The Question of Lust
Time and time again the opponents of masturbation cheerfully begin by saying that the Bible is silent on Solo Sex, or that masturbation is not mentioned as a sin. That’s a good beginning; now if they would only stop there. But they don’t. Don’t be deceived by their smiles, they are just warming up. They then go on to say that while masturbation is not a sin, “lust” is. Since it is almost impossible to crank one out without provoking oneself to what they call “lust,” ipso facto, masturbation can rarely committed in a non sinful way.
This means that the real issue is lust, pure and simple.
If only such writers, in fact if only most of the Christian church, would do some non biased research and thinking about that most emotionally loaded of all words. After all God does say some strong things about it. To look on a woman with lust in your heart is a sin. In God’s eyes it is as if we had committed an immoral act with that person.
Matthew 5:28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (NKJV)
Ok, so that means this is a serious, no nonsense issue. But does every man alive need to be ever vigilant over his virtue, living in a constant state of repentance lest he “enjoy the view” of some passing female with a fine form, lest he have a spark of desire arise in his loins, lest he linger in that state of potential peril for more than a moment? After all, we are told that a happenstance moment of admiration may be ok, but a second look is this most pernicious of all sins. “You cannot help if the bird lands on your head, but you can prevent it from building a nest in your hair.” These and many other bits and pieces of homespun “wisdom” are what have passed for Christian teaching on the subject.
Fortunately, none of these “bits of wisdom” is really true. One does not fall into “lust” as easily as we have all been given to understand. (Thanks be to Almighty God!) Simple sexual desire, even when we linger in that state for more than a moment IS NOT LUST.
Did you get that?
Do I need to say it again?
Sexual desire, no matter how strong or how long is not the forbidden lust. Yes, it can lead to it, but in itself it is not lust, and it is not wrong.
What kind of a God would He be to make us men, and make us the way we are, with the capacity to enjoy the sight of the female form, just to keep us in a continual state of internal siege? Surely God is more kind and loving than that.
He certainly is, but our understanding of the word lust has fallen short. We need to take a closer look at what that word really means.
Lust Takes Intent
Lust takes much more effort and intent than a glance, or a lingering look. It is not a sin into which we stumble accidentally, through a happenstance glance. No; to lust after a woman means moving beyond admiration, beyond looking, beyond looking again, and even beyond the experience of strong sexual desire. To lust means that we have intent in our hearts. Intent is the key word. Strong desire plus intent equals lust. If I could find a way to be with her and commit a sinful act, I would do so. It is in my heart. I am not just enjoying the view, or experiencing normal human stimulation. I want her. I am actively coveting my neighbours wife (or daughter, or sister.) I want to commit adultery or fornication with her. All that is stopping me is opportunity. I am separated by time and space from the object of my attention and affection. But remove those two things and I would take unto myself that which is not mine to enjoy and use the opportunity to commit sin.
Thanks be to God, this means it is a whole lot harder to engage in lustful activity than we have been given to understand.
This has far reaching ramifications. If the only thing making Solo Sex sinful is the presence of Lust, then we are now free to go ahead and enjoy to our heart’s content. It also means most of us can relax more in the company of attractive women.
I am sure that these facts will make a lot of people very, very happy. But I doubt that it will convince the determined opponents of Solo Sex.
(I sigh, one last time.)
I have also written on this subject on the following pages: