Blame and shame on the subject of lust
This caught my eye in my e-mail today, so I read it and really like what he has to say.
We’ve discussed the question of lust and its causes and where the responsibility lies a number of times on this board. The discussions I recall often referred to porn, whereas this article is more about interpersonal relationships, but I believe the idea the author presents is universally applicable.
I think the post misses the point that some people have a genuine problem, whether it is sexual addiction or pornography addiction, or whatever. The issue is not how they view women. It is that they are broken.
You don’t line up a bunch of drinks in front of an alcoholic, and tell them that they are not seeing alcohol correctly. You treat the illness.
That post is just an illustration of a major issue in the world right now. There is always something to be offended about, and it is always someone else fault. If you look, you are a lecherous beast, if you don’t look, you are taking away my personhood. It is all about me.
As someone who had both a massive anger/rage issue, and a massive pornography addiction, I can tell you without reservation that the first and most natural steps to take if you are trying to overcome is to remove yourself from the situations which make you most vulnerable. I have done the eye bouncing thing, and still do on occasion. I also will walk away from a conflict if I feel my anger start to rise. It is about respecting myself, and has nothing to do with anyone else. I will explain myself later if it is appropriate to do so.
There is nothing that says a person with a lust issue only sees sexual bits of a woman. That is a theory that SWG made up. I am certainly cap[able of seeing a whole person, and always have been.
I just read it and it took my thoughts to a couple of rabbit trails.
I believe I agree with the overall premise…. but, with the “bouncing your eyes”… I have never read the book it mentions that teaches this, so I don’t know how this concept is taught and if it is taught in an “objectifying” way. But, I personally see this as a practical “how to” on working on what the blogger says. The initial notice is biological, but where one goes with it mentally is what matters….if one continues to ogle, they have set their course mentally. To bounce the eyes allows for one to get back into the mental and away from the biological reaction. I don’t see it as much different than being told to cut your meal in half and immediately put it in a to-go box so you aren’t as tempted to over eat. There’s nothing wrong with practical steps, but as we know, anything can be taken too far and be damaging.
(A rabbit trail thought)… What I feel is more objectifying is when men refuses to talk to women (or vice versa) out of hypervigilance of “affair-proofing”. It’s like they believe if one treats someone of the opposite sex with kindness, love, and respect, they will automatically want to lure them into an affair. Talk about objectifying and not seeing someone as a sister (or brother) in Christ.
Paul wrote in Romans 6 not to yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. Members are parts of the body. In Matthew, Jesus said that he that looks at a woman IN ORDER TO lust after her, hat committed adultery with her already in her heart.
That word for ‘lust’ shows up in the LXX Greek translation used back then in ‘thou shalt not covet’ in the ten commandments.
There is some volition there. A man looks. He puts forth some effort, or at least yields his eye. If a naked woman falls through the roof into his field of view, that’s not a sin. If he then decides to gaze upon her naked form to desire her, that’s wrong (that would be a painful situation for the person being gazed at.)
James says that when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death. When the process starts, it is possible to nip it in the bud before it turns to sin. Paul says to make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. There is a propensity in us to desire things we should not– and lusting for sex is not the only lust, btw. But we are not to yield to these fleshly desires.
With every temptation, there is a way of escape. Men do not have to look with lust. They do not have to sin. The urge does seem to decrease to some extent with age. The Bible warns about youthful lusts. Certain lusts are more of a temptation in youth, and I think sexual lusts are foremost when it comes to that.
Ultimately, I believe the truth is somewhere in between. I agree with parts of the article but I think he’s wrong and Sheila’s starting to sound like a lot of other “Christian” personalities that find some truth and success and then go off the reservation or too far one way or another because they have a platform to share things that maybe they should’ve stayed away from rather than taking a verbal machine gun and spraying a wide swatch of verbal bullets and try to throw the baby out with the bath water.
I have read EVERY MAN’S BATTLE and since men are visual creatures, I do believe it is a battle/choice we have to make…if there is an attractive woman within eyesight, I can choose to honor & praise the Creator of this person who is a daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother of someone or I can choose to linger. I can’t avoid helping a first look…but I can choose how I’ll respond. Is every attractive woman I see a problem of lust? No. But I do believe I am wise to guard my heart and mind and “bouncing my eyes” is a part of guarding my heart and mind for God and my wife. It is a tool in my tool belt to help maintain purity. I also believe that teaching my bonus daughters about modesty and that many of the guys they go to school with have thoughts that are not pure…and that how they dress…or not, attracts various kinds of attention and people.
