Lust In Marriage


Can someone kindly give me a definition of “lust” as it relates to your spouse, specifically, from the husband’s point of view?


I’d suggest reading the entire section on the 6th commandment in the Catechism. It deals with chastity and properly ordered sexual expression.

From the Catechism (2351): Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

Therefore, to use your wife as a means to an end rather than treating the act as a renewal of the marriage covenant would be to approach the act in a lustful way. Also, to fixate inordinately on the sex act or to have an unbalanced desire for the sex act would be lustful.


Sorry, a wife’s point of view . . .

Lust: “The inordinate craving for, or indulgence of, the carnal pleasure which is experienced in the human organs of generation.” [Read the whole article at:

. This carries the imprimatur.]

When I study the above definition, I interpret that the “human organs of generation” have a primary purpose of generation and a secondary result (not purpose) of “carnal pleasure.” The definition does not say the carnal pleasure should be avoided, as God designed us that way, but that the “inordinate craving for” or “indulgence of” that carnal pleasure should be avoided.

This Scripture shows that even lust within marriage gives the Devil power over oneself and that the husband should have relations with his wife more for love of children than for lust.

From the Book of Tobias, Chapter 6: 16–17, 21–22: 16 Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. 17 For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power. . . . 21 And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you. 22 And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, **moved rather for love of children than for lust, ** that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.

This quote shows that a man who lusts for his wife is treating her as an adulteress (a mistress = one used for sexual satisfaction but who is owed no provision, loyalty, caretaking).

From the Catechism of the Council of Trent (on Marriage): “The first is that marriage is not to be used for purposes of lust or sensuality, but that its use is to be restrained within those limits which, as we have already shown, have been fixed by the Lord. It should be remembered that the Apostle admonishes: They that have wives, let them be as though they had them not, * and that St. Jerome says: The love which a wise man cherishes towards his wife is the result of judgment, not the impulse of passion; he governs the impetuosity of desire, and is not hurried into indulgence. There is nothing more shameful than that a husband should love his wife as an adulteress*.

I am very curious to hear some male definitions of lust as I can only describe the results of its presence or absence. For a woman to be an object of lust is disgusting. A woman who succumbs to a man’s lust for her will make her feel like a receptacle or like a tool no different than a man’s right hand. A husband can warmly desire his wife without lusting for her. He can make her feel like a human being with whom he wants to commune intimately and with whom he desires to be open to new life, instead of making her feel like an avenue to his sexual fulfillment. A husband can give to his wife instead of taking, and both will come away satisfied. One sign of marital relations without lust is dignity within the act. Another sign that lust has been conquered is that a man has a certain healthy detachment to marital relations and, if circumstances require marital continence (e.g., health problems), he joins her as a team in that effort and is not crippled by the loss.


The sexual act ought to be able mutual giving of oneself to please the other.

If the desire for personal pleasure is the significant factor in performing the act, it is lustful in some degree.


  1. Alway pray before sex. Saying grace is sufficent for those who do not want to spontaneously generate a prayer.

  2. Pay attention to your spouse and their reactions adapting for their enjoyment.

  3. Alway pray after sex.


I guess I am also not sure about the definition of “lust”–I always thought I wanted my husband to “lust” after me–which I thought to me desire as in “wow my wife is so hot, I love her so much, she is the most amazing woman–let’s do it”…
How are you to pray before sex? So you are kissing and then realize it is going to go further–and you stop and pray? seriously? How does that entice the mood? I understand they idea but to actually interrupt foreplay seems innappropriate to me…


I guess I am also not sure about the definition of “lust”–I always thought I wanted my husband to “lust” after me–which I thought to me desire as in “wow my wife is so hot, I love her so much, she is the most amazing woman–let’s do it”…

I don’t think the above is necessarily lustful. If a man believes his wife is beautiful, loves her, and thinks she is amazing, and that makes him want to intimately commune with her in a way he does with nobody else, that is not necessarily lustful. It is the inordinate desire for the carnal pleasure that is the problem. Perhaps a sign that carnal pleasure is the primary purpose is if a husband does not do anything else with those supposed-love feelings except initiate sex. Another sign of lust would be if the husband only perceived his wife as “hot” if she were a Barbie-type 10, and not when she had motherly curves or normal aging.

How are you to pray before sex?

Perhaps each individual person could be responsible for their own prayer, which, of course, can be silent. When you realize the act is going to develop into marital relations, you can pray silently without interrupting the activity: “Please, Lord, let our marital relations be pleasing to You. Thank you for the graces of the Sacrament of Marriage.” Just an idea. I think I’ll try it myself!

On the other hand, if it feels totally “inappropriate” to pause kissing to pray before having marital relations, that might be a sign that the couple’s intimate life is not God-centered enough. Personally, I wouldn’t find pausing to pray very quickly to be that crazy because I’m always thinking about God’s creative power in the back of my head at that time anyway.


Thanks for the reply–I guess I see what you are getting at. I guess the example that I posted is not the same as “gee hot bod–I want to orgasm” (sorry if that is a big crude–but I take that as the sinful “lust”).
I didn’t mean the prayer would be innapropriate to me or to my spouse but almost innapropriate to God–I mean I know married sex is not dirty–but I guess it’s just hard growing up hearing all things sexual were bad until marriage (hard to break the habit!)


AMEN! Once I learned this and began to apply it - our marriage went from good to fantastic. The above prayer is almost word for word what I whisper in my heart.


AMEN! Once I learned this and began to apply it - our marriage went from good to fantastic. The above prayer is almost word for word what I whisper in my heart.

Wow! Now I really want to try it!


Thank you for all the replies. I am still very confused about the concept of lust, but am patiently waiting for help from the Holy Spirit.

1ke, I have read the CCC regarding the 6th commandment. Terms like “disordered desire”, “inordinate enjoyment”, and “to fixate inordinately on the sex act” for me are hard to understand exactly what is meant, so unfortunately, it has not been much help yet.

Let me give an example: If my wife wears a certain attractive dress, pair of pants, or nightgown, I find myself wanting to touch or kiss her more than if she is not wearing that particular item. I often will want to complete the full marital act as well in these situations. Am I being lustful?


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