Sunday Dialogue Part Four: Is it love or lust?
The word love is bandied about so often; and for the most part it has lost its true meaning – devotion and caring for another person. We love football, ice cream, good movies, and we “love” a lot of things, but that is just a misuse of the true meaning of the word.
But there is another misconception about that word love, as well. It is often used in the lives by people as “love;” when it actuality it is better described as “lust.”
First of all having sex with another person is not, in and of itself, love. Sex was created by God, was intended to be an expression of love and total commitment to another within the bonds of marriage and for the procreation and protection of future generations.
The word “love,” has a much deeper meaning that lust. Love involves all areas of a relationship while lust only one.
People in America basically lived by that principle until sometimes during the sixties when along came the “Hippie” movement when what people were doing behind closed door came out into the open.
Remember “Wildstock?” Or should we say “Woodstock?” Most Americans, and especially parents, were aghast at what went on there, but more so what doors it ultimately opened to bring about massive destruction to that generation and others to come. It set civilization back to the Stone Age when men lived like animals.
Sex outside of marriage is as old as the human race; but so are murder, robbing, and other detriments to the peace and harmony of the human race. God did not makeup rules for Himself or to be the mean gatekeeper of the souls of people against evil with the intent to punish with great satisfaction. God created man, and He saw that in the beginning it was good, but then when sin entered into the garden, He saw that it was bad. And from that time on good and bad have had to co-exist in this world – like the wheat and the tares.
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares is a beautiful example of how God is going to deal with both. Matthew 13:24 – 29 explains how He will allow them to remain on earth together until that great awakening day when everything will be good again in heaven.
“Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’
The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ”
Is promiscuous sex the only sin? No; but for this series we will look more closely at just what that means to people, families, and to society. There are always consequences for living outside of the will of God. What are the consequences of free-love, sex outside of marriage, which is more correctly called, lust?”
According to the dictionary, there is a clear meaning of the word, lust. It simply means having a strong sexual desire for another person. There is no other attachment to it like love, responsibility, and commitment.
But there is also a right and wrong approach to sexual desire. If it is not co-joined with true love then, it can be destructive.
Sex, without love and commitment to a single partner within the bonds of marriage, has many destructive results.
1. Promiscuity: Lust causes sex to cease being an act of love between a man and a woman, but becomes like a recreational act like playing tennis, going to a ball game, or other sorts of entertainment. Since there is no commitment – and ladies hearing a man say, “I love you,” when he means “I want you to fulfill my immediate desire,” is not love. Same goes for the men as well.
2. Sexually transmitted diseases: Having many partners, as it common among those practicing “lust,” carries with it a heavy toll – even death. Women who have many sexual partners are more like to get cervical cancer.
3. Unwanted pregnancies: Children born out of lust do not have the same benefits in life as those born of love. Many are unwanted, uncared for, used to get welfare checks and free stuff from the government. Far too often they are abused or even murdered by “boyfriends” or the mother herself. Common law is just that – an unwritten law made to turn a blind eye to what is common rather than what is right and good.
When common law became common for society, which to some degree accepted such situations for the children’s sake, other atrocities increased a thousand fold for the children. In days gone by, this living arrangement was called, “shacking up;” which actually describes “living on lust” pretty well. Today, a more “civilized” term is “living together.” The courts are back logged as a result of this living arrangement – dead beat dads who do not support their children, and selfish mothers who are still looking for love in all the wrong places to find a replacement for the previous failed relationship.
4. Sex has even become distorted: “What becomes common becomes acceptable.” Why would anyone want to settle for that is common when they could have that which is exceptional? Society uses sex for everything in people’s day to day lives.
Sex sells… Sex sells soap powders or any other product on the market. The appeal for that was discovered years ago at automobile shows where they would use lovely young women to adore the automobile; dressed “sexy” and posing in “sexy” positions on and around the cars. Today it is rare to see a TV show or movie that does not exhibit erotic forms of sex. Just take a look at the twenty-four hour news stations at all the lovely young ladies wearing short skirts and sitting with their legs crossed allowing the viewers to see up those skirts far beyond decency.
5. Sex without love and commitment destroys lives: This kind of destruction is not limited to just those who engage in pre-marital sex but to the lives of so many others around them. One of the biggest problems with teen crimes and violence can be directed pinned to no father in the home or in the lives of children born out of wedlock. As the saying goes, “Anyone can be a daddy; it takes someone special to be a father.”
What this country needs are fathers who are married to the mothers and living according to God’s principles to bring up their children. It also needs mothers to be responsible for their children and to bring them up living as good examples before them.