My wife gives me a whole lot of wonderful memories and mental “pics” which definitely helps keep the temptation factor at bay. At the same time, there are some times when I notice some thing and I just have to come home and say, “I need help today. I’ve had to fight temptation and I need to see and touch your beautiful body right now” and she gives me some great memories to hold on to. My commitment to her is that I will guard my heart & mind when I’m tempted to take a second look or beyond is to “bounce my eyes”…praise God for his Creation…and think of her and all the wonderful memories I have with her.
@SC – in today’s litigious society, with Satan’s practices of using people to make up and tell all sorts of lies, including some of the accuse first and if it’s said, it” must be true” without the “innocent till proven guilty” standard our country used to have. From my perspective, the stance the Mike Pence and Billy Graham took makes a lot of sense AND more importantly, they honor their spouse in the process because it shows how much they value the relationship. It has nothing to do with objectification or necessarily someone luring them into an affair BUT for protection and to “live above reproach” as we’ve sadly seen, ministers & ministries where that was not the case…for a variety of reasons. It is also about the appearance of “evil” and the potential destruction of a person’s and/or church’s witness.
I’ve seen an HS teacher’s reputation, family & career ruined because of false accusations by a disgruntled HS teen who got in trouble in the hallway…made accusations…which were later proven false (even the mother didn’t believe her) BUT the damage was already done. The ME TOO has spotlighted some signifiant issues BUT it has also allowed some disgruntled people to hurt innocent people by just making an accusation to further a personal or political agenda and as a father of three boys, this scares me.
So am I willing to guard my heart…mind….wife…family….ministry…employment at the difficulty of inconvenience? Yes.
i do like what he said in that it’s not a sin at all to see a beautiful figure/form/attractive person and notice that (even sexually as noticing the opposite sex is basically noticing that if that makes sense) but it’s what you do with it in your mind. THAT IS ALSO TRUE for women. While we may not be driven to be as visual, we absolutely notice when a man is attractive but decide in a split second not to let our mind go places it should not.
I also love and always believed the fact that he brought up that we are sending a message to women that our BODIES are evil. That lie has been perpetuated from the beginning. I was watching a Bethel worship song on YT and the lead singer was a beautiful woman, she had an attractive appropriate blouse on that was sleeveless. She was beautifully adorned but not immodest in any way. Of course there were comments that she was inappropriate and i chastized them.
There is a growing online community that parces the “lust” meaning into oblivion saying it’s perfectly fine for even a married person (actually they mean a MAN) to actively think about another other than their spouse in sexual ways and even in sexual intercourse and lust doesn’t mean that but means making plans to actively pursue that person to have him/her.
Jesus said if you even look upon a woman to lust after her you have ALREADY committed adultery with her IN. YOUR. HEART. We are to rise above the pagans, as even the pagans usually know the difference even in crossing the line in their minds. I think the church has failed to teach we are all wonderfully and beautifully made and made in the image of God.
Didn’t mean to bring up a thorny one and then vanish; I haven’t spent much time on my computer lately.
I can certainly see the wisdom in being very cautious in situations where accusations or even honest confusion is possible. And I don’t mean at all to minimize the dangers of falling into sin through carelessness.
I just took from the article that the more we focus on seeing people as people and looking at them through God’s eyes, the less likely we are to look at them in a wrong way, i.e. lustfully.
I remember DivorceCare always recommended focusing on same-sex friendships after a divorce because of the chance for attachment at an unhealthy time. I’ll add that I really understood it better when I went through my divorce, I found myself attached to a couple out-of-state female friends who were very kind and empathetic to me and my situation. I was like a sponge soaking up the kindness vs what my now ex did. So the idea of not meeting with a female or if necessary, doing it with significant precautions is critical and I don’t care what people say, it has nothing to do with the objectification of women, it has everything to do with caring for myself, my wife now, and wanting to guard the heart and mind of other women.