Part two of a three-part series
I recently spent four weeks keeping track of the digital mistresses I allow in my life—every sexually suggestive message that assaulted my ears and every risqué image that enticed my eyes. I wrote them all down in a journal, and at the end of the month, I tallied the number:
Two hundred sexual images a month. Multiplied out, that’s 2,400 digital mistresses within a year’s time, way more than Solomon’s 1,000 wives and concubines. Guys, that’s not a skirmish. That’s an all-out blitzkrieg.
By and far, the most widely used entertainment mediums were covers for books, music, and movies (18%), website ads (17%), TV shows (14%), and commercials (14%). There weren’t many surprises when it came to the those outlets. But I was surprised at how often my innocent and passive actions still led to suggestive encounters. I couldn’t look at free Kindle downloads without scanning the covers of Harlequin novels. I couldn’t enter a department store without seeing swimsuit displays. And I couldn’t spend a couple of easy hours watching TV with my wife without picking up my notebook half a dozen times. And let me tell you about embarrassment—my wife was suddenly very aware of all the times I noticed another woman’s body.
There were a few times I wondered if my journal was worth the effort. Toward the end of the month I was tired of the constant journaling, burdened by my sudden awareness of battles, and unsure if my measures were making any real changes. And then one night I had a dream. Most of the time I don’t put stock in my dreams, but this one stood out. In my dream, I was playing chess in the woods with one of my brothers (I don’t play chess, and especially not in a forest). A car pulled up nearby, and a woman wearing a bikini stepped out. And here’s the part that blew my mind. In my dream, I looked away. The moment I realized she was wearing something revealing, I turned my eyes away.
This was the reassurance I needed from God that He was beginning a new work in me. Even in my dreams, He was giving me the strength and ability to guard my eyes and thoughts, to make a covenant like Job did: I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.
I love my wife, and she deserves my greatest efforts to keep a path far from sexual temptation, wherever it resides. That doesn’t mean I cut off all forms of entertainment, but it does mean I become more aware of my choices and make some difficult decisions to reroute my life around sexually explicit images.