Rethinking Lust

Rethinking Lust

About five years ago, I found myself in the audience at a marriage retreat put on by our church. To be completely honest, I have never enjoyed marriage retreats- they seem to ignite in me an overwhelming sense of failure and hopelessness. However, that’s beside the point I want to make here! We entered the meeting room and the presenters sat side by side up on the platform, the wife smiling and looking adoringly at her husband. The topic was the beauty of marital sex. When the woman stood to address the crowd, she began to admonish wives to satisfy their husband’s lusts as a safeguard against their use of pornography and extramarital affairs. My eyebrows raised, my internal alarms began sounding and anger welled up inside of me. Later, after the session, a 20 Something couple approached me. The young man insightfully remarked, “I think I’ve just been called an animal by the retreat speaker! I’m offended!” In a moment, I was given words to verbalize my revulsion to this very common message to wives in Christian contexts.

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Episode 13: What About Lust?

Episode 13: What About Lust?

In Genesis 3, we see the serpent approaching Adam and Eve with a suggestion - a suggestion that perhaps God had been withholding "the good life" from them.  They considered and the question took root in their hearts.  They strike out on their own and grasp for MORE apart from Him.  Immediately blame, shame and suspicion entered the picture and they hid from God and each other.  In the Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II this event is described in this way: "Before the fall, there was no threat to the dignity of the person.  They desired nothing but to love as God loves.  After the fall, they covered themselves as a protection from lust."  Their choice to grasp for the good life apart from God delivered them into a realm where instead of experiencing a life of giving and receiving love, it was possible to become the vicim or perpetrator of use and abuse.  Lust had entered into our human experience.

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