’s sexual needs. Such affectionate and mutual desire is not lust; it is a part of the loving relationship God designed for married couples.
Sexual desire within marriage is an expression of the deep emotional and physical connection between husband and wife. It is a way for them to strengthen their bond and experience pleasure in one another’s presence. The Bible affirms the importance of sexual intimacy within marriage, stating, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:3).
However, should the sexual desire become overpowering, self-centered, or disrespectful, it is no longer in harmony with the biblical conception of love and marriage. At this point, it may be seen as lust.
Lust, in the biblical sense, refers to an intense and selfish desire that objectifies and devalues the other person. It is a distortion of the God-given gift of sexual desire. Lust focuses solely on self-gratification and disregards the well-being and dignity of the other person.
Within the context of marriage, sexual desire should be rooted in love, respect, and mutual consent. It should seek to honor and value the spouse, recognizing their worth as a beloved child of God. In this way, sexual desire can be a source of joy, intimacy, and fulfillment within the sacred covenant of marriage.
Biblical Passages Addressing Lust
There are several scriptures that deal directly with lust, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Examining these can help us gain further insight into the biblical perspective on lust.
Old Testament References to Lust
In the Old Testament, lust is generally depicted as a dangerous and destructive force. The book of Proverbs, for instance, warns about the perils of lust and urges its readers to resist its lure.
Yet, it is also in the Old Testament where we find one of the most striking models of marital love and sexual desire—in the Song of Solomon. This book presents sexual desire within marriage as beautiful and to be celebrated, showing the clear separation between lust and marital love.
New Testament Teachings on Lust
The New Testament echoes the Old Testament warnings about lust, but goes a step further by addressing the heart condition that gives rise to lust. Jesus, in His sermon on the mount, equates lustful thinking with adultery.
Yet, in the letters of Paul, we also see the affirmation of sexual desire within marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul encourages spouses to fulfill their marital duties to each other, including their sexual obligations, and cautions against depriving each other of such marital relations.
The Bible’s View on Lusting After Your Wife
So, can a man lust after his wife according to the Bible?
Interpreting Biblical Texts on Marital Lust
Biblically speaking, if lust is understood as an excessive or degrading sexual desire, then it is possible and wrong for a man to lust after his wife. Respect, love and self-control should govern all aspects of a Christian marriage, including sexual relations.
However, this does not in any way mean that a Christian man should not have strong sexual desires towards his wife. Such desires, when mutual, respectful and under control, are celebrated in the scriptures, are a part of God’s gift of marriage, and are not considered lust.
The Balance Between Desire and Respect in Marriage
Finding the right balance between sexual desire and respect in marriage can be challenging. Yet, it is essential to maintaining a godly and fulfilling marital relationship.
A Christian husband is called to love his wife as Christ loved the church—sacrificially, unconditionally, and respectfully. This should also extend to how he approaches sexual relations with his wife. He must express and satisfy his sexual desire without objectifying, degrading or disrespecting his wife.
Applying Biblical Teachings to Modern Marriages
Understanding the biblical teachings on lust, love, and marital sex is one thing. Applying them to your own marriage in today’s world is another.
Overcoming Lust in a Godly Marriage
Overcoming lust in a marriage requires openness and hard work from both spouses. It involves setting healthy boundaries, practicing self-control, and nurturing genuine love that is focused more on giving than taking.
In cases where lust has become a major issue, professional help such as counseling may be necessary. Above all, prayer and dependence on God’s power are indispensable in overcoming any form of lust.
Cultivating Healthy Desire in Your Marriage
Cultivating healthy sexual desire in your marriage also requires time, energy, and open communication between spouses. It involves appreciating each other as God’s unique creation, expressing affection openly and regularly, and keeping your marriage bed pure and respectful.
Healthy sexual desire in marriage is a beautiful and bonding experience that God endorses and encourages. Thus, it is important to nurture it, protect it, and enjoy it responsibly and respectfully.