You Can Fall in Lust But Not Love?

 The last being I fell in love with at first sight and me.

by Calulu cross posted from her blog True Love Doesn’t Rape

Vaughn Ohlman’s latest scripture limbo playing fast and loose involves braying that it’s not possible to ‘fall’ in love. Why? Well, because falling is mentioned in the Bible as a negative or passive word according to the few scriptures he managed to pull up and glom together to support his point.

Hey, join in that FUN game, grab some scriptures and claim they mean all sorts of things it’s likely they don’t mean.

Exodus 20:26 – “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon”

Alrighty then, I declare that because God doesn’t want you walking up steps to the temple because someone might see your naughty bits that clearly God is opposed to the wearing of underwear. Toss those bras, jockstraps, boxers and panties right now!

I could pull up all sorts of odd scriptures and decide to make man-made laws from them, such as the part where during a battle the army used an altar as a latrine, or where King David danced in his underwear before the Ark of the Covenant or perhaps the man that lay on the floor naked prophesying before Samuel.

I bet you’re wondering how Vaughn makes the leap from passive ‘falling’ in love being lust? There’s no Biblical basis for it, he’s making a leap without any logic.

To summarize: We don’t fall in love, we fall in lust. Love is patient, kind, fears no evil. Love is an attribute we demonstrate by our actions. It is our reaction to God’s work in us. It causes us to walk in His ways, to keep His commandments. Love never fails. You cannot fall into it, you can only be granted it by God. You cannot fall into it, you have to hang on to it.

Lust, on the other hand, is often the first step in sin. We desire. We see something and we want it. And, all too often, we then ignore our conscience, our friends, and our God to get the thing.

Or, sometimes, more subtly, our lust works in the opposite direction. Sometimes we fail to do a good thing because our lust isn’t tickled. Consider Jacob’s unconscionable behavior toward Leah. She wasn’t as attractive to him, so he literally ‘hated’ his first wife, taking a second after a one week honeymoon. How’s that for ‘loving’ behavior?

You can fall in lust. You can wake up one morning, or look across the room at some party, and decide you are looking at a good thing. You can desire that thing. That desire can feel overwhelming. It can lure and entice, it can tempt and destroy.

You can’t fall in love, but you can fall in lust. But you shouldn’t.

Love and lust can go hand in hand or they can be separate things entirely. Falling in love is a glorious feeling and mostly devoid of lust. Remember back when you first held your newborn baby and the quickening of your own heart, feelings of lover over flowing for this tiny creature you’d just seen for the first time. It makes no sense, but there it is. How about laying eyes on a good friend that’s ended up being in the only one that knows all your secrets and would never betray you. Or glimpsing the beauty of a small child you don’t know. A puppy, the first snow fall, whatever it is that stirs your heart. Falling, falling in love.

A world without the possibility of falling in love is a pretty bleak cheerless place. Love is not duty and it’s not lust. People that tend to be focused on finding porn, lust and evil sex under every bush have the problem, not those of us that fall in love.

Comments open below

Read everything by Calulu!

Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blogs are True Love Doesn’t Rape and  Calulu – Seeking The Light

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce



About Suzanne Calulu
  • SAO

    “Fall in love” is just a convention. The Brits say “fall pregnant” rather than “became” or “got” pregnant. Does that mean pregnancy is associated with all the sins of the fallen in the bible? Should we avoid autumn because “Fall” is a dangerous season?

    I find it amusing to read the careful parsing of language by the Fundies, since the bible has been translated and re-translated and then modernized. Aramaic to Greek to English, sometimes with a side trip into Latin. The “originals” are often copies of an older, lost copy and when there are multiple copies (there are 150 of the Gospel of Luke) they invariably contain differences in wording.

    Further, even English has changed meanings over time. “Make love” used to mean flirt or say sweet nothings. “Intercourse” used to mean conversation or interactions. When Jane Austen or Charles Dickens describes intercourse over tea with a number of people, it doesn’t mean they condone orgies.

  • aim2misbehave

    Much like the OP, the last time I fell in love with another living being was the moment that my kitty came up to me at the animal rescue and “hugged” me :-)

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Same as me! I laid eyes on my pretty Siamese boy Pedro at the animal shelter and that was that. But Pedro was feral and eight or so weeks old, took a while before he started hugging me like that.

    It makes me sick to my stomach when patriarchal types start twisting the meaning of love to something perverted and linked only with sex. They miss out on so much when they limit love.

  • Jewel

    “You can fall in lust. You can wake up one morning, or look across the room at some party, and decide you are looking at a good thing. You can desire that thing. That desire can feel overwhelming. It can lure and entice, it can tempt and destroy.”

    Notice the repeated use of the pronoun “it” and the word “thing”. An attractive woman, or any woman for that matter, is nothing but an inanimate object to him. And an evil one, at that.

  • Kristen Rosser

    I’d say it’s the opposite. The specific words Jesus used in the original Greek in the New Testament regarding lust definitely referred to a willful act– “he who looks at a woman in order to lust after her.” Lust is not the same as physical attraction and is something you choose. Love is not the same as physical attraction either– but on the other hand, love is also not just a cold decision of the will to treat someone well. The New Testament says God is love, so as far as I can see, the Christian doctrine is that love is the very essence and nature of God which we participate in when we love.