Can I lust after my wife?

In Matt 5:28 and D&C 63:16, we read that if we look a woman to lust after her, we have committed adultery in principle, if not in deed.

Now, I get the idea that if I look at a woman to lust after a woman who isn’t my wife, it could potentially lead to thoughts or attraction, which itself could lead to more serious and complex issues.

That being said, both passages do not say “look on another woman to lust after her”. They specifically state “look on a woman to lust after her”.

Assuming this indefinite article is used on purpose, does that mean if I lust after my wife, that I commit adultery in my heart? Is this scripture more about respecting women and relationships than it is about warning against infidelity?

19 thoughts on “Can I lust after my wife?”

  1. If you look at the context of the Matthew scripture as part of the Sermon on the Mount it seems to suggest that Jesus is ushering in a new era.

    In the past there was a certain standard but Jesus is raising the bar. I think this scripture is about virtue and controlling our thoughts. Thoughts lead to actions but if this scripture causes you to respect women more that is a good interpretation and I doubt Jesus would disagree.

    Does your wife want you lusting after her?

    I suppose that depends on how you define lust?

    If by lust we mean sexual desire then I think that lust is appropriate and healthy between married individuals.

    If we see our wives merely as objects to fulfill our selfish desires and this that is what you mean by lust then we should not lust even after our wives. Lust is usually used as a negative trait so I think motives for lust are always suspect.

    Lust seems to be associated with coveting or desiring that which is not your own. This sense is also negative.

    All this begs the question should women lust after their husbands? I like to think that my wife is sure tempted… but who wants to be merely an object for another’s selfish desires.

    There must be more….

  2. No. The language has to be read in context.

    27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit aadultery:
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    The first verse sets up the context, no sexual relations with a woman who is not your wife. So, the marriage automatically disqualifes the wife as a subject of adultery, both physically and upon cardio-optical inspection.

  3. ola senor, I don’t think you have provided context. I have to agree with the first commenter regarding context in that we have to look at the entire chapter to understand the type of message the Saviour issues.

  4. Interesting comments on this concept. I would weigh in on the side that more sex between marriage partners is better than less but I would have a difficult time proving that scripturally. I would agree that the saviour doesn’t want deviant sexual thoughts between marriage partners but wholesome sexual thought I would hope are greatly encouraged.

    I guess it comes down to the translation of the word “Lust”. Does anyone have the etymology of the original hebrew word used?

  5. I appreciate ola senor’s firm stance against adultery but the question as I read it was about lust between already married individuals and if it is even possible?

    Lust expressed by viewing things such things as pornography may very well be classified as adultery at worst or infidelity at best. Pornography is a horrible evil and degrades women and families.

    I think this scripture expresses that Jesus is saying that it really does matter what is going on in your heart. Even if you do not physically committed adultery something can be wrong in your heart that affects the marriage relationship.

    We must check ourselves in these things. When our hearts are right and we truly love our spouse without any selfish motives then physical expressions of love truly can unite us as one.

    My 2 cents….

  6. I dont think its commiting adultery to lust after your wife, but it still isnt right. Ie, caring more about your own pleasure than hers…not waiting until she’s ready after having a baby, grabbing her breasts when she’s still breastfeeding and tender/sore, oogling at her private parts while she is undressing (in a casual setting), pressuring her for sex when she is sick/tired, not taking the time during the day to show her you love her, but wanting sex later that night. All of those things are lusting after your wife’s body and not treating her with respect.

  7. If I’m committing a sin when I lust after my wife, then the rest of my life won’t ever give me enough time to repent (assuming I ever want to, which is unlikely).

  8. I think the points made in comment 9 are valid, but I don’t think the bad behavior described there is necessarily equal to “lusting after” a woman. When a man looks at a woman he’s never met (and never will meet) he certainly can and often does lust after her without engaging in any of the conduct mentioned.

  9. I came across this blog looking for some help on this subject. I guess it depends on the definition of lust. To me, lust is the wanting of something or someone you do not have, or maybe should not have. If you have the physical OR emotional connection with your spouse, but not the other, you could say that you lust for it. I have had times where I become emotionally disconnected from the world, and have hurt my wife because of it. It has made her physical lust for another become an emotional lust. I know that she has not acted on these feelings physically, but it still hurts. In a healthy relatioship, there should be no need for lust. Lust just ends up hurting everyone involved, and is really wrong just for that reason.

    Can you lust after your wife? YES.
    Should you lust after your wife? NO.

  10. My understanding is that Yeshua was simply trying to point out that mortal man is by nature sinful, even our thoughts betray us, as in lusting after a woman is just as bad as committing adultery with her physically. The point being the law (do not commit adultery) is useless, since my nature man cannot help but be sinful. Thus, we need the salvation offered to us via the gospel plan.

  11. Heb 4:12-13 explains that our standard is the Word of God and that it judges the THOUGHTS and INTENTIONS of the heart. God is interested in the thoughts and intents of the heart because all actions are subject to our thought life (seeds). Sex is a seed, and designed to produce a harvest. It should be an act in extension of a pure heart (Psalm 24). Lust, on the other hand, is a weed and is designed to take life and abort a harvest. It is an act in extension of a leaking heart. As for the question if a man can lust after his wife. ofcourse he can. LUST IS NOT DEFILING THE PERSON, BUT DEFILING YOURSELF. Sex has a place, a dwelling place (John 14). Lust does not say… You in me and I in you and we are one. It says… you for me and more of you for me and i get what i want when i want. Even the wife God Himself has chosen for a man can never satify the heart of a man under the influence of lust. Lust occurs as a result of hurt when parts of the heart where God belongs is attempted to be substituted with something else. That’s why it’s often so difficult to breakthrough this spirit because it resides in places of the heart and soul that are designed to think on things all day long. Only One thing i know belongs there.

  12. proverbs 5:9
    let her(your wife) breast always satisfy you.

    what is the point of marrying if I cant enjoy my wife.

    My wife belongs to me, and I belong to my wife. Because after marriage, only god can break that bond.

    (obviously if you like sex, don’t marry a women who plans on having sex once a year)

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