Lust Looking and Loving – sermon video audio notes – Let’s talk about the three dimensions of love. Bible students are thinking I am about to give us the three primary Greek words – agape, phileo, thelo. Nope, not today. I want to talk about a love we can all relate. This love consists of Lust, Looking, and Loving.

VALENTINE SERMON

Lusting, Looking, and Loving

By Pastor Delbert Young

Lust, Looking, and Loving

Scriptures: Matthew 5:28-30

For a church to be effective, it must deal with real issues. Jesus dealt with real issues. Today we will deal with some real issues. It will help someone. It will help your children. It’s somewhat of a tease for the upcoming series on Building A Home Or A Hell. When I teach about the family, I teach real stuff. I don’t sugarcoat. The family is serious. It is about the most serious thing you will ever do. I don’t want to be offensive, but I do want to be useful. The more things I deal with here should equate to the less you will need to deal with later.

The reason we showed the particular drama skit is because it’s the week of Valentine. Husbands, don’t forget Valentine’s day is Wednesday. Giving your wife a card would be good. Giving her candy would be special. Giving her flowers would be great. Giving her a card, a box of candy, and flowers will make it a special day for you.

Valentine’s Day History

Let me give you just a little history of where Valentine’s Day came from. The following is from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.

“Saint Valentine’s Day, a holiday honoring lovers. It is celebrated February 14 by the custom of sending greeting cards or gifts to express affection. The cards, known as valentines, are often designed with hearts to symbolize love. The holiday probably derives from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalis (February 15). The festival gradually became associated with the feast day (February 14) of two Roman martyrs, both named St. Valentine, who lived in the 3rd century. St. Valentine has traditionally been regarded as the patron saint of lovers.”

Home Not built on Loooovvvveee

Saint Valentine’s Day is a holiday honoring lovers. That’s interesting. How many of us have a lover? In two weeks we will begin our study called “Building a Home or a Hell.” In that study, we will see that “loooovvvveee” is not what a home is built upon. There will be times during the marriage when we will not “loooovvvveee” our spouse. In fact, there will be times the opposite is true. There will be times that we hate each another. So, if you attempt to build your marriage upon “loooovvvveee,” but “loooovvvveee” is not there, what happens? Hell happens, that is what happens.

Component

Though a home is not built upon love, love is a vital component of the marriage just as love is a vital component of the kingdom. The kingdom of God is not built upon love. We are to love God and love our neighbors and love our self. We are to love one another as the “new commandment” tells us. It is by love that all men know that we are his disciples. Love is important, but the kingdom in not built on love (Mat 16:1; Eph 2:20; Rev 21:14). Love is an important component of the home, but the home is not built upon love.

Today, let’s talk about the three dimensions of love. You Bible students are thinking that I am about to give us the three primary Greek words for love – agape {ag-ah’-pay}, phileo {fil-eh’-o},thelo {thel’-o}. Nope, not today. I want to talk about a love that we can all relate to. This love consists of Lusting, Looking, and Loving.

Continuum

I need to divide the platform area into three sections which will give us a picture continuum to work with. To your left will be the area of Lust. It’s the area of physical stimulation. The further toward the wall we went the more lustful we would become. If we went to the wall, we have moved into severe sexual perversion and addiction. That’s not good for a home. As we move right toward the center, we move to the section of Looking. This is the section we live in most of the time, or should live in. It’s the section of intellectual stimulation. Before we enter the section of Love, we will always travel through the section of Looking. As we continue moving to the right, we begin entering the section of Love. This is the section of spiritual stimulation. In the video skit we just watched, in which of these areas did Steve wake from his nap? He wasn’t perverted. He was just “lusty.” That’s going to happen in a marriage.

Let me describe these three areas because our understanding of this whole continuum is necessary for a proper understanding of marital Love. I say a continuum because in the adventure of love, we move around in these three areas. We can better love our spouses if we know where we are and where they are in the continuum. So, let’s get to it.

Lusting Love

When we Think of Lust, we think dark

When we think of Lust, we usually think of something that is wrong. However, if I used the word “passion” that would be okay. When we think of lust, we think of what we did as teenagers in the back seat of a car. But if a husband and a wife have fun in the backseat of a car, it’s passion. It’s still lust. When we think of Lust, we think of what happens with a man (or a woman) and a prostitute in a hotel room. But if a husband and a wife experience each other in a hotel room it’s passion.

This is not to say that Lust cannot become very dark. Lust can be rape, homosexuality, bestiality, orgies, swapping, child molestation, etc. Some homes are forced to deal with such.

