[From Noel] Yes. 😉 I highly recommend it; but perhaps I should explain first. It all depends on what you mean by ‘lust’. If you have in mind a dehumanizing selfish urge to dominate in an abusive way then no, absolutely not. But if you mean “lust,” in the Oxford Dictionary sense of the word: “to have a strong sexual desire,” then yes, it is a Biblical and God honouring thing to lust after your own spouse.
God made marriage, and God made sex for the context of marriage. God intended you to have passionate desires for your spouse alone. This is what is meant in Gen 2:27 when God invented marriage. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The unity and singularity of marriage is meant to model the singular and exclusive relationship we were meant to have with God. That’s why Paul calls the church (collectively) the bride of Christ (Eph 5:22-23).
Feelings of sexual desire should be cherished and cultivated (within the appropriate context of course) in your marriage. Sex is not something dirty nor is it something only intended for procreation. Like all other relational needs in your marriage, it is not the desire that is good or bad, it is where the desire is satisfied that makes it good or bad. Sex was meant to be a source of pleasure and intimacy for a married couple. Something that brings them together and solidifies their physical sense of connection. Sex was designed to be a miniature acted out pantomime of your entire marriage: two people becoming one. A healthy marriage is two people that are completely devoted to the unity of their relationship.
While all that is true there are a host of reasons why you might have difficulty imagining your spouse in a sexual way. There might be abuse in your past (or your spouse’s past) that inhibits your relationship. There might be past or present habitual sin that is robbing you of the joy you were meant to have. There might be physical challenges related to your body, emotional scars from past relationships, or sins of all kinds that are getting in the way. That doesn’t change the fact sexual desire in your relationship isn’t what is wrong, it’s what you do with the desire that is key. If this is an area of struggle for you then Julie and I strongly encourage you to get to the bottom of it. Talk to a counselor, your doctor, someone you can trust and get the help you need. If you are part of a church community there is probably financial help for those need professional help and can’t afford it. [At Tintern it is the Benevolence Ministry]
We will be introducing our “7 day challenge,” shortly. I’ll let your imagination run wild with what that will be all about.