Originally posted on November 15, 2023 @ 2:03 pm

Many words in the Bible sound big; lasciviousness is one such word. In this article, we delve into the concept of lasciviousness from a biblical perspective. We’ll explore its definition, meaning in the Bible, its relevance in modern society, and the steps one can take to guard against seductive tendencies.

What Is Lasciviousness In the Bible?

Lasciviousness is a term used in the Bible to describe unrestrained and morally inappropriate behaviour. Lasciviousness is from the Latin word; “lascivus or lascivia”, meaning lust. It is a behaviour intended to provoke sexual lust. In several biblical references, it is closely associated with sexual immorality, impurity, and unbridled passion. (Mark 7:21-22)

Example of Lasciviousness in the Bible

1. One story that resonates lasciviousness to me is the story of Jezebel. When she heard that Jehu was coming to Israel, she painted her eyes and fixed her nails so that she could look attractive (1 Kings 9:30). She knew Jehu was coming to kill her and she thought “Oh, if I could try to look beautiful; maybe I’ll distract him”.

Her name was used to reference sexual immorality, leading other people into sexual immorality in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 2:20)

2. Another story is the story of Amnon and Tamar. Amnon and Tamar were children of David; Amnon was lustful towards his sister. At the counsel of his friend, he decided to rape her which resulted in his death. (2 Samuel 13:1-28)

Bible verses about lasciviousness
Image Credit: Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

Bible Verses about Lasciviousness

Here are seven Bible verses from the King James Version (KJV) that address the topic of lasciviousness:

1. Galatians 5:19

   “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness…”

2. 2 Peter 2:18

   “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.”

3. Jude 1:4

   “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

4. Romans 13:13

   “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”

5. Mark 7:21-22

   “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness…”

6. Ephesians 4:19

   “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

7. 2 Corinthians 12:21

   “And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.”

These verses warn against various forms of immoral behaviour, including acts of lust, wantonness, and indulgence in fleshly desires, urging believers to live by godly and righteous standards.

What Are The Consequences Of Succumbing To Lasciviousness?

The Bible warns against giving in to lasciviousness, as it leads to a path of unrighteousness and spiritual darkness. Lasciviousness characterised by a strong sexual desire or content can have various effects on an individual, and here are some of the effects:

1. Social impact: excessive lustful behaviour can affect relationships and lead to social stigma. It changes how one is perceived and accepted by others. For example, people will likely not allow someone who indulges in excessive sexual behaviour or content around their children.

2. Mental Health crisis: it can contribute to emotional turmoil, self-esteem issues, and in some cases, addiction or obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

3. Legal consequences: engaging in lascivious behaviour can have legal repercussions especially when it involves illegal activities or non-consensual events.

4. Hinder personal growth: Over-emphasis on lascivious behaviour can distract from focusing on vital life events; it can shift one’s priorities.

5. Spiritual death: engaging in lascivious behaviour can lead to spiritual death. (Ephesians 4:19) Those who succumb to it may experience the decay of their moral character and the erosion of their faith.

The prevalence of lasciviousness in society can have a detrimental impact on personal and communal morality. It destroys the sanctity of committed relationships, reduces the value of modesty, and contributes to a culture of moral falsehood.

How to Overcome Lascivious Behaviour

The Bible guides how on how to resist lustful desires. There are many ways to resist the temptation of lascivious behaviours according to the bible. In my article about overcoming pornography and sexual addiction, I explained more about this.

1.  Have self-control

2. Maintain sexual purity and flee from immoral desires. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

3. Surround yourself with godly people and godly materials.

How Can I Recognise Lasciviousness In Modern Day?

In modern society, lasciviousness can manifest in various ways, the acts are subtle and they usually creep into a person’s mind unnoticed because it has been modified. Acts of lasciviousness can vary widely in modern society, often influenced by cultural, social, and technological factors. Here are common examples:

  • Objectification of individuals in media and advertising to the normalization of casual sexual relationships.  These manifestations often promote a culture of instant gratification and pursuit of pleasure.
  • Online Sexual Harassment: Sending explicit messages, unsolicited sexual content, or engaging in inappropriate behaviour online, commonly referred to as cyber-flashing or cyberstalking.
  • Public Indecency: Behaviours such as indecent exposure, lewd gestures, or inappropriate touching in public spaces that violate social norms and decency standards.
  • Revenge Porn: Sharing intimate or explicit images or videos of someone without their consent, often as a form of revenge or harassment.
  • Sexual Objectification: Treating individuals as mere objects of sexual desire rather than as whole, wonderful beings created by God; often seen in media, advertising, and everyday interactions.
  • Unwanted Sexual Advances: Making persistent, unwanted sexual advances, comments, or propositions that make others uncomfortable or feel harassed.
  • Excessive Pornography Consumption: Overindulgence in pornography, leading to addiction, desensitization, or distorted perceptions of sex and relationships.
  • Inappropriate touching or Groping: Unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, such as groping, touching, or brushing against someone without their consent.

Addressing and preventing these acts involves education, respect for boundaries, clear consent, and creating a culture that promotes healthy and respectful attitudes toward people and relationships.

How to Guard Against Lasciviousness

Modesty and Self-Control

One way to guard against lasciviousness is to promote modesty and self-control. The Bible emphasizes the importance of maintaining sexual purity and seeking righteous relationships. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). We are to be modest in our dealings and set boundaries for our relationships.

Accountability and Community Support

Accountability within a faith community can be a powerful tool against lasciviousness. Being part of a supportive community provides encouragement, guidance, and the accountability needed to resist temptations. The Bible urges us to always be a part of a community and never walk alone.

Seek Refuge in Scripture and Prayer

The Word of God and prayer are indispensable in the battle against lasciviousness. Regular bible study, quiet time with God and sincere prayer can strengthen one’s resolve, provide guidance, and offer solace in moments of weakness.

When we maintain a very close and sincere relationship with God, he helps us to overcome every temptation that comes our way. His presence offers us solace, peace and forgiveness.

God’s Forgiveness, Grace and Redemption

While lasciviousness can lead individuals down a morally compromising path, it’s crucial to remember the transformative power of God’s grace. God’s grace offers redemption, forgiveness, and the opportunity for renewal.

For those who have succumbed to lust, you can attain salvation and redemption through faith in God. The Bible assures us that in Christ, old things pass away, and all things become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17). God is willing to free you from the guilt, sadness and fear that come with lascivious behaviour.

Lasciviousness in the bible; biblical meaning of lasciviousness
When Jezebel heard Jehu was coming, she put on make-up and tried to look as glamorous as possible.
Image Credit: Free bible Image.

Final Thoughts

In a world where lasciviousness and moral laxity are increasingly prevalent, Christians must stand firm in their commitment to righteousness and purity. When we understand the biblical perspective on lasciviousness, recognize its manifestations in modern society, and actively guard ourselves against its tempting gaze, we can uphold our moral integrity and live by our faith.

Featured Image: Marián Šicko via Pexels

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