"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." –Matt 5:27-28
Jesus speaks of adultery here and completely changes the game by telling us that adultery is a matter of the heart not of the body. If we turn to something other than our spouse in our heart, whether through mental or visual images, we have sinned against our spouse. Our husband will never be the strong, confident, and pampering man of our fantasies. Our wife will never have the sexual drive of a man and live to please us. These things are not real, they are a lie, and our spouses were never meant or designed to be these things. The more we give in to the lie, the more we miss out on the truth, and the lie begins to erode away at our lives until everything that was meant to be a blessing turns into a curse. I like the straightforward way Proverbs says it. “But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself” (Pro 6:32). Sexual and fanciful erotic expectations have destroyed countless marriages, torn apart homes, and left people broken and hurting.
The problem is that in our world, and even in the church, love has become synonymous with sex. We believe that our spouse is meant to be sexually objectified and to fulfill our wildest fantasies that are already in our head. When they fail to meet the demands of our well established fantasies then we “fall out of love” with them as if love is a balancing beam of sexuality. Sex and the fulfillment of our sexual fantasies then, have become to many the primary purpose of our spouse. This is not how God designed sex, and it has nothing to do with love at all. While I don’t have time to talk of love in due assiduousness, let me speak to sex. God designed sex to bring us closer to our spouse not closer to our fantasies. The purpose for sex, besides the obvious reproduction purpose, is to promote the unity of the husband and wife. In Genesis Adam speaks of marriage saying….
23 “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. -Gen 2:23–25
Now that’s sexy. Adam here comes to a profound realization. So profound, that God believes it should be written down in His Word for the ages. God made woman from man to show us that man and woman are designed to be one thing. Separate parts, but one thing. Every physical and emotional need that we have as a man is met in the woman, and likewise, every physical and emotional need that we have as women is met in the man. Not in the fantasy, but in the flesh and blood of our other half. These needs are not always met perfectly, or as well as we want, but they are the only ones that can meet those needs legitimately as God designed. If our fantasies are governing our sexual appetites, then our spouse will always under deliver, and the same fantasies will be a wedge in the relationship to drive them apart. On the other hand, if we are looking to our spouse and we see them trying, even imperfectly, to selflessly meet our physical and emotional needs, this will draw us closer to them than we ever thought possible. Those deeper spiritual and emotional needs that our spouse can’t provide for are provided through Christ who relates to us as a spouse (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:24, Rev 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
If that is sex, then what is love? Well for that you have to come to church on Sunday ;-). In the meantime, I would say, it is important to evaluate what you are reading and watching. Are they things that are meant to fulfill a need or perceived need? Are they fuel for fantasy? God has designed husbands for wives and wives for husbands for a reason. It is in this marriage boundary that the only pure and holy expression of sexuality exists. It is not meant for videos, books, or even boyfriends and girlfriends. Anything other than the real thing completely misses the point. We should always consider these things as believers who are meant to live blamelessly in the midst of a world which has such dramatically destructive views of sexuality.