COUPLES WORKSHOP - Chapter 11
LOVE AND LUST
Many couples live together without a lifelong commitment cemented by a legal covenant. They often claim they are trying to find out how they fit together before trying marriage. This is a disaster and leads to great unhappiness. The man does not take the responsibilities of leadership and providing and protecting. The woman does not take the responsibilities of homemaking and obeying and helping a man meet his responsibilities in his vocational calling. Their relationship is twisted and distorted by the sin of fornication (premarital sex). They live together in lust just irresponsibly using and exploiting each other in a selfish way. They call this love but do not know what the word really means. When I was a young man dating, I told girls I loved them. I would tell them this not because I was ready to make a lifelong commitment but because I wanted to use them for my own pleasure with no commitment involved. I wanted a "one-night stand" but not marriage. I lied to those girls to get what I wanted. I did not know what real love was.
Many couples that court in this manner lay a terrible foundation for their marriage later. The guilt from breaking God's law and being liable for judgment brings fear and anger toward each other. Trust and respect erode away in their relationship. Suspicion, doubt, and fear begin to creep in and destroy acceptance. Anger and depression begin to take away their happiness with each other. Their whole relationship is built on self-gratification and not trying to please the other but only self. Lust, not love, reigns in their living quarters.
The courtship leading up to marriage is to help a couple learn to structure their relationship God's way-for the man to learn to lead responsibly and the woman to learn to follow responsibly. God made the woman dependent (her affection would be unto her husband and he would rule over her) and the man independent. The man is to be the aggressor, initiator, provider, protector. The woman is to be the "help-meet" to help the man meet his responsibilities. She is the responder to his initiating activities. This is especially seen in the way their bodies are engineered and adapted to sexual intercourse. The man is normally turned on by his eyes, and a woman is usually aroused by touch and foreplay. He initiates and she responds. When a couple is married, their bed is not defiled like the bed of those who sleep together unmarried. However, if the married couple has slept together in their courtship (fornication), they bring the problems of unrepented sin into their bedroom.
If the man has abused his leadership in the courtship by seducing her, then he hates himself for what he has done. She hates herself for giving in to him, and her natural rebellion is aggravated at the sinful exploitation of her body. This is a disastrous basis for their intimacy after marriage. God made sex beautiful in marriage when the couple has waited and controlled themselves before marriage. Sex is based on trust, respect, mutual attraction, and unselfish love. The husband is patient, tender, and gentle with his bride. He restrains his desires until she is ready. His desire is to please her and arouse her so that she may respond and enjoy and have a climax to crown his joyful leadership. She surrenders to him in loving abandonment trusting that he will not hurt but caress and arouse her for her pleasure and not just his.
What a contrast this is with the typical courtship and marriage that is based on fornication. When they are married, the wife does not trust her husband because he did not restrain himself with her. She suspects he will not restrain himself with other women he meets. His guilt weakens his leadership. She is more rebellious over having been taken advantage of, and it is harder for her to submit to his overtures. A husband who has selfishly indulged his sexual desires before marriage is often much more impatient in bed, cutting short the foreplay for her and thinking only of his own pleasure. This aggravates her rebellion, and it is much harder for her to surrender to his overtures. Her body is tense, so it is much more difficult for her to have a climax. Any current tensions and problems that are going unresolved between them make matters even worse in the marriage bed. His selfish love chills her affection for him. The disillusionment sets in. Sexual counselors deal with the superficial techniques of what is needed to bring a climax but are unable to deal with the sins of the heart that caused the problems in the first place.
A Biblical counselor pinpoints the husband's sins of the flesh and helps him come to grips with it. The man takes responsibility for his sin and confesses it to the Lord and changes his ways with God's help. He admits to his wife how he has wronged her and asks her forgiveness. He asks the Lord to give him unselfish love for his wife and to help him learn to please her and guide and protect her and not just use her for his own passion, but to help her to become the woman God wants her to be. The Lord helps him to stop being "naughty boy" needing a mother and become a man to lead in the home as the Lord teaches him wisdom and self control.
Sexual Lust Outside of Marriage Exposed:
Matthew 5:28 "Whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (KJV).
Ephesians 5:2-5 "And walk in love-esteeming and delighting in one another-as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a slain offering and sacrifice to God (for you). But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity ...must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints (God's consecrated people)...For be sure of this, that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life ...has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."
Galatians 5:16-20 " ...Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust (craving and desires) of the flesh (human nature without God)....Now the works of the flesh are manifest ...Adultery, fornication (premarital sex), uncleanness (impurity), lasciviousness (lustful eye for the girls)" (KJV).
Sexual Love Inside of Marriage Enjoyed:
Romans 15:2-3 "Let every one of us please his neighbor (including our spouse) for his good to edification for even Christ please not Himself ..."(KJV).
1 Corinthians 6:3-5 "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband....For the wife does not have (exclusive) authority and control over her own body, but the husband (has his rights); likewise also the husband does not have (exclusive) authority and control over his body, but the wife (has her rights). Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other (of your due marital rights), except perhaps by mutual consent for a time ...lest Satan tempt you (to sin) through your lack of restraint of sexual desire" (AB).
Hebrews 13:4 "Let marriage be held in honor-esteemed worthy, precious, (that is,) of great price and especially dear-in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept honored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste (all guilty of sexual vice) and adulterous" (AB).
Proverbs 5:18-21 " ...rejoice with the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe (tender, gentle, attractive); let her bosom satisfy you at all times; and always be transported with delight in her love. Why should you, my son, be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray? For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He (Who would have us live soberly, chastely and godly) carefully weighs all man's goings" (AB).
Have I had love or lust for my spouse?
Have I built on the wrong foundations in my marriage?
Do I seek to please my spouse or myself in the marriage bed?
Preface, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12,
Ephesians 5: 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 5: 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.