I talked with a man last week whose wife has started limiting sweets to only one day a week. He expressed that it’s difficult, but as he talked, it was apparent he’s enjoying it.
This seemed counter-intuitive for a man who enjoys desserts. Why would you want less if you enjoy it so much?
I found what he shared to be such a compelling idea for dessert lovers, and I can’t help but think about the parallels to dealing with sexual desire as well:
- Because they’ve abstained from sweets through the rest of the week, they relish dessert more than they ever have. Before, when sweets were a whenever-you-want affair, it was nothing special. Now, it’s an occasion.
- Because they only have one shot at dessert a week, they don’t grab for a bag of Chips Ahoy or a box of Ho Ho’s. They go for the real deal– desserts worth waiting for, like homemade pies, tarts, and cakes.
- Accordingly, they pay more attention to what they really like and what they really want. And because they’re doing this together, it’s an opportunity for them to really pay attention to the other’s desires, too. Dessert has become more relational, even more loving.
- They’ve become more careful about what they keep around their house. Even if it means disposing of the remains of the dessert they enjoyed the night before, their home reflects their commitment, their new rhythm of life.
- They’re healthier. They’re enjoying losing weight and feeling better. And they’re becoming more self-controlled people in general.
Can you see the parallels to healthy sexuality?
When we indulge in lust (using others for our own sexual gratification), we get “fat” on sexual titillation.
But when we allow Jesus to redeem sex, it becomes something more: a special occasion, a personal part of a relationship with a husband or wife, a sacrificial way to love someone different than you are, a treasure worth safeguarding, and a delicious part of a healthy and holy marriage.
Let me hear from you! What are the parallels you see between this couple’s approach to sweets and a godly approach to handling sexual desire? How does this play out for singles? Leave a comment below.
P.S. If you’re up for a laugh, here’s one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan, talking about some of the struggles he has with food. [youtube]http://youtu.be/LBko_3wT44Q[/youtube]