The first time I saw a naked woman was probably over at my cousin's house looking through my uncle's Playboy magazines. Then there were the trips to the Barber shops; you knew they had them there, but you didn't dare look at them - one time I did and I got yelled at. Then in high school, I had a friend who got a job working at a 7/11 store. The hours spent there, looking at all of the girlie magazines - looking back, I considered it wasted time now - but that's what men did, hang out with their buds and look at naked women. Never once did we consider these women to be sisters, mothers, girlfriends, or even desirable to have as wives. Then these magazines started to tell that this lady was a doctor, and this one holds an M B A. As if this validates taking your clothes off for a bunch of flesh-starved men. These were the type of woman you did not want to marry. They had a reputation. They may have been sisters, teachers, mothers, or any type of profession, but as soon as they disrobed they became objects of fantasy, women that you dreamt about. They would never tell you "no." They were pretty maids all in a row.
Then when VCR's and subscription television, the forerunner of cable, first came out, pornography became more easily obtainable in the privacy of your own home. You had entered into the world of voyeurism. You still ran the risk of someone seeing you at the corner video store or liquor store, who might question you on your rental or purchase. Today, with internet access, you don't have to worry about who will see you, because it can come in to your house, into your room, and no one will know.....except you and the Lord. I'm not here to judge, condemn, or even say I'm better than the rest, because I have fallen for all of these traps before and if I'm not careful, I may fall for them again.
Big deal you might say, what's the to-do over a couple having sex, or the girl down the street showing off her wares? Why don't you just ask what is so terrible about tempting a lion with New York cut steaks attached to your body? You get the same results. Men are visually oriented so these images stay with us a long time, and because they stay with us a long time, sometimes they interfere with the reality we find in our relationships with women. We get tainted views and it's a rude awakening when the women in our lives don't match up with the fantasy the magazine depicts.
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus preached on the strictness of the law, "if you have looked at a woman with lust in your hearts, you have already committed the act." The pretense is that men who are involved with piety would probably say, "I'm a married man, I don't have affairs." Yet, they will look at the woman who has on nothing but a smile, and say, "if only I had her" in their hearts. God is the Creator of our hearts, He knows how to read them, just like a computer programmer knows how to read a corrupted program and fix it. Christ nailed us when He clarified the term "adultery." We have no excuse. The Lord of All, who has made our hearts, and has seen the filth that is on them, and has forgiven us. He knows the temptations we go through each and every day. He knows how the actions of people often start with the heart. That's why He stated that if we really follow the law, the law would convict us because of the evil that lies within our hearts.
These women in the magazines have their own lives to lead, and men in their lives as well. Guess what? We're not in their lives, and personally, I don't want to be. Don't get me wrong, I love the female gender, by far, they're quite lovely to see. My heart, however, has been captured by my wife, Judy: I long to be with my wife, for I consider her a joy to be around. We have put down many a mile between us: We have history. After ten years of marriage, we still flirt ~ SHAMELESSLY!!! (I hope we are still flirting with each other for many, many, years to come.)
We, as men, need to be careful with our hearts. Watch our steps, for we know what the Lord says about adultery. The whole segment that talks about adultery is talking about the actions of the heart. To look at a beautiful woman is not a sin in and of itself, it's what you do with the second glance.
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Excellent, needed to be said, I admire your courage for writing this article.
Very beautifully put and Judy you are a blessed woman...the both of you are blessed to have each other. (bravo)
I'm grateful that next to God, I have your heart.
Great message James!