Today's At the Well promises to be powerful as we discuss a very serious subject - "Lust and Sex In Today's Culture".
As wives this is a very intense subject that we need to be not only aware of, but we also must be diligent in the fight for purity for our marriages. For many years, lust has been swiped at as men having an appreciative eye for women, men noticing other women or following them with their eyes, or perhaps an occasional look at inappropriate magazines or books etc. These have been overlooked as just a part of what men do.
In our culture today, this area has exploded. Notice the clothing that the fashion world dictates for women. Clothes today are designed with the sole purpose of drawing attention to a woman's body. The shorts are short, the shirts are high, the pants are low and what area is not showing, the clothing fits snug enough to enhance the body. If a man looks anywhere except the woman's eyes, he is bound to have lustful thoughts. There is an underlying current everywhere we turn. On billboards, magazines, television shows, commercials, etc., the theme is always of a sensual nature.
So, what is the danger in a little lust? James 1:13-16 tells us: "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." Lust begins a dangerous process. Lust begins through the eyes - by looking and then desiring, then thinking on. When something is thought on and dwelt on in the mind it will eventually lead to action. Lust is serious. John 10:10 tells us: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Christians have an enemy who is seeking to destroy their lives, their marriages, families and homes. But Jesus said the He comes that we may have abundant life.
Today's discussion question is: "In what ways can you help the men in your life fight this battle?" For every godly man, this is an issue and probably a battle. Now, it is the man's primary responsibility to fight against this, but a good woman can bring encouragement and help. As a wife and mother of boys, I don't have all the answers, but there are a few things I do in my home.
In Proverbs we are told that a wise woman watches over her home. I have learned to keep an eye out for things that could bring temptation to my guys. I am somewhat of a fitness buff, so I enjoy reading fitness magazines. The covers of these magazines can show a lot. Either I restrict these coming in the home or do not leave them in open spaces. Setting a good example of being modest is a good habit. Memories of mom covering up and being modest can go a long way as a boy grows up and matures with his own family. May we as mothers set the trend for purity and modesty in the home. We watch what shows come on the television, what movies are brought into the house and what music is listened to. We have purposefully stayed away from vacations to the beach. My husband and I agreed that it isn't good to put him and our three sons in a position where there is abundant temptation around. Now, I really love the beach...but for right now this is a sacrifice for my guy's integrity. This is not every family's conviction and I hope this does not sound condemning, this is what works for us.
Now, lust is not good, but marital intimacy is totally different and between a husband and wife It is a gift from God and is something very precious and beautiful. Men are wired for sight, women for touch. In a marrige setting, both needs and desires are met. As wives it is important to understand that a man fights this battle each day and we can offer the blessings from God in this area.
The most important weapon is prayer. Daily prayer over our men to protect them against evil desires, entrapments, for wisdom in relationships, strength to endure temptations and a daily dose of self control is a viable and true weapon. A wonderful verse to pray is that II Corinthians 10:3-5 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." As we engage this battle in this world, we serve a God who is mighty and is able to pull down every stronghold. May we seek Him daily for ways to battle against lust and ways to bless our men.