Those unfamiliar with the Muslim world commonly assume that since women are often covered in public there must not be a problem with lust and illicit sexual behavior. In reality, women are covered in Muslim countries because both men and women believe that women’s beauty is a dangerous, irresistible temptation to men. Thus, society holds uncovered women responsible when men molest or rape them.
Both the Quran (33:50) and the Hadith (al-Bukhari 1.268) present Muhammad as a man with an insatiable sexual appetite. He married sixteen women and had a large harem. He encouraged all Muslim men who could afford it to have four wives (Q 4:3). In the Quran, Paradise is a place where Muslim men are given virgin maidens for pleasure (Q 4.57, 55.56, 78.33). In spite of the conservative surface appearance, Muslim societies are often very sexualized. Both men and women see women as sexual objects.
When we met in a bar in Beirut, we loved the Lebanese young adult social life of drinking and sex. After three years living together, our families forced us to get married. During the wedding we committed to being faithful, but failed.
I had no self-control and continued seeing other women in secret. And, although she hid them, Halima also had two early flings. After three years, our marriage was failing. When Halima learned about my infidelity, she felt betrayed and plunged into depression.
When her friend Fatima asked her why she was unhappy, Halima confided in her. Fatima and her husband befriended us, and told us the amazing story of their coming to faith in Christ and how their marriage was improving.
In desperation, we both decided to turn to Jesus. With the help of the Spirit, we were eventually delivered from lust. It was tough for me to resist temptation the first few years, but our marriage is slowly getting better. Jesus is transforming our lust into love!
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
1 Corinthians 6:13b
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
1 Corinthians 6:18
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor...
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. -
For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.
1 John 2:16
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
...we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
The Lord sets the prisoners free.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
...and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
...having been set free from sin, [you] have become slaves of righteousness.