But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
—Galatians 5:16 AMP
The purity of your marriage is ultimately about the purity Christ desires in His Bride. Sexual desires aren’t bad—they are God’s creation, and He celebrates them! But when wrong actions or influences defile our unions, they war against intimacy and pervert what God has called good. The key to cultivating the right desires is to starve your human nature and feed your spirit.
What you take in through your eyes and ears you ultimately take into your mind and heart. Your eyes and ears are the entryways to your soul and spirit. Everything you see and hear feeds either the human nature or the spirit.
Stop and think. In what ways are you feeding your human nature? Are you watching or listening to movies, TV shows, or music that fuels the fire of impure desires? Are you “feeding on” books, magazines, or websites that are polluting your mind and heart? What about friends and other influences—are any of them encouraging the wrong attitudes or actions?
Now consider your spirit. In what specific ways are you feeding yourself the truth of God’s Word about sex, intimacy, and holiness? How can you increase your consumption of truth? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you practical, creative ways to feed your spirit and cultivate the right desires.
If you ask it of Him, the Holy Spirit will show you how to cultivate a passion for holiness and deepen the intimacy of your union.
This excerpt was adapted from John and Lisa’s new book, The Story of Marriage(Messenger International, 2014).