Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes - Proverbs 6:24-25 (NIV)
I go to the gym and work out on a regular basis. It's amazing the sights that you see when are in there working out. You see women wearing "workout" gear that leave very little to the imagination. I will admit that's it very tempting to look more than once. I have learned however that repeated looks can lead to lust, which leads to other things. This seemingly innocent behavior and its consequences is referenced in scripture. "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" - Matthew 5:28 (NIV). I know that there are those of you out there that subscribe to the theory that "it doesn't hurt to look". However, that's where it all starts. It then spreads from your eyes to your heart. The lustful desire in one's heart can then lead to the sinful act.
Unfortunately with the advent of social media, there are even more opportunities for wandering eyes to find willing participants to engage in lustful destructive behavior. I have heard of numerous examples of how surfing the various social media websites led to actions that destroyed marriages and families. I recently spoke with a client that was married for over 20 years before his wife succumbed to the lure of social media and spent money living out her fantasies with other men. As a result, both he and his wife had to declare bankruptcy and eventually lost their home. It took years before he was finally able to get his financial house in order. It is impossible to engage in this sin without suffering the consequences.
How are we men able to avoid the situations that may lead to destructive, lustful behavior? For some men, we have to resort to drastic measures in order to remove the temptations that will cause us to stray. I have a good friend that refuses to join the Facebook community because he is afraid of what could potentially happen if some of the women from his college days were to engage him while he is travelling on business. I have heard of another story of a man that calls ahead to the hotel that he will be staying at while on business and has the management to remove the television out of the room that so that he won't be tempted to purchase the available adult on demand movies. While it may appear to some that this is a little over the top, I applaud this gentlemen for taking the required steps to do whatever is necessary to refrain from those things that can cause them to sin. We need more men like this that believe strongly in the preservation of God ordered relationships at all costs. Are you willing to go the extra mile to implement safeguards against lustful behavior?
ACTION PLAN: Identify those things that trigger lustful behaviors and attempt to isolate them by doing things cause you to focus on more healthy behaviors. Some of these include: speaking to an accountability partner, prayer and reading of scripture, or removing the item/items that give rise to lustful thoughts or actions.
Please feel free to comment and forward to a friend if you find value.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.