I grew up during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. At that time, the X-rated movies were shown in theatres and you had to be a certain age to see them. Pornographic magazines were kept behind the counter in stores. Today, things have changed a great deal. Pornography is now easily accessible on the internet, and for most people, that means on their smartphones. Add to that the fact that sexual content is now a part of many television programs and even a lot of films that are rated PG-13. You no longer have to go to a public theater or ask the clerk for the magazine behind the counter. Pornography can be accessed free, wherever you are. And though we normally think this is just a guy problem, there is disturbing information about how many women are turning to pornography.
So, how is a discerning Christian to remain pure in our sex-crazed culture? Here are three quick thoughts:
- We should pray with Paul to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18) and to put to death sexual immorality and impurity (Colossians 3:5). We should pray for a pure heart (Psalm 51:10). Jesus said that it is the pure in heart that will see God (Matthew 5:8). The most important thing you can do is to pray that God will keep you pure and not stumble and fall. The other items I list are helpful, but it starts here. On your own, it is impossible to resist temptations, so pray for God’s help.
- Guard your eyes. Everywhere you look you are bound to find sexual material – television, billboards, magazines, internet, etc. Make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1). Stay off the internet if the temptation is too much for you. If you absolutely need internet access, consider accountability software such as Covenant Eyes. I’m absolutely stunned when I hear about parents who give their children a smartphone with internet access and no parental controls software. They often say “My child would never go to those sites”, not realizing that sometimes porn actually comes to them. My wife and I are sometimes surprised when we realize that films that we enjoyed early in our marriage actually had a significant amount of inappropriate content and we would never have agreed to see them today. Don’t go to movies or watch television programs that have explicit sexual content and/or nudity. I can remember years ago when we made the mistake of going to a film while on vacation without checking out the content issues beforehand. We hadn’t guarded our eyes, and ended up walking out of the film rather than being subjected to any more filth than we already had been. Consult good sites such as Movie Guide and Plugged In to help you be more discerning as to the films and television shows you subject your eyes to.
- You knew I would have to drop the “A” word. But some type of accountability is important. A few suggestions would be to share all applicable passwords with your spouse, or a good friend. Ask a good friend or your spouse to be your accountability partner, and be open to serving as an accountability partner to others if asked.
These are just three suggestions on how a Christian can remain pure in our sex-crazed culture. What would you add to this list?