Someone once told me that the problem with pornography is that it essentially gives a man everything he wants without working for it. And although I know there is a sizeable percentage of women who struggle with pornography, I’ve only been able to relate to the male percentage, which takes the greater weight. But in regards to what my friend once said, I completely disagree. The problem with pornography is that it makes a man think the only thing a woman is good for is sex. Reality, however, shows that women are far more valuable than just sex. In fact, for me, sex is actually one of the last things I want.
Last night at Cross Training was the annual “sex talk” where Tony goes through some general messages society sends us and then goes through the messages that God sends us. He split us all up into smaller groups to where we could answer several questions with a little more comfort in speaking about such a major and kind of awkward issue in church-related settings. I felt like I could say things without being judged and I could listen to the wisdom of others who may have more experience in this realm.
I’m a virgin. Heck, I’ve never even been on a date or come even close to being kissed. When it comes to the ladies, I’m not afraid to say that I’m incredibly awkward. In fact, that’s one of my blessings. I kind of feel that it’s because I’m socially awkward around girls I like that I haven’t been tempted with anything beyond pornography. And yes, I’ve seen more than what I’ve needed to see in internet pornography. It’s actually a bigger deal than many Christian men treat it. Just watch the guys in church awkwardly squirm in their seats as the pastor talks about lust and how Jesus defines adultery. But anyhow, suffice it to say, I have no experience with sex and the temptation has hardly been present in my life. Yes, I’ve lusted, but no, I’ve never been tempted to sleep with a girl. The odds are overwhelmingly against me.
Last night was definitely a learning experience. Our small group happened to have a married man who could tell us the infinite benefits he and his wife have received and experienced because they waited until marriage to have sex. This, though it’s something I’ve always believed, was encouraging to hear. Why? Because it was basically saying that I’m not alone. The girls in my group also encouraged me indirectly as well when they admitted that they are after guys who do want to wait and who do take marriage for its sincerity, intimacy, and sacredness. Being who I am and holding the beliefs I hold while being on several sports teams throughout my life, I’ve definitely been made fun of for it all. It’s very discouraging to be passionate about something like this and have the only people to share such a belief be my church elders. Hearing the thoughts and opinions of Christian girls was very relieving.
And in hearing their words, I realized something else. I realized the real thing that I’m after. As I said earlier, pornography doesn’t cut it; it only makes me think that all I want from a woman is sex. In reality, and what I realized after hearing these girls share their hearts, what I want from a Godly girl is her heart. I don’t really give a damn that I don’t fit in with the male stereotypes; I want a woman’s affection more than I want her body.
This realization, seeing the beauty of a woman’s heart first hand, made me realize something else. I may never have been tempted with a girl alone in my room, but I have been tempted with an unrestrained computer alone in my room. I’ve probably seen close to what King Solomon had seen in regards to naked women and I’m not at all proud about it. It has, at times, made the way I view and approach women all the more awkward. There has been no benefit to viewing the stuff, not a single element. Sure, it might give my eyes a little short delight, but it doesn’t give me what I want. Pornography can never offer me the affection, the true affection, of a woman’s heart. And though I may not have experienced this affection before, I still believe that it’s worth fighting for.
What do I mean by fighting? What the heck am I fighting against? Well, for starters, I’m fighting against the temptation to watch porn. I’m fighting against the lies that the lust in my heart tells me. I’m fighting against the false and imitating kind of love for the pure and genuine kind; the kind that exists between a man and a woman’s shared affection. I’m fighting for the beauty of a woman’s heart because I faithfully believe it is worth every last bit of the effort and struggle.
One thing I want to add in regards to this beauty of a woman’s heart idea is how her heart becomes beautiful. I used to think that the beauty of a girl’s heart rested in her personality; if she was funny, smart, kind of witty, and maybe a little nerdy. But then I met Jesus. I think Peter’s first letter gives the best description of what Jesus defines as true beauty; “Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” (3:3-4). What I find attractive about women, which runs much deeper than mere body parts (though they help), is how they reveal the “gentle and quiet spirit” of Jesus through their words, their actions and their overall characters that they submit to God.
The ultimate culmination of seeing a woman’s beauty, I believe, is that first night in wedlock. I’ve only heard the stories from the Godly men that are married, but I believe there is an indescribable depth of intimacy in that first night. Just read Song of Solomon and you’ll see what I mean. And that first night, as I’ve said before, is something that I think is worth fighting for. Even if it means having an internet filter to block all the nasty sites; even it means having someone hold you accountable for the times you slip; and even if it means withstanding the negative criticism from classmates, friends, teammates, whoever – it’s worth it. No, by merely saying it’s worth fighting for doesn’t make the fight easier. But I think it definitely helps in continuing the fight. There have been nights where I’ve been so overwhelmed with temptation that I simply call up a friend to see if I could stay the night at their house. And as helpful as those times have been, this isn’t always an option. There are times when I basically have to stand on my own against the tidal waves of temptation. But if we remember what the Scriptures teach, the Jesus that we pray to is the one who calms the raging seas at the mere utterance of His words.
If we pray over tempting situations, as Exodus 14:14 encourages, He will fight for us. And what often happens when I pray for God to help, I see something change. My attraction towards the naked girls on the web withers almost immediately because I see one major element that they all lack: the inner beauty of their hearts. Since that’s the kind of girl that I really want, the girls online don’t meet the requirements. And since they don’t meet the requirements, they don’t deserve my cowardly pursuit. They don’t deserve the time I have alone with an open computer in my room. They don’t deserve any part of me or my attention.