So, how do we make the long journey from the belittling experience of lust, and into the fullness of the desire for which we were made? We begin by recognizing that the journey, ultimately, is a journey into the heart of the God who is the creator of our desires.
Delight in the Lord, and he will grant the desires of your heart.We must learn to complete our desires for one another by allowing them to draw us into an even greater desire. When we gaze in awesome wonder upon the splendid creature who is the object of our affections, we should realize that she didn’t make herself so wonderful. Her creator did that. Her creator made her so sublime and so loveable. The truth, which we are capable of recognizing and embracing, is that in desiring to love one another, we are being drawn into the heart of love himself, the God who is love.
— Psalm 37
Our problem is not that we desire too much, but that we desire too little.
God of Desire
We are being drawn right up into paradise. For not all of us will marry, but all of us are called to the great nuptial union in heaven, the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Over and over again scripture describes the heavenly union of God and his people by comparing it to the union of a bride and bridegroom.
When we long for a mate, we are also longing for paradise. And so we will not repress or deny these desires, but we will untwist and redeem them. We will overcome our shame; we will be restored to wholeness; we will know what it means to have been created in sex, and to have been created, every one of us, as male or female, a sexual creature from the beginning. “Man and woman he created them. In his own image he created them.”
Be Not Afraid of Desire
Yes, our culture is fallen, and has largely succumbed to lust, to desire which is not more, but much less than it ought to be. But where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Our redemption is real. God has promised to cleanse us, to restore us, to take from us our stony hearts and to give us hearts that can love. He has promised, and, if we allow him, he will do it.
We as men and women should not be afraid to get to know each other. We should not be consumed with anxiety if we begin to like each other a lot, and our desire for each other begins to grow. We should be free to discover the wonder of one another, with the confidence that in doing so we are leading each other closer to paradise.
We must untwist the lies of our twisted culture and recover what it actually means to be men and women.
Men must learn what it means to court a woman by demonstrating the virtues of honor and integrity and courage. We must show that we have the strength to be tender. We must prove that we can properly treasure the mysteries and the miracles of a woman’s body and her heart.
Women are called to recover the glory and splendor of femininity and all of the fruitful power of womanhood. Women must recognize the great gifts the Lord has bestowed upon them and engage in courtship only with men who will strive heroically, even sacrificially, to earn the privilege to share in those gifts.
It is on this road from dating to courtship to paradise that we learn what it is to live the roles the Lord has given us. We won’t learn it from rules, but by being set free from the lies which would blind us to the truth of who we are as men and women made in the image of the living God.
Dave Sloan writes and speaks across the country on GOD OF DESIRE: From Dating to Courtship to Paradise. Dave has appeared on many radio and television programs, including CNN and EWTN's Life on the Rock. His Twelve Principles Program shows how to begin every relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ, who can discover the wonder of one another without fear while growing ever closer to the God of Desire.
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