A Note to Christian Men
As I sit in Starbucks, Bible open, commentaries next to me, trying to focus on the rich theological contours of the Tabernacle--the world is bustling all around me. Music (pretty good jazz) is playing, people are talking, business is constant and noise is unrelenting. Among the flurry of the world within this building, there is one thing that I have repeatedly observed--namely, the numerous middle aged men checking out the women as they walk in and order their coffee. Their first reaction when an woman walks in is to look her up and down. A momentary evaluation which will decide whether she is worth a few more lingering looks and thoughts. Within a second or two they have decided whether to get back to work or to look again. A two second evaluation and it is done. Worth it. Not worth it.
The “worth its” capture their attention. It is the first thing these men do. It is instant. They look up and down, up and down, in order to meet their innate and compulsive need for visual and heart gratification. Sexual gratification. The young lady sitting diagonally across the room from me captures the attention of two men in the corner. They both watch her as she leaves. Looking and lusting.
What does this tells us about these men – the “evaluators”? It tells us that the power of lust and desire for sexual gratification, even through brief visual stimulation, is compulsive and controlling. It is the most immediate and powerful impulse. Everything else, for that moment or two, becomes unimportant, in order to get a hit. Sin is addictive. And the worst part? This sin resides deep in the heart of each and every one of us.
So, how can we as Christian men order our thinking in such a way that we avoid being one of these "evaluators"? What if we are already instinctive evaluators? How can we re-order our thinking so that we think with Christ-like minds rather than worldly minds? Here are four thoughts that can help us banish such a mindset:
1. The woman you are looking at is made in the image of God. There is an essential and profound dignity to her that you debase when your first thought of her is as a sex-object. To evaluate her based on looks, shape or impure thoughts is to sin against the Creator and the woman in question – not to mention the untold harm it is doing to your own soul.
2. The woman you are looking at might be your sister in Christ. Have you thought that they may be saved, a member of the household of faith, a beloved saint in Christ? And you are lusting after her? Time to think again.
3. The woman you are looking at might be lost. In which case, if your first reaction to her is lust, how could you possibly be thinking of her eternal good? If you first reaction is to “check her out” and then determine if she is “worth it” or not, how will you ever see her as a soul needing salvation, an object of your earnest prayers, or someone to speak a word to in due season? Our first reaction ought to be to pray for her salvation--as well as the salvation of the men who are evaluating her. If we were purposeful in seeking opportunities to tell others about Christ, we would pray to the Lord in our hearts for such an opportunity to share the Gospel everywhere we find image bearers of God.
4. Finally, lust of the heart is the sin of adultery. There is no such thing as an innocent, little, lustful glance. Jesus made it abundantly clear that if we look at someone who is not our spouse with lustful intent, we have already commited adultery in the heart. Entertaining the idea of adultery is adultery. Read Matthew 5:27-30.