Never Look Twice
Today’s world is tough on the Christian man’s eyes. The trends in women’s clothing continue to get, well, scarcer. Tops are getting lower and skirts getting shorter. The standards in media for what is appropriate in television, movies and advertising continue to get looser, even as the clothes get tighter. Not only that, but the amount of images hitting our eyes today continues to grow out of control as advertisers search for new ways to get our attention.
There has never been a tougher time to deal with the issue of lust. Beyond the fact that we see far more sexier images on a daily basis than men from previous generations did, there is also the trouble of ‘escalation’.
The real danger in a sexy advertisement or movie scene is not so much the image itself but what might happen if we allow that image to continue to play out in our imaginations.
DON’T GIVE IN TO SIN
If a man today starts lusting in his mind, he has the ability to continue that lust through unencumbered access to more free pornography than has ever existed, and that’s when things really start to get nasty. I developed a simple technique for my eyes a while back that has helped immensely with this problem.
I never look twice. When I was in a Bible study with several Christian guys in varsity, we remarked that there was only so much control we had over the types of images we could see in our daily lives. We realised that the problem doesn’t come when you notice something that sparks your attention. The problem comes when you look again and start to think about why that sparked your attention. That’s when your attention turns to lust, and that’s when things get hairy.
OCCUPY YOUR MIND
So now, whether it’s a woman on the street, an ad or a scene on TV, I just don’t look the second time, and I make sure my mind is occupied with something else. I make sure my eyes are looking at the nice tree in front of me instead of the attractive woman across the street.
I’ll examine the balding man’s head in the theatre seat in front of me instead of the sketchy part of the movie I’m watching. I’ll make sure that any magazines or catalogues with women on the front are at the bottom of the mail pile, covered by the bills.
… Nothing will get you out of the mood faster than bills!
LIVING A LUST-FREE LIVE
I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to this, and I can always improve, but I’ve found that defeating lust is much easier if you take it out at the beginning, rather than letting it grow. Getting in the habit of automatically looking away really makes things a lot easier on my eyes.
Of course, in our constant battle against lust we all have to play it differently. In addition to looking away, you might need to place greater restrictions on what you allow yourself to look at in the first place.
Every man is different, and the key to living in this world lust-free is knowing what you can handle and what you can’t. “Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statues and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word.” Psalm 119:35-37