Thursday, September 6, 2012

One Problem with Lust

I found this quote on the problem of lust very enlightening. It is from Douglas Wilson and his book, Reforming Marriage. It will never be satisfied. It will keep building and building and growing and growing.
"The foundation is this: in order to be under the blessing of God we must accept our creaturely limitations. If they are accepted wisely, the limitations themselves are recognized as a blessing. 
What are some of these limitations? A man is limited to one woman. A man is limited to a finite amount of sexual pleasure. He is limited, and all such limitations are a great blessing from God. In short, it is good to be a creature. The way we think has long-term consequences; this, and only this, is a defense of lasting sexual pleasure. 
Men in rebellion against God have trouble understanding the importance of the distinction between the Creator and the creature. This is because all rebellion against God is rooted, ultimately, in a desire to replace Him. Men do not just want to flee from the authority of God; they want to topple Him. This may not mean there is always a conscious desire to overthrow the Creator. Nor does it mean that God is worried about the possibility of their success. But it certainly means that, whether conscious or not, these unsuccessful attempts to 'become as God' will result in chaos in the lives of the rebels. And when rebellion is sexual in nature, the chaos is sexual in nature.
The central problem with such lust is the steadfast refusal to tolerate limits. As mentioned above, lust is the desire to receive from a finite thing what only the infinite can provide. It seeks to elevate the created (sexual activity) to the level of God. But because we are finite, our sexual pleasures are also finite. This means that there has to be an end to it. But lust is incapable of saying 'enough.' There must always be something else, something more. There is pleasure--but never satisfaction. It is for this reason that lust will always lead to various perversions. Once all the possible pleasure has been squeezed out of the finite sexual limits given to us by God, lust demands new territory. The fact that the new territory is hostile to true sexual pleasure does not deter the person controlled by his lust. He charges ahead, little knowing that he is destroying the thing he worships" (114).


  1. Can you please expound on this statement: "He charges ahead, little knowing that he is destroying the thing he worships"? Thank you.

  2. I think what Wilson is saying is that lust is the worship of self. At the same time, lust destroys. So when someone is so consumed by lust, they charge forward in their life, worshipping themselves, but not really fully grasping that they are destroying themselves.

    That's how I understood it. What did you think? How did you take it?


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