Animal passion. If such a thing is natural then how can it be wrong? Society has told us that having sexual thoughts is perverse, against nature, but when part of our DNA’s natural method forces us to reproduce as part of our species’ survival how can we fight our own nature? For Christians especially it can be tough to reason with the fact that God made us to procreate and yet it’s a sin to think about it.
One of the most common lines of argument is that lust and sexual desire are not the same thing. While it’s natural and normal to have sexual desires in the name of procreation lust takes things a step further. If you lust, you aren’t just sexualizing something, you want it to the point of obsession. Just because a good looking woman walks by and you notice that doesn’t mean lust, it just means you’re a healthy male with a sexual appetite. However, if you choose to chase her, to consciously follow then you are giving in to lust.
In 2 Samuel 11:3, 4 David lusts after Bathsheba and has his servant follow her to bring her to his place. In a way, he doesn’t give in to lust because he’s sending someone else after her, but it’s also that he doesn’t chase her in that exact moment. He exercises self control. The most obvious difference between natural sexual desire and lust is the ability to control it, to have the discipline to prevent yourself from giving in to those animal urges even if the object of your lust is simply an item you want to possess.
Is it Wrong?
The reason why lust is sinful or wrong is simply because it’s uncontrolled and base. It’s an action that lowers man to the level of an animal rather than a thinking human being. Lust can be equated to rape – the rapist is selfish in their desire to possess their victim and not just to scratch a sexual itch. In any capacity, lust is wrong because it shows a lack of self control and a lack of higher thinking. Sometimes though, we just can’t help ourselves – we see something, and we want it.
We are bombarded with sexual imagery every day. Even society teaches us that we should lust and should want things we don’t have. Lust is a fixation, and that means we can consciously choose to ignore it by actively focusing on something else. Proverbs 4:25 calls on you to look ahead and focus on the path rather than being distracted, something that distracts you until lust passes. Often appetites complement each other, so if you’re feeling uncontrolled sexual desires you may find yourself overindulging in other areas. While this is an attempt to rectify and compromise it’s likely subconscious. Maybe you’ve put on weight, you’re being gluttonous. Focusing on fixing your gluttony will give you an outlet to focus on away from the object of your lust.
Even if you are not Religious, self control is common sense. Be respectful, caring and loving. In order to have respectful sex of any kind, partners need to have a solid understanding of each other’s boundaries around physical and sexual activity. Being able to talk honestly with your partner/s about what you want, what you don’t want and what you’re comfortable or uncomfortable with is absolutely crucial. It’s also really important that you’re able to fully trust that your partner/s would not violate your boundaries or ignore your feelings. If you can’t talk with your partner/s about sex, and/or you don’t feel that you can trust them, then you and your partner/s likely aren’t quite ready to do it.
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