Wow! What a question!
As we dive into this complex subject we need to acknowledge some basic truths that some may wish to deny, and some may wish to ignore. One truth that we must build upon is that all humans both male and female come into the world with a natural desire for sexual needs to be met.
Unless there is a sexual pathology one’s natural hunger or desire will be awakened. Some as early as Grade School, and many more in their pre-teen years. By the age of 18-20 sexual appetites may be in full force. The desire and appetite is not within itself wrong or sinful.
However, in the culture wherein we live, sexual restraints are almost non-existent, and sex is therefore expected, or in some cases demanded. And so, the ability to differentiate between Lust and Love is blurred, misunderstood, or misused.
In general Cohabitation is running about 50% in our area, with a failure rate closer to 70%. And, church going people are not doing much better. With the absence of sexual Moorings those who are not of this persuasion are deemed to be have some kind of Phobia, or abnormality. Some who are of a strong sexual integrity are labeled as dangerous, or at least someone to avoid.
Back to our original question, “is it love or lust,” my answer is….both. But we need to differentiate between a strong sexual appetite, and uncontrolled self-centered lust. There are those who believe, and teach their children that it is wrong for their children to have any strong desires before they are married. And then, all of a sudden they become normal and can be a warm blooded husband or wife. Some children receive strong anti-sex teaching that goes into their marriage, and as a result may have serious relational issues.
One of the outstanding characteristics of a person in the grips of lust is that they have little or no respect for their opposites.We would define this person to be self-centered, and probably in more ways than one.
However, we do not wish to kill, destroy or even weaken the normal appetites of individuals who enter into marriage. To do so might result in a very dysfunctional relationship. The result could be what I call the pursue/avoid syndrome where one is pursuing and the other is avoiding. Some believe that up to 80% of couple conflicts have their origin in this scenario.
It is my personal belief that over 50% of young married couples are deeply dissatisfied with their physical relational aspect of their relationship. It is also my personal belief that married couples should have a passionate physical relationship I must also say that females are created to have as great a thrill physically as their male counterparts . However, good, high character husbands may fall into the cultural lies that sex is all, or at least mostly about him. It is also my opinion that few females ever reach their full God-given sexual potential.
All of these scenarios can at least contribute to affairs and eventual fall of the marriage.
Before I delve into “what is love,” I wish to make a clear statement in reference to sexual activity in our High School students.
When a girl gives in to her own needs and then is pressured by a guy, she will be labeled as “loose,” a “whore,” or a slut. She may even be date raped or get pregnant.
And what happens with the guy? He rides off into the sunset to find another conquest and leaving her behind to suffer the consequences. Yes, I do hold the guy responsible for protecting his Girlfriend, especially protecting her from himself.
What About Real Love?
I know of no better place to find what love really is than the Corinthian
Love is patient and kind
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
Love is not rude
Love does not demand it’s own way
Love is not irritable and keeps no record of when it was wronged
It is never glad about injustice but rejoices in truth
Love never gives up, never loses faith and is always hopeful
Love endures through every circumstance
Love will last forever