Man-to-Man March 2016
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27,28
It’s still true. Marriage requires fidelity. And it’s the husband’s responsibility is to “keep himself to her alone,” as the vows go. And to make sure no one can weasel his way out of an improper sexual relationship, Jesus quietly – yet firmly – makes it a matter of the heart. Do you get the picture? Men try to twist plain interpretations of the seventh commandment – does one have to be married – but such literary gymnastics flop in the light of Jesus’ word. Purity. Get it?
When I was young and single, I had a very active imagination, especially when it came to girls!
(The only difference between then and now is age.) Billy Graham is recorded as having said the three main temptations he combatted were pride, money, and sex. I could relate to that. So I decided to memorize Scripture verses that dealt with sex and its temptations. I was amazed how many passages I found! The rather blanket passage that I still review Is Proverbs 6:16-19 which reveals seven things the LORD hates. You can look it up; but please note this: “a heart that devises wicked imaginations.” NASB
And since the battleground is the heart, do you now recognize why pornography is so prolific?
This quiet subterfuge has torpedoed so many marriages today that it’s impossible to measure.
Many years ago I became caught up (I’m gratified to say) with the pro-life movement. A man who became a brother in Christ challenged me, so I studied the word and became convinced. Sometime later I was speaking with another friend of mine, a pastor in Cincinnati, who got my attention on porn. He said abortion and porn go together. The porn industry fosters sex, and consequently it encourages abortion so porn can continue to flourish. His point: curb porn and you’ll curb abortion. Think about it.
Now here is the subtle danger in porn. You can indulge in porn all by yourself! It’s true. In the quiet of your own den you can bring up all kinds of inviting temptation! One day before going to the church study, I opened my computer only to find two messages from our secretary. Both were porn, and I still have to work to extricate the sordid scenes from my conscience. And I only looked at them momentarily! Of course I checked with our faithful secretary who said she had received two porn messages from me!! I only mention this because those images Satan can bring up twenty-five years later! Porn works in the imaginations of the heart! Even the pictures on magazine covers can cause men to stumble. No wonder Muslims are shocked!
The purpose to which I’m writing is how to guard our marriages! A mens’ group where we pray for one another, giving an account report, helps. Open talk with your wife is a given. No secrets. She should know, without details, the temptations you face. Her prayers are your shield. But when a man goes secret, opens the door just a bit to porn, says nothing about it, look out!! As Proverbs 6:27 says, “Can a man take fire into his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Scores of pastors have fallen into this temptation. Marriages become a sham. She feels like piece of meat. O, porn is cruel! And I’m not going into the details of child porn!
Men, it’s a matter of the heart! And Proverbs 4:23 (look it up) says it. Jesus teaches us how to pray when He says, “…and lead us not into temptation….” But as Daws Trotman used to warn, “Give the devil an inch and he’ll take a mile.”
During WWII many of the troops never made it to the field! They had caught sexually transmitted disease and found themselves in military hospitals rather than the battlefront.
Some have likened the situation to many of today’s churchmen. Instead of being on the front lines of Kingdom mission, they are weakened and spiritually disabled. And its devastation shows up in broken and disabled marriages. Are we men “of God” given to porn?
Brothers, don’t mess! Satan’s a killer! Embrace your wife – if you’re married – and give her your whole heart and body! And if you’re not married, take command of your imaginations and lay up the word of God in your mind and heart! Take control of your electronic devices! Let the Spirit of God command your inner thoughts! And if you’ve fallen into sin, repent! Enjoy forgiveness. There’s nothing like a clear conscience before God… and your wife!
Ken G Smith is a retired REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA (RPCNA) minister, living in a retirement home in Beaver Falls, PA. During his most active years of ministry he disciples other younger men to work with the men of their church and was God’s instrument to lead Rosaria Champaigne (now Butterfield) to Christ. He blogs regularly at MAN TO MAN under the name KenG.