by Jesse Jost
He had received strict instructions, “No matter what happens, do not touch or smell any of the flowers along the road. They are lethal – extremely poisonous!”
As he walked toward the perilous path, he remembered yawning at the desperate tone with which the old man gave the warning. What could be so dangerous about flowers? After all, how hard could it be to avoid touching or smelling flowers? His mind soon wandered to other things.
The young man started down the road and soon noticed the flowers. These were not ordinary flowers. They had color more rich and brilliant than anything he had ever seen, and the texture of the petals looked like smooth velvet. Their fragrance sent a delicious sensation through his whole body. Intense craving flooded him. He ached to pluck a flower and breathe deeply of its tantalizing aroma.
The urgent warning came back to him, but it was quickly consumed by the flaming fire of his desire. He had to have one of the flowers. His legs went weak at the sight of them all. With trembling hands, he reached for a rose-like beauty. His fingers wrapped around the stem – what a delightful feel it had on his skin! It came out of the ground effortlessly, as if it wanted to be held. He lifted it to his face and inhaled deeply.
In a moment, the fragrant aroma became a hideous stench, the blissful sensation that had been caressing his body flared into a flesh-eating fire. But worse still was the anguish of soul, the inner turmoil that began to eat at him. In agony he crumpled to the ground, lying there for hours as the poison slowly sucked every last bit of life from his tormented body.
In fairy tales, we are warned against plants, fruits, and potions. In real life, we are warned against lust. Nothing has the ability like lust does to make something so destructive look so appealing and to make some so beautiful so damaging. When raging desire has been let loose outside the safe, secure confines of marriage, lethal poison appears inviting. The very thing that will kill your chances of finding satisfaction, ruin your prospects of a happy marriage, and possibly even take your own life (Proverbs 7), looks like a harmless piece of candy that you just have to have. Lust is one of the greatest saboteurs of marriages today. Continue reading…