“Lusting after your spouse is a sin,” our pastor claimed, paraphrasing actually from something he once heard Pope John Paul II once said. My husband and I looked at each other. Uh oh, I immediately thought. I have a healthy appreciation for my husband in that way, and was afraid of what was coming next.
I thought that out of all of the people in the world, well, it was okay to be sexually attracted to my husband. But you know, the pastor, and consequently the pope were right. Once I heard the explanation, I had to completely agree that lusting after my husband was wrong.
You see, it is the distinction of the term. While I was assuming that being crazy for my husband was lust, in truth it isn’t. The explanation given is thus: lust implies an objectification of the other person. When you lust after someone, you are using them for your own selfish pleasure in disregard to the other person. A one night stand often gets its start in lust. In a marriage, however, two people should come together out of love and sharing, not out of pure lust. Sex can be an enjoyable expression of that love, and a lot of fun, of course. There is nothing wrong in being madly attracted to each other, of course.
Conventional sexual advice tells us that we should expect sex from our partners when we want it. That we should engage in it whenever our spouses want it, no matter what our own feelings are at the time. The advice is that this ensures a good sex life. But, how much more fulfilling is it when there is always love in sex and not a forced obligation on the part of one person or the other?
Sexual issues should be addressed, of course, and the reasons behind a spouse not wanting sex need to be understood. That said, we should never simply expect to be served. We have to be careful that we aren’t going over the line and treating our spouses as sex objects.