God gave a woman her beauty and God ordered man to desire that beauty. This is all good and holy. God gave women the gift that men desire and through this union of the flesh, God gives children and marriage, mutually beneficial love and compassion, just as He brings forth a beautiful depiction of Christ’s union with His bride the church, a beautiful depiction of Christ’s faithfulness.
But, as Solomon shows us in our reading from Proverbs this morning, when this gift and order is twisted, all of that falls apart. The immoral woman takes the gift of her beauty and contorts it into a product, something to buy and sell. When she seduces a man, she is not drawing him into arms of love, but into a crass and dehumanizing transaction. And so the gift God gave her to bring her joy, she transforms into something that brings her bitterness. Likewise, when the man chases his desires and catches them outside the boundaries of marriage, he finds himself ensnared in the arms of a woman who does not want to honor him, but despise and drain him.
And so it is with all holy desires and order when twisted. The desire for justice becomes condemning rage when God has not made us judges but we make judges of ourselves anyway. Piety becomes soul-destroying self-righteousness when we take that divine gift and use it to heap scorn upon our neighbors who do not share it. The father who protects his children becomes the father who despises his children when he will not let them leave and cling to their spouses.
So do not follow your holy desires outside the boundaries God has established for them. As Solomon tells us, rejoice in the wife of your youth. Love the fences God has placed around His gifts. Seek Christ and His righteousness in every divine gift, and you will find the joy and mercy of God overflowing in every holy desire He has given you.