I’m surprised at how easily our eyes can wander.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
I should alter that to read how easily “my” eyes can wander. Is it a universal failing in all men? All women? Just me? Probably all of us. Lusting is about trying to grab onto or grasp after something that we don’t have. But of course it is sexual in nature so it’s more than wanting something we don’t have – it’s about wanting someone we don’t have. And it’s about objectifying people and seeing them as something that would bring satisfaction into our lives if we could have that person in our life, especially in a sexual way.
Lusting is not confined to single people but also to those of us who are married, which brings us to this passage. In our marriages as we live out our roles of husbands and wives, our eyes can easily be diverted through lust to other people – thinking that if we were married to him or her then our marriages would be better and our lives more fulfilled. But this passage encourages our eyes to be diverted in a different way – to see our marriages against the backdrop of a bigger marriage: that of Christ and his bride the church. He loved her; he gave himself up for her; he washed her that she might become radiant.
And here is the challenge for us husbands. And here is the antidote to our lusting. We are to love our wives by laying down our lives for them in the way we love them. Like Jesus did.
For the married and the single it’s about seeing people as Jesus does – he gave himself up for the church by dying for us. We also need to die to our lusting that through the help of the Holy Spirit we might rise to love and intimacy. That means seeing people as God sees them and getting to know them as real people created in God’s image. It means treating all people with respect and love regardless of how sexually attractive they may or may not appear to us.
Head: How often do you find yourself distracted by the sexual attractiveness of others?
Heart: What are some promises of God you can ‘feed’ on that will transform your feelings around the topic of lust in your life?
Hands: Are there new habits in your life you can cultivate to better love other people, be they your spouse or your friends?
Prayer: We thank you for all you have given us in Jesus. We thank you we are much loved by you. We thank you for the relationships you have given us in our lives right now. We ask that you would help us to love others as Christ loved the church. We also thank you that you have made us sexual beings. Help us to honour you and others in that area of our lives and to be satisfied with the circumstances of our lives as we seek to love all people with Christ-like love.
A song to listen to: This Life I Live
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the God With Us – Matthew series. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the Grow Dailys over the years.