Along With Gluttony
Lust is defined as a “very strong sexual desire.” The conversations this month have focused on the seven deadly sins and virtues. We have covered all but two of sins – lust and gluttony. The order was not intentional. Contributors decided how they wished to take part in the month-long conversation and they left this one to me. Wonder why?
While we normally associate gluttony with food and in some cases material things, lust is a natural partner for the purposes of concluding our conversation on sins. Actually, the following is a republishing of a post on sex that was first shared on my former blog. When we think of this particular sin, sex is what first comes to mind, so I choose to stay with that and not delve into the other aspects of lusting.
What Does The Bible Say About Lust?
Let me be clear, this is not a religious conversation, however, as the notion or premise of the seven deadly sins is largely based on the Christian tradition reference is made to that Scripture on this subject. Quoting from Got A Question,
The dictionary definition of lust is “1) intense or unrestrained sexual craving, or 2) an overwhelming desire or craving.” The Bible speaks of lust in several ways. Exodus 20:14, 17 (NLT), “Do not commit adultery. . . Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns,” or Matthew 5:28, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Job 31:11-12 (NLT) sums up lust quite nicely: “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.”
Sex is one of the most troubling, contentious, divisive issues within, outside and between the Church. That I think is a fair statement to make. There are so many rules governing or at least attempting to govern the sex life of people, particularly women, for centuries. My understanding of lust in the strictest sense of the definition and having sex are not the same things.
Sex, Lust And Celibacy
Me, I want it. Sex.
Well just as much as I want to love and be loved.
Prude I am not. Neither am I too spiritual, biblical or religious to deny my physical need. Yes, sex is a need and I will most certainly not agree with any arguments otherwise. It is also a desire – in which case or on which occasion it might be better to say, it can be postponed. That, for me, is especially true when it is a “very strong sexual desire” or lust.
This I know – a sexless marriage is a dead marriage. Again I am not willing to debate this as I have lived it, observed others who have – both informally and clinically.
Sex is not a sin.
My attempt here is to be clear not controversial. Being real is my way of operating and at no point will I ever be hypocritical to woo an audience or in this case readership.
Sex is not a sin. It can be a mistake, especially when driven by lust and:
- With the wrong person
- When participated in at an inopportune time
- Engaged in exchange for financial or other material benefit
Sex outside of marriage – here I go – is not a crime: moral or otherwise. Sex without deep emotional attachment can be fun but can be painful for one or both parties.
Children, teenagers and even emotionally unstable people ought not to engage in sexual acts until they are of age, mentally prepared for the inevitable responsibilities and/or emotionally capable of handling the act not going past what it is – an act.
Love and sex combined form a most ‘splendorous’ expression. Yet, speaking for myself and all those who are too shy to, you can deeply love someone (husband, wife, lifelong partner) but sex between you has lost its zest.
Then there is the issue of celibacy – not engaging in sex for religious or health reasons – or by choice, as is the case with me. Nun I am not, but almost a year ago now, I made a vow to myself to practice celibacy for at least one year for several reasons, not least of which was to temper lust and decisions made on that basis, as well as to fully appreciate and embrace the woman who I am and becoming at this stage of my life. Actually, that is the last virtue – temperance. There is an interesting article on the subject of celibacy that might interest you – “When Celibacy Just Happens.” Read it here.
Is this straight talk enough for you on lust and things sexual? Well share your view with me in the comments below. Why not sign up and join our community and talk with me directly, as well as receive Weekday Wisdom© which is a daily motivational email sent Monday to Friday to members only.
Have a great rest of the day!