On this week’s Boundless podcast, I answered a question from a guy in a relationship who’s troubled that he’s still attracted to other women. I assured him it was normal to feel attraction to members of the opposite sex whether in a dating relationship or even in marriage. The real issue is what you do about it. Meaning, are you acting on that attraction by being flirtatious in any way?
One listener felt I didn’t go far enough. Here’s her e-mail in response to the segment:
I am writing in response to Motte’s answer to the question in this week’s Boundless Show (Episode 91). Although I agree that attraction to members of the opposite sex can continue while in a serious relationship (I am married), I believe that letting that instantaneous feeling of attraction last long enough to give it a second thought is flat out wrong.
In my mind it is just like any other form of temptation — while the temptation itself is not a sin, dwelling on it is sinful. The proper response to the feeling of attraction (whether physical or emotional) is to take that thought captive and submit it to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
The issue boils down to one of self-control. Although in practice it is not easy to exhibit such self-control, that does not change the truth of the matter. It seemed like Motte was hitting at the right thing in his reply to the question but I felt that he never came out and said that, ultimately, it is wrong to let yourself continue to feel attraction to someone outside of the relationship God has placed you in.
If it is something that one is struggling with then, by all means, seek out help, as was suggested, but letting your thoughts run away with you to the point of needing someone to hold you accountable for them is a serious thing.
I agree I could have said more. One thought I had after the recording is that if you find you’re constantly battling feelings of attraction, it could mean you have a problem objectifying members of the opposite sex. And that is a serious thing.
What I mean is this. If you’re in a relationship, another person’s beauty or personality outside of your significant other isn’t for you to enjoy; it’s for their spouse (or future spouse) to enjoy. The pleasure you’re getting by admiring someone’s physique is pure selfishness.
I’ve written previously that there are probably many women I could allow myself to become attracted to. But I’ve already made my choice. And I need to be fully satisfied in her beauty and companionship alone.