How often do you see men depicted in contemporary media who successfully resist when tempted sexually? Examples are rare, but I’ll bet most of us can think of at least a few.
Now what about depictions of men turning away from an opportunity to lust?
Examples are nearly non-existent.
The man always turns to see what he’s not invited to, to steal a glance, to take a peek, even to let his eyes linger.
One of my favorite shows growing up had a lead character who fumbled all over himself when encountering an attractive woman. He shared an apartment with two women he ogled every chance he got, and they’re reactions suggested they thought what he was doing was natural, comical, even boyishly innocent.
I grew up drinking all this in, unaware of the lies embedded there. Or what they were doing to me.
Today, the idea that lust is natural, comical, or innocent is even more prevalent. It hangs in the air like the smell of a dump. And we’re all so used to it, we hardly notice it anymore.
Lust is just what men, even Christ-followers, do. They can’t help themselves.
This is a lie, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it comes straight from the pit of hell. It degrades men and women alike. Animals can’t help themselves. Men were made for something more.
Jesus, the man, was tempted to lust and had every opportunity. He never did. He only ever loved with His eyes.
He is our older brother, our hero to emulate. And what’s more, as we reach forward to be like Him, He reaches back to make us so.
On the cross, He became lust that his younger siblings could become the righteousness of God in Him.
Renounce in Jesus’ name the lie you’ve believed about yourself and lust.
God did not create your eyes to lust, to take, to trespass someone else’s privacy, to treat another human being as a something for you to use.
He created your eyes to love. He created your eyes, in fact, to love like no other part of you can.
Ask a few people close to you to tell you about a time when a man’s eyes conveyed love to them and see what they say. See how your heart stirs as you listen.
Woe to a world whose men have eyes grown dull with lust, eyes that can no longer see with love.
Jesus designed his sons and daughters for something far better.
Can you think of a time when a man’s eyes conveyed love to you? Leave a comment below.
Great blog, Josh! I was wondering if you might consider writing on the unspoken prevalence of this issue where women are the lusters. Though society (and the Church) tells us “men are visual” and constantly use the phrase “men who struggle with pornography addiction,” the reality is that lust is also quite prevalent in women. We’re just ashamed to talk about it because we’re abnormal since we’re told guys are the ones who are visual. They’re the ones who have porn addictions, not women. But, all you have to do is watch soap operas, look through women’s magazines. Advertisers know that certain images hold our attention as well. Thanks for considering exploring this.
Lisa, thank you for this. You are absolutely right that many women also struggle with lust. And I will certainly keep this in mind as a topic for a future post.
In the meantime, on behalf of the many women who read this blog, thanks to you for bringing this up. The last thing I want to do is contribute to that sense of shame so many women feel about their struggles with lust, and the compounded shame because they constantly hear it’s only a problem men face. Sisters, you are not alone!
Christ’s blessings to you.
As a Christian woman, I struggle with lust and the desire to watch (lesbian) porn b/c I struggle with SSA. Lust is a battle that can rage for men & women alike. None of us are alone. I’m so thankful for Regeneration ministries b/c I’ve finally been experiencing some of the freedom & hope that I have longed for.
Thanks so much for your honesty. You’re right, no one is alone in this battle. I’m glad Regeneration’s been a helpful place for you. God’s peace.
Thank you very much!
I really appreciate your words: “Renounce in Jesus’ name the lie you’ve believed about yourself and lust. God did not create your eyes to lust, to take, to trespass someone else’s privacy, to treat another human being as something for you to use.
He created your eyes to love. He created your eyes, in fact, to love like no other part of you can.”
These are a big encouragement to me to step up and be courageous!
My daily devotional had these verses- which reinforce the truth that I am created by Love – for Love and to love.
Deuteronomy 30 (NKJV)
19…therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days
This makes me think of this phrase from John Eldredge’s Daily Prayer–
Dearest God, holy and victorious Trinity, I give myself over to you in my heart’s search for life. You alone are Life, and you have become my life.
*VB-man following God’s Plan ONLY by Grace*
Thanks for reading and joining the conversation, Vance!
What a timely article, as the men in Regeneration’s Baltimore Rescue program end their 3rd quarter this week. The truth is we can be pure and loving with our eyes. Thanks Josh for reaffirming this truth.
Thank you, Scott.
Great essay Josh! You hit the nail on the head! We laugh, accept and mimic in real life. It is especially dangerous developing these beliefs and putting them on a pedestal while growing up ignorant to hard information that really exists.
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Keep up the great work Josh!
Thanks, Pete! Glad to have you in the conversation.
Amen! yes, that was my favorite show growing up and I often use that as an example of “what not to do or watch” Also, this morning a group of ladies got together and we studied Boaz and how he was upright even in what could have been a “lust” situation! So grateful for his example that Christ has so much in store! Boaz was in the line of the Messiah because he desired God’s law and Word over a few minutes of fleshly pleasure!
Thanks, Andrea. Boaz is a great example for us for sure. One of the things I love about Boaz’s example is that there’s really no fanfare around what he did (and didn’t) do. One of the most powerful temptations surrounding lust is that “no one will ever know.” Boaz models the difference a person can make on behalf of another, but only when he/she has eyes to see with love rather than lust.
Boaz is in the lineage of Jesus along with other upright men and women, and a slew of men and women whose track record is less than stellar (Abraham, Rahab, David, etc.), too.
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