Late this evening I made a trip to a local pharmacy to pick up a couple of prescriptions. I had to travel a little ways because as I found that there are few pharmacies open past 6 pm on Sunday evenings.
Anyways, as I walked through the store waiting for the prescriptions to get filled, I naturally came across the magazine rack. And while I knew what was there, for some reason this time I became very agitated in my spirit. If you don't understand why, let me explain: I'm tired; really, really tired of the exploitation of women in our culture. I'm tired of the media that promotes it, I'm tired of those who consume it (myself included), and I'm even tired of the women who willingly allow themselves to be exploited.
And I think its time for Christians to do something about it. It's time for Christian men to refuse to consume it. Whether its the SI Swimsuit Issue, the beer commercials, the TV shows with the subtle sexuality, or simply viewing the magazine covers in the checkout line, it's time for us make a Jeremiah-like covenant (Jer. 31:1) and refuse to look at anything that might cause lust to sprout in our hearts. It's time for us to stop contributing the the exploitation.
And Christian ladies, it's time for you to stop consuming it as well. It's time to stop evaluating yourself based upon what some magazine, model, TV, or commercial says that you should look like. It's time to quit measuring your worth based upon your weight, your bust size, the complexion of your skin, or by what you are wearing or not wearing. It's time to find your worth based upon the fact that you were created in God's image and that he made you beautiful, just the way you are. It's also time to start helping your brothers out by being counter-cultural in how you dress so that men have a safe place in the church where they aren't bombarded by the same temptations they are everywhere else.
Let me say two more things before I am finished. First, let me explain why I'm tired. I'm tired because of the devastation that this issue is causing to men, women, and families. As a pastor at a large church there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't see the profound implications of our culture's obsession with sex and so-called 'beauty'. It's destroying marriages, families, and ultimately our culture as a whole.
Finally, let me end on a positive note. Thankfully, there is hope in the Gospel, which tells us that in Christ we can do all things (Phil. 4:13). This includes fighting sensuality and the temptation to find our joy in anything other than our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sensuality feels good for a moment, but it only leads to guilt and pain. But through the power of Christ in us, we can say learn to say"no" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, godly lives today (Titus 2:11). And when we do, we will receive the blessings that come from purity, and be a counter-cultural witness to what Christ has done in and for us.