deployment devotional, military devotional, military couples devotional, military couples

A devotional to help military families stay connected during deployments

Day 24: During Deployment “Love vs. Lust”

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. — 1 John 2:17

Adam and Eve had everything they needed in the garden of Eden. Yet Eve was deceived, Adam joined in, and they broke God’s command. The progression was such an example of our sin—from eyes to heart to action, then shame and regret. Like Adam and Eve we have been supplied with what we need for a full life, yet we want more. We struggle with contentment with what we have. We say, “I would be happy if only I had ________.”

Lust operates like that. Our eyes see something forbidden, and our heart turns to desire for that person or thing. And it grows . . . . lust leads to more lust. And instead of filling us, it empties us and can destroy our marriage.

Time for a reality check. In The Love Dare it says: “It’s time to expose lust for what it really is—a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill. Lust is like a warning light on the dashboard of your heart, alerting you to the fact that you are not allowing God’s love to fill you. When your eyes and heart are on Him, your actions will lead you to lasting joy, not to endless cycles of regret and condemnation.” (p. 117)

On the FamilyLife website you will find excellent articles by Dave Boehi entitled “Marriage Memo.” Recently his posting was entitled, “Breaking Free From the Trap of Pornography.” You can follow the link and read this helpful teaching, but let me summarize that he writes about five steps for dealing with the trap of pornography: 1) Confess Your Sin; 2) Make no provision for the flesh; 3) Find an accountability partner; 4) Build biblical truth into your life; 5) Begin to rebuild your marriage.

His conclusion gives hope: “God will honor each small step of obedience you take. He has the power to change your heart . . . to help you experience the joy of a cleansed heart . . . to wash away your sin and guilt and shame . . . and to help you experience oneness again with your spouse.”

Here is today’s dare during deployment: It’s time—do it now. Remove every temptation to lust. Replace it with truth from the Bible and your heart turned towards His pure love.

It is interesting to read Mary Dixon Lebeau’s “My Love Dare Journal” to see what she had to say about Day 23 and 24. On Day 23 she wrote, “This one was tough for me. First, I couldn’t really identify anything I do or have that steals my affection from Scott. So I asked him what he thought I had in my life that hindered our relationship, and he said I don’t give the relationship priority when it comes to time.” I thought that was interesting—she went to her husband to ask him what he thought was drawing her away from him. On Day 24 she added, “Since I don’t have a lust to end right now, I’m going to pray that God helps me end my judging way. Let me come to a full realization that no disobedience is worse than my own, and that I need to depend on my perfect Lord to heal me and help me.” Good words. Thank you, Mary.

Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth (in conjunction with Dave Boehi’s list above):

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. — Psalm 32:3,4

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. — Romans 13:14

. . . and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. — Ephesians 5:21

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. — 2 Timothy 3:16

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. — Hebrews 13:4

The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. —Proverbs 6:32

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God. — 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. — 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. — Psalm 119:37

Work cited:

Boehi, Dave, “Breaking Free From the Trap of Pornography,” Marriage Memo, FamilyLife.com, January, 2009

Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)

Lebeau, Mary Dixon, “My Love Dare Journal: Part Two,” FamilyLife.com, January, 2009