Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew [paraphrasing] "if you look at a woman and lust for her, you have already sinned in your heart."

In proverbs, they say, [again, paraphrasing] "let her [the companion of your youth] breasts satisfy you."

Is that not lust? Aren't these two messages contradicting each other?

share|improve this question
If Proverbs doesn't use the word 'lust', why would you think that Proverbs is describing it? – curiousdannii Sep 19 '15 at 1:30
@curiousdannii Because (noun) lust : very strong sexual desire. That sounds like a very strong sexual desire to me. – user1477388 Sep 20 '15 at 12:11
Which dictionary is that from? In any case, you should edit this to explain in detail why you think the verses are related. – curiousdannii Sep 20 '15 at 12:14
up vote 36 down vote accepted

The context of Matthew is adultery--relations with a woman who is not your wife. The context of Proverbs is marriage--relations with the woman who is your wife. The difference is quite substantial.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 ESV

Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. Proverbs 5:18-19 NAS

God actually created sexual intimacy to be fully enjoyed within the marriage relationship. Adultery, however, is a corruption of that holiest of relationships which destroys intimacy. Thus, it is strictly forbidden in both thought and deed, for our own good.

So, there is no contradiction at all.

share|improve this answer
I thought adultery was relations with a married woman. Do you take adultery to mean relations with any woman to whom you are not married? – user1477388 Jun 13 '13 at 13:14
@user1477388 I would suggest that the prohibition against adultery includes all sexual intimacy outside of marriage. If the only prohibition were to married individuals, then people could elect not to get married and then be free to have as many partners as they wanted. It would be a pretty difficult case to make that this was God's intent. God created the marriage relationship as the first human to human relationship. – Narnian Jun 13 '13 at 13:20

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.