Recently, in light of the #MeToo movement and the Kavanaugh hearing, I've seen several memes floating around showing how many messages women receive in our sexually-charged culture aimed at telling them to be modest and not lead on men.
Some of them seem to imply that all of the weight is on the women.
As a man, I have tried during my adult life to live a life that pleased the Lord and honored him, including in the way I relate to the opposite sex. Keeping one's self under control is a discipline, particularly in a society that flaunts sex on magazine covers, television ads, and almost everywhere you turn.
As a boy, I learned the Royal Ambassador Pledge, which includes the statement, "As a Royal Ambassador I will do my best . . . to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body."
While a college student, I read in a Christian magazine about a young man asking a 40-something year-old if he ever struggled with lust. The implication was that the young man thought since the older man was married and enjoyed sex with his wife, the struggle with lust was over. The 40-something year old replied, "Son, I did not know what lust was until my 40's."
Certainly sexual temptation knows no age-limits.
A Lifestyle to Adopt
For moms raising sons they hope to be godly, self-controlled young men, and for Christian men who seek to live a life above reproach, here is a reminder of some of the responsibility men bear in the path of purity . . .
- Turn our gaze from magazine ads and covers, internet pop-ups, television ads, and the 100+ other forms of sexually charged items in our culture.
- When I walk down a hall or narrow path near women, I often put my hands in my pockets or press my hands against my pants so as not to in any way accidentally touch a woman inappropriately.
- Start every day before getting out of bed submitting myself - including my body - to the Lord for His glory and use.
- Pray the Lord's Prayer at the start of every day - not by rote but by meaning. And seek to walk in the Spirit and live a life bathed in conversational prayer daily.
- When a situation is appropriate to hug a women (other than my wife), I make sure and move towards a side hug so as to not press my body in any way against her breasts.
- When out in public, when I see a woman dressed immodestly, I discipline myself to look away and not keep looking at her body.
- Refrain from flirting with women, even casually.
- Never discuss sexual matters with another woman (unless in a strict counseling setting - and even then only with another person present).
- Refrain from seeking emotional "strokes" from women other than my wife. Don't try and be a hero or "Prince Charming" to anyone other than my wife and daughter.
- I refrain from meeting a woman other than my wife or family member in public - at a restaurant, for example (some of the same folks who criticize President Trump for his immorality criticize Vice President Pence for his practices like this one aimed at moral purity.)
- Choose to not watch television shows, videos, or movies with much sexual situations and scantly-clad women.
- Refrain from watching movies with nudity.
- Turn the station when music comes on of a sensual nature (a lot of today's country music has turned from love to lust songs).
- When sex is satisfying at home, enjoy!
- When sex is sparse at home, practice self-control and self-discipline and learn to be content when my wants are not met.
- Discipline myself to meditate on and memorize Scripture from the Bible. Keep a steady supply of biblical sermons and devotions on my phone and in my car to listen to at times when driving - for the purpose of renewing my mind.
- Abstain from indulging in internet pornography, which is always a few clicks away.
- Treat women with respect and dignity. That includes opening doors for them, saying "thank you," and asking about their lives.
- Choose to dress in a way that shows self-respect and modesty.
- Never engage in sexual jokes - not even with other men.
- Keep internet filters on my devices.
- Never engage in bragging about sexual activity with anyone (other than your spouse!)
- If I am feeling especially tempted sexually in some way, ask a godly man to pray for me.
- Discipline my thought life to only think about my wife sexually.
- Keep a short account with God. When I realize I have lusted or harbored inappropriate thoughts or desires, repent of them immediately, asking God to cleanse me and fill me afresh with the Holy Spirit.
- Speak to women graciously, humbly, and respectfully. Serve and honor them when appropriate.
- Do not indulge mental fantasies with the culture's entertainment.
- Choose to take every thought captive and keep my mind set on the good things of Philippians 4:8.
- Live counter to a culture that embraces "free-sex."
- For single men, the list could probably double. For starters, choosing to abstain from having sex until marriage, though our single culture today embraces hooking up and having sex just for the physical pleasure.
- Act like a man! Not just like a boy.
- Speak often of my wife and children to other people.
- As a pastor, for years I refused to counsel a woman alone in my office with a closed door.
- When counseling a woman, I intentionally insert my wife and children's names into the conversation several times, just as a subtle reminder, "I belong to them."
This list is just the beginning. I'm sure other godly men could add more.
With the excess imbalance of the #MeToo movement and the Kavanaugh hearing, where it appears a person can be accused with zero evidence by one person dating back decades, men will likely have to add many more items to this list seeking to guard themselves and their reputations.
Let's remember that staying sexually pure, above reproach, and pleasing to God depends on both men and women doing their part.
will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3
Pictures used by permission from Pixabay