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Ask A Pastor: Lust, the Everyday Struggle?

Question:

Lust: I understand it says in the Bible, if you can’t control yourself then get married 1 Corinthians 7:1-9. How do you deal with the struggle of wanting to meet ‘the one’ so bad that it affects putting the Lord first in your life and your social skills with others of the opposite sex? I recognize what scripture says, ex. Matt. 5:28, 1 Cor 6:13 & 19-20…

Answer:

You are correct. The Bible does teach that if you cannot control yourself you should get married. But I hope your desire to marry is not motivated – solely or even primarily – by the desire to satisfy your sexual urges. A truly Biblical marriage is one which is founded on love and respect for each other and a shared faith in and love for God. If you do not see that, then you have a wrong view of marriage.


I am not sure what you mean by “wanting to meet ‘the one’ so bad that it “affects putting the Lord first in your life.” If you mean that finding a mate is becoming more important to you than cultivating a relationship with God then there is a problem. The first commandment says “You shall have no other gods before me.” That means we are not to find ultimate meaning, pleasure, joy and satisfaction in anyone or anything besides God. If you think that a mate will give you ultimate meaning, joy, pleasure and satisfaction in this life you are worshipping an idol and that means you need to repent.


Having said that, I understand that finding a mate can be difficult – especially if the options are limited (which in our circles is usually the case). I would say: start putting God first in your life. Start living for Him. If you do, you will find that everything else in life – including finding a mate – will not be as important (or at least not as important as you now think). In the meantime, keep laying this desire before the Lord. If it is His will for you to be married, He will bring it to pass. And do not try to satisfy your sexual desires in illegitimate ways. It will not satisfy you and only make you feel empty and guilty. Learn like the apostle Paul to be “content” with your station and calling in life (Philippians 4:11). The Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs wrote a book on this subject called “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.” You can order it through Reformed Book Services.


I am also not sure what you mean when you say that your desire to find a mate is affecting your social skills with others of the opposite sex. This is not an advice column (and I am no Ann Landers), but if what you are saying is that you are flirting with members of the opposite sex in an effort to attract them, you are going about it the wrong way. Be yourself. And trust in the Lord. If you flirt, you are not only leading others (including yourself) into temptation, you are projecting a ungodly image before others.

Pastor Jack


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