Further left, less concerned

As I was preparing this, I felt to take a few minutes and discuss lust. I think the first thing that needs to be said is that all of us have some lust. It is when it goes dark that lust becomes perverted. It is in the really dark areas of lust that serious problems develop. This is why we need to see it in a continuum. The further left we move in our continuum, the more we are concerned about personal sexual gratification and the less we are concerned about the person. The object of lust is the body and sexual gratification. In direct relation with that, the further left we move, the less we care about the person that the lust is released upon. In its darkness, the lusting person doesn’t give a rip about what this man or woman believes spiritually, feels emotionally, or the intellectual ideas they carry around. They are focused into the physical and sexual dimension only. Examples of this are the rapist and child molester. The rapist cares nothing about the victim. The child molester cares nothing about the child.

Pornography

On this dark side of the continuum, the imagination works overtime creating exciting sexual escapades without having to bother with the other dimensions of the person. This is why pornography exists so heavily in our society today. Porn allows a person the privilege to tune in on the physical and sexual side of a person without ever having to mess with the rest of that person. Most people who spend a lot of time on the dark side of the lust continuum spend a certain amount of time viewing pornography. Porn feeds dark lust.

Lusts differ

One more thought here. Things, that feed one person’s lust, may not feed another’s. I know a man who enjoys looking at women in skimpy underwear and negligees. You know, the Victoria Secret type stuff. Walking down the beach and seeing beautiful women in bikinis is a real rush for him. It feeds his lust. That sort of stuff doesn’t feed the lust of most women. That is not to say they do not appreciate a guy with a good body, but usually it doesn’t feed their lust. Most women are moved from the area of Looking into the area of Lust by things like cards and candy and flowers. Why is this? Because they understand that the man has recognized them for something other than an object for sexual gratification. They realize they are seen for their intellect and that they have feelings and a life inside the body. That is why a whistle in the parking lot or a lewd comment from a man is usually a turn off to them. It’s not flattery to most women. They feel like an animal. We whistle at dogs and yell for pigs, not for women. They feel dirty and feel like an object. That doesn’t feed their lust.

Tell you a story. I was going fishing one day last year. I was going over Look Out Mountain just before daylight. I was nearly to Trenton listening to the radio FM 101. Kenny Rogers began singing his song, “Buy Me a Rose.” The song talks about all the things a man did to make his woman happy. Her reply was “Buy me a rose, call me from work, open a door for me what would it hurt. Tell me you love me by the look in your eye. These are the little things I want for the rest of my life.” I began crying. I hadn’t really done anything special for my wife in a long time. So, a little later that day when Shelia’s opened, I called Shelia’s from Nickajack lake and ordered a dozen yellow roses for Judy. Later that afternoon, I was home. Judy, Lance and Bonnie were there and the delivery person came with Judy’s roses. Judy’s first response was, “Why did you do that? You have done something wrong haven’t you?” I told her that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I just wanted to do something nice for her. I explained about the song and how it had touched me. All that was sweet, but the sweetest thing happened a few days later. We were sitting at home and a Kenny Rogers special came on. Judy said, “I hope he sings my song.” I don’t think she had heard the song before I gave her the roses, but she made certain that she did afterwards. The song became her song. It meant something special to her and moved her. I am certain too that I was well rewarded. What I told her without words by doing that was that she meant a lot to me. I was able to tell her through roses how I thought about her even when I was fishing. It moved her.

I am telling us that what feeds our lust differs. I said I know a man whose lust is fed with Victoria Secret type things. That’s not a test for me. That doesn’t feed my lust. Someone would say, “Pastor! You have lusts? I didn’t think pastors had lusts. Oh my God. My pastor has lust! He isn’t perfect.” I’m sorry. I’m not like all the other pastors in the world who are perfect. I am real and alive and breathing just like you. I can’t walk on water yet. See, if honest, we all have lust. There are different levels in every person, but still it’s there and was put there by God. When it becomes dark, it becomes a problem that must be dealt with. I believe that is why Jesus projected a kingdom principle to everyone. He said,

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Hyperbole

We are often told the first part of the previous passage, but never told the remedy. Jesus didn’t only give the problem. He gave the solution. Obviously, this person has a problem. Without being too specific, his imagination has been working overtime. He is seeing and experiencing a movie in his heart. The imagination is a powerful thing. I can’t imagine living life without my imagination, but my imagination can lead me to the dark side of lust. In the passage, the man is seeing the woman as an object and not as a whole person. He is in lust.

Jesus said to identify what causes the problem and cut it off. He wasn’t speaking about self mutilation. What is he saying? He is using a hyperbole to tell us the solution. We must cut off whatever it is that feeds our lust. If the fuel for lust is the images in magazines, videos, movies, Internet, or walking down the beach when beautiful women are out in bikinis’ cut off the supply. Jesus said, “If those images feed your lust, go blind to those images.” If your arm is reaching for the car keys to drive you to a place that feeds your lust, Jesus says, “Respond as an amputee.” If your feet are trying to take you to a lust-feeding facility, go lame. You must do drastic things to cut off the supply of whatever feeds the lust.

Have you ever wondered how Jesus knew to do this? The Bible says that Jesus was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15). Jesus was real. The word became flesh. Jesus was just like you and just like me. The difference was that he knew when to cut it off. We are still learning.

Though Victoria Secret type stuff doesn’t bother me personally and walking down the beach doesn’t feed my lust (they really don’t), I cannot go into the wrong movie theater where lust-producing images are hurled at my mind from a big screen while I sit in the dark. That’s a problem for me. I must be very careful about the web sites that I visit. I must know when to cut it off. Judy knows my areas and that’s a good thing. She helps me cut them off.

I don’t know what feeds your lust. I don’t want to know. I told you one that feeds mine. Or, maybe you are perfect and don’t have one. I bet you can walk on water too.

Love of Lust – proper

That which feeds my lust does not feed my wife’s lust. Whatever that it was that was feeding Steve’s lust in the drama clip was not feeding Paula’s. A man’s lust may be fed by images. A woman’s lust is fed with cards and candy and flowers and conversation. In other words, she doesn’t want to be an object. A marriage can have and should have some lustful (okay, passionate) moments. That will be one of the lessons on our Building a Home or a Hell series. The Bible says that marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled (Heb 13:4).

Let’s move onto the Looking section.

Looking Love

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh upon a….

Jesus said there are appropriate and inappropriate ways of Looking at people. When we look appropriately, we find our self in the center of our continuum looking in the correct direction. When we look inappropriately, we begin looking to the left toward lust. It is extremely important to Look properly at people and especially our spouses.

The center Looking section is where we live most of our lives. There is the continuum where we visit the left and visit the right. However, the center is the way we are supposed to relate to people. I call it “Looking love.” It is when we Look at one another appropriately.

In this section, a man sees a woman and a woman sees a man as a multidimensional person. In other words, we look at each other as having an intellectual side as well as a body. In this section, we are interested in their soul dimension. In this section, people look at each other and see an intellect rather than an object. We are interested in the person’s life. Their husband or wife and children are important. Where does the person work? What do they enjoy doing as hobbies and life? Where did they go to school? What hurts and wounds do they carry inside? What are their dreams and aspirations. Have you ever met someone that it seemed you could talk to twenty-four hours a day? If so, then that person is not an object for sexual gratification. If so, then you are heading in the direction of real love.

Sir, your wife needs you to talk. She needs to know that she is more than the person who feeds you and washes your clothes and raises your children. She needs to know that you know that she is more than an object. Wife, your husband needs you to talk about his dreams and hurts. Sometimes you may need to pull it out of him. We guys have this macho thing we must get past, but once we get past it, we will cry and reveal a side of ourselves that you didn’t know was there. “Looking love” is wonderful and necessary for a home.

Loving Love

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

There is a love that the Bible talks about that is not Lust and more than Looking. It’s a Love in which we see one another as more than bodies and intellect. It is a Love in which we see each other as a spiritual being. It’s a part of the proper Love continuum. In the arena of Lust, we are interested in sexual gratification. In the arena of Looking, we are interested in intellect. In the arena of Love, we are interested in the spirit. If we truly love our spouse, then we are concerned about their spirit.

The Bible says that God is love (1Jo 4:8) and that God is a spirit (Joh 4:24). It says that if we really love him and worship him, then we do it in spirit and in truth (Joh 4:24). In this section, the body is no important. In this section, the intellect is transcended. Temporal things are meaningless. Eternal things mean everything. You have heard it said, “A family that prays together stays together.” That is partially true. I have seen some that did not. However, it is true that a family that is truly interested in each other’s spirit will stay together. Everything else – jobs, money, lusts, arguments, personalities, relatives, and on and on – becomes secondary when we enter this section of Love.

For a proper Love continuum, husbands need to love their wives this way also. We can love them in lust and love them in looking, but we must also love them in spirit.

Our understanding of this whole continuum that I have discussed is vital to the health of our marriages and homes.

1.  1.”Saint Valentine’s Day,” Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. Â© 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.

Other Related Sermons: