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Why is the Forbidden So Tempting?

December 17, 2009

I was wondering today,

“Why do I always seem to gravitate toward the thing that I can’t have?” 

“Why is the forbidden fruit so tempting?”

 For the person struggling with sexual purity, it may be Internet sites, another man’s wife, or the TV shows and movies we’re not supposed to watch.  It might be premarital sex.  It might something voyeuristic.  It might be doing dirty, pornographic things you’ve seen on videos with your spouse.   

Here are some of my thoughts:  

1.  We fill in the blanks – The “Forbidden”  leaves us blanks that we want to complete.  Many of us did not have a healthy sexual upbringing.  We only have part of the picture about sexuality.  We want the truth.  We want to know answers, but we go to bad sources to get understanding.   We use our minds and porn to fill in the blanks for us. 

2.  Our sin nature wants us to cross lines – Our sin nature alone moves us to rebel against God.  It encourages us to be selfish and lustful.    

3.  Our flesh lies to us – The “flesh” is our sinful, natural nature.  It is not under God’s control, but Satans.  Our flesh loves to lie to us and make us believe we are missing something great.  It tells us if we cross a line, we will somehow be fulfilled.   Our flesh deceives us.  

4.  We have deeper needs we are trying to meet – We are lonely, so we reach out.  We feel rejected, so we reach out.  We are looking for value and acceptance, and we reach out.  We seek out to forbidden things to medicate our pain and help with our wounds.    

5.  We believe the lies of our culture, media, and Hollywood – Popular culture tells us that the forbidden is wonderful, perfect, adventurous.  It tells us that all sex is the main thing.  It feeds us lies about what marriage is all about.  Culture makes monogamy and sexual purity prudish and boring.    

6.  Our desire for beauty has been perverted – We have a deep desire to recognize beauty and value in God’s creation and in people.  But we have perverted that.  We have learned to associate beauty with sexual pleasure.  We have sexualized our relationships.  Instead seeing God’s glory and worshipping Him, we seek out our own lustful pleasures and worship false idols.  

7.  Legalism – Some of us have been forced to live by very strict rules.  We feel like our freedoms have been restricted and we rebel.  We have been told that sex is bad, and it makes us want it more.  We are shamed for thinking normal sexual thoughts and doing for our hormones in a legalistic culture.  It sometimes makes us want the forbidden more.    

I would love to hear your thoughts about why we seek out the forbidden.  Leave a blog comment or email us privately at

  1. December 17, 2009 10:18 am

    Right on. Bill Perkins talks a lot about this in his book, When Good Men Are Tempted –

  2. JeffTN62 permalink
    December 21, 2009 12:05 am

    Why is the forbidden so tempting? It’s root is rebellion towards God, towards those that hurt me and any that might- real or imagined. Because of my hurt and anger of being cheated on in past relationships, that I started a pattern of acting out of being on the other side of cheating. Using sex and porn as my drug to numb the pain. It was exciting, it was being in control, I was calculating and manipulating damaged people I could sense them find them online or in person all wrapped up in caring- what a lie. I didn’t care, I had to feed my dark side… the adrenalin rush of playing these games was a high to feed my sex and porn addiction. I got so numb to what I was doing… I justified my twisted ways and littered the road side with those I discarded. I would use charm to seduce, the right words… yet was like a viper waiting to spring my venom, to lie and deny to keep the game going. It was a dangerous game and many were there to feed it unsuspecting. I know this that God let me get out of control so I would hit rock bottom. Only a believing Wife that had a unshakable faith, the grace of God intervening in a tangible way and finding Celebrate Recovery have I came to myself. When it looks the worse it could be only moments that the one you love finds help from this forbidden side they crave. Be encouraged. Stand strong with Jesus help, if I can change so can the one you love.

    • December 21, 2009 6:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment JeffTN62. The forbidden is exciting, as sin many times is (for a season). It’s like the fishing lure. It is so attractive, and the first bite tastes good, but the hook embeds in our life. We have a moment of pleasure, but a longer period of shame and consequence.

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