While I was a single woman, I knew that guys eyes needed to be protected. But I had no clue the battle they truly had, and how the things I had done both helped and hindered their walks, until I got married in 2011.
God has created men with a drive for intimacy that is so good in marriage, and hindering outside of marriage. Most (if not all) Christian men truly want their hearts, minds and eyes to be on Christ, and their sexual desires satisfied by their wives only. But in the day and age we live in, it’s truly difficult to do that – but not impossible. After I got married, I felt like I received radar for picking up sexually suggestive (or blatant) women! It’s like my eyes were open to how men see women – and I probably didn’t and don’t fully get it since I’m not a man!!
In an article posted in Januray 2013 by CitizenLink – affliated with Focus on the Family – 93.2% of men first view pornography (whether willing or not) before the age of 18 (study done 2006). And a 2008 study of college aged men found that “86% of emerging adult men reported having used pornography at some level in the past year, with approximately one fifth of men in that age range reporting daily or every-other-day use and nearly half (48.4%) reporting pornography use weekly or more.” (To read more on this subject, please visit here)
I want the best for my husband, and all men for that matter, to have the least amount of struggle possible. They already get bombarded with images from TV, movies, the internet, and even walking down the street – and we as Godly women can help them have a refuge from the war they are raging against their flesh.
Let me note now, this is a two-way street. Men need to do their part for having integrity and keeping their minds guarded and their eyes from wandering. But that shouldn’t be our excuse to not do anything.
3 Tips for Encouraging Guys in Sexual Integrity
1. What you wear really does matter.
This is not a time to bash you, or be the broken record. But seriously WHAT YOU WEAR IS A BIG DEAL!! I have an honest husband who has helped put things into perspective for me on a lot of clothing choices I’ve made now and in the past. I’m honestly embarrassed with how I’ve dressed in the past because I just didn’t know how they can affect men. And honestly, a lot of guys probably won’t say anything because they are so desensitized by how the rest of the world dresses and acts. Here are some verses to consider when thinking about how we dress:
*1 Corinthians 10:31 – Everything we do should bring God glory. Is what you’re wearing honoring the Lord and pointing to Him? Or is it bringing attention to the body that He gave you?
*Colossians 3:5 – Is what you’re wearing worldly? Sexually immoral? Lacking purity? Provoking lust, evil desires or greed?
*Galatians 5:16-25 – Are you wearing what you are to gratify your flesh? Or are you walking with the Spirit?
*1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 – Is your body showing honor and holiness, or lustful passions?
*1 John 2:15-17 – Are you desiring the world’s sense of fashion and looks over what is pleasing to God?
There are more verses to go with these, but that’s a good start! As my husband and I were talking about this area, we realized that the reasons many women – even women desiring to follow God – don’t always dress appropriately is because
a) they don’t realize the affect of what they are wearing has on men or
b) they don’t want to sacrifice their desires for how they feel in what they wear, the compliments they get by what they wear, or the fashion statement they want to make.
Being obedient to Christ means sacrificing to our flesh to gain what is best for us and honoring to Him (which is best for us).
2. Take a stand on what you watch.
There is so much trash on TV (good as well, not trying to through the baby out with the bath water), and because it increases over time (trash x trash = trash squared) means things are getting racier every year. Granted, NBC is not like HBO, but I know for a fact that there are TV shows Malcolm and I try to avoid because of the sexual content on network television.
Movies, too, have tons of stuff that we may not even realize are harmful to guys. Since a lot of guys try to appease and please ladies, they sacrifice their eyes so we can watch chick flicks with women showing more skin than need be. Be proactive on the movies you watch. Pick movies that don’t have nudity (even a little) or sexual content. Or if you start to watch a movie or show and it comes up unexpectedly – change the channel or turn it off! What happens with those images of these sexually suggestive women is that they become filed away into guys minds (not because they want them to, but because that’s how their brains works).
Last summer I was deeply convicted about owning movies with bad content (I wish I would have caught on earlier, but better later than never). So I did a movie purge. To be honest, I was kind of angry with my husband for being the reason to get rid of some of my favorites – particularly my sci fi! But after we got rid of them, and I had time to see it’s effect, I realized that I was selfish for holding onto those movies for as long as I did! Was I really desiring to tempt my husband to compromise his integrity so I could hold onto a temporary thing like entertainment? No! No amount of sacrifice should be too much if we truly desire for God’s way over our own!
3. Appropriately recognize and compliment integrity in your brothers when you see it!
Often when you see men stare away when certain women walk in the room, when they keep their eyes on the concrete as they are walking across campus, or get up and leave during a provocative scene or commercial, it’s because they are trying to keep their eyes and mind pure. Tell them that you appreciate them guarding their eyes. If they are married, tell their wife how you noticed what a man of integrity their husband is. If a guy takes a stand on whether you as a group shouldn’t watch something because of the content, support him on the fact instead of fighting for your own desire to watch a certain movie.
Mostly, when it comes to encouraging guys in integrity, it comes down to sacrificing our own wants, needs and desires to put their need of integrity first (Galatians 5:21). What is God calling you to sacrifice for the betterment of your brothers in Christ?
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you so much for giving us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter1:3) so we can actually be obedient in the areas you have called us to be! Thank you for creating men the way you have so marriages can be so sweet!! Forgive me in the ways that I have led men towards fleshly desires instead of pointing them to you in all ways. I ask that you will be with the men in my life to have the strength to resist temptation. In Your name I pray.
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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