You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5: 27-28
I sit here this morning with a heavy burden. I have been carrying this burden for sometime now but yesterday the Lord added a little weight to it and I feel it is something I must share with you. What is this burden? In order to explain it I need to share a small piece of my testimony with you. This is something that few of you know and most of you are completely unaware of.
Let me start by saying this. I am a Christian man who struggles with sexual sins.
Growing up I had a pretty normal life. My parents were good parents, strict in some areas, casual in others. At a very young age I stumbled upon my dad’s porn collection and was immediately hooked by the images I saw. Any chance I had I would sneak in to look at page after page of naked women. It was euphoric to say the least. I also remember watching movies as a kid such as Porky’s, Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House, and all those classic comedies that were legitimately funny but done so through the use of naked women bouncing around the screen. Through this experience I became infatuated with the female body and it has plagued me my entire life.
Not to long ago when Stacy and I were going through a hard time I found myself starting to look at websites that I shouldn’t have. Why did I? Because it is like a drug for me. It numbs the pain of what ever I am going through. It becomes an escape from the reality of the moment.
I have a pretty good idea that I am not the only man who struggles in this area and I am positive that I am not the only Christian man who struggles with this. I am also sure that I am not the only married man dealing with this. You see, men are stimulated visually and it doesn’t take a whole lot to get our attention. If you don’t believe me just go to the mall and watch as the men turn their heads to look at the women. Watch them as they constantly scan the scene. You will be surprised to see them turn their heads even when a female that is dressed modestly walks by, but, it is definitely harder for us when a female who is dressed more provocatively gets in eye sight. We don’t mean to. It is just something that we all struggle with and Hollywood and the corporate world know this and this is where my burden comes in.
Everyone has heard the saying “Sex sells.” Unfortunately, this is true, and for the most part it is because of men and our struggle; however, it appears that women are beginning to struggle more and more in this area. Maybe they always have but because of modesty they hid it. Nonetheless, Hollywood knows this and it is evident when you watch television. You see, I mentioned earlier that there were some movies that I watched when I was younger with the nudity and sexual content but tv wasn’t that way. The most you ever saw on television was a kiss. You and I both know that this isn’t true today. It isn’t uncommon to turn the tv on and see a heated sex scene or to see women prancing around in their underwear. Television is getting worse and worse and this scares the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS out of me in regards to my children, especially my 2 boys who will probably struggle just as I have because, like I said, men are visually stimulated and there is more and more visual content for them to see than when I was a kid.
So what was it that added the weight to my burden? Well, I read an article the other day that the FCC (The Federal Communications Commission) is basically going to stop wasting time and energy looking into indecency on broadcast television and only focus on the stuff that they consider egregious indecency violations.
Now, I realize many of you may not see a problem with this but I assure you it is a serious problem. If I struggled because I watched some movies and looked at some pornographic magazines, things I really wasn’t supposed to be looking at. How much more will our children struggle when it is right there on public television, including in our children’s cartoons and movies that are “PG” and “PG-13”. But television isn’t the only problem. Internet is another major area of attack. The internet is a blessing and a curse. It gives us the ability to communicate with others and find a plethora of information but it also allows for the easy access of pornography. Here’s the kicker though. One doesn’t have to go to a porn site to see these types of images. All you have to do is log into your preferred social media website and it is right there in your face and its becoming more and more prominent.
So what are we to do about it? I don’t really know but I do know that we must do something, for the sake of our own lives and the lives and futures of our children. Let me share with you a few tips that might help.
Vote! I am not one who usually promotes politics through my blog but given the fact that this has a lot to do with our government and we have an election just a few weeks away I think its fitting. If you read the article about the FCC you will see that they made their decision after they lost a couple of court rulings in regard to indecency. We need to make sure we have elected officials in place who have Godly morals and are willing to make the decisions to safeguard the future, not just for our country but for our children.
if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7: 14
Admit it! Many of us tend to deny that we struggle with anything, especially something like sexual sin. If we deny it, it doesn’t exist. Or does it? Whether we admit it or not, the struggle is there but we tend to not worry about fixing things that we do not perceive to be broken. The first thing you need to do is to admit there is a problem and, not only admit it, but confess it to a trusted friend who will help you work through it.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1: 8-9
Get an accountability partner. You can’t do it alone and you shouldn’t try to. You need to find someone you can trust to keep things confidential but who will also be real and not afraid to confront you when you are slipping.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, 12
Learn your triggers. We all have triggers, whether it’s a channel you have in your cable lineup or the moments when you find yourself all alone surfing the internet- you have a trigger. Something that will “shoot” you into an area you don’t need to be in. You can’t battle the problem if you don’t know your triggers.
Turn it off. I know. I know. This is a radical concept but if you struggle because of television, Internet, and/or social media then you need to do something about it. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. You can not fix the problem by continuing the same habits. If you are not willing to turn it completely off then you must make adjustments to these activities to make sure you do not slip and fall into temptation. Here are some examples: Change your channel lineup, only watch tv with your spouse around, only go online with your spouse around, allow your spouse (it must not be you because you will know the password) to set up an accountability software on the computer (like this great one from XXXChurch), delete friends from your social media list or change what you are able to see from your friends like only being able to see status updates and not pics.
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5: 29-30
Please, don’t walk away from this blog thinking there is nothing wrong with what you are watching or looking at. It destroys lives. It ruins families. It can lead your own children down a dark path. It can ruin friendships. And worst of all, it can hinder your relationship with God. Admit its a problem. Admit you have a problem. Seek help.
If any of you have gone through this struggle, and are okay with sharing, please share in the comments what you did did work through it.
For additional reading check out my first blog post “Nobody’s Perfect.”