You are a guy, and a beautiful girl walks into the room. In a nanosecond you size up the situation: simple but modest clothing, a kind voice and a million-dollar smile. Yep. She's definitely a woman, and you are attracted.
You are a girl, and a handsome guy walks into the room. Your brain tells you that he's good-looking, but you tell yourself to be careful because he may also be a jerk. So you watch carefully as he treats everyone with respect, and then he begins paying attention to you. Oh, no. Now what are you going to do? You are attracted to this guy.
The above scenarios have been playing out for a long time. The reason they keep happening over and over again is because this is the way God created us. Normally we tend to be attracted to the opposite sex. Reflecting this understanding, God explained from the very beginning that "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife" (Genesis 2:24).
This natural attraction of a man to a woman and a woman to a man is what leads to marriage—the only sexual relationship approved by God. The apostle Paul described any other sexual union as being immoral and "against nature" (Romans 1:20-27).
We all know that it takes a man and a woman to have a baby, so it's no surprise that the husband-wife relationship is referred to as a natural union. These natural unions are God-ordained and intended to be pleasurable and, at the same time, sustain the population. Marriage is truly a priceless gift from our Creator that's good for us and good for society at large!
But sadly, this natural attraction for the opposite sex has also led to a great deal of sin. Not only is it sinful to have sex prior to marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18) and sinful to have sex with someone other than one's husband or wife (Exodus 20:14), Jesus also said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
So what's the difference between lust and natural attraction? How do we control our minds when we see a beautiful girl or a handsome guy?
The answer is boundaries. Natural attraction can easily morph into lust if there are no boundaries. God's boundaries regarding sex keep us safe and secure. They protect our hearts and our bodies for our future mates. After we are married, they protect our unions. They help us understand that seeing a beautiful girl or a handsome guy is not a sin. And they help us understand that we can't entertain sinful thoughts.
In this issue we examine the subject of love versus infatuation, as well as dating and the popularity of romance novels. We hope these articles will help you learn where to establish your boundaries! VT