What is the difference between lust and love?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: My fiancé and I are going through marriage counseling before our wedding. The counselor has told my future husband that his intentions toward me are lustful and sinful and these do not exhibit his love for me. What is the difference between lust and love? – I.M.

A: Some years ago a folk singer said, “Love is silence, lust is a roar. Love is a sacrifice; lust always wants more. Love is a giving; lust only takes. Love is a meeting of hearts; lust breaks.”

The human race has taken a very precious gift of God and corrupted it in the name of love. God’s greatest gift has been perverted. True love will not harm. Often called the love chapter, 1 Corinthians is an eloquent passage that used to be read at weddings.

“Love… is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

How different marriages – and any other relationship would be – if this were put into practice by all. How different our world would be. So people often ask, “Why is this so hard?”


The answer is sin. The secret to avoiding the pitfalls of immorality is to live according to God’s word and to have His presence in the human heart, turning over to Him all sin through repentance. It is only through Christ that He gives us a supernatural power to live clean lives and lives that reflect the love that He desires for all.


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2022 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.





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