A few years ago, there were women lined up to see Magic Mike. In a few weeks, there will be that same line when 50 Shades of Grey opens in theaters. Every Monday, my Instagram feed is filled with girls posting their #mancandymonday pictures of men who are not their spouses. Now you might ask, what’s so wrong with these things? Many think that there is nothing wrong with going to see these “harmless” movies, or reading these “harmless” books. Friends, I am here to tell you, these things are not harmless. What our eyes see and what our emotions feel as we watch these movies, read these books, or post these pictures is so very important. These things are important to our marriages (or future marriages), and to our walk with Christ.
Matthew 5:27-30 tells us that even looking at someone with lust is adultery. This topic is often talked about with men, because God made them to be more visual. Men do struggle with this more, but that doesn’t mean that women do not. Although it isn’t talked about often, I believe that women struggle with this too. Also, women battle with lust in a way that most men don’t- an emotional way. We watch certain movies, read certain books, etc. and have emotional desires stirred up and fulfilled that should only be fulfilled by our husbands. Whether physically or emotionally, anytime we fulfill a desire that only our husband should fulfill, that is lust, and ultimately, that is adultery. When we do this, we sin against our husbands (or future husbands), and most importantly, we break the heart of God.
The passage also tells us that if your right arm causes you to sin, cut it off, and if your left arm causes you to sin, cut it off, etc. Does the Lord really want us to start chopping off limbs? No! He is telling us to do whatever it takes to FLEE from temptation. Going to see these movies and reading these books is doing nothing but putting out the welcome mat for temptation. None of us are above sin. The enemy is constantly trying to get us to displease the Lord. Why let Satan have even the slightest opportunity?
I married an absolutely awesome husband. He tries so hard to guard his eyes and his heart to honor me (and ultimately honor the Lord). He looks up movies before going to see them, has safety controls on his internet, etc. Shouldn’t I do the same for him? Doing anything that would cause me to lust (physically or emotionally) or even tempt me to do so would be completely disrespectful to my husband. Ladies, even if you aren’t married, doing these things would be disrespectful to your future husband. Ultimately, married or not, lusting (physically or emotionally) is dishonoring Jesus Christ.
So, how can we combat this? First, realize that this is a sin, and not just a sin a man can commit. Women are guilty of this too, and if you are, confess that to the Lord and to your husband (if you are married). Jesus is so gracious to forgive us, and His grace covers all sins that are in our past, present, and future! Second, don’t speak about a man in the way you should only speak about your husband. Girls, you may think those #mancandymonday pictures or Pinterest boards of your “future husbands” are harmless now, but think about explaining that to your husband one day. On the other hand, think about how you would feel if your husband was posting #womancrushwednesday pictures of other girls right now. Your husband should be the only person you think about like in that way. Don’t you want to be the only girl he thinks about like that, too? Third, set a standard for yourself. A standard my husband and I have set is that if there is nudity involved, we will not watch it. The standard you choose will ultimately need to be decided between you and the Lord (and your husband if you’re married), and this standard might change as you grow closer to Jesus. However, I definitely believe that no nudity should be one of your standards. Finally, be accountable. Tell someone you’re close to about this standard that you’ve set, and ask them to help hold you to it. Look up movies/books before watching/reading them. This way, there’s no chance of “accidentally” falling into temptation. IMDB and PluggedIn are both excellent websites (with free apps!) that will tell you exactly what you can expect from a movie (language, violence, sex/nudity, etc.). If those sites tell you that the movie/book has something that breaks your standards, then choose something else.
So, ladies, when 50 Shades of Grey comes out, respect your husband (even if he’s still in your future), and respect your Savior, and don’t go see it. When Monday rolls around again, don’t post that #mancandymonday picture of that celebrity you find attractive. Please hear my heart. This is not about more “rules” or “regulations,” but it’s about pleasing our Savior, Jesus Christ. He helps us set these boundaries because it is most glorifying to Him, and it will make our relationships with others better. Save your eyes, your heart, and your emotions for your husband. Save them for someone who will treat them in a way that they deserve to be treated. You will have a better marriage/future marriage because of it, and ultimately, you will have a better relationship with Jesus Christ.