A close-up photo captures a person engrossed in reading the Bible, their eyes fixed on the words, symbolizing the desire to focus on God's teachings rather than succumbing to the distractions of a wandering eye.

What Does The Bible Say About A Wandering Eye?

Having a ‘wandering eye’ refers to the temptation to lust after people who are not your spouse. This issue is addressed several times in the Bible, which teaches us how to overcome lust and remain faithful in mind and body.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible clearly prohibits lusting after others. It’s considered adultery of the heart. Steps to overcome a wandering eye include fleeing temptation, controlling your thoughts, loving your spouse, and asking God for help.

Bible Verses on Lust and Wandering Eyes

Matthew 5:27-28 – Looking at another person lustfully is like adultery

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that adultery is not just physical, but begins internally with lustful thoughts. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

This teaches us that God cares just as much about our thought life and what captures our gaze, not just our outward actions.

Lust is defined as having an intense desire or need for something or someone. Lust is selfish in nature and reduces people to objects for our own pleasure and use. Allowing our eyes to wander after things we shouldn’t desire is a sin according to Jesus.

Practicing self-control with our eyes and avoiding temptation is key.

Job 31:1 – Make a covenant with your eyes not to lust

Job recognized the danger of letting his eyes lead him into lust and sin. He said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (Job 31:1). Making this deliberate commitment before God helped protect Job from sexual temptation.

Having intentional safeguards like this in place can help us use discernment when it comes to guarding our eyes and hearts.

In today’s screen-obsessed culture, we must be careful what we watch, from movies to internet content. Setting filters, avoiding provocative images, and controlling media intake are important steps. We should also consider areas around us that could provoke wrong desires and remove ourselves from tempting situations.

Proverbs 6:25 – Do not lust in your heart or let beauty captivate you

The book of Proverbs frequently warns against the dangers of adultery and sexual sin. In a stern warning to his son, Solomon says “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes” (Proverbs 6:25).

This highlights how lust first begins by feasting our eyes on something alluring. If we allow ourselves to be captivated by beauty and do not turn away, it can awaken wrong desires and lead to sin.

Studies show that lust and pornography alter brain wiring and stimulate the same reward centers as addictive drugs. Pornography often begins with wandering eyes. Guarding our eyes and avoiding lustful thoughts is critical for purity.

Filling our mind with God’s truth found in Scripture and focusing on what is noble and right are positive steps (Philippians 4:8).

Overcoming a Wandering Eye

Avoid tempting situations

It can be helpful to actively avoid situations that may tempt or trigger a wandering eye. For example, one can choose not to follow certain social media accounts or watch shows/movies that glorify infidelity or objectify others.

When noticing an attractive stranger, it’s best to limit eye contact or direct interaction. Though temptation is sometimes unavoidable, proactively dodging tempting scenarios can help prevent compromised situations (1 Corinthians 6:18).

Control your thoughts

Our actions often start with thoughts, so controlling one’s thoughts is key. When we find our eye or mind wandering toward attraction outside the marriage, we can consciously shift our focus. Philippians 4:8 advises concentrating on things that are noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.

Other helpful measures include prayer, reciting Bible verses and accountability with a trusted friend.

Invest in your marriage

Experts find that those dissatisfied with their marriages are more prone to wandering eyes. To counteract this, couples should intentionally invest in their relationship by spending quality time together, communicating openly, showing affection and appreciation, pursuing common interests, and maintaining an active love life (focusonthefamily.com).

Studies show that prioritizing your partner often resparks feelings of attraction and togetherness.

Ask God for help

Most importantly, we can appeal to God for help overcoming disloyal tendencies. No one is immune to temptation, but He promises always to provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Through prayer, reading the Bible, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, God can empower us to honor our marriage commitment.

Surrendering control to Him relieves our burden of perfection and sets us on the path to purity.

Tips for Dealing with a Spouse’s Wandering Eye

Examining your own actions

It’s important to take an honest look at yourself first when dealing with a partner’s roving gaze. According to marriage experts, focusing inward can reveal any ways you may have damaged intimacy in the relationship.

This self-reflection paired with open communication allows both people to take responsibility for the health of the marriage.

Increasing intimacy

Lack of emotional and physical intimacy often precedes one partner’s eyes straying outside the relationship. Reconnecting intimately involves carving out dedicated time for your spouse, asking thoughtful questions, actively listening, and re-establishing date nights or getaways.

A study found that couples who spend quality time together at least once a week have higher relationship satisfaction.

Setting boundaries

Clearly expressing what behavior you consider inappropriate and enforcing those standards are key for a spouse prone to wandering eyes. Define specifics like no flirting with acquaintances or ogling others when together in public.

Inform them each breach erodes trust and request changed actions when these happen. Establishing boundaries paired with consequences demonstrates you value yourself.

Seeking counseling

Speaking with a professional third party can offer much-needed perspective when dealing with infidelity. According to VeryWell Mind, counseling assists couples in unpacking reasons for the affair, processing emotions, learning better communication tactics, restoring intimacy, and rebuilding broken trust after cheating.

Learning to Love Your Spouse as Christ Loves the Church

Sacrificial Love

Christ’s love for the church is marked by sacrifice. He gave up his life for her sake (Ephesians 5:25). Similarly, husbands are called to love their wives sacrificially – putting her needs above their own. This means enduring inconvenience, discomfort, and even suffering if it benefits your wife.

It means laying down your time, resources, and desires to serve her. Sacrificial love gives without expecting anything in return. It is modeled after Christ’s selfless love.

Forgiveness and Grace

A husband’s love should also mirror Christ’s forgiveness and grace. We all fail and let our spouses down. Yet Christ repeatedly extends mercy to His bride. Husbands must reflect this forgiveness to their wives. Let go of bitterness and do not keep a record of wrongs.

Choose to wash away her offenses by the blood of Jesus. Start each day with a clean slate. Extend unmerited favor and overlook minor flaws. Be patient and kind. Forgiveness brings healing.

Cherishing Your Spouse

Finally, a godly husband cherishes his wife like Christ cherishes the church. He nourishes her, protects her, and sacrificed himself for her (Ephesians 5:29). Cherishing means holding your wife in the highest esteem. It’s choosing to see her incredible worth.

Words of affirmation can communicate cherishing, as can quality time focused on her. Cherishing also means being proud of her and bragging on her. Make it obvious to her and others that she has a special place in your heart.

Just as Christ looks at the church as His beautiful bride, let your wife know she is your treasured companion.


Having a wandering eye can damage marriages, but with God’s help, we can overcome lust and remain faithful. This requires making a covenant with our eyes, fleeing temptation, controlling our thoughts, and loving our spouse.

If you’re struggling with a wandering eye, pray and ask God to renew your heart and mind for your spouse.

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