Far too many grandparents have to raise their grandchildren who were carelessly brought into this world with no thought of their welfare. And speaking of welfare, taxpayers are going bankrupt in that department. And far too many children are living in unfavorable foster care – sometimes in abusive situations as well.
Dear Ladies: The old adage, “You’ve come a long way baby,” once used in a cigarette commercial, indicating that women could do anything a man could do is truly a misnomer. Women have advanced in the business world and in the world of finance, etc. – but they have fallen centuries behind in what God intended for them in other ways. A working mother has two careers instead of one, and both must suffer in some ways. And like the commercial says, women have come a long way in catching up with men by reaching their numbers of having lung cancer.
Many women, as well as men, have become slaves to sexual desire which is so potent that it becomes a god to them. They worship anything to do with sex and for a few moments of physical pleasure they sell their souls for eternity. And the sad thing is that not all women caught in this web of lies and deceit are looking for satisfaction of sexual desire, but they are looking for the very thing that God honors among couples – real love, companionship, commitment, and security. Pre-marital sex will never satisfy like God intended because intercourse is more than a physical act, but intended as an emotional and even a spiritual bond.
Women in some cases have become nothing more than a hat rack for some men – just a place to hang their hat. And you know the old adage – “Home is where you hang your hat.” Far too many women allow men to hang their hats in their home and sadly expect theirs is the only place that they hang their hat. Emotions become enraged and sometimes those emotions bring about awful consequences in the name of jealously and revenge.
6: Abortion: Abortion is abhorrence to God. Only God can give life, and only God should take life. The ramifications of abortion cannot be fully explained and appreciated here except to say that more than 50 million American babies died before taking their first breath. America has pity for the children coming into this country illegally where a law has been passed to legally, in the eyes of man’s law, kill the innocent pre-born. But as with all sin, God can forgive those who are repentant and can restore them through His eternal love.
7. Divorce: Often when sex is the only thing that brings a couple to the altar, divorce is hanging in the balance from day one. If that is all the marriage is based on, and when that waxes and wanes, there is nothing left. There was a cartoon showing two old ladies leaving the church saying, “Wasn’t that beautiful as a first wedding?” That indicated volumes in just a simple drawing and a few words. Marriage is taken so lightly that many go into it with the attitude that “If it doesn’t work, we can always get a divorce.” It is kinda like taking a spin around the block in a new car that you do not intend to buy.”
8: Disillusionment: When a relationship is based solely on sex; both partners are disillusioned. They find that the real world is not a TV show or movie and that sex is not a bond that will hold a relationship together. It just won’t.
9. Misplaced sexual expressions: Wanting to be noticed, admired, and attractive to the opposite sex causes people to express themselves in provocative and sometimes in dangerous ways. Many people with low self-esteem – not knowing who they are in Christ – come to despise themselves as they measure themselves against the “beautiful” people of the world and do ungodly things to themselves and thus to others. Facebook is a prime example of this. While this medium can be a wonderful tool of communication; it can also become a feeding frenzy for those who see themselves or others only as a sexual entity. Let a woman be hurt in a relationship and the next thing she does is to set out to “improve” her appearance to make her more desirable. Women are so special to God, and He approves of them already… just the way they are. Because God is Love.
10: Lust can become a disease in and of itself: Overindulgence in sex or the lack of real human love can lead to many forms of self-destruction – drugs, alcohol, anger, anorexia, bulimia; distortions to the body, self-exploitation, and behavior.
Lust is the cause of child abuse and rapes as it becomes more than just the act itself, but act of aggression and power over others since the perpetrator feels powerless in themselves. Not being able to cope with that powerlessness, they attack those who are weaker than themselves.
Sex is the greatest tool that the evil one, satan, uses today to destroy the lives of people; but Jesus came to overcome the world and to let us know that we can have life, and we can have it more abundantly. The evil one has blinded the eyes of people into thinking that they can create happiness and love for a price – when all the time it is a free gift of God.
Yes, God did create the act of sexual love; but not the distortion that the evil one has thrown at society as people stand ready to accept anything that “feels good,” for the moment; without considering the consequences of wrong choices in the long run.
With the advent of sex education – wrong education – a huge number of teens will engage in sex with someone before the age of sixteen. Parents and the churches sat by and did not teach Biblical principles and education in the home and church to counter what this generation has been taught, “If it feels good – do it.”
For an in-depth, and expository, study on Biblical sex you might find this site “Biblical Principles of Sex” by Faith Church helpful.
Next week: True love waits
In the previous segments of this series, love is explained in many ways. You can catch up on these.
Part one: Looking for love in all the wrong places
Part two: Absence of love – What love is not
Part three: What is the basis of real love?
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