Why Not? Wednesday: Wise vs Right
Today we start a new segment here on the blog called “Why not? Wednesday.” The idea behind it is that we all have questions and thoughts that we have in our head or that we struggle with but are too afraid to put out there in front of others. I’m going to attempt to be open and honest with those questions and struggles. I’m not the only one that has them, so why not put them in front of everyone else? I hope that by doing this other people realize they’re not the only ones going through these things.
Our next series that we’re doing at FUEL is called “Best Sex Ever.” It’s our series on sexuality that we do every other year. We’re planning on it being a five week series and I’m teaching two of them. One of the topics I’m teaching on is called “Chick Magnet: What it means to be a Godly man.” The other is called, “I’ve Messed Up. Now What?”
In preparing for this series, I’ve really done a lot of internal evaluation to try and make sure that I wasn’t going to be teaching on something that I wasn’t actually living out. It’s led to some tough questions that I’ve had to answer and also to some places where God’s really showed me things that I need to work on. Through it all, one question has bounced around in my head more than anything else:
When does lust stop being lust and start being an act of love?
Before you get too confused, let me explain that to you a little more.
Right now, on January 26, 2011, I’m still considered a single person. I’m dating a great girl that I’m completely in love with and plan on marrying but, as of right now, we’re not married. We’re not even engaged yet. So, by all Biblical standards, anything sexual in nature isn’t allowed. I know that. We know that. We accept that.
With that being said, we do plan on getting married. Once we’re married everything is fair game and as my married friends will tell you, fair game is definitely worth the wait. My question has nothing to do with physically doing anything but rather the thought of doing something.
The Bible is pretty clear about lust and the significance of it. Jesus tells the people that if they look on another woman with lust in their heart then they’ve committed adultery. Simply having the thought in their mind is the equivalent of performing the action.
So does that mean that thinking about and being excited about what I will be able to do inside the confines of marriage mean that I’m guilty of having premarital sex?
I honestly don’t know. Being a dude, there are times that those thoughts instantly become lustful and go too far and I’m pretty sure that, in those times, the thoughts are sins. However, is it still a sin in those times when everything is completely enveloped in the idea of “I love this girl and she’s beautiful and God made sex for us to enjoy so when it’s ‘legal,’ I’m really looking forward to it?”
Again, I don’t know.
The thing that I do know is that while the thoughts based out of love may or may not be a sin, they can easily and sometimes very quickly move from the “love” category and into the “lust” category and when they enter that category, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re a sin. Knowing that, it’d be pretty unwise to willingly allow myself to start down a path that could quickly be wrapped in sin.
I once heard a pastor say something along the lines of this:
I can’t Biblically tell you that going on a date is wrong. I can’t Biblically tell you that walking that date to her door at the end of the night is wrong. I can’t Biblically tell you that going into her house and sitting on the couch to watch a movie is wrong. I can’t Biblically tell you that you two snuggling up against each other is wrong. What I can tell you, though, is that through a series of actions that weren’t necessarily “wrong,” you’ve put yourself one step away from something that is no doubt sin and wrong.
So while these thoughts about what I’ll be able to enjoy in marriage may or may not be wrong, they put me one step away from something that is definitely wrong. Doing what’s right, or doing what’s simply not wrong, can lead you to a place where it’s very easy to be wrong.
That’s why it’s so important for me to remember to be wise, and not right.
To be wise, and not just not wrong.
To be wise, and not unwise.
I’m going to battle this dilemma until the day that I marry Nicole. Some days I’ll win. Some days I may even lose. The important thing is to put myself in a position to win every single day.
And the only way to do that is to be wise, not right.