We’ve been tackling the subject of Spiritual Warfare at NorthStar and over the next few weeks Scott and Steve will be identifying one of the Enemy’s primary weapons against Christians: Lust.
If you’re breathing you’ve battled some form of lust. As a man I wake up every day in a battlefield with lustful landmines all around me. My TV screams LUST! So does my phone, the billboards I pass, the internet, magazines, the gym and on and on it goes.
There are hundreds of articles, websites, books and seminars that teach us how to fight it. Accountability and internet filters are all good, but I’ve been convinced for some time now that there is another weapon men are failing to use. A weapon that we SHOULD be using.
This weapon is our attitude towards women.
We can wave our fingers at Hardees, GoDaddy and Victoria’s Secret for their advertising campaigns that reduce women to mere sexual objects, but are our attitudes much different in how we view women? Hear me Christian men – you’re likely to defensively protest, “No Way!” But take a second to do some honest self-evaluation with me.
It’s been my experience that a great number of men, Christian men, Pastors and leaders too, unwittingly and maybe even unintentionally reduce women to sexual objects meant solely to be consumed. Let me share some examples:
1.) “You’ve got to be careful around women.” This well-meaning warning has been given to me since my early days in seminary. I’ve been told to never: counsel a woman, hug a woman who isn’t family, or to speak too friendly to a woman like you would a friend or buddy. I’ve even heard men proudly proclaim, “If a woman was broke down in the pouring rain on the side of the road I wouldn’t stop to help her because it might give the wrong impression to people.” Basically – keep your distance from women because if you don’t, your pants will fall down and you’ll have sex with them and screw up your life. Now, I’m all for wisdom. I’m not going to counsel a woman about her porn addiction or talk about struggles in my marriage to another woman.
BUT, if I have to treat all women like a potential threat to a scandalous affair – what does that imply about my attitude towards women? It means that they are mere sexual objects for me to consume – if I’m not careful. They’re not sisters to love, value and cherish – they’re objects to lust and fall for. They’re not women to shepherd, protect, encourage and equip – they’re sexual landminds set to destroy my ministry.
What if our attitudes, even if they’re well meaning, make women much less than God made them? My attitude towards them will determine my behavior towards them.
Be wise and guard your purity, but don’t just see women as only sexual objects to consume.
2.) Do you lust after your wife? Yes, you can lust after the woman you’re married to. How? By seeing and thinking of her primarily as a woman who is given to you for your sexual pleasure. Take inventory of how you speak of your wife to your male friends. Which of these do you do more: A) Make jokes about your sex life with her. OR B) Brag on her and extol her virtues.
When your wife has had a hard day with the kids or her job, do you make efforts to love her and unburden her out of selfless love, or do you just try to improve her mood for sex?
3.) Are you disappointed that over time your wife hasn’t remained as skinny, sexy and hot as she was when she was 22? Do you compare her physically to others? You know what I find ironic about the men who make remarks about their wives weight and appearance? 99% of them are way overweight and have thinning hair. If you think it’s OK for you to be overweight, but it bothers you that your wife is: She’s just a sexual object to you. Feel shame about this? Good. Feel it
Christian men, do you see women as image bearers of God? Do you see them as sisters to love and encourage like Jesus? Do you see porn stars as objects of sexual gratification or objects of God’s love and sacrifice on a cross? Are you primarily concerned with how you can help your wife’s gifts and dreams flourish, or how she can serve yours?
Maybe if we saw women as equal sisters and gifts from God and not secondary objects of mere sexuality we would be less inclined to behave so lustfully towards them.
Think about it. How’s your attitude toward women?