• Devon Basch

Day 11: Freedom from Lust, for True Desire (From a Man's Perspective)

Editor’s Note: TOB is the abbreviation for Pope St. John Paul II’s book “Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body” Pauline Press Before my wife and I were married I struggled with lust-- particularly with pornography. In the beginning of my efforts to free myself from that addiction, a friend of mine shared the idea of redirecting my lust and desire for porn towards my fiancé... bad idea. I didn’t realize just how bad until I began lusting after the incredible woman that I was about to marry. Not to mention that it didn’t help much, if at all, with the porn problem. In “redirecting” my lust, I reduced a beautiful woman with a wonderful mind and an individual perspective to a 2-dimensional visual stimulation for my own taking. Subconsciously it oppressed me into believing things like ‘her thoughts don’t really matter’ and ‘she’s just like every other woman out there.’ “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, NIV). Even when looking at my fiancé lustfully, I was committing adultery with her—my future wife—because I was reducing her to the level of her body, one of many bodies. How could I have respect and mobilize my efforts for someone that I didn’t value as an individual? Thankfully the Lord began to work in my heart—slowly at first, as I worked hard to overcome my addiction to porn. I progressed and my sight began to clear as I gained a more whole view of my wife in our relationship. As we came to the night of our consummation, we almost didn’t know how to approach each other. God had radically changed our sexual desire towards one another! We both sought to give ourselves to the other, ‘to rediscover our lost fullness’ as a couple committed to ‘the spousal meaning of our bodies.’ We want to learn how to give love with our bodies, not just take. We are still learning how to do this! Jesus is helping us as our 7-month-old marriage has given us many opportunities to make leaps and bounds in more whole relating. This Fall, we have been reading Christopher West’s ‘Our Bodies Tell God’s Story’—an overview of TOB and a beautiful perspective of God’s original plan for love. As I read it, the Lord is increasing my clarity and envisioning me to see the “whole person” – this special woman I met 3 years ago. Sure, I still struggle with lust. But my real love for a real person is growing every day. ‘Jesus, rouse the gift we are. Help us to attend to the treasure you summon from the trash. Free us from our constant faultfinding and free us for vestiges of paradise in our memories and in our lives today. We refuse the liar who tries to rewrite Eden out of our histories. Unite us to the home of our original dignity.’

‘Jesus, have mercy on us as Your Church. We have abused weaker members, including children, and protected ourselves. We have violated the most vulnerable. In Your mercy, free us to superabound with justice. Grant us Kingdom discernment and courage to reform ourselves. May our repentance grant us Kingdom authority to strengthen the weak, discipline violators, and restore the violated.’